On This Day, the Berlin Wall Began to Rise

by Fiona Harrigan
The American Institute for Economic Research

East Germany, formally known as the German Democratic Republic (GDR), wanted to be a paradise for the common folk. It called itself a “workers’ and peasants’ state.” Its anthem, “Risen from Ruins,” brought to mind a phoenix rising gloriously from the ashes of World War II. From cradle to grave, the East German government cared for its citizens, providing childcare, housing, and job assignments.

Even now, shops peddling goods from the GDR years dot the former East. They appeal to those afflicted with Ostalgie, nostalgia for life under the bygone socialist regime.

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