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.
Revelations about global data monitoring practices have brought home to many of us that we are being watched every day. Some of us brush off the realization with the thought that we don’t really do anything “controversial” or worth spying on - so it doesn’t matter… But in Germany, a country with a history of intense state-sponsored surveillance, attitudes are very different.
This week marked European Neighbor's Day. It’s often said that Berlin's eastern districts fostered a strong sense of community during the years of the city's division, rewarded by the East German authorities with a hint of gold. WorldLink columnist Tamsin Walker went in search of fading gilt.
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.