For forty years, a second German state existed alongside the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG): the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Berlin was divided, the eastern part of the city was the capital of the GDR, separated from western Berlin for many years by a wall and barbed wire. Only after the fall of the Wall in 1989 and reunification in 1990 did the socialist state disappear.
The division of Germany was particularly tangible in Berlin, where prisons and administrative headquarters of the GDR's state apparatus and the feared State Security Service (Stasi) were located.
Life in the socialist state is documented throughout Berlin, in numerous museums and documentation centres, at memorial sites and in many events: Everyday life behind the Wall and people's fears are shown as well as art in the GDR and protest movements.