The World of GDR Exhibition in Dresden

In 2017 Paul Simmel opened the The World of GDR (DDR Welte) exhibition on the top floor of his shopping centre in Dresden. Recently we had a chance to visit the colleciton

The World of GDR is a development of a previous museum, which acquired a lot of items related GDR times. This new exhibition shows more objects and follows a distinctively different path. I felt uneasy when I saw visitors sitting at the exact same desks I was forced to sit for eight years in elementary school. Those were not happy times. While nostalgia is nice, I really do not wish for that era to come back.

As our focus is on road vehicles, let’s see the selection! At the entrance the visitor is greeted with a Zaporoshetz, a Lada and a Wartburg.

The ubiquitous Trabant is represented in different shapes and sizes. Yes, shapes: there was a crashed Trabant and another one which was pressed into an object of art. There were 500s, 600s, plenty of 601 models, Trabants towing caravans etc. There were scooters, modeps, motorcycles, a Police Barkas and even an IFA F8, a reincarnation of the pre-war DKW F8, which paved the way for the Wartburg.

Naturally you can also see a lot of furniture, a pharmacy, the aforementioned school room, newspaper clippings, period videos, scale models and many more.

Cars are used to illustrate those times, so if you just want to see the cars, you are better off visiting other museums in Berlin or Chemnitz. But if you are in town and want a fun hour to browse through relics of a past era, which I really hope will never come back, then you are encouraged to visit the first floor of the Simmel shopping center.

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