- July 24, 2014
East German officials systematically stole from the country's art collectors and sold their possessions to raise hard currency. Families have sought for years to reclaim the treasures or to obtain compensation. In a rare success, one family in America recently retrieved some of its heirlooms. more... [ Comment ]
- 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. more... [ Comment ]
- 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.
more... [ Comment ]
- 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. more...
- 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. more... [ Comment ]
- 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. more...
- 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.
- 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. more... [ Comment ]
- 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. more... [ Comment ]
- 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. more... [ Comment ]