Exhibition theme: A Semblance of Normalcy: A May Day rally [15/19]



May 1 1989
Created By: Udo Schleime

License: Creative Commons License

From the Set

During the last 'May Day', Magdeburg, 1 May 1989

Across from the VIP stand at the last socialist May Day parade; May Day was considered a guaranteed national holiday since 1949, the year the GDR was established. See also: DGB: Erster Mai, translated and retrieved on April 23, 2009


banner (flag), crowd, flag of the GDR, logo, May Day, military parade, vehicle


everyday life, holiday, May Day, military parade


Hungary, Magdeburg

Text in image

1. Mai 1989


Other items in this set

Many people who experienced the final summer of SED rule in East Germany recall how fragile reality seemed at the time. The incongruity between the way normal citizens experienced reality and the way it was perceived by GDR leaders was all too apparent. People were increasingly articulating this discrepancy. Minor concessions, as in the case of travel, for instance, were intended to improve the mood within the population. Rising protest against living conditions continued to be nipped in the bud. That summer nobody could have imagined that the dream of freedom would soon be reality.