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Within Walls – Private Life in the German Democratic Republic - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Within Walls: Private Life in the German Democratic Republic

Paul Betts


Private life in the German Democratic Republic is often seen as having been virtually non-existent, simply another East German commodity forever in short supply. In part this had to do with the common perception that private life and state socialism were at odds by definition, to the extent that the private person has no legal identity or political standing outside the socialist community. The East German regime's infamous surveillance techniques, best illustrated in the notorious exploits of the state's sprawling security force – the Stasi—and its reserve army of ‘unofficial collaborators,’ f ... More

Keywords: privacy, private sphere, communism, East Germany, GDR, Cold War, domesticity, home, intimacy, niche society, family

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780199208845
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208845.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Paul Betts, author
Reader in Modern German History, University of Sussex

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