Threads of Utopia
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The end of the Second World War saw the emergence of a nation divided. The scars left behind by National Socialism and its expansionist racial war against the Soviet Union helped set the course for what would become the German Democratic Republic; a nation that would model itself after the examples set by the leaders in Moscow. Along with these efforts, the Cold War in Europe required all partners and friends of Soviet Russia to make a commitment to maintaining peace and security, which meant setting up armed forces in each of the Warsaw Pact nations including East Germany.
The Threads of Utopia exhibition, for which this book was written, is a small snapshot of the GDR and a selection of her uniforms. It makes an effort to show the uniform traditions of East Germany both in the military as well as in the civil services. Juxtaposing the background and transformations of the GDR’s uniforms and related paraphernalia are stories and a concise history of the GDR that show the East German leaders’ desire to shape the lives of their citizens from cradle to grave, what happened to those who did not fit in, and how the socialist experiment ultimately collapsed.
Power in Numbers