human rights facts

Human Rights Facts (69): What Dictatorship Does to You, A Comparison of East Germany Before and After the Fall of Communism

After a previous post comparing North and South Korea – a natural experiment for assessing the value of political freedom – I stumbled across the work of photographer Stefan Koppelkamm who has done something similar in Germany:

During a trip to East Germany in 1990, photographer Stefan Koppelkamm discovered buildings that had survived both the war and the construction mania of the East German authorities. Ten years later, he returned to photograph the buildings again. (source)

Here are some examples:

More here. More human rights facts here.


10 thoughts on “Human Rights Facts (69): What Dictatorship Does to You, A Comparison of East Germany Before and After the Fall of Communism

  1. Florian says:

    yeah well… sometimes you have to look behind the facades too ;-), and in Eastern Germany still not really economical prosperity and high unemployment rates.. and a high ratio of empty flats etc..

    • Jessie White says:

      Unemployment in East Germany was actually not high at all. During the Honecker era employment rates were high as the population dwindled due to escapees westward. This meant that employees were valued, and that job vacancies were consistently open.

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  4. civrev says:

    I just don’t understand how things like nice buildings aren’t possible under communism. They have all the same resources and access to technology (for the most part), but then just *poof* they never actually end up benefiting regular people in even the simplest ways like the renovation of public spaces. I guess the world’s just not ready for communism. Also the mass availability of jobs was extremely rare in the eastern block (probably due to DRG declining population. Like they just wanted to all disappear). Still DRG was considered to be one of the most successful communist countries about providing foodstuffs. From Vladimir Putin’s autobiography-like book he describes East Germany as awesome with surpluses of many goods (in comparison to USSR).

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