Vilm Island

Rügen may be the largest of the German islands, but there are several interesting smaller islands dotted around it. One of these islands is called Vilm, and it is part of the South-Eastern Biosphere. As such, the island has special protection. Boats are not allowed within 100m without permission. Swimming is not allowed in that area either.

The eastern side of Vilm, once the place where the GDR leadership bathed.The eastern side of Vilm, once the place where the GDR leadership bathed.

One part of the island is completely out of bounds to visitors, the other is used by a national government agency for nature conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz). Visitors here are limited to 30 at any one time, only in organised groups and only along a set path. Even the number of tours each year is limited, so when the Biosphere held a press tour on the island, they had to get special permission to exceed that number! [Read more…]

The night the Wall came down… 5 years on

Five years ago I wrote an article for this website called “The night the Wall came down”, at a time when Germany was commemorating 20 years since the fall of the Berlin wall.

In front of the Berlin Wall in November 1996

In front of the Berlin Wall in November 1996

Now that another five years have passed all the talk this weekend is of the 25th anniversary, and that article is as valid as ever.  Except that one thing has changed: I have now spent more time in the Eastern part of the country.

I have been to the island of Rügen located in Baltic Sea five times now, and taken different routes and seen different parts of the landscape each year.

On Rügen itself I have come face to face with some of that East German history, and visited areas that were off-limits to normal East German citizens until 1990 – some of which will appear in future articles.

I still haven’t been back to Berlin.

Click here to read the original article

The GDR Transcript Pack

The “GDR Pack” is a collection of 6 transcripts, each in their own PDF file. The pack is a ZIP file containing the 6 PDFs and is available from the AllThingsGerman Download Store.

The transcripts in this pack are:

To find out more, visit the AllThingsGerman Download Store.

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