East german culture

Recent studies produced by historians Christian Booß and Helmut Müller-Enbergs also show domestic surveillance in East Germany went far beyond the Stasi's network of IMs. The two work at the BStU and not long ago, they happened across Stasi informant groups into which hardly any research has been conducted. They found that institutions in which people provided information about others were categorized as POZW -- which stood for "Partner in Political-Operative Cooperation." In contrast to IMs feeding information to the Stasi, these people were not forced to sign a document obliging them to pass along information. But they did so nonetheless. Numerous POZW reports are still in existence -- from banks, for example, or libraries, hospitals, registration offices and judiciary agencies.

Sharing some elements with Stalinist grandiosity, GDR architecture blends into the regionally different styles of post-war city-building of the world: Plattenbau suburbs were more a rule than an exception and there was a heavy reliance on the aesthetics of the atomic age, featuring a tendency against edges and corners as a semi-conscious attempt to do away with rectangular shapes from Nazism, without much devaluating its likenesses in Stalinist architecture. Still, it was after the Stalinist era, otherwise than in the other Eastern Bloc countries, aestetically same as in the West.

According to Salzman, the ancient tribal notion of kinship -- a bond to an individual's immediate family -- supercedes the influence of elected officials, and has done so for hundreds of years. During his lecture, the scholar explained that tribes are not formed by strangers coming together; rather, they are developed among the descendants of a common ancestor on the male line. During any conflict, these individuals will combine their resources with other closely related relatives against more distant ones, and the whole tribe will then stand together against outsiders.

East german culture

east german culture

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