Lippi-Bekenntnisse – a different look at life in the GDR

Lippi-Bekenntnisse - Unverblümte Plauderein über ein authentisches LebenIt is now 15 years ago that I made my first trip into what used to be East Berlin.  I was there to solve a problem with a computer belonging to someone who I have been in contact with ever since and recently visited at the Störtebeker Festspiele on the island Rügen – singer and television presenter Wolfgang Lippert.

I had only been living in Germany for a year and although I was aware of the significance of whose computer I was looking at in terms of how important the customer was for my employer, only recently have I discovered the significance of the person behind it for the former East Germany’s show business industry.  This I have to thank to his autobiography Lippi-Bekenntnisse.

Rather than being just another autobiography of a German celebrity, Lippi-Bekenntnisse gives an inside look into the way that the entertainment business worked in the GDR from someone who was part of it in quite a unique way.  Reading it made me realise how little I know about that part of Germany’s history. [Read more…]

Störtebeker Festspiele – Open-Air Theatre on Rügen

The Störtebeker Festspiele are an annual event on the Island of Rügen, on the North-Eastern coast of Germany in the Baltic See (Ostsee).

Started in 1993, the plays tell the story of Klaus Störtebeker, a German pirate who apparently lived at the end of the 14th Century.  Legend has it, that he stole from the rich and gave to the poor, but was also known for his ability to drink large quantities of beer.  The plays on Rügen are often inter-linked, with the story continuing from year to year.

One side of the stage for the 2011 production of the Störtebeker Festspiele

One side of the stage for the 2011 production

Describing the theatre as “open-air” does not really do it justice.  The stage is on the water’s edge – behind it four ships take part in the action.  It is big enough (and strong enough) for 30 horses to be used, and many of the actors ride at sometime during the performance. [Read more…]

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