Blog

The DDR Museum unpacked

#unboxingDDR - Pocket Calculator "konkret 200"

4 Jul 2017 by Praktikant
The DDR Museum presents the first unboxing series of historical objects. One minute clips show the diversity of original DDR artifacts. This time we unpack the pocket calculator "konkret 200", commentated by Head of Collection Jörn Kleinhardt.
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Collection

Valuable additions to the collection of the DDR Museum

26 Apr 2017 by Maria Bartholomäus
The collection of a museum is never truly complete. In the following text we will introduce some objects which have been recently added to the collection of the DDR Museum.
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Collection

The constitution of the DDR through the ages

11 Jan 2017 by Jörn Kleinhardt
Throughout its entire existence, the German Democratic Republic had a total of three valid constitutions. The original constitution is from 1949, the founding year of the DDR, and consists of 144 articles. Due to the political developments in the 1950s and 1960s a revision of the old constitution was inevitable.
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Collection

Presenting DDR-clothes from the collection

7 Dec 2016 by Maria Bartholomäus
The collection department of the DDR Museum has recently acquired professional equipment for the documentation of textiles. The seven figurines are essential for an authentic representation of clothes and are therefore contributing to the quality of our object photographs.
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Collection

Shopping in the DDR: Konsum

30 Nov 2016 by Jörn Kleinhardt
In order to satisfy their daily consumer needs, the citizens of the DDR / Soviet occupation zone had a number of possibilities to do their shopping. Already in December of 1945, a consumer cooperative with the simple name of “Konsum” was established. Only three years later, almost 300 independent consumer cooperatives existed in different cities.
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Collection

Collecting with a system: How do objects get into a collection?

26 Oct 2016 by Maria Bartholomäus
A museum has five main tasks: Teaching/communicating, Exhibiting, Researching, Collecting and Preserving. At the DDR Museum, the last two tasks are taken care of by the collection department. Collecting therefore also means to reasonably enlarge the inventory and to add new objects to the museum's collection. The following blog text will tell you more about how this exactly works.
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Collection

Fuel for the DDR – the brand Minol and the Minol Pirol

19 Oct 2016 by Jörn Kleinhardt
In order to keep motor vehicles sustained with fuel, an area-covering net of gas stations is required. As a result of the Second World War, the existing net of gas stations was divided along the different occupation zones after the West German brand „Gasoline“ was running all gas stations in all of the occupation zones in the beginning.
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Collection

From the "Sticky Mark" to the Mark of the GDR – Money Through the Ages

29 Jun 2016 by Jörn Kleinhardt
When World War II ended with the unconditional surrender of the German Reich, the Allied Forces occupied the different occupation zones. From the very beginning, the official instrument of payment was the Reichsmark, which had been introduced already in 1924 and which had survived the turbulent times of the Weimar Republic as well as the Third Reich. The old bills and coins continued to be in use during the transition period until June, 1948.
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Collection

Big objects in front of the lens

15 Jun 2016 by Maria Bartholomäus
The collection department of the DDR Museum now owns a modern set for photographing big objects.
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Collection

The magazine "Sputnik" as a paper-based ambassador of the USSR

8 Jun 2016 by Jörn Kleinhardt
The Soviet magazine "Sputnik" (Russian for companion) has been published by the state-owned news agency "Nowosti" since January 1967. It was designed as a digest of the Soviet press and was not only adressed to Russians but also to readers from other socialist and western foreign countries.
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Collection

"Original Wolfen" magnetic tape and film production in the GDR

18 May 2016 by Jörn Kleinhardt
Every technology enthusiast in the GDR was well accustomed with the products of the company ORWO. No wonder: The company used to have the monopoly on the production of chemical data mediums in the GDR. The history of the production site, Wolfen, however, is only familiar to few.
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Collection

Having an eye on finances: 8 books of household accounts from a family in Dresden

