Time Machine

Erich Honecker

Berliner Morgenpost: “Verlassene DDR-Wohnung in Leipzig entdeckt

BBC: “Untouched East Germany flat found

Ah, for the DDR, the Deutsche Demokratische Republik, the German Democratic Republic…I have…such fond memories. Of being followed by secret police when walking through Berlin. Of low quality dreck for sale in dusty stores. Of spending my worthless DDR Marks on the most expensive meal I could find (on Unter den Linden), during which, upon biting into a large stone (not a cherry stone, but a stone) in the mousse, I showed it to the waitress, who noted, “Hmmph.. a stone…how interesting!” and marched off. Of “medicine” for a sore throat that was apparently manufactured for a giraffe and caused me to go so numb I feared I would swallow my tongue. Of cheap shabbiness. Of buildings that had not been painted since the war and still bore the peeling paint and posters from the National Socialists. Good bye, DDR. And good riddance.


(See “Good Bye Lenin!” sometime.)

3 Responses to “Time Machine”

  1. Joshua Thompson

    I just returned from a trip to Germany where a story was told me that fits well with your personal recollections. The mother of a friend was raised in the DDR, but once every five years or so her family was allowed to visit their relatives in the West. Aside from the questioning they had to undergo form the Stasi both before and after each trip, one story stood out. Every visit they would be amazed by some new invention: microwave, VCR, etc. During one visit, she saw her relative pull out a “calculator,” she felt some momentary pride because she had seen “calculators” before — they had those in the DDR too. When her relative suddenly turned on the TV with her “calculator,” she only felt disappointment and shame.

    In happier news did you hear about the resounding victory of the FDP in Hessen? Guido Westerwelle koennte der naechste Aussenminister sein!


  2. Joshua, I am not really happy about the coalition in Hessen. The FDP will work with Roland Koch, a man who made his name bashing immigrants and whose xenophobic outburts are quite notorious and led to neofascists supporting him with a postcard campaign. See for example the homepage of the extreme right “Die Republikaner” who hailed him as “Super-Koch”: http://www.rep-hessen.de/content.aspx?ArticleID=b0083fbe-89a4-4d9f-b1c2-b328bb7e5b9a

    It’s rather sad that the FDP wants to work with this guy.

  3. Joshua Thompson

    You make a fair point Austrian. The CDU with Koch are anything but ideal, and die Repulikaner are truly a scary bunch. I suppose I am not lauding the coalition as much as I was the FDP’s vote totals. Moreover, the possibility of a schwarz-gelb Koalition later this year with Merkel and Westerwelle, would be a great improvement over the schwarz-rot morass currently governing the Bundestag.

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