What we have in the Archive: 2

Document name: Der Aufstand vom 17. Juni 1953/ The Uprising on 17 June 1953

Document type: West German government report

Language: German

Date published: 1988

Place of publication: Bonn

Publisher: Bundesministerium für innerdeutsche Beziehungen

Archive code: 3B3 Bund-i

Details/ information: This document is a West German interpretation of the June 1953 Uprising, the only workers’ mass protest and open uprising against the East German regime before 1989. The uprising was a result of poor working and living conditions as well as political oppression in the East. Dissatisfied workers went on strike to protest the government’s policies and particularly their own lack of representation; they demanded to have a voice and active participation. The uprising ultimately failed because the ruling party, the Sozialistische Einheitsparteit Deutschlands/ Socialist Unity Party (SED) called for the support of the USSR’s Red Army, who used force and tanks to quell the uprising. The West German government interpreted the uprising from the beginning as the East Germans’ wish for German unification and made 17 June a public holiday.

Module it links to: GM1IMG Icons of Modern Germany

Topic: 17 Juni 1953 Uprising

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Document name: Zahlenspiegel Bundesrepublik Deutschland/ Deutsche Demokratische Republik – Ein Vergleich./ Facts and Figures Federal Republic of Germany/ German Democratic Republic – A Comparison.

Document type: West German government report

Language: German

Date published: December 1978

Place of publication: Bonn/ Berlin (West)

Publisher: Bundesministerium für innerdeutsche Beziehungen

Archive code:

Details/ information: This report is a West German document detailing the figures for various aspects of life in both Germanies in 1978, including the population, birth and death rates, statistical information on the political system, economy, culture, and film among others.

Module it links to: GM1IMG Icons of Modern Germany

Links to the module: Honecker Era (1971 – 1989)

 

 

 

What we have in the Archive: 1

Document name: Buchenwald Konzentrationslager Gedenkführer / Buchenwald concentration camp memorial guide

Document type: Brochure

Language: German

Date published: 1986

Place of publication: Nationale Mahn- und Gedenkstätte (Weimar), Buchenwald Memorial

Author: Bodo Ritscher

Archive code:

Details/ information: This brochure was produced in East Germany as a guide to the memorial site of Buchenwald concentration camp. The camp was central for the East German approach to the Nazi dictatorship. Due to its many communist prisoners and their illegal resistance organisation within the camp, Buchenwald was used after the war as a symbol of communist suffering as well as a contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany; the camp served the East German government as a legitimisation of communist rule and the new socialist order in the GDR.

Module it links to: GM1IMG: Icons of Modern Germany, Part 1

Topic: Antifascism

 

 

 

 

Document name: Nackt unter Wölfen/ Naked among Wolves

Document type: Novel

Language: German

Date published: 1971 (first published in 1958)

Place of publication: Leipzig

Publisher: Reclam

Author/creator: Bruno Apitz

Archive code: 3B2/1 Ap

Details/ information: The novel is set in Buchenwald concentration camp and tells the story of prisoners who hide a Polish-Jewish boy. The child is brought to the camp in a suitcase by a newly arriving prisoner and needs the protection of the camp’s communist resistance group in order to survive. The child and his self-sacrificing communist protectors became symbols of the struggle against Nazism and of hope for a future in peace and freedom. The novel is said to be based on the biography of Stefan Jerzy Zweig, famously called the ‘Buchenwaldkind’. Bruno Apitz, the author of the novel, also works through his own experience as a communist prisoner in the camp from 1937 to 1945. In the GDR the novel was part of the school curriculum. It was very successful internationally and was translated into 30 languages and made into two films.

Module it links to: GM1IMG: Icons of Modern Germany Part 1

Topic: Antifascism

  • The original 1963 DEFA (East Germany) film ‘Nackt unter Wölfen’ based on the novel: https://reading.kanopy.com/video/naked-among-wolves
    • See also the full playlist on Kanopy of 3 other videos, showing the premiere of the film in Moscow, clips of the Buchenwaldkind meeting Buchenwald survivors and a talk by the author
  • Buchenwald brochure in the East German Archive
  • Niven, William, The Buchenwald Child: Truth, Fiction, and Propaganda, Camden House 2007.