Exporting the Future, Importing the Past

Only once did the Stasi openly question me about my work and, by then, the DDR was on the point of collapse. Until then, they relied on information passed on by my relatives and other people I had contact with in East Berlin. The video hairstyling system, as seen on banned West German TV, was always worth a mention. A clear example of an engineer who could have developed such useful technology, wasting their time selling toys to decadent West German housewives. Best not to mention that the ‘toy’ used an algorithm developed by their leading computer company and top technical college, either of which could have exploited the technology had they found a way of squeezing the code into a poor imitation of a Commodore 64 …

Extract from The Ghost in the Labyrinth by Peter Kruger)


Sometimes easier getting out than in. With uncle in Altlandsberg. The sticker on the back says ‘my other car is a Trabant’ (or perhaps not). Uncle demonstrating how fascism can be defeated by nailing pieces [...]