History UsefulNotes / EastGermany

9th Jun '16 8:25:26 PM Angeldeb82
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The Eastern side did have [[UsefulNotes/OssisWithOsas a pretty good military]], getting the full Soviet versions of military tech rather than the weaker export versions. Planned the one or other raid on West Germany too, but the unification stopped the plan before it could be executed. [[PuttingOnTheReich Their uniforms, though...]] Due to Germany still being, in many regards, an occupied [[strike:country]] [[strike:couple of countries]] [[InsistentTerminology country with two separate and independent governments]], the Western powers (US, UK, France) had [[OvertOperative Military Liaison Missions]] in the GDR, allowing them to observe Soviet forces in action.

East Germany also did quite well in sporting events... largely because many of its athletes were doped up to the eyeballs with the latest performance-enhancing drugs, in an effort to make the Communist regime look like it was working on the international stage. Most would suffer serious health problems as a result. In American TV of the [[TheSeventies seventies]] and [[TheEighties eighties]] look for many jokes about East German sportswomen [[VillainousCrossdresser not really being women]]. Less amusingly, some female athletes were so badly messed up by the doping regimen (which in some cases started at the age of ''ten'') that they had to undergo a full sex change operation, while others found themselves unable to properly bear children.

Most of East Germany could pick up West German TV networks, which helped undermine the regime. The channels couldn't be jammed since it would also jam West Germany and that would be bad diplomatically. The Dresden and Rügen areas couldn't, so were dubbed "The Valley of the Clueless". This was done a) because GDR television was full of propaganda and b) it appears not to have been that good. The only programmes that TheOtherWiki discusses in its English version are:
* ''Der schwarze Kanal'' ("The Black Channel"- derived from a German plumbing term for sewer): Think of a Communist {{MST}}ing of West German television news, only without the humour. Or the popularity.[[note]]One urban myth even going so far as to claim power station enginers struggled to prevent blackouts ensuing from viewers turning their sets off when it was broadcast![[/note]] (May fall under SoBadItsGood, though.) Or, basically, you'd have clips of West German news programmes and presenter Karl-Eduard von Schnitzler[[note]]nicknamed "Sudel-Ede", or "Botch Eddie" for his vitriolic style, according to TheOtherWiki[[/note]] providing pro-regime, anti-Western commentary on those clips in an attempt to undermine beliefs that Western news was more accurate than the Eastern offering...

to:

The Eastern side did have [[UsefulNotes/OssisWithOsas a pretty good military]], getting the full Soviet versions of military tech rather than the weaker export versions. Planned the one or other raid on West Germany too, but the unification stopped the plan before it could be executed. [[PuttingOnTheReich Their uniforms, though...]] Due to Germany still being, in many regards, an occupied [[strike:country]] [[strike:couple of countries]] [[InsistentTerminology country with two separate and independent governments]], the Western powers (US, UK, France) had [[OvertOperative Military Liaison Missions]] in the GDR, allowing them to observe Soviet forces in action.

East Germany also did quite well in sporting events... largely because many of its athletes were doped up to the eyeballs with the latest performance-enhancing drugs, in an effort to make the Communist regime look like it was working on the international stage. Most would suffer serious health problems as a result. In American TV of the [[TheSeventies seventies]] and [[TheEighties eighties]] look for many jokes about East German sportswomen [[VillainousCrossdresser [[CreepyCrossdresser not really being women]]. Less amusingly, some female athletes were so badly messed up by the doping regimen (which in some cases started at the age of ''ten'') that they had to undergo a full sex change operation, while others found themselves unable to properly bear children.

Most of East Germany could pick up West German TV networks, which helped undermine the regime. The channels couldn't be jammed since it would also jam West Germany and that would be bad diplomatically. The Dresden and Rügen areas couldn't, so were dubbed "The Valley of the Clueless". This was done a) because GDR television was full of propaganda and b) it appears not to have been that good. The only programmes that TheOtherWiki Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} discusses in its English version are:
* ''Der schwarze Kanal'' ("The Black Channel"- derived from a German plumbing term for sewer): Think of a Communist {{MST}}ing of West German television news, only without the humour. Or the popularity.[[note]]One urban myth even going so far as to claim power station enginers struggled to prevent blackouts ensuing from viewers turning their sets off when it was broadcast![[/note]] (May fall under SoBadItsGood, though.) Or, basically, you'd have clips of West German news programmes and presenter Karl-Eduard von Schnitzler[[note]]nicknamed "Sudel-Ede", or "Botch Eddie" for his vitriolic style, according to TheOtherWiki[[/note]] Wiki/{{Wikipedia}}[[/note]] providing pro-regime, anti-Western commentary on those clips in an attempt to undermine beliefs that Western news was more accurate than the Eastern offering...



