Just after Die Wende in 1989 and the invasions of Western brands in East Germany, it was totally normal that the reaction to 40years of SED-Diktatur for the people of DDR was to skip everything that was related to it and to choose almost western products. On the other side, the normal form of company in the DDR were the VEB (Volkseigener Betrieb - Publicly Owned Operation) and in 1989, VEBs employed 79.9% of the East German workforce. After German reunification and the introduction of the market economy in 1990, the ownership of around 8000 publicly owned operations passed to Treuhand; the trust agency which oversaw the privatisation of DDR state property. There were a lot of brands not able to survive and they just disappear, but it doesn't mean that all of them were bad, but in a closed system usually the quality is not a point to reach and you a big choice between different products (although we can make the example of VEB Carl Zeiss Jena to explain that sometimes you can also focus on quality, being the Carl Zeiss one of the most important cameras factory in the world and one of the best lens producer ever).
This weekend at the Velodrom in Berlin there was this small but lively fair called OstPro, with products coming from the former East Germany. Not all the products were ostalgic ones, not all of them were related to the time of DDR, some of them were new products coming from the same regions, some were replicas of famous old products and some were just old ones.
Times are changed, the memory of the SED-Diktatur is far away from the everyday life of people, the ideology is totally disappeared and maybe it's time to see what's left. The life of 16 million people was related to products and memories that at a certain point, for ideological purposes, were dismantled. But their life and their memories will be related to this things in any case as well as we're related for example to the products, the tv shows and the characters of our childhood no matter what was the system we were in.
Today I was a bit surprised to see how many people where in a symbolic silent quiet line to go back to this world, to the same world in which they were trapped in and they want to leave, but they were going just back to their 40 years memories.
The next appointment of the OstPro fair will be at the Velodrom in November, it's a nice opportunity to have a look, but if i can suggest it, go with some Ossis, there's absolutely more fun.
More infos: WIKI (german)
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