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"Prosperity for All", Obereichsfeld, March 1990: Near an advertising column [1/16]

OBJECT INFORMATION
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Info

March 18 1990
Heiligenstadt
Created By: Bernd Schmidt

License: Creative Commons License

Depicts

advertising column, child, damaged poster, election campaign, election poster, flower, graphic art, logo, man, red flag, two persons

Context

hope, inner German border, May Day, religion, Volkskammer election, wealth

People/Organizations

Kohl, Helmut Josef Michael, Socialist Unity Party of Germany

Text in image

[1.] Mai / [S]ED

Other items in this set

Memory

"In the run-up to the elections to the Volkskammer on 18 March 1990, and after many years under West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, one of my great hopes was that a new electorate would also bring about political change in the Federal Republic. There were people on both sides who felt this way and it was a unifying factor. But there were many questions. Who would the new voters elect? What did our new fellow citizens think and feel? Were they enthusiastic about their first free elections or apprehensive about the latest developments? Or would they fail to show up at the polling stations? Would things go smoothly for this new Germany or would something go wrong?

The border dividing Germany cut through the historic town of Eichsfeld, splitting it into Obereichsfeld, which belonged to the GDR; and Eichsfeld, which was in Lower Saxony. The predominantly Catholic town of Eichsfeld had always found its identity in its strong faith, and in the years of the division there had been a deep-rooted scepticism towards the communist system on both sides of the border. During the elections to the Volkskammer in 1990, I was able to take photos, even inside the polling station, without having to identify or explain myself."

Bernd Schmidt (Göttingen)

Original Caption

"'Unbelievable,' I thought to myself when I saw the first advertising pillars for the Halberstadt election. It was still possible to make out 'May Day 1946' on the posters. German orderliness had no doubt served to safeguard them; they had survived decades without probably ever being used again following the one time in 1946 - free elections were abolished after that."