To follow on from a story elsewhere on ‘The Resistance and Persistence of the DDR‘, I have been pondering a few further items: the worker (grew up in the DDR) who was simply not accustomed to adversarial approaches in the workplace, even after his capitalist boss in the brave new Germany had swindled him of pay; the continuation of the Freie Deutsche Jugend (English too), especially in eastern Germany and through the schools (an eye-opening history is on their website).
But I’ve been on another trail:
With the ideological war still going on between east Germany and west Germany, especially since the latter annexed the former and colonised it, the Trabi is often at the centre of it all. But what I find intriguing is how many of these simple, tough machines are still going. This one is the 601 S (Standard), made from 1963 to 1991. I found it in a side street in Bernstadt:
And this lovely blue number is in the neighbouring village of Rennersdorf:
Although it was a bit cold on the second visit:
You will notice that these haven’t been restored or modified; just the basic, solid original build – with formidable acceleration and stability. That would make them anywhere up to 50 years old. Or slightly older, if we take a 600, built from 1962:
That one was spotted in Herrnhut, chugging along with that characteristic two-stroke sound.
All the same, does anyone take this seriously? Do they really signal a sense that the DDR was a pretty good thing after all?
I wondered until I came across a late model 1100, again in Herrnhut:
But what’s that on the left hand windscreen?
Yes indeed, a DRR plate: