The International Spy Museum sponsored the Fourth Annual Parade of Trabants on Saturday, bringing a collection of the East German automobiles to the corner of 9th and F Street.
It was very interesting to see the various models all in one place. Thanks to the Spy Museum (although the promotional copy could have done with a little less Ostalgie, the nostalgia for the cultural accoutrements of the defunct DDR):
Where were you when the Wall fell? The Berlin Wall is long gone, but one Cold War icon is still chugging away—the Trabant. Despite their questionable performance and smoky two-stroke engines, these little cars are now affectionately regarded as a symbol of East Germany and the fall of Communism.
State designed, state manufactured, state marketed: The waiting list for a Trabant could be 10 years or longer unless you were favored by the dictatorship.
And a reminder. From Der Spiegel, “Berlin Pays Tribute to Last Person Shot Crossing Wall“:
There is no universally accepted figure for the number of people who died trying to escape East Germany, either across the Berlin Wall or through the minefields along the 1,380-kilometer (860-mile) border between East and West Germany, as the East German state manipulated records in a bid to cover up the deaths. The August 13 Working Group, a private initiative, puts the death toll at over 1,200.
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