Strausberger Platz was a real flagship project for GDR architecture, with many East Germans hoping for a chance to move into one of the apartments. There were features in national newspapers and inaugural festivities to celebrate the arrival of the first tenants. Who were the apartments built for? ‘Workers who were allocated an apartment in the first socialist street as a reward for their achievements’ (Berliner Zeitung, 7 January 1953). A look at the alternatives available at the time shows why these apartments had such a powerful resonance as symbols of aspiration.
Poster for the reconstruction campaign of Berlin, reading ‘Get involved in the National Restoration Scheme’ – Source: Wilhelm Schubert, Plakat, 1952 | Berlin 1952 | Pinterest
“It wasn’t all bad in the GDR” – this same tongue-in-cheek sentence can also be used to describe television in the GDR. Many well-known and long-running German television programs started in East Germany. Not everything in the GDR had a political or ideological slant, as one might readily suspect. Admittedly, films produced and broadcast in the East were more affected by censorship and politicization, but there were also some highlights on the German television station “Deutsches Fernsehfunk des Osten” from the 1960s onwards, which were widely viewed. We have put together seven facts for you below, many of which will surprise you.
Television set Rembrandt – first model to be designed and built in the GDR, Source: SchiDD Wikimedia, CC-BY-SA 4.0
Berlin’s status as a divided city during the post-war period has led to a number of peculiarities. Many public facilities and cultural institutions come in twos or more. Thus, Berlin boasts more zoos, opera houses, large squares etc. than many other cities of similar size – and more airports, too! Since construction started on the new international Berlin Brandenburg Airport, these have recently been in the news quite a lot. We think it’s time for a round-up of historic facts and recent events – everything you need to know about Berlin’s not one, not two, but four airports.