Tuesday, August 3, 2021


The first of two color photos in today's series features a guy from the DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, aka East Germany) and his crappy Trabant car.  Although only the Yugo rates worse in the annals of automotive disasters, at least a significant number of East Germans were able to own cars, particularly compared to other Communist Bloc countries.  In fact, the DDR had the highest material standard of living of any communist country, even the USSR.



  1. German ease about nakedness showed up even in East Germany. Communism was generally pretty prudish. Travis were generally accompanied by a cloud of smoke...

    1. Right. The DDR tolerated nudism and even promoted it in certain circumstances. When the wall came down, West Berliners held their noses as the Ossies drove around the city in their Trabis.

  2. A friend of mine in college studying German did his year abroad in much coveted East Berlin. He was doubtless thoroughly vetted beforehand and was lodged with a family of Party members with a hot line to the Stasi. The family had a car - a light blue Trabant. Trabants and the other standard mobile lawnmower came in three basic colours: off-white, light blue, and sludge sand. One day, without having memorized the number plate, he took the car and parked somewhere off the Unter den Linden. Returning, he tried what he thought the lock on the car, to find that it didn't work. So, he went to the next blue Trabant and did the same. On his third try, he was quite literally collared by two members of the People's Police and ten years hard labour in the Gulag swam before his eyes. He then noticed that the two of them were finding this very amusing and after inspecting his papers, told him to take the windscreen wipers off the car because they would eventually be stolen and to put something on the back shelf or back seat of the car so that he could recognize which one was his. How to survive in the People's Paradise.