REUTERS

Divisions

Founded in 1949, the German Democratic Republic was beholden to the Soviet Union until reunification with West Germany on Oct. 3, 1990. Today, the states of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia comprise what was once East Germany.

Going Bats: German Reunification Memorials Hit the Wall

Going Bats: German Reunification Memorials Hit the Wall

SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 06, 2014

Two monuments to East Germany's peaceful revolution of 1989 were supposed to be unveiled in time for the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall this autumn. But due to a raft of obstacles, from roosting bats to technical challenges, neither project will be ready on time. By Stefan Berg and Steffen Winter more... Comment ]

Why Many Former East Germans Don't Vote

Why Many Former East Germans Don't Vote

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 19, 2013

Nearly a quarter of a century after German reunification, Chancellor Angela Merkel still favors dishes that were common in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). "Solyanka," a sour soup with meat and pickled vegetables originating in Russia, still appears regularly on her dinner table, and likely those of many former East Germans. By Friederike Heine more... Comment ]

Roller Coaster Ride: The Story of Berlin's Rotting Amusement Park

Roller Coaster Ride: The Story of Berlin's Rotting Amusement Park

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 13, 2013

With its rusting rides and a Ferris wheel turning idly in the wind, a defunct East German amusement park in Berlin fascinates locals and tourists alike. Repeated attempts to reopen "Spreepark" have been thwarted by administrative chaos and incompetence. By Gesa Mayr more...

The Beat Goes On: Legendary Berlin Dance Hall Turns 100

The Beat Goes On: Legendary Berlin Dance Hall Turns 100

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 11, 2013

Clärchens Ballhaus has seen illegal dueling, Nazi dancing bans, wartime destruction and communist black-marketeering. Fans celebrating its 100th anniversary this week say it retains a timeless charm that makes it an enduring icon of Berlin nightlife. By Kristen Allen more... Comment ]

Spy Games: Photos Reveal the Stasi Art of Disguise

Spy Games: Photos Reveal the Stasi Art of Disguise

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 04, 2013

East Germany's feared secret police had a bit of a sartorial flair, photos found by artist Simon Menner in the Stasi archive reveal. The images, which offer a glimpse into the clandestine world of phony facial hair and the all-important hat, are set to be published in a book this fall. By Karin Schulze more...

Searching for Scandal in Steinbrück's Stasi File

Searching for Scandal in Steinbrück's Stasi File

SPIEGEL ONLINE - August 23, 2013

In the United States, it can take some effort to derail someone's presidential campaign. In 2004, Republican supporters of George W. Bush even went so far as to create an entirely new group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. In Germany, it's easier. You just have to mention a candidate's possible connection to the Stasi -- and watch the media feeding frenzy unfold. By Charles Hawley more...

The Straight Dope: West German Scandal Spurs Push For New Law

The Straight Dope: West German Scandal Spurs Push For New Law

SPIEGEL ONLINE - August 16, 2013

Although reports two years ago of widespread doping in West German sports prompted outrage, politicians have done nothing. Some are hoping a rekindled public debate may lead to the passage of an effective anti-doping law. If Italy and Spain have done it, they argue, so can Germany. By Detlef Hacke, Udo Ludwig and Michael Wulzinger more... Comment ]

Digitizing the GDR: East German Papers Offer Glimpse of History

Digitizing the GDR: East German Papers Offer Glimpse of History

SPIEGEL ONLINE - June 27, 2013

From advertisements to propaganda to personal interest stories, the newspapers of Communist East Germany are a historical wellspring. Thanks to a four-year digital achiving project, three major papers are now available for free online. By Charly Wilder more... Comment ]

Chimes of Freedom: How Springsteen Helped Tear Down the Wall

Chimes of Freedom: How Springsteen Helped Tear Down the Wall

SPIEGEL ONLINE - June 19, 2013

In July 1988, Bruce Springsteen gave East Germany the biggest rock concert it ever saw. In a new book, journalist Erik Kirschbaum says the Boss inspired an entire generation to strive for more freedom -- and deserves some credit for the fall of the Berlin Wall. By David Crossland more... Comment ]

The Next Disaster? Berlin Lays Cornerstone of Troubled Palace

The Next Disaster? Berlin Lays Cornerstone of Troubled Palace

SPIEGEL ONLINE - June 12, 2013

The cornerstone was laid on Wednesday on the reconstruction of the Berlin palace that was once home to Prussian rulers. The need for such a structure is debatable, and funding looks shaky. It could become yet another addition to Germany's collection of cursed construction projects. more... Comment ]