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Don't look back in anger could be the watchword for Berlin's DDR musuem

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Don't look back in anger could be the watchword for Berlin's DDR musuem


In recent years, the East or at least products from the former eastern half of the city, have become trendy once again.

This has given rise to “ostalgie” – a word combining the German terms for east and nostalgia. From Trabant cars to toothpaste – more and more people are passing through the museum’s doors to take a peek into the past. “I think it’s quite a strange phenomenon. I can understand that people spent their childhood and their youth during this period and their world must have collapsed.”

“Of course it’s really nostalgic and it awakens lots of memories if you’ve grown up with them. It’s just great to see them all again.”

Many East German icons or symbols have survived reunification.

The “Ampelmann”, the figure from traffic lights, is one East German relic that has found a new life in the united city. The little man that glows green when showing pedestrians when to cross or red when they’re meant to wait was meant to be replaced by his Western counterpart, but he proved too popular when authorities tried to remove him…as Ampelmann shop manager, Markus Heckhausen explains. “This is of course a political story that the little eastern traffic light figure fought back against the big western traffic light figure. It was a bit like David against Goliath, he managed to assert himself.”

Which may explain why Ampelmann’s appeal seems to be enduring 20 years down the road which led to reunification

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