What were the advantages and disadvantages of the GDR?

Thank you, Mara, for the request.

First of all, you should know that the experiences of the people who lived and worked in the GDR will not always be the same, it also comes a bit to the place (big city or small town) or small town.time/years.

Enough has already been reported about the benefits, so I would like to add just a few:

  • Hanna has already mentioned the secure job, and I think that was the best thing about this country.

But not only that. You couldn’t always do a hard job until your retirement, so you were offered the opportunity to implement it: my uncle worked in the Red Mei├čner Granit eater for many years and sat on the crane (in the same company) for the last few years until retirement.My mother has worked in the guard for the last few years – in another company.

  • You could start a family with the certainty of being able to feed them.
  • It may not have been much, but here the hedging was a plus.

  • Was there unemployment?
  • Yes, but it was rather low and if, often only in the short term. Since people were always needed in production, the unemployed were temporarily placed as flat-rate workers.

  • Holiday work: Here, too, as young people, we always had opportunities to earn money.
  • Children’s clothing was supported.
  • Despite generally low costs, you have to reckon if you had children.

  • There have already been enough reports on relatively low crime, as well as free education and childcare.
  • What were the drawbacks (which at least I felt that way)?

    • Long waiting lists for an apartment.

    In certain positions or if you had relationships and/or good luck, it went a bit faster. Families with children came first. That may be one of the advantages, but I thought it was unfair.

  • Very expensive electrical appliances, which not many could afford.
  • My aunt and uncle paid 6,000 marks for their first colour TV. Certainly not vital, but unaffordable for low-income or large families.

  • Clothing: Certainly not the biggest drawback, because everyone could afford enough clothes, but human child, these were sometimes rags, not to mention small clothing sizes.
  • Those who could sew and/or knit were clearly at an advantage.

  • What bothered me personally was the long working hours and the early start (6.30 a.m.).
  • That meant: 6 a.m. standing with the worm at the crib, giving up and running to the bus so that you don’t come too late. I found shit for the child!

  • Auto: There is not much to say.
  • Yes, the waiting times were long, but the mass registrations made things even more difficult. Everyone, and I mean, everyone – from the apprentice who has just come of age to the toothless grandpa in the family – ordered a car, whether you needed it or not.This also led to double deliveries, which is why others had to wait even longer.

  • Forced entry into the SED.
  • You weren’t beaten in, but it was liked, and for certain jobs, there were millions of “showcases,” as we called it. Was just pathetic.

  • Which was just as pathetic: ban on jeans in schools, that was the case at least in the sixties and early seventies, i can’t speak for later, I was out there.
  • In general, for a long time everything that “smelled” to the West was frowned upon. Later in the eighties there were the internet shops, yes great, without D-Mark.

  • Freedom to travel, or rather -freedom.
  • Was a problem if you wanted to travel to non-socialist foreign countries, as they called it. Unless you were a foreign fitter or pensioner, you could only apply for a visit if you had relatives. I was once over there (Bavaria) because I had an aunt there, but for everyone else?

  • Shooting order: Probably the darkest chapter in the history of the GDR.
  • I do not think there is any need to say anything about this.

    One or the other is certainly worthy of supplementation, and it is only my experience.I would be happy to read from others as well.

    I cannot say anything about NVA, study conditions, possible reprisals for those who wish to leave or how things happened in prison.

    Finally, one thing:

    Even if life in the GDR could be comfortable and predictable, I don’t want it back.


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