Men in Hats: East Germany's Cult Pedestrian Signal Turns 50

Men in Hats: East Germany's Cult Pedestrian Signal Turns 50

SPIEGEL ONLINE - October 06, 2011

Pedestrian crossing figures vary, but the first ones in the world to wear hats originated in East Germany 50 years ago. Surviving a post-reunification attempt to have them removed, the jaunty figures have since gained cult status. SPIEGEL ONLINE looks back at their history and explores the competition. By Christian Gödecke more...

A Vision in Concrete: Photographer Captures Beauty in Communist Architecture

A Vision in Concrete: Photographer Captures Beauty in Communist Architecture

SPIEGEL ONLINE - July 29, 2011

The photographer Roman Bezjak spent five years traveling around Eastern Europe taking pictures of communist-era buildings. His images show grand gestures in concrete and weird constructions that could be in a science-fiction movie. His intention was not to judge the structures, but to show them from a new perspective. By Benjamin Maack more... Comment ]

Left-Wing Politician on the Fall of the Wall: 'I Feared that German Reunification Would Pose a Threat to Europe'

Left-Wing Politician on the Fall of the Wall: 'I Feared that German Reunification Would Pose a Threat to Europe'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 27, 2010

Lothar Bisky was an East German university professor who became involved in politics after the fall of the Berlin Wall and later became co-leader of the far-left Left Party. In a SPIEGEL interview, he explains why he opposed German reunification and his fear that a reunited Germany would swing to the far right. more...

Turn West, Old Brands: Sprucing Up Former Communist Products

Turn West, Old Brands: Sprucing Up Former Communist Products

SPIEGEL ONLINE - November 10, 2010

A new study finds that East German products -- from Rotkäppchen to Spee laundry detergent -- have filled their capacity for "retro" sales, and need to focus more on marketing to the West. more...

Chancellor Recalls Communist Childhood: Merkel Admits She Still Tends to Stockpile

Chancellor Recalls Communist Childhood: Merkel Admits She Still Tends to Stockpile

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 27, 2010

Introspection and nostalgia are rife ahead of the 20th anniversary of German reunification -- and German Chancellor Angela Merkel has joined the trend. In an unusually candid magazine interview she explained how her habits still bear the hallmarks of growing up in communist East Germany. more...

Endangered Species: East German Trabants Heading for Extinction

Endangered Species: East German Trabants Heading for Extinction

SPIEGEL ONLINE - July 29, 2010

The beloved Trabant, a trademark of communist East Germany, is dying out fast. The number rattling around on German roads has dwindled to 35,000 from close to one million shortly after reunification. Last year's cash-for-clunkers program appears to have persuaded many owners to ditch their brand loyalty. By Eric Kelsey more...

Homesick for a Dictatorship: Majority of Eastern Germans Feel Life Better under Communism

SPIEGEL ONLINE - July 03, 2009

Glorification of the German Democratic Republic is on the rise two decades after the Berlin Wall fell. Young people and the better off are among those rebuffing criticism of East Germany as an "illegitimate state." In a new poll, more than half of former eastern Germans defend the GDR. By Julia Bonstein more...

Painful Memories of an East German Gulag: 'I Thought I Was in a Nazi Movie'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 06, 2009

Mario Röllig is still struggling to get over his time in a Stasi prison while his jailers enjoy a peaceful retirement. Twenty years after the fall of the Wall, East Germany's former political prisoners want more recognition for their suffering -- and an end to "Ostalgie." By David Crossland more...

East German Time Warp: Untouched Communist-Era Apartment Discovered

SPIEGEL ONLINE - January 26, 2009

Time has stood still in an eastern German apartment which has only just been opened after evidently being abandoned in a hurry in early 1989. It gives an intriguing glimpse into everyday life in communist times. more...

The Socialist Ferrari: Reviving East Germany's Only Sports Car

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 22, 2008

In 1969, racing car driver Heinz Melkus started building what was to be East Germany's only sports cars. Nearly two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, two of his descendants are once again making the legendary car. By Mark Waffel in Berlin more...