East Germany emerged as a communist state from the Soviet occupied zone of Germany after World War II. It was founded in 1949 and formally ceased to exist in 1990 when it was absorbed by West Germany.
East Germany, also known as the Democratic Republic of Germany (GDR), was a member of the Soviet-controlled Warsaw Pact countries of Eastern Europe during the Cold War. It had a centrally planned economy and did not experience the 'economic miracle' in the 1950s and 60s that helped catapult West Germany from the ruins of World War II.
Germans who lived in the GDR have been able to view the files kept on them by East Germany's notorious Stasi secret police. Now, East Germany's last prime minister is demanding to see what the West knew about him.
Although the Berlin Wall has now been gone for longer than it stood, remnants of the imposing structure still remain in some parts of the German capital. Last month, a hobby historian made headlines after he reportedly discovered a forgotten section. Tamsin Walker retraces part of the route that divided the country for 28 years.
North Korea and communist East Germany cooperated plenty during the Cold War. But almost from the off, GDR officials could smell something rotten in Pyongyang. Their once-secret observations are now freely available.