That Was the GDR: A History of the Other Germany

(Das war die DDR – Eine Geschichte des anderen Deutschlands)

Germany, 1993, 360 min, color
In German; English subtitles and voice over


This 2-DVD set includes seven documentaries covering cultural, economic, and political developments from the founding of the GDR in 1949, to German unification on October 3, 1990. A historical collage about the German Democratic Republic, in the form of stories told by East Germans, both prominent and unknown. Except for the first film which is 90 minutes, all individual segments are 45 minutes long – perfect for teaching!


  • I Was a Citizen of the GDR (Nickel/Schwarze)
    Former East German citizens talk about their experiences and attitudes towards the GDR.
  • From "Zone" to State (Schober)
    Events leading to building the Berlin Wall and the division of East and West Germany
  • From Economic Plan to Economic Collapse (Scholz)
    Overview of the GDR's planned economy
  • For the People's Welfare (Nickel/Schwarze/Belz)
    The Socialist Unity Party (SED) program
  • Intellect and Power (Klemke/Kompatzki)
    The history of literature and art in the GDR
  • Shield and Sword (Worst/Seul)
    The Stasi: the Ministry for State Security
  • We Are the People (Körbler)
    The citizens' movement and Peaceful Revolution of 1989


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