The last years of East Germany - DDR 1988 and 1990

We visited East Gemany in 1988 for the first time. After the Berlin Wall was opened 9.11.1998 we visited Berlin in 1990 twice, and returned several times after that. Here are some of my many photos.
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In the city centre of Greifswald
East German shop window esthetics
A general repair shop in Schönow, Bernau.
Fashion '88 in Brandenburg
Lamp design
Seebad Ahlbäck
Prenzlauer Berg, Eastern Berlin in 1990.
Dreaming of the West by the Branderburger Tor at Pariser Platz
East Berlin: Brandenburger Tor in 1988, from the East side
West Berlin: Brandenburger Tor in 1988, from the West side. Possible for us but not for the East Germans.
The mine field between the outer and inner Berlin Wall seen from the West side, 1988.
Check Point Charlie in March 1990 after the Wall had come down, the border control was still there.
A confused border guard. Still on duty even though the outer Wall is full of holes. The mine field and the inner wall in the background. March 1990.
On my visit to East Berlin March 1990, I went the "nomal" way with Peter to visit Berlin West, and Peter found a hole in the Berlin Wall which took us directly to a street in East Berlin. As we were standing there confused - not a long time ago people would have been shot if they tried the same - I realised I still needed a stamp on my passport in order to get out of the East Germany by air some days later. So we had to crawl back to the west side and come through the official route with a strict pass control. Confusing? Yes.
Selling the Wall. In March 1990 the bits and pieces of the Wall were real stuff. Also the border control was real and when standing on the long lines in the customs I was wondering what they would say about the huge - probably stolen - DDR flag and the authentic DDR border guard's cap that I had bought from the guy in the picture... To my relief they were not any more interested in what I had with me.
When I returned a couple of months later, the border control still was there, but during one week they lost totally their interest on people who passed them, and finally the whole customs was gone. So on the Sunday a family could stroll on the former mine field between the inner and outer Wall without any border guards disturbing their peace. 1990, June
Humboldt University, East Berlin
Park Sanssouci , Potsdam
The monetary change - goodbye East Mark! 30.6.1990.
Goodbye East German products! Centrum Warenhaus am Alexanderplatz - some days later Kaufhaus am Alex. Allmost all the shops were converted to the Wester German style over the weekend.
Test the West - marketing of the Western products was very aggressive before the monetary change, and the roads from the West to the East were full of trucks with West products.
Queuing for the West Mark on the 1st of July at Alexanderplatz
Palast der Republik - or the ballast of the republic? The Parliament House of the East Germany at Marx-Engels-Platz had to be closed because of the high asbestos levels in the air in September 1990. Here still in use.
Vereinigung: we are one nation, towards the the elections
Wahltag oder Zahltag? (Election day or pay day?)
Bundespräzident Weiszäcker in Eastern Berlin after his speach in the Nikolaikirche where he promised that Berlin will once more become the capital of a united Germany. We were wondering why there are so many black cars and heard the speach through the loudspeakers. Then they came out of the church and suddenly I was in the middle of press photographers running in front of the President. So I got my chance too...