History has a way of capturing our imagination, especially when it comes to significant moments and places. One such captivating artifact from the past is an original tourist map of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) from 1971. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of this vintage map and explore the historical context surrounding its creation.
Deutsche Demokratische Republik
The German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, DDR), also known as the GDR or ГДР (Германская Демократическая Республика), was a socialist state that existed from 1949 to 1990. It was located in the eastern part of Germany and was under Soviet influence during the Cold War era. The GDR was established following World War II and became a separate state from West Germany.
This map of the DDR
The map in question is an original tourist map of the GDR, printed in 1971. It features Russian text due to the Soviet influence over the region at that time. The map's dimensions are 72.0 x 79.0 cm, providing a comprehensive view of the country. It was published by the Main Department of Geodesy and Cartography, under the Council of Ministers of the USSR, in Moscow.
To understand the significance of this map, we must delve into the historical events surrounding the creation of the GDR. Following World War II, Germany was divided into four occupation zones controlled by the Allies: France, United Kingdom, United States, and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Occupation Zone (SBZ) encompassed the eastern part of Germany, including the five states (Länder) of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia.
However, tensions between the Allies and the Soviets led to a breakdown in cooperation. The Soviets withdrew from the Allied Control Council (ACC) in 1948, and the other three zones gradually united, granting themselves self-government. In contrast, the Soviet administration in the SBZ established a separate socialist government, giving birth to the GDR.
The year 1971 marked an important turning point in the leadership of the GDR. Walter Ulbricht, who had held the position of First Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party (SED) since 1950, was removed from power. This change was supported by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, and Ulbricht was replaced by Erich Honecker. Under Honecker's leadership, the GDR experienced a shift in political direction, reversing the liberal reforms that had been introduced during Ulbricht's tenure.
Glimpse into the past
This vintage map provides a unique opportunity to glimpse into the past and visualize how the GDR appeared in 1971. The scale of the map is 1:750,000, allowing users to explore various regions and landmarks within the country. Whether you have a personal connection to the GDR or are simply fascinated by history, this map offers a window into a bygone era.
The vintage tourist map of the GDR from 1971 is not only a fascinating artifact but also a testament to the historical events and political shifts that shaped the country. By exploring this map, we can gain a deeper understanding of the GDR's geography and the impact of Soviet influence during the Cold War era. It serves as a tangible link to the past and a reminder of the rich tapestry of history.
This map is available in our webshop
If you're interested in owning a piece of history, this map is available for purchase on our webshop. Take a step back in time and explore the German Democratic Republic as it appeared in 1971.
(Note: for more details of the map, please take a look at the image with the description from the printers, the last picture on the productpage.)