In the footsteps of the GDR: Ostalgie in Berlin

You don’t have to go too far in Berlin to discover the traces and scars of the city’s history. For Ostalgie fans, nostalgic for aspects of life in East Germany, the city has a great deal to offer. For those who want to take a stroll in the footsteps of the GDR, here are a number of sights and attractions that should definitely not be missed.

 

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image courtesy of FOTOliziös / photocase.de

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It is the people who count: Who actually lives at Strausberger Platz?

Distinctive architecture attracts distinctive people. In this, Strausberger Platz is no different from Shanghai’s French Quarter or New York’s Meatpacking District. Authors, filmmakers, architects – as well as regular folk who don’t want to live somewhere regular – populate these hot spots.

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image courtesy of kallejipp / photocase.de

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Post- 1945 art: A fleeting moment of freedom

In the aftermath of World War II, artists living in the Soviet-occupied zone initially aligned themselves to classical modernism. Art condemned by the Third Reich as degenerate, such as Expressionism, New Objectivity, Dadaism or avant-garde, experienced a brief renaissance. Alongside the philosopher Ernst Bloch and returning exiled writers Bert Brecht, Anna Seghers and Arnold Zweig, the former Expressionist Johannes R. Becher quickly became the central figure of cultural events.

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image courtesy of HG Esch

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Architecture of the GDR: Bauhaus, Plattenbau, Gingerbread Style

When most people are asked about GDR architecture, their thoughts turn automatically to the extensive Plattenbau projects constructed with pre-fabricated concrete slabs. It might come as something of a surprise to hear that both the architecture and the art that came out of East Germany had much more to offer than just this. The architecture of this period gave birth to buildings with a variety of styles, many of which still adorn Berlin’s streets today.

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image courtesy of HG Esch

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