The GDR was also famous for its bureaucratic nomenclature. Coffins for example were named ''Erdmöbel'' (literally: ground furniture), or the term ''Sättigungsbeilage'' (literally: ''[[EvenTheSubtitlerIsStumped Well it is difficult to translate, really.]]'' It would be something like "a filling side dish", and means stuff like potatoes, dumplings or rice as a supplement to a proper meal[[note]]Though German cuisine usually includes one source of carbohydrates as a necessary component of a proper meal, besides meat and vegetables. So it's doubly strange that it was called a "supplement".[[/note]]). Even more hilarious were the words they invented for religious stuff, like ''Frühjahrsschokoladenhohlkörper'' (hollow chocolate article of spring - a chocolate Easter Bunny) and ''Jahresendflügelpuppe'' (winged doll of the year's end - a Christmas angel for the Christmas tree and the like). The reason: Religion wasn't verboten in the GDR, but the ruling people didn't like it too much either.

The East Germans had their own state airline. They originally called it Deutsche Lufthansa, but the West Germans complained and got awarded that trademark, so it adopted the name of a separate charter airline- [[InherentlyFunnyWords Interflug]].

On the other hand, the East German rail network retained the pre-1945 name of Deutsche Reichsbahn ("German Imperial Railways"), while the West Germans renamed theirs Deutsche Bundesbahn ("German Federal Railways"). This may have been done since several treaties dating to the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo mentioned special privileges--particularly relating to trackage rights in West Berlin, including the right to run the [[UsefulNotes/BerlinUAndSBahn S-Bahn]] there--given by name to ''Deutsche Reichsbahn'' that might not have transferred automatically to ''VEB Bahn der DDR'' or some such, so it was best not to risk it.

to:

The GDR was also famous for its bureaucratic nomenclature. Coffins for example were named ''Erdmöbel'' (literally: ground furniture), or the term ''Sättigungsbeilage'' (literally: ''[[EvenTheSubtitlerIsStumped Well Well, it is difficult to translate, really.]]'' It would be something like "a filling side dish", and means stuff like potatoes, dumplings or rice as a supplement to a proper meal[[note]]Though German cuisine usually includes one source of carbohydrates as a necessary component of a proper meal, besides meat and vegetables. So it's doubly strange that it was called a "supplement".[[/note]]). Even more hilarious were the words they invented for religious stuff, like ''Frühjahrsschokoladenhohlkörper'' (hollow chocolate article of spring - a chocolate Easter Bunny) and ''Jahresendflügelpuppe'' (winged doll of the year's end - a Christmas angel for the Christmas tree and the like). The reason: Religion wasn't verboten in the GDR, but the ruling people didn't like it too much either.

The East Germans had their own state airline. They originally called it Deutsche Lufthansa, but the West Germans complained and got awarded that trademark, so it adopted the name of a separate charter airline- [[InherentlyFunnyWords Interflug]].

{{In|herentlyFunnyWords}}terflug.

On the other hand, the East German rail network retained the pre-1945 name of Deutsche Reichsbahn ("German Imperial Railways"), while the West Germans renamed theirs Deutsche Bundesbahn ("German Federal Railways"). This may have been done since several treaties dating to the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo UsefulNotes/WorldWarII mentioned special privileges--particularly relating to trackage rights in West Berlin, including the right to run the [[UsefulNotes/BerlinUAndSBahn S-Bahn]] there--given by name to ''Deutsche Reichsbahn'' that might not have transferred automatically to ''VEB Bahn der DDR'' or some such, so it was best not to risk it.



In a curious note, the DDR also [[strike:"owns"]] does not own an island off the coast of Cuba as a gift from Castro, although some [[SarcasmMode incredibly funny people]] like to twist facts to make it look that way.

to:

In a curious note, the DDR also [[strike:"owns"]] does not own an island off the coast of Cuba as a gift from Castro, although some [[SarcasmMode incredibly funny people]] like to twist facts to make it look that way.



