Postcard from... Berlin
Communist East Germany may have been killed off with the fall of the Berlin Wall 23 years ago, but its products live on – and on. Some 90,000 former East German citizens queued up in freezing temperatures over the weekend to get into east Berlin's Yuletide phenomenon for insiders – a Christmas market dedicated to selling “Ossiware” – goods that were being produced in East Germany before 1989 and still are.
The vast selection of items on offer in Berlin's Velodrome indoor cycling stadium included special Christmas cake from Saxony's "Ore" mountains, photocopied examples of communist cookery books, "ice cream powder" from a firm called Komet and a famous totalitarian era bath foam called "Badusan", which comes complete with refillable yellow plastic duck and green fish-shaped dispensers.
The organisers said 140 East German manufacturers were selling goods at the "Ostpro" fair, which does a roaring trade for the three days it's held each year. The visitors were almost all former East German citizens aged 50 and older. Many travelled to Berlin to get their hands on products they thought had disappeared for ever with German reunification and the West German capitalist juggernaut which drove so many Ossi products off the market.
"Many of the visitors simply want to wallow in memories and rediscover the tastes and smells of their youth," insisted the fair's manager Ramona Oteiza. The term "Ostalgie" sprang up shortly after German reunification to denote nostalgia for the former communist east. It should not be underestimated.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
life + styleClarissa Baldwin is the brains behind the slogan 'A Dog is for Life not just for Christmas'
Autumn Statement 2013: Work until you’re 70 - George Osborne accused of ‘living in fantasy land’ over pension reforms
Nigella Lawson arrives for second day in court after accusing Charles Saatchi of threatening to 'destroy' her with drug claims
Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
Scientists sequence oldest human DNA from fossilised leg bone found in Spain
‘Put it in my mouth’: Viewers outraged by apparent reference to oral sex in VIP e-cig advert
- 1 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 2 How black gold was hijacked: North sea oil and the betrayal of Scotland
- 3 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 4 Scientists sequence oldest human DNA from fossilised leg bone found in Spain
- 5 ‘Put it in my mouth’: Viewers outraged by apparent reference to oral sex in VIP e-cig advert
£90000 - £120000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Global Director of Infrastructur...
£230 - £300 per day: Charter Selection: A leading Further Education College ba...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Java Developer - J...
£65000 - £82000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: My client is seeking an expe...