Radio GDR, the podcast all about East Germany caught up with the man behind the epic GDR Objectified – probably one of the best websites about East Germany in English on the net today.
On this episode of the GDR podcast John Paul Kleiner shares with us why he is still fascinated with East Germany/German Democratic Republic after all these years. He also reveals:
- Why he and his schoolmates attracted looks of disdain from East Germans during a visit to East Berlin in 1985
- Why he moved to Saxony ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall
- Why getting out of Berlin is vital if we want to learn more about the German Democratic Republic.
- Why locals in Saxony shared their experience with him and what he learned
- What was the mood like 10 year into reunification?
- Why it is eerie to walk past WKs in places like Halle Neustadt
- What motivated him to start up the GDR Objectified blog?
- Why he took a GDR Field Trip to Montreal in Canada?
- What is his most prized item in his GDR collection.
- If no money was no object, what item from the GDR would he wish to own?
- Why we should visit Eisenhüttenstadt
- What Shane should visit on his day trip to Leipzig?
- And Much Much More
Links and Resources mentioned on this episode of the Radio GDR Podcast
Intercity – John Paul’s latest album. Check out Berlin Blue!
SUGGESTED READING on East Germany
Charles Maier – Dissolution (History of the end phase of GDR in the
context of collapse of Soviet Empire)
Jeff Ladd – The Ghosts of Berlin (A guide to the history behind the
cityscape of reunified Berlin)
Jeffrey Herf – Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in Two Germanies
(A great explanation of the role antifascism played in the ideology that
framed East German life)
Jeffrey Kopstein – The Politics of Economic Decline in East
Germany, 1945 – 1989 (An important work for understanding the
implicit social contract between East German workers and the ruling
Party and the way this doomed efforts to increase efficiencies in the
Tim Mohr – Burning Down the Haus (This is a new work, an
anecdotal history of the GDR punk scene which makes an entertaining,
if not entirely convincing, case for its centrality in the GDR’s collapse)
East German Cinema Blog – Jim Morton: eastgermancinema.com
Gunnar Decker – 1965: Der kurze Sommer der DDR (A wide-
ranging consideration of the social and political conflicts at play during
1965, a year considered by some to mark the beginning of the end of
Wolf Biermann – Warte nicht auf bessere Zeiten (Remarkable and
highly readable memoir by the dissident Communist singer/
songwriter who chose to live in “the better Germany” and whose “soft
expulsion” from the GDR in 1976 shook the relationship between the
regime and its artists)
Peter Wensierski – Die unheimliche Leichtigkeit der Revolution
(A well-researched account of how a small group of young Leipzigers
courageously and methodically challenged the Party in a bid for a
freer, fairer East German society)
Erich Honecker interview 1990 in Moscow (English subtitles)