World Wide Education: Welcome back to the GDR

After World War Two, the German Democratic Republic, also known as East Germany, was founded as a second German state, alongside the Federal Republic of Germany, which was more commonly known as West Germany. 

This partition reflected the victorious US, French and UK forces on the West, who during WW2 had joined forces with the Soviet Union in the East. While West Germany lived under Capitalism, East Germany took a different approach with Communism. 

The two states couldn't have been more different, with distinctive approaches and views on private property, international relations, bureaucracy, economics and politics. In this edition of World Wide Education, we invite you to explore life back in the German Democratic Republic. 

The Berlin Wall was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. The Berlin Wall became the structure which defined the 'Cold War' period of post-World War Two Europe.

The DDR Museum provides a unique visitor experience, making it one of Berlin’s most popular museums. Covering everyday life, the Berlin Wall, the Stasi and much more – The DDR Museum encourages visitors to explore all aspects of life in the former Communist state. 

Bruni de la Motte was born in the DDR, and gained a PhD at Potsdam University where she worked as a lecturer in English literature. In Stasi State or Socialist Paradise? Bruni de la Motte re-examines DDR-style socialism, whilst not ignoring the deficiencies of DDR society. 

On the 8th February 1950, the DDR's People's Chamber unanimously passed a "Bill to establish a Ministry for State Security". The Stasi Archives provide an online window into thousands of documents, photo's, audio and video material which provide an in-depth view of the East German intelligence community. 

Detlev Rohwedder oversaw a process that would lead to companies owned by the East German state being taken over by West Germany and international investors. A Perfect Crime investigates the 1991 killing of Rohwedder, which remains the unsolved mystery at the heart of Germany's reunification.

Polar opposites even in football; Bernd Bransch of Carl Zeiss Jena, the East-German captain, and Franz Beckenbauer of Bayern Munich, the West-German captain in the 1974 FIFA World Cup. 

East Germany's last ever match against Belgium in 1990

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