* The rogue fictional Eastern Block state of Pottsylvania in ''WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle'', despite the thick Slavic accents of many of its citizens, had many elements making out to be a parody of East Germany, most notably the fact that there were Teutonic Iron Crosses everywhere (despite the East Germans not using the symbol) and the fact that Boris and Natasha's boss Fearless Leader closely reseambled a stereotypical SS officer (a nod to East Germany's Putting On The Reich uniforms.)

to:

* The rogue fictional Eastern Block state of Pottsylvania in ''WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle'', despite the thick Slavic accents of many of its citizens, had many elements making out to be a parody of East Germany, most notably the fact that there were Teutonic Iron Crosses everywhere (despite the East Germans not using the symbol) and the fact that Boris and Natasha's boss Fearless Leader closely reseambled resembled a stereotypical SS officer (a nod to East Germany's Putting On The Reich uniforms.)



East German agents were also common in UsefulNotes/ColdWar fiction, partly because of their major role in the WarsawPact and partly (possibly) to what might be called the "[[TheSimpsons German Commie Nazi]]" factor, which allowed writers to combine the worst stereotypes of Germans, Nazis and Communists.

''Film/CoolRunnings'' features a nasty East German. The East German Judge was a common element at international sporting events such as TheOlympics, where they would invariably give ridiculously low scores to anyone not from CommieLand; the term has come to mean anyone who seems to grade harshly and give low scores, such as Kishi Asako on ''IronChef''.

to:

East German agents were also common in UsefulNotes/ColdWar fiction, partly because of their major role in the WarsawPact and partly (possibly) to what might be called the "[[TheSimpsons "[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons German Commie Nazi]]" factor, which allowed writers to combine the worst stereotypes of Germans, Nazis and Communists.

''Film/CoolRunnings'' features a nasty East German. The East German Judge was a common element at international sporting events such as TheOlympics, where they would invariably give ridiculously low scores to anyone not from CommieLand; the term has come to mean anyone who seems to grade harshly and give low scores, such as Kishi Asako on ''IronChef''.
''Series/IronChef''.



** Prussia nicknames his younger brother, Germany, [[WhatdoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic "West"]].

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** Prussia nicknames his younger brother, Germany, [[WhatdoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic [[FauxSymbolism "West"]].



* [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/wiltshire/features/polyplay.shtml The video game ''Poly Play'']] was the only video game officially created in East Germany. Strictly speaking, it's a collection of eight different arcade games, including a ''PacMan'' clone. It is low resolution, uses a complete TV set as a screen, and is emulated in MAME, the ROM allegedly being freely available (which is probably not true, since ''someone'' must have inherited the East German copyrights - but apparently, no one can tell). It has [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poly_Play an article]] on TheOtherWiki.

to:

* [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/wiltshire/features/polyplay.shtml The video game ''Poly Play'']] was the only video game officially created in East Germany. Strictly speaking, it's a collection of eight different arcade games, including a ''PacMan'' ''VideoGame/PacMan'' clone. It is low resolution, uses a complete TV set as a screen, and is emulated in MAME, the ROM allegedly being freely available (which is probably not true, since ''someone'' must have inherited the East German copyrights - but apparently, no one can tell). It has [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poly_Play an article]] on TheOtherWiki.Wiki/{{Wikipedia}}.
7th Jun '16 5:26:28 AM RezaMaulana98
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East Germany's most famous consumer products were the Exacta and Praktica cameras (the Praktica brand still exists; it was part of the Kombinat Volks Eigener Betrieb Zeiss Jena (how's that for a company name, eh?) that ''invented'' the prism SLR design which is still the standard for cameras today - one of the few communist inventions to have an impact in the west), MZ motorcycles (whose engine technology gave Suzuki quite a boost in the early '60's) and the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trabant Trabant]] [[TheAllegedCar car, which was, by Western standards, obsolete before the '60s were over]] but gave many a Worker and his family the opportunity to move themselves about a bit, trailing a blue two-stroke smoke cloud. It pretty much disappeared from the East German streets as soon as the Wall opening brought other choices, but it's now considered a [[TheAllegedCar classic car]]. Some drivers have succeeded in making their Trabants capable of passing the [=MoT=], Britain's strict government-mandated roadworthiness test; divine intervention is suspected. However the Trabant, suitably renovated, is making a bit of a comeback today among enthusiasts, who rebuild them into customized hotrods or simply restore them to better-than-new conditions.

to:

