I love travel reports for a relaxed reading after work or on Sundays. Around 2000 I bought one on a local flea market, titled "Antarktika" by GŁnter Skeib (an East German meteorologist who did more than a year of research near the [then] Soviet research station Mirny, Antarctica), written in 1964, published in East Germany - the former Deutsche Demokratische Republik (German Democratic Republic), which joined the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany, a.k.a. West Germany) on October 3rd 1990.
In that flea market book, the former owner has left a bookmark, which he decorated with a stamped, cheap (5 Pfennig = 0.05 Mark, about 1 US cent at the 1960s exchange rate) East German postage stamp. I kind of moved me to see this remnant of a sad past (the German separation) that seemed immutable but changed within less than a year beginning in late 1989...
The sideways text means "protected bird-species".
Click on the image to see an enlarged version of the stamp.
A good english language way of getting some of the feeling of those days
can be found in this German Unficiation
Case Study by Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, California, USA.
You can read some english language in-depth information of life in East Germany in the description of an exhibition of the Zeitgeschichtliche Forum Leipzig, which is part of the Foundation Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland.
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