Deprecated: add_custom_background is deprecated since version 3.4.0! Use add_theme_support( 'custom-background', $args ) instead. in /home/johnfeff/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4777

Notice: register_sidebar was called incorrectly. No id was set in the arguments array for the "Sidebar" sidebar. Defaulting to "sidebar-1". Manually set the id to "sidebar-1" to silence this notice and keep existing sidebar content. Please see Debugging in WordPress for more information. (This message was added in version 4.2.0.) in /home/johnfeff/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 5229

Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; AboutMeWidget has a deprecated constructor in /home/johnfeff/public_html/wp-content/themes/SimplePress/includes/widgets/widget-about.php on line 1

Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; AdsenseWidget has a deprecated constructor in /home/johnfeff/public_html/wp-content/themes/SimplePress/includes/widgets/widget-adsense.php on line 1

Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; AdvWidget has a deprecated constructor in /home/johnfeff/public_html/wp-content/themes/SimplePress/includes/widgets/widget-ads.php on line 1

Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; ETSearchWidget has a deprecated constructor in /home/johnfeff/public_html/wp-content/themes/SimplePress/includes/widgets/widget-search.php on line 1

Deprecated: The called constructor method for WP_Widget in AboutMeWidget is deprecated since version 4.3.0! Use __construct() instead. in /home/johnfeff/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4870

Deprecated: The called constructor method for WP_Widget in AdsenseWidget is deprecated since version 4.3.0! Use __construct() instead. in /home/johnfeff/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4870

Deprecated: The called constructor method for WP_Widget in AdvWidget is deprecated since version 4.3.0! Use __construct() instead. in /home/johnfeff/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4870

Deprecated: The called constructor method for WP_Widget in ETSearchWidget is deprecated since version 4.3.0! Use __construct() instead. in /home/johnfeff/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4870
GDR | John Feffer
Deprecated: get_theme_data is deprecated since version 3.4.0! Use wp_get_theme() instead. in /home/johnfeff/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4777

Swords and Ploughshares in Germany

What was once East Germany’s challenge will shortly become an issue for the whole of Germany. In 1990, East Germany had to handle the delicate issue of the withdrawal of Soviet troops. This was no small question. There were 380,000 Soviet troops stranded by the fall of the Wall and the unification of Germany. When I was in Berlin in spring 1990, you could already buy the fur hats and insignia...
read more

Closing Doors, Opening Doors

It’s difficult to close down an organization that’s about to be absorbed by a bigger entity. You have to deal with staffing, with the old office space, with all the stuff inside the office. There’s all the paperwork. You have to change the letterhead, the business cards, the signs on the doors. There are banking details, legal questions, accounting nightmares. Now imagine what it must be...
read more

Taking It to the Streets (in the GDR)

The home movies show a bunch of young kids doing skateboard stunts all around their neighborhood. Without the sound, the action could be taking place almost anywhere. The kids have clothes and haircuts that look like the late 1970s, the town they live in has a prefab drabness. But their goofiness and exuberance is universal. Look a little closer and you’ll see that their skateboards are...
read more

Eating History

The GDR Museum in Berlin is actually two museums in one. And these two parts, both devoted to everyday life in the German Democratic Republic, subtly contradict one another. That might not have been the intention of the museum founders. But this tension actually captures the ambiguities of East Germany and the ambivalence that many Germans feel today about the erstwhile communist state. The...
read more