Deutscher FernsehfunkIn the wast years of the Cold War, the program received cassette recordings from dissidents in East Berlin and broadcast them back to the eastern part of the city. When Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev called for raadio and perestroika openness and restructuring in the communist world in the s, East German leaders resisted. But grass-roots opposition east germany radio in East Germany saw an opening. There was a forum for germny, public debate in the Protestant church, which had a degree pure hgh for sale uk independence from the officially atheist East German state. Dissident voices also spread via s amizdat — the process of making copies of censored or east germany radio written material however east germany radio, often by hand. But the activists were searching for a way to amplify their voice, and radio proved to be the answer.
Broadcasting in East Germany - Wikipedia
East German goods had a reputation for shoddy quality and gruesome styling, even if that wasn't always the case. Twenty years after the collapse of the Communist regime, East German brands are once again thriving.
To see what life was like as a consumer in the former East Germany, the best place to start is at a museum. At the DDR Museum in the center of Berlin, Stefan Wolle points to a cabinet filled with packages of coffee and sugar covered with simple labeling. In the years immediately following German reunification in , over 14, East German companies were privatized and as many as four million East German workers lost their jobs. Even companies that made well-respected products were swallowed up by the tide of Western goods that soon flooded into what are now known as the "new federal states" in eastern Germany.
East Germans, who had long had access to West German television and could see, but not sample, western consumer goods, associated those products with a standard of living that had been denied to them behind the Berlin Wall. There were plenty of products that consumers had good reason to shun, from the cramped, exhaust-spewing Trabant cars East Germans had to wait a dozen or more years to buy or the polyester clothes that were a staple of East German fashion due to a shortage of cotton.
But at some point in the mids, things began to change and East Germans rediscovered their love of the products they had grown up with. Although some critics called the trend "Ostalgie" and accused East Germans of wanting to turn back the clock and return to Communism, Busch-Petersen said the charges were unfounded. Indeed, East German washing powder is still available and can be found in an entire store full of other goods with East German origins in a store just a few meters from Berlin's Alexanderplatz.
Known as Ostpaket, the store's name is a play on words and recalls the days when Germany was divided. Families living in the West could send their eastern relatives so-called Westpaket, care packages filled with clothes, western foods and other items - with the East German government collecting a share of the sale of each box. The store is one of dozens across the former East Germany that caters to East Germans who are looking for the goods they grew up with.
Inside Ostpaket, owner Bianca Schaeler said the East German goods were competitive with western rivals on both price and quality. Pointing to a shelf full of various flavors of the East German coffee brand Rondo, she said product development hasn't stopped since the Wall fell and the company has been busy tweaking its offerings to find new consumers.
Many Germans from the "new federal states" as East Germany is now known, make Rondo and fellow East German coffee brand Mocha Fix Gold their brew of choice, Schaeler said the brands have become popular in western Germany, too, thanks to discount chains which aggressively push the labels as a cheap quality substitute for Jacobs and other big German coffees. Perhaps the most successful brand to have survived Communism and thrive since then is Germany's biggest sparkling wine brand, Rotkaeppchen, which means Red Riding Hood.
The winery, based in the state of Saxony-Anhalt, is over years old and was expropriated by the East German regime after World War Two. After reunification, the company was privatized and has thrived since then, selling nearly million bottles of bubbly last year and bringing in revenues of over million euros. In , Rotkaeppchen even managed to buy one of its biggest rivals, the West German Mumm winery, which has given Rotkaeppchen a lock on about 40 percent of the German sparkling wine market.
That's given Rotkaeppchen access to more premium markets for its wares, a strategy other East German brands have tried as well, running in the face of long-held stereotypes of poor quality. Another company that successfully tried that tactic is Zeha, a shoe company that was once the Adidas of East Germany. Founded in in Thuringia, it become the only sport shoe maker in East Germany after World War Two and supplied most of the country's sports teams and also the Soviet national soccer team but after reunification, Zeha foundered.
The shoes are modeled on old Zeha models, including soccer boots and track shoes and combine retro design with high quality materials, such as hand-stitched Italian leather. Prices start around euros and climb much higher. Although Zehas are no longer a shoe for the masses - or for athletes - Heine says that's beside the point, the brand captures the mystique of the era.
The brand has taken off in fashion circles and hip shoe stores worldwide stock Zehas, including boutiques in New York and Tokyo.
But perhaps Zeha's biggest coup came at the end of July when it opened its newest store in Berlin. The store sits on the Ku'damm, West Berlin's most famous shopping street and throughout the Cold War and the division of the city and the country it served as a showcase for unbridled consumption. Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, an East German brand is being treated as a luxury item.
Media in the GDR was entirely state-controlled and western journalists were seen as a threat to the socialist system. But were they really? How much did the media have to do with the fall of the Berlin Wall?
Barely a handful of East German products were able to hold their own after reunification. One that did was Rotkaeppchen sparkling wine. The company even managed to buy out western rivals and today it's a market leader. Originally meant to fight rogue states and terrorism, the laws allow the president to block transactions and seize assets. Global bee populations are on the decline. And in Southwest China they have become so rare that fruit plantations are no longer being pollinated as they should.
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Business Trump seeks emergency powers to curb China's tech advance Business East German brands thrive 20 years after end of Communism Dossier: True or not, East German goods had a bad reputation for quality and styling. Although East German goods weren't flashy, many East Germans say they lasted forever. One of the most successful East German brands is Rottkaeppchen sparkling wine. Due to a shortage of cotton, many East German fashions were made with polyester.
A toast to communist champagne, Germany's favorite drink Barely a handful of East German products were able to hold their own after reunification. The week in review.