Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ostalgie on the roads

One of the numerous books about life in the former East Germany, this "Pictorial Atlas of DDR Road Traffic" provides an illustrated survey of the road vehicles that were in use there: cars (shoddy ones for workers and lavish ones for communist bosses), trucks, trolley and diesel buses, motorbikes and construction machines -- and a fascinating collection of contraptions they were too.  Nearly all were made in the Ost-Bloc, as you would expect; few western vehicles had hard currency spent on them, although there were some, including pre-WW2 vehicles.

With all the bureaucracy involved in travelling to the east during the communist era, not many westerners bothered, so the colour pictures of everyday life that are in books like these provide a good look at a different world; that a lot of it was rough and ready only adds to the interest. 136 pages, colour throughout, hardcover.

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