Dr. Stefan Wolle, the Head of Research of the DDR Museum, tells the story of the DDR as a collective biography of its citizens on more than 400 pages of this special publication of the DDR Museum.

This book is only available in German.


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The author approaches the history of the DDR scientifically but at the same time with wit and irony and characterised by his own experiences. The obstacles presented by the economy of scarcity and the pressure exerted by politics are described equally as the apparent idyllic side of everyday life. He describes the tightrope dance between conforming and protesting as well as the attempts to develop mental freedom and takes stock of shattered hopes. 

The DDR is neither glorified nor demonised but presented in all its contradictions – illustrative, provocative and sensual. 

Dr. Stefan Wolle is the head of the research department of the DDR Museum and one of the leading experts on DDR history. Wolle studied in East-Berlin and was later employed at the Academy of Sciences of the DDR. During the time of the reunification he was a member of the round table conference (DDR). Afterwards he worked for the Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service Stasi of the former German Democratic Republic. Furthermore he worked for the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany and the Forschungsverbund SED-Staat at the Free University of Berlin. His diverse publications on history are among the most read on the subject of the DDR.

This book is only available in German.

Data sheet

  • Size 14,8 cm x 21 x 2,6 cm
  • Weight 536 g
  • Year 2009, 1. edition 1998
  • Edition special edition of the DDR Museum
  • Author Stefan Wolle
  • Cover softcover
  • Pages 424

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