DDR ~ Ex-EastGermany

advent ddr

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DDR ~ Ex-EastGermany

advent ddr

after ww-2, which left germany completely destroyed and in the hands of the "allied army", namely usa + great britain + france in the west and russia in the east, in 1949 germany was eventually re-set, consisting of two germany's - west-germany, called bundesrepublik deutschand ~ brd {german federal republic}, a 'mildly capitalist' country, and east germany, called deutsche demokratische republic ~ ddr {german democratic republic}, a strictly communist country, steered by russia. this included east-berlin but not west-berlin. the ddr was defacto part of the sowjet union assembly of 15 countries, including poland and czechoslovakia.
after the collapse of the sowjet union in 1989, the ddr could not survive, and in 1990 the two parts of germany got unified, called germany.

west-german citizen, like me, were not allowed to travel within the ddr. the only legitimate roads for west-germans were three to travel to west berlin (see map above) - but it was not allowed to leave the transit road. if doing so one would risk serious trouble. and the transit time was prescribed and controlled by the army-police.

given these circumstances, from 1950 to 1989 i never visited places in east germany, because it was not feasible. yet for years, when cycling to my first high school, from witzenhausen to allendorf, i saw the ddr and its border installations every day, for example at ellershausen, because part of the road was along the river werra, which there was the brd-ddr border.

Serbia historic painting

Grenze Grenze

there is only one, rather weird, exception! in 1971 i did a thorough trip through czechoslovakia. instead of returning through south germany to hamburg, i applied to travel through the ddr - and got the okay for a specific route.
and then, and then -- the first section of that route was very near to dresden. this city, at the river elbe, is clearly famous because of its unique architecture.

Dresden cartoon

Dresden postcard

i was aware that most was smashed by brutal bombings in ww-2, in february 1945, which also killed around 25000 residents of dresden..

Dresden ruins Dresden ruins

yet i knew that a few buildings had survived. well, then i made a risky decision - to leave the transit route for a mini-mini visit of dresden! i did not dare to photograph, but seeing some of the buildings - original survived ones, destroyed ones, carefully restored ones - was what i hoped for.
actually almost nothing had endured - about 90% of the inner city was wreckage and rubble. this statue of martin luther was one of the few exceptions.

Dresden ruins

the most known building is the royal palace, called "zwinger". the following three pic's show how a main part looked after buiding it in the 18th century, after the bombing, and after renovation in circa 1960. anything else had not yet been restored or rebuilt when i visited dresden in 1971.

Dresden Swinger palace before war Dresden Swinger palace after bombing Dresden Zwinger palace partly renovated

and then, as fast as i 'had the nerve', i drove back to the prescribed transit road - - and i did not get caught in dresden!

Endline design with camera