DDR Living: Museum Offers 'Ostalgic' Look at East GermanyMuseum of east german life all of your senses to enjoy an immersive experience of everyday museum of east german life in the former East Germany. Covering a range of topics based on sound academic research — everyday life, testosterone cypionate vs sustanon 250 Berlin Wall, the Stasi and much more — our exhibition encourages its visitors to touch, feel and interact, so as to reach a fun and full understanding of the past. Explore all aspects of daily life behind the Berlin Wall and the workings of state and Stasi — all under one roof. Browse our online database with its thousands of photographs museumm objects from the DDR. The permanent exhibition tells the history of the DDR using numerous original artefacts and other objects.
DDR Museum - Berlin’s interactive museum
And these two parts, both devoted to everyday life in the German Democratic Republic, subtly contradict one another. That might not have been the intention of the museum founders. But this tension actually captures the ambiguities of East Germany and the ambivalence that many Germans feel today about the erstwhile communist state. The experience inside the main part of the museum is quite interactive. You can put on headphones and watch East German TV shows, walk into an interrogation room and a prison cell, and sit at a high-ranking bureaucrat's desk.
You can take a test of your Russian. You can vote in a rigged election. This part of the museum is also full of objects from East Germany that people either donated or sold to the curators. These objects are very cleverly arranged in the rather small exhibition space.
Cabinets and closets lining the wall and dividing up the space are grouped according to topic: You can peer into glass cases at consumer products that have faded into history, such as Wald Gold liquor and Florena skin cream. You are also encouraged to pull out drawers and open cabinets to reveal even more objects, such as a floor plan of a GDR apartment or a report from the state security Stasi. In this way, you feel as though you are uncovering a hidden society, which is appropriate as it was a society was largely hidden from western eyes.
If you don't read the accompanying descriptions, you could walk away from this part of the museum feeling that you had just seen an objective portrait of a society. And according to the ticket seller that chatted with me, most people rate their experience at the museum very highly. And there have been quite a few visitors: The tone of the museum is most evident in the descriptions.
For instance, here is part of the description of GDR tourists: Waiters in Prague could recognise them easily. Western tourists used paper money: East Germans counted their aluminium play money. Another description begins with a joke: To which Honecker replied, "Is that enough for the whole country?
In these exhibits, everyday life in the GDR comes across as quaint, inefficient, boring, comical, and worthy of a varying degree of derision. It's no wonder that some people from the former East Germany find the experience somewhat upsetting. It's not that people in the GDR didn't have a sense of humour.
They made fun of the system all the time. And they continue to look back at that time with a mixture of humour, dismay, horror, and relief that the experience is behind them. But the exhibits at the GDR museum are meant for tourists, specifically tourists from the west. The wall texts invite you into a shared joke: It's not just a matter of making fun of the old-fashioned products and notions of a past generation.
At Berlin's municipal museum, by comparison, a whole room is devoted to how cool and chic the Kurfurstendamm area of West Berlin was during the s. In general, West Germany's past is treated reverentially while East Germany's is treated like an enormous dead end.
The proof is obvious: West Germany lives on and East Germany has been absorbed like a disagreeable meal. Here, in a replica of a restaurant from a fancy East Berlin hotel, you can sample the best of GDR cuisine, washed down with Vita Cola or Rotkaeppchen, the Coke challenger and the sparkling wine that are two of the few GDR products still produced in the united Germany. You can order smoked pork with potatoes and sauerkraut, allegedly Honecker's favourite dish, or what I tried, the stuffed cabbage in bacon sauce, which was quite good.
It's not prepared in a funny or ironic way. After all, the restaurant is designed to be successful, and no one wants to eat bad food. You can find some mildly amusing descriptions in the menu but there's nothing amusing about the food. True, these were recipes created for the most elite restaurant in East Berlin.
But Vita Cola and Rotkaeppchen were available to everyone. In other words, the restaurant sends a very different message to the other exhibits.
It says there was something good about East German life, something worth praising, saving, and even serving to people today. It's an appreciation for the fact that people in East Germany were not simply puppets but active participants in their lives. I've recently met with many former citizens of East Germany. The vast majority would never want to go back to those times. Many suffered a great deal at the hands of the Stasi. Some were jailed, others lost their jobs, still others were sent into exile in the west.
But they also married, raised families, went on vacations, hung out with friends. They aren't happy when people from the west dismiss this part of their lives as if it were simply a bad movie. It's worse, perhaps, when the West simply ignores the East, pretends that it never happened, like a year-long pratfall that you turn your eyes from.
Travel to the western parts of Germany and many people treat the fall of the Berlin Wall as if it happened in a different country. A recently formed group of young people from eastern Germany - Third Generation East — is an example of how the GDR will not go quietly into the night.
These young people want to have an honest conversation about the country they were born in and which disappeared before most of them were old enough to understand what had happened. They're not into nostalgia. They're not ready to put East Germany into a museum. For them, it is still very much part of their lives, and they want to know why they feel like a minority. The same holds true for their parents. Half of the GDR Museum exudes an implicit triumphalism. The other half conveys a more complicated message, the same message as Third Generation East: This is an article from our Guardian Travel Network.
To find out more about it, click here. Monument torn down in was buried and cannot be dug up for exhibition, according to officials. Topics Berlin holidays Travel blog.
Germany holidays Europe holidays Museums blogposts. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Loading comments… Trouble loading? Berlin's giant Lenin statue may have been lost, say city authorities. Western Germany more socially cohesive than east, study finds. Twenty-five years after reunification community spirit is stronger where there is greater diversity, reports Bertelsmann Foundation.
East Germans are still different Sabine Rennefanz. Angela Merkel's recent comments prove that 20 years after unification, a divide between east and west Germans remains.
Better red than dead. How astronaut Chris Hadfield showed Berlin's ongoing struggle for unification. Berlin Wall's most iconic paintings under threat from property developers.