German Propaganda Archive Calvin College

Background: Anniversaries were big events in the GDR. These posters come from material prepared for the 30th anniversary of the GDR in 1979. The points they make are a good summary of the GDR’s general propaganda line: a youthful, peace-loving, hard-working state that was strongly supported by its citizens.

The source: The material was prepared by the East German Communist Party section that provided posters. The scans were supplied by Ingo Geisel, a student at the University of Freiburg in Germany.


30 Years of the GDR


All for the Good of the People

Caption: “Everything for Human Happiness.” 

Workers

Caption: “The GDR: The socialist state of workers and farmers.” 

Logo

Drawing of workers  
DDR 1949

The sign being carried says “Long Live the German Democratic Republic.” The caption at the bottom says: “Confident in our strength October 1949.” That is the date of the GDR’s founding. 

Heart made of ribbons  
Logo  
Schoolboy with chalk  
Notes

The poster shows a page from an appointment calendar. The events listed are getting up, the parade, lunch, a visit to the park, the disco, and “Fireworks with M.” The GDR tended to make holidays as enjoyable as possible. People were not always enthused about marching past the leaders, but the rest of the day was usually worth it. 

Dove made of ribbon

The dove emphasizes the GDR’s claim to be a peace-loving state. 

Astronauts

Caption: “DDR 30. Success through cooperation.” We see a GDR astrononaut who had been part of a Soviet space mission. 

Congratulations

 Caption: “Our congratulations!”

German worker

Caption: “The GDR. My state.” 

Smiling Germans

Caption: “A secure future.” 

Telegram

A telegram from children. The caption says: “Congratulations to the GDR on its 30th birthday. We are proud of you.” 

Timeline of Soldiers

Caption: “1848—1918—1948. We are fulfilling the legacy of the revolutionary German workers movement.” 

Building blocks

Caption: “Tomorrow I’ll do the building...” 

German with flag  
Burger

Caption: “I am proud to be a citizen of the GDR.” 

 

[Page copyright © 1998 by Randall Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]


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