11 May 2016 by Maria Bartholomäus
Nowadays there's an app for that. In the GDR, on the other hand, people kept an eye on their receipts and expenditures with the help of a meticulously kept book of household accounts. It was a proper housewife's duty to keep track of what amount of money was spent for what and when. The DDR Museum was recently donated a total of 8 books of household accounts from a family from Dresden, starting on January 1st in 1963 and ending on January 3rd in 1993. Learn more about these highly interesting historical documents in the following text!
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Collection

The Thirst Quencher for work at high temperatures: Contratherm – Heat Drink

20 Apr 2016 by Maria Bartholomäus
The collection of the DDR Museum is documenting everyday life in the GDR and therefore consists of different objects belonging to all sorts of topics. Every day, our colleagues at the collection department are dealing with objects and their interesting stories and sometimes unusual original purposes. One of them is the sealed glass bottle “Contratherm - Heat Drink”, containing a bright pink liquid. Get to know the interesting background story in the following text!
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Collection

Who is getting in and out of the house? The house book in the DDR

16 Mar 2016 by Jörn Kleinhardt
In the German Democratic Republic, filling out a house book was regulated by law according to the reporting ordinance. But what does that mean exactly? How did such a book look like? Who was responsible for it? What was the benefit? Questions which we are going to answer in the following text. As an example we are going to talk about a copy from the early 1950s.
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Collection

Globetrotters back home – Objects are returning into our collection

17 Feb 2016 by Maria Bartholomäus
In October 2015, the DDR Museum had the chance to support the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History in Seoul with a special exhibition by lending a number of objects. The exhibit with the title “Implications of German Reunification for Korean Unification” was on display in three rooms and was greeted with great interest by the Korean visitors.
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Collection

Foreign aid by the GDR in Africa

20 Jan 2016 by Jörn Kleinhardt
Even though the GDR had quite a number of economic problems itself, the small country nevertheless offered foreign aid to many places around the world since the 1960s, which within the socialist language use, however, was referred to as „Anti-imperialistic solidarity“.
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Collection

The magazine „FF Dabei“, a popular companion for the TV program

9 Dec 2015 by Jörn Kleinhardt
During its entire existence, the official TV program in the GDR has been quite limited. After a 3 year testing phase the Deutscher Fernsehfunk (DFF) aired permanently on January 3rd in 1956. The era of state-owned TV in the GDR had begun. On the occasion of the 20th birthday of the Republic, the repertoire was extended by one additional channel in 1969. Along with the start of the second channel, the Deutscher Fernsehfunk (DFF 2), the age of color television began as well. Because of the very limited choice of media in the GDR, only one single TV guide was published.
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Collection

From subject to museum object – how an item becomes part of the collection

28 Oct 2015 by Admin
One of the core tasks of a museum is the care and enlargement of its collection along a specific collection concept. At the DDR Museum this happens to a large part by accepting donations from the public. Visitors can either deliver their donations directly at the entrance area of our museum or contact one of the members of the collection department. This procedure enables our staff to decide whether the specific object fits the collection concept and will represent a meaningful addition to the collection.
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Collection

The Berlin TV Tower

14 Oct 2015 by Maria Bartholomäus
On October 3rd in 1969, the Berlin TV Tower was ceremonially inaugurated in Berlin Mitte at the Alexanderplatz in the presence of Walter Ulbricht and other high-rank politicians of the SED party. At the same time the television broadcaster Deutscher Fernsehfunk started its emission and the era of color television in the GDR had begun. Prior to the construction there were constant internal discussions about the exact place and appearance of the tower. After agreement, the then-president of the Deutsche Bauakademie (German Construction Academy) Gerhard Kosel was instructed by the SED leadership with the overall instruction of the project.
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Collection

Progress-Filmprogramm - little booklets for big movies

7 Oct 2015 by Jörn Kleinhardt
The film distribution company Progress, founded in 1950, had a monopoly in the GDR and brought all movies into the movie theaters, regardless of the fact whether they were domestic or international productions.
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