Life in the GDR

Maribat

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
5,049
A question to those Germans who lived and remember those times. Who have ralatives who remember.

1. Was there such a fenomenom that was called in Russian "deficit". That is a shortage of something which resulted in long shop lines.

2. What would you choose - a nowadays life in Germany or would you prefer the GDR times to be back?

Same question to the citizens of Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and Czechoslovakia .
 
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beorna

Ad Honoris
Jan 2010
17,473
-
A question to those Germans who lived and remember those times. Who have ralatives who remember.

1. Was there such a fenomenom that was called in Russian "deficit". That is a shortage of something which resulted in long shop lines.

2. What would you choose - a nowadays life in Germany or would you prefer the GDR times to be back?

Same question to the citizens of Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and Czechoslovakia .
1. yes, there were queues before the shops.
2. I can't keep my mouth closed, so a life in the GDR would have been dangerous for me
 
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Jun 2016
1,786
Russia
I was twice in GDR: in 1985 and in 1987. I don't remember any lines bigger than they are now. I brought home some books, most in German, but in Russian as well, w/o any lines.
I found the GDR trade system very clever. While things that lacked in country in USSR were hard to find, and when if , there were big lines, these things were sold in "Delicat" shops some more expensive. By the way, I don't understand why Soviet Union didn't the same. The people in GDR were paid some better than in USSR but the prizes were a bit bigger too. The system of ressort homes was like Soviet one. The trade unions provided anyone who wished with holidays in cheap or free ressort houses. To get travels to Bulgaria or to Yugoslavia was really very easy. The GDR Germans had pension at 60 then and it was rather good one pension, not many had to work after retirement age. The health care was some better than Soviet one. What I adore in GDR, are their sporting abilities. They had swimming pools in many schools. The sport of GDR was very famous. The culture of GDR is well known. Everybody remembers Bertold Brecht and GDR theaters. It was time when millions watched East German movies, I remember criminal ones and movies about Wild West.
These horror tales about Stasi are overestimated. There were so many jokes about Party leaders inspite they weren't that hated as Merkel now.
All the same the level of life in GDR was some higher than in USSR.
 

beorna

Ad Honoris
Jan 2010
17,473
-
I was twice in GDR: in 1985 and in 1987. I don't remember any lines bigger than they are now. I brought home some books, most in German, but in Russian as well, w/o any lines.
These queues happened, when there was something rare sold. It didn't happen all the time.


I found the GDR trade system very clever. While things that lacked in country in USSR were hard to find, and when if , there were big lines, these things were sold in "Delicat" shops some more expensive.
In such shops you could only pay with DM or these shops were limited to SED cadres.

By the way, I don't understand why Soviet Union didn't the same. The people in GDR were paid some better than in USSR but the prizes were a bit bigger too. The system of ressort homes was like Soviet one. The trade unions provided anyone who wished with holidays in cheap or free ressort houses. To get travels to Bulgaria or to Yugoslavia was really very easy. The GDR Germans had pension at 60 then and it was rather good one pension, not many had to work after retirement age. The health care was some better than Soviet one. What I adore in GDR, are their sporting abilities. They had swimming pools in many schools. The sport of GDR was very famous. The culture of GDR is well known. Everybody remembers Bertold Brecht and GDR theaters. It was time when millions watched East German movies, I remember criminal ones and movies about Wild West.
That existed, indeed. The sport was the flagship of the GDR. The athletes indeed paid a high prize, about 10,000 atletes were given doping, over hundred died and lots of them are sick or their children are.

These horror tales about Stasi are overestimated. There were so many jokes about Party leaders inspite they weren't that hated as Merkel now.
ridiculous comparison

All the same the level of life in GDR was some higher than in USSR.
better is not the same as good.
 
Jun 2016
1,786
Russia
These queues happened, when there was something rare sold. It didn't happen all the time.
You see! Between us, if you hadn't these 'rare things" would you starve?


In such shops you could only pay with DM or these shops were limited to SED cadres.
???? I wasn't member of SED and had no D-Marks but very delicious Eierlikoer they sold me.


That existed, indeed. The sport was the flagship of the GDR. The athletes indeed paid a high prize, about 10,000 atletes were given doping, over hundred died and lots of them are sick or their children are.
The most funny thing I've heard that nonsense first time from Arnold Schwarznegger in US movie, the same Arny who was doped as a horse.


better is not the same as good.
For me it is. Do you mean that your life is now better?
 

beorna

Ad Honoris
Jan 2010
17,473
-
You see! Between us, if you hadn't these 'rare things" would you starve?
Is it only about starving? It were so "rare" things like bananas, coffee, chocolate and other not really special goods.


???? I wasn't member of SED and had no D-Marks but very delicious Eierlikoer they sold me.
I don't know which shop you have entered. Western goods were sold in intershops and for DM.


The most funny thing I've heard that nonsense first time from Arnold Schwarznegger in US movie, the same Arny who was doped as a horse.
yes, everythings is just a western conspiracy, even the testimonies of lots of GDR athletes.

For me it is. Do you mean that your life is now better?
No, life in the GDR was great, you could buy whatever you wanted, if you could find it in a shop, you could travel to any place you liked, except outside the warsaw pact, you could study whatever you liked, as long as you hadn't expressed an opinion in contrast to the SED politics, you could believe to whoever you liked to, you just had to relinquish chances for a career.
 

authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
5,219
A question to those Germans who lived and remember those times. Who have ralatives who remember.

1. Was there such a fenomenom that was called in Russian "deficit". That is a shortage of something which resulted in long shop lines.

2. What would you choose - a nowadays life in Germany or would you prefer the GDR times to be back?

Same question to the citizens of Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and Czechoslovakia .
You might be on a waiting list of ten years for a car or TV, a sort of queue. Don't forget that the GDR threw people in prison for asking to leave the country and shot those who tried to leave without asking.

Hungary (1956) and Czechoslovakia (1968) were both invaded by the Soviet Army for being too liberal and the Russians also sent their tanks into East Germany when a strike resulted in demonstrations in 1953. Over 500 killed, a further 100 executed, 1800 injured and 5,000 arrested.

The devices on this outer fence, there were two with a mined no mans land inbetween, are automatic. They fire metal splinters at anyone within range. They face inwards to the east, to stop east germans getting out.



All this was because 3 million people fled the GDR and went to the west before they put all this stuff up. It ran for 550 km with watch towers, flood lights and armed patrols.

 
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Maribat

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
5,049
But why was it called Democratic.
Words playing. Like in Democratic People's Republic of Korea. I'd like to ask someone from that republic how do they live, but I am afraid no one there has internet. Or a computer.
 

authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
5,219
But why was it called Democratic.
How many dictatorships call themselves likes like the People's Democratic Republic? For example, the DPRK, the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea, another country where they shoot their own citizens for wanting to leave.