East Germany

A large group of people are shown climbing on the Berlin Wall on the night it was opened.

Love, friendship, protest: 3 former East Germans reflect on the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years later

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was a historic moment for East Germans, with a “before” and “after” that resonates 30 years later. The World’s Carol Hills asked three former East Germans to recall how it all went down.

A woman holds a video camera in her hand in a black and white photo

Vintage home movies show another side of life in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall

A group of four people stare up at a wooden marker

No regrets: East Germans recall attempts to escape Communist state

Women hold bags and signs that read: "Same pay for same work" at a rally for equal pay in Berlin, Germany, 2015.

Women in Germany’s east earn close to what men do. Can we thank socialism for that?

Bad Doberan, Germany is the home of Zappanale, an annual summer festival inspired by the life and work of Frank Zappa.

In the former East Germany, Frank Zappa lives on as a beacon of freedom

Golzow mayor Frank Schütz, left, leans over to whisper a question to Rasha Haimoud during a holiday concert. She and her husband, Ahmad Haimoud, are refugees who settled in the small former East German town after escaping the war in their native Syria

Worried about its future, this former East German city recruited Syrian refugees


Compared to the rest of Germany, the economy in the former East Germany has struggled. In the small village of Golzow, the population had shrunk to the point where authorities were considering closing the village’s only elementary school. That’s when the town mayor invited Syrian refugee families to move in.

A part of the inner city of Berlin will be temporarily divided from November 7 to 9, 2014, with a light installation featuring 8,000 luminous white balloons to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Here a woman walks in front of

During the Cold War, buying people from East Germany was common practice

Global Politics

East Germany never had a lot of cash on hand. What it did have was political prisoners, and plenty of them. So during the Cold War, the communist regime ransomed hundreds of thousands of people to the West in exchange for much-needed hard currency.

A cover illustration for the Communist-era board game Burokratopoly, which is being re-launched by Berlin's DDR Museum.

To understand life in East Germany, all you need is this board game


The board game called Bürokratopoly isn’t about getting filthy rich, though players might feel filthy after they’re done playing. The popular German game was created by dissidents in communist East Germany years ago as a satire about power and corruption. Now it has become a teaching tool for German kids trying to understand what it was like to live in the Communist East.

New documentary looks at development of skateboarding culture in East Germany

Arts, Culture & Media

During the Cold War, all things Western were either forbidden or held in deep suspicion among officials east of the iron curtain. Yet, somehow, the culture of skateboarding that cropped up in California made it into East Berlin, where it thrived. A new documentary looks at that evolution.

Snowden Case Continues to Stir Anger About Domestic Spying in Europe

Conflict & Justice

Edward Snowden’s saga has sparked debate in Europe about how governments there are keeping tabs on their own citizens, as Time correspondent Vivienne Walt in Paris explains to anchor Marco Werman.