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Das DDR-Handbuch. The East German Handbook

50Edition: Multilingual (English, German)Availability: In Stock
From artworks, design, and everyday objects to political posters and flags, Stasi equipment, and uniforms: sift through never-before-seen archives in this encyclopedia of socialist East Germany. Based on our XL volume, the most comprehensive overview of GDR visual and material culture to date, this affordable new edition presents the fascinating remnants of a now-vanished world. This special two-language edition comes with texts both in English and German.
Hardcover6.5 x 9.4 in.3.84 lb816 pages
“A comprehensive pictorial history.”
The New York Times
“…quite possibly the greatest such collection in the world.”
Steven Heller
“The best-kept collection of Cold War memorabilia.”
“It’s as mundane and kitsch a view of history as you could imagine, yet captures the daily reality of life behind the Iron Curtain in delightful and sometimes heart-breaking details.”
The Daily Telegraph
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The East German Handbook

The East German Handbook


Life Behind the Iron Curtain

The East German collection of the Wende Museum

For 40 years, the Cold War dominated the world stage. East and West Germany stood at the frontlines of the global confrontation, symbolized by the infamous Berlin Wall, which separated lovers, friends, families, coworkers, and compatriots.

The Wende Museum in Los Angeles, California, is named after the period of change immediately following the wall's destruction. It was established in 2002 to study the visual and material culture of the former Eastern Bloc, and, with physical and psychic distance, to foster multiple perspectives on this multilayered history that continues to shape our world.

This encyclopedic volume features around 2,000 items from its extraordinary collections. Based on our XL-sized volume, this edition includes a full spectrum of art, archives, and artifacts from socialist East Germany: official symbols and dissident expressions, the spectacular and the routine, the mass-produced and the handmade, the funny and the tragic.

Accompanying these remnants of a now-vanished world are texts from scholars and specialists from across Europe, Canada, and the United States, with themes ranging from the secret police to sexuality, from monuments to mental-mapping.
  • More than 800 pages, featuring around 2,000 objects.
  • A smaller, more accessible version of our XL-sized volume, the most comprehensive overview of GDR visual and material culture to date.
  • Several dozen images of everyday life and public events from the most famous GDR photographers.
  • Special two-language edition featuring texts both in English and German.

Visit the Wende Musem at its expanded campus in Culver City’s Armory Building, a site originally created in preparation for World War III but re-designed by Michael Boyd, Christian Kienapfel, and Benedikt Taschen to welcome its 100,000+ collection of artifacts.
The editor and author

Justinian Jampol is Founder and Executive Director of the Wende Museum. His work focuses on visual cultural studies and the connection between contemporary art and Cold War iconography. Jampol studied at UCLA before earning his doctoral degree in Modern History from Oxford University. The curator of several exhibitions, Jampol has also produced two documentary films on the Cold War, as well as urban art programs including The Wall Project. His writing and work has been featured in The Atlantic, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and The New York Times.

Das DDR-Handbuch. The East German Handbook
Hardcover16.5 x 24 cm1.74 kg816 pages

ISBN 978-3-8365-6520-2

Edition: Multilingual (English, German)
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3 Ratings

Amazing Book

Pouriya,March 9, 2022
Excellent documentation on DDR lifestyle and products. One of my favorite books of all time.

Endlich verstehe ich meine Frau

Jan H.,October 27, 2021
Sehr beeindruckender Einblick in die Welt hinter dem Eisernen Vorhang, von dem meine Frau immer schwärmt.

Eine Fundgrube

Wilfried,October 29, 2021
Für den geborenen und gelernten DDR-Bürger wie mich eine Entdeckung und Fundgrube.