East Germany's most famous consumer products were the Exacta and Praktica cameras (the Praktica brand still exists; it was part of the Kombinat Volks Eigener Betrieb Zeiss Jena (how's that for a company name, eh?) that ''invented'' the prism SLR design which is still the standard for cameras today - one of the few communist inventions to have an impact in the west), MZ motorcycles (whose engine technology gave Suzuki quite a boost in the early '60's) '60's after one of MZ's factory riders defected to join Suzuki) and the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trabant Trabant]] [[TheAllegedCar car, which was, by Western standards, obsolete before the '60s were over]] but gave many a Worker and his family the opportunity to move themselves about a bit, trailing a blue two-stroke smoke cloud. It pretty much disappeared from the East German streets as soon as the Wall opening brought other choices, but it's now considered a [[TheAllegedCar classic car]]. Some drivers have succeeded in making their Trabants capable of passing the [=MoT=], Britain's strict government-mandated roadworthiness test; divine intervention is suspected. However the Trabant, suitably renovated, is making a bit of a comeback today among enthusiasts, who rebuild them into customized hotrods or simply restore them to better-than-new conditions.
5th Apr '16 9:01:17 PM Fireblood
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Like any proper PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny, the German Democratic Republic ''did'' have elections, and other parties than the Socialist SED, but they were far from democratic. East Germans called this voting "Falten gehen" (going to fold), because anybody who did anything but fold their ballot (like crossing out candidates, or even staying at home) and put it in the urn immediately became suspicious. As the East Germans said, the only way to vote was "by foot", i.e. leaving the GDR for UsefulNotes/WestGermany. Well, until 1961 that is, [[UsefulNotes/BerlinWall afterwards this was less of an option]].

to:

Like any proper PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny, the German Democratic Republic ''did'' have elections, and other parties than the Socialist Marxist SED, but they were far from democratic. East Germans called this voting "Falten gehen" (going to fold), because anybody who did anything but fold their ballot (like crossing out candidates, or even staying at home) and put it in the urn immediately became suspicious. As the East Germans said, the only way to vote was "by foot", i.e. leaving the GDR for UsefulNotes/WestGermany. Well, until 1961 that is, [[UsefulNotes/BerlinWall afterwards this was less of an option]].
23rd Jan '16 8:53:26 PM Terran117
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Added DiffLines:

* In the Light Novel, Visual Novel and Anime ''LightNovel/{{Schwarzesmarken}}'', focuses on a group of mecha pilots fighting against an alien BETA invasion that has overrun much of Eurasia. In the works are antagonistic Stasi and [[spoiler: a plot to overthrow]] East Germany's government to reunify it with the west.
27th Dec '15 3:32:58 PM HowlingSnail
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* ''{{Sandmaennchen}}''

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* ''{{Sandmaennchen}}''
''{{Sandmännchen}}''
26th Nov '15 8:17:36 AM JamesAustin
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-->--'''Creator/BertoltBrecht''', ''Die Lösung'', written after the East German government and [[RedsWithRockets Soviet forces]] massacred 513 workers demonstrating for better conditions.

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-->--'''Creator/BertoltBrecht''', ''Die Lösung'', written after the East German government and [[RedsWithRockets [[UsefulNotes/RedsWithRockets Soviet forces]] massacred 513 workers demonstrating for better conditions.
26th Nov '15 8:08:32 AM JamesAustin
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-->''After the uprising of the 17th of June\\

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-->''After ->''After the uprising of the 17th of June\\



Under considerable Soviet influence (and with a huge Soviet military presence, the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany), East Germany is best known for the massive amount of surveillance carried out on its citizens by its SecretPolice, the ''[[TheStasi Ministerium für Staatssicherheit]]'' (Ministry for State Security), known as "Stasi". Its police force, the ''Volkspolizei'' (People's Police, known as "Vopos" for short) were also fairly notorious. It built the BerlinWall and heavily fortified the UsefulNotes/IronCurtain to stop its people from fleeing to the West (officially, it was to prevent Western spies going East -- it probably did that, too [[note]]well, except for the Military Liaison Missions, see below[[/note]]).

to:

Under considerable Soviet influence (and with a huge Soviet military presence, the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany), East Germany is best known for the massive amount of surveillance carried out on its citizens by its SecretPolice, the ''[[TheStasi Ministerium für Staatssicherheit]]'' (Ministry for State Security), known as "Stasi". Its police force, the ''Volkspolizei'' (People's Police, known as "Vopos" for short) were also fairly notorious. It built the BerlinWall UsefulNotes/BerlinWall and heavily fortified the UsefulNotes/IronCurtain to stop its people from fleeing to the West (officially, it was to prevent Western spies going East -- it probably did that, too [[note]]well, except for the Military Liaison Missions, see below[[/note]]).



