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After the Wall

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This page profiles a collection of downloadable worksheets on five themes relating to the GDR. They are designed for use in the classroom and for small group activities, and are aimed at A-level students and first year undergraduate students. Most of the activities may be carried out either by students of German, or by those without (or with only basic) German language skills, as a large number of the materials are also available in English-language versions. Necessary materials are detailed at the top of each worksheet.


Filmic Representations of the GDR

This section comprises four worksheets, on two different themes: Ostalgie and the Stasi. Each worksheet deals with a separate film/documentary:


Good Bye Lenin!

My DDR T-Shirt

The Stasi:

Das Leben der Anderen

Alltag einer Behörde (for speakers of German)


Literary Representations of the GDR

Two worksheets are downloadable on literary and autobiographical representations of the GDR, which focus on two themes: the peaceful revolution of 1989, and questions of conformity and opposition. The worksheets are based on short excerpts which may be studied in detail, rather than on entire texts; page numbers and editions are provided.

The peaceful revolution

Jana Hensel's Zonenkinder and Erich Loest's Nikolaikirche (for speakers of German)

Questions of conformity and opposition

Daniel Wiechmann's Immer bereit! and Claudia Rusch's Meine freie deutsche Jugend (for speakers of German)


'Reworking' GDR History

These two worksheets reflect on official processes of 'reworking', evaluating and representing the GDR past, through two commissions: the first Bundestag commission of inquiry into the GDR past, and the more recent commission headed by Prof. Martin Sabrow. These worksheets may be completed by speakers of German (using the weblinks to the online German documents) or by beginners/non-German speakers (using the downloadable PowerPoint slides).

The first Enquete-Kommission

Worksheet on the first Enquete Kommission

English PowerPoint on the first Enquete Kommission

The 'Sabrow-Kommission'

Worksheet on the 'Sabrow-Kommission'

English PowerPoint on the 'Sabrow-Kommission'


The Built Environment and the GDR Legacy

The two worksheets in this section encourage students to examine some of the physical spaces and structures in east Germany, and tackle questions concerning the memorialisation of the GDR and its victims. The first examines remembrance of the Berlin Wall, and the second looks at policies concerning memorial sites, in particular those which bear the imprint of both the GDR and the Nazi period.

The Gesamtkonzept and the Berlin Wall (part 1 for speakers of German)

The Gedenkstättenkonzeption and Buchenwald (part 1 for speakers of German)


Exhibiting the GDR in the Museum

In recent years, there has been a growth in the number of museums dedicated to the GDR. These range from museums which examine everyday life, to those which focus on the Stasi or specific periods of GDR history. The three worksheets in this section focus on three different museum sites, each of which presents the GDR in a different way. Although each of these locations would be best visited in person, their websites provide a wealth of information, on which these worksheets are based.

Museums about everyday life in the GDR

(Dokumentationszentrum Alltagskultur der DDR, Eisenhüttenstadt and DDR-Museum, Berlin)

Gedenkstätte Hohenschönhausen, Berlin

Zeitgeschichtliches Forum Leipzig