Zersetzung is a word without proper translation, roughly meaning decomposition in German. It’s also a name given by the officers of Ministerium für Staatssicherheit – Stasi – to the complex tactic utilised against any person that was percieved possible threat for the regime of German Democratic Republic. Zersetzung process was in fact a psychological warfare technique, designed to damage mental health of a person it was applied to by subtly undermining all aspects of one’s life, using variety of methods of sabotage. 

On 9th of November, 1989, a man named Günter Schabowski had been tasked with presenting new border policies of German Democratic Republic. However, being late for conference, he made a small mistake that led to a chain of events. Borders between East and West Germany opened, the Berlin Wall started to crumble. Unification of Germany was complected almost a year later, on 3rd of October, 1990, and as it was prepared, on 23th of August the GDR Volkskammer oficially stated the state’s will to access West Germany, and to acctept Western laws as their own.

30 years later, the situation in Germany isn’t that simple as it might seem. The division is still clearly visible in many statistics, covering things from wealth and welfare to opinion on free imigration. The notion that the GDR – it’s culture, heritage and life of its citizens – had been diminished after the unification is persistent; the economical fall of former Eastern Germany after The Turn (die Wende) is also a factor. Ostalgie, nostalgia for the East, had been coined as a term covering not only Trabi adventure companies, but also growing resentiment of Ossis – former citizens of GDR, and residents of ex-GDR part of Germany – towards their former homeland that volountairly ceased to exist. 30 years after the last Zersetzung  – this time aimed towards the state itself – I’m interested in what remained of GDR heritage and identity of Eastern Germans 30 years after reunification of Germany, and what were the side effects of this process. Work in progress.


When Heinz-Josef Große spotted that the guards are absent, he drove a backhoe loader up to the fence and climbed it, trying to escape. He was fatally shot few meters before reaching the Western territory, in a spot now marked with a white cross.




The hole Mig21 made when hitting the apartment block was completely repaired after a few days. Seven people died in the crash and subsequent fire, including the pilot of the plane.


A system of light signals was invented to prevent inmates from even slightest chance of human interaction while being escorted down the hall.




The main purpose of the Hohenschönhausen prison was to force the prisoner to testify, acting mainly under great psychological pressure. The prison was so well hidden that it was discovered several months after reunification. None of the prisoners really knew they were in Berlin; all transports took place in a way that made it impossible to determine the exact location of the complex. The rose garden in the courtyard could not be seen by any of them, the glass block windows made it impossible to look outside the window.




Treuhandanstalt was part of the post-unification policy, a state entity tasked with the privatization of the former East German property, which for a moment was the largest trust corporation on earth. Detlev Karsten Rohwedder, head of Treuhandanstalt, was killed in an assassination attempt.

The former offices of Treuhandanstalt were named in his memory at the Detlev Rohwedder Haus. The building, formerly the GDR House of Ministries, was built in Nazi times and is right next to what once was the Berlin Wall.


The relationship between Wolfgang Grams and Rohwedder is still only an assumption; but evidence suggests that the head of Treuhandanstalt was killed by Grams, a member of the third wave of Rote Armee Fraktion.

Grams also died in rather unclear circumstances at Bad Kleinen train station, during a shootout with a special GSG-9 police unit that tried to capture him. During the pursuit, Grams fatally shot officer Michael Newrzella, and then allegedly committed suicide, but many people doubt it and rather indicate that he was actually shot by police forces. This is the last member of the RAF who was killed during a militia operation.


This heritage is my job. My workshop deals only with DDR-made motorbikes.



After unification, that is after 1990, no one in Eastern Germany wanted to ride a Trabant and no one wanted to have an East German shepherd. Everyone wanted to ride a Golf and have a shepherd from the West, so for many years you couldn't sell puppies, nobody wanted them.
Then people saw that Western Shepherds were sick, but they noticed it too late.




Pioneerrepublik Wilhelm Pieck was the most important Youth Ponieer Camp in whole Eastern Germany, where only the selected, best behaving children could spent their summer.