September 12, 2003 - November 30, 2003

This exhibition provides a view “from below” at a period in German history in which party politics played an important role in shaping and guiding every aspect of life including the “Altagskultur” i.e. the culture of everyday life. Politics framed all historical developments within GDR in which the state subsidized the prices of necessary goods, controlled job opportunities and qualifications, supported families and conducted very extended housing programs.

Everyday objects typical of East German industrial production of the time – household plastics, radio electronics, and so-called consumer goods necessary for living – were mass-produced for millions. The exhibition is designed to present objects of material culture which represent the period from 1950’s through the 1970’s in the former GDR. The exhibition is made in cooperation with the Dokumentationszentrum Altagskultur der DDR, in Eisenhüttenstadt.

The exhibition includes a variety of objects: typewriters, lamps, sewing machines, radios, cameras, chairs, vases, ashtrays, vacuum cleaners, mixers and dishes.

The Balaton as a meeting place for East Germans and West Germans will be presented through documents from the holdings of the Open Society Archives as well as through brochures from the Tourist Bureau IBUSZ, promoting the Balaton in East Germany. There are also classic objects, such as camping equipments, to illustrate this.

Furthermore “Hungarians working in East Germany” will be illuminated with documents and photos from OSA’s collections.