Like any proper PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny, the German Democratic Republic ''did'' have elections, and other parties than the Socialist SED, but they were far from democratic. East Germans called this voting "Falten gehen" (going to fold), because anybody who did anything but fold their ballot (like crossing out candidates, or even staying at home) and put it in the urn immediately became suspicious. As the East Germans said, the only way to vote was "by foot", i.e. leaving the GDR for UsefulNotes/WestGermany. Well, until 1961 that is, [[BerlinWall afterwards this was less of an option]].

to:

Like any proper PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny, the German Democratic Republic ''did'' have elections, and other parties than the Socialist SED, but they were far from democratic. East Germans called this voting "Falten gehen" (going to fold), because anybody who did anything but fold their ballot (like crossing out candidates, or even staying at home) and put it in the urn immediately became suspicious. As the East Germans said, the only way to vote was "by foot", i.e. leaving the GDR for UsefulNotes/WestGermany. Well, until 1961 that is, [[BerlinWall [[UsefulNotes/BerlinWall afterwards this was less of an option]].
2nd Nov '15 3:25:55 PM Josef5678
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Under considerable Soviet influence (and with a huge Soviet military presence, the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany), East Germany is best known for the massive amount of surveillance carried out on its citizens by its SecretPolice, the ''[[TheStasi Ministerium für Staatssicherheit]]'' (Ministry for State Security), known as "Stasi". Its police force, the ''Volkspolizei'' (People's Police, known as "Vopos" for short) were also fairly notorious. It built the BerlinWall and heavily fortified the IronCurtain to stop its people from fleeing to the West (officially, it was to prevent Western spies going East -- it probably did that, too [[note]]well, except for the Military Liaison Missions, see below[[/note]]).

to:

Under considerable Soviet influence (and with a huge Soviet military presence, the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany), East Germany is best known for the massive amount of surveillance carried out on its citizens by its SecretPolice, the ''[[TheStasi Ministerium für Staatssicherheit]]'' (Ministry for State Security), known as "Stasi". Its police force, the ''Volkspolizei'' (People's Police, known as "Vopos" for short) were also fairly notorious. It built the BerlinWall and heavily fortified the IronCurtain UsefulNotes/IronCurtain to stop its people from fleeing to the West (officially, it was to prevent Western spies going East -- it probably did that, too [[note]]well, except for the Military Liaison Missions, see below[[/note]]).
17th Oct '15 4:10:29 AM Morgenthaler
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* [[JohnLeCarre John le Carré]] used East Germany as a subject in his early novels, including ''Call for the Dead'', ''The Looking-Glass War'', and, most strikingly, ''The Spy Who Came in from the Cold''.

to:

* [[JohnLeCarre John le Carré]] Creator/JohnLeCarre used East Germany as a subject in his early novels, including ''Call for the Dead'', ''The Looking-Glass War'', and, most strikingly, ''The Spy Who Came in from the Cold''.



* ''Night Crossing'', a film about two families who escape from the DDR via a home-made hot air balloon.
* The hilarious comedy ''OneTwoThree'' is set in both halves of Berlin, before the wall was built (which lead to DudeNotFunny and TooSoon when this happened shortly before the movie hit the theaters, even if it wasn't director Creator/BillyWilder's fault).
* The rogue fictional Eastern Block state of Pottsylvania in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, despite the thick Slavic accents of many of its citizens, had many elements making out to be a parody of East Germany, most notably the fact that there were Teutonic Iron Crosses everywhere (despite the East Germans not using the symbol) and the fact that Boris and Natasha's boss Fearless Leader closely reseambled a stereotypical SS officer (a nod to East Germany's Putting On The Reich uniforms.)

to:

* ''Night Crossing'', ''Film/NightCrossing'', a film about two families who escape from the DDR via a home-made hot air balloon.
* The hilarious comedy ''OneTwoThree'' ''Film/OneTwoThree'' is set in both halves of Berlin, before the wall was built (which lead to DudeNotFunny and TooSoon when this happened shortly before the movie hit the theaters, even if it wasn't director Creator/BillyWilder's fault).
* The rogue fictional Eastern Block state of Pottsylvania in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, ''WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle'', despite the thick Slavic accents of many of its citizens, had many elements making out to be a parody of East Germany, most notably the fact that there were Teutonic Iron Crosses everywhere (despite the East Germans not using the symbol) and the fact that Boris and Natasha's boss Fearless Leader closely reseambled a stereotypical SS officer (a nod to East Germany's Putting On The Reich uniforms.)
25th Aug '15 9:07:32 AM TheLyniezian
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* ''Series/AktuelleKamera''- the East German TV news broadcast, which was pretty much Propaganda.

to:

* ''Series/AktuelleKamera''- the East German TV news broadcast, which was pretty much Propaganda. (After 1953 at least, prior to which it was even quite critical of the regime until coverage of the Uprising in that year put paid to that.)
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