Demolished treasures from East Germany | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 31.07.2009
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Culture

Demolished treasures from East Germany

The former East Germany made significant contributions to modern architecture. Today, they would be historical landmarks full of insights into life in the GDR. But many have been lost.

A view through the window of the Palace of the Republic, with the East German emblem

The Palace of the Republic, home to the East German parliament, no longer exists

Germany has a lot to celebrate this year: 60 years since the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany, 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and 90 years since the founding of the Bauhaus architecture movement in Weimar, to name but a few of the anniversaries.

But while the Bauhaus birthday is commemorated with champagne and special exhibits, few are aware that great architects like former Bauhaus student Selman Selmanagic were responsible for developing architectonic modernity in post-war East Germany. Much of their work was destroyed shortly after German reunification.

Until the mid-1960s, the architecture of the GDR received recognition on the international stage. The buildings provided insights into the lives of the people in East Germany at the time - silent witnesses that would have a lot to say today about life in the "other" Germany, if they were still standing.

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