The last visa stamped by East Germany (DDR)

last visa east Germany

This is a German passport issued in Duisburg in 1983. Seven years later, the German passport will become red and an EU passport. The passport was valid for five years until 1988 but was renewed in February 1989, then valid until February 1992. The bearer frequently went to East Germany (GDR). The curious visa is on page 15. It was issued in Wartha on 10 November 1989, which is one day after the fall of the wall!

This Federal Republic German passport probably shows the last GDR visa issued by the border troops. After the wall was open, a visa was no longer required, but passports were still stamped. My old German passport has a GDR stamp from May 1990. Two months later, on 1 July, border control between the two German states became obsolete. This means I also have one of the last DDR stamps in my old travel document.

last visa east germany

last visa east germany

Unbelievable, it was already 30 years ago when Germany East and West reunited. When the wall came down in Nov 1989, I wanted to go to Berlin but couldn’t. My first trip to the now open German Democratic Republic (DDR) was in May 1990 when I visited an East German pen pal. Back then, I was collecting coins, including DDR coins. I met my pen pal for the first time in his small hometown of Klingenthal, Saxony. His family was amicable, and I had a great time there for a few days. I was also sitting in and driving a Trabbi. The East German plastic car. We wanted to go to a coin auction in Leipzig but skipped the plan after finding a huge open-air flea market in Leipzig with unique antiques. No wonder, as East Germans couldn’t sell or export abroad. You could find everything they collected over 40 years there—a collectors wonderland. And, oh wonder, I also met by random a fellow collector from the West on this vast flea market. German Reunification

Before going to the market, we stopped at a typical DDR restaurant for lunch after our hours-long drive. We could order only the dish of the day and wait a long time for our food. We sat at our table for quite a time; some people got served before us even they came after us. Asking the male servant about this, he answered, “But these are important local guests.” The dish was simple, enough, and surprisingly – delicious. We still paid in East Mark for our inexpensive dishes. German Reunification

The grocery stores we visited had almost no goods to offer anymore. Leipzig was full of abandoned Trabbis in front of abandoned flats. We saw some of these flats. The doors unlocked, and we thought the tenants just left moments ago as we could still find so much stuff in these flats—dishes, books, clothing, photographs.

I visited Saxony, Switzerland, a hilly climbing area, and a national park around the Elbe valley southeast of Dresden. Together with Bohemian Switzerland in the Czech Republic, it forms the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. Just beautiful. We paid for a typical Saxony sausage with a bun and a drink one East Mark. last visa east Germany


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