Memories of a state

Reading accompanied by music

Corinna Harfouch and Alexander Scheer read texts by Thomas Brasch, Volker Braun, Peter Hacks, Christoph Hein, Stefan Hermlin, Stefan Heym, Günter Kunert,
Heiner Müller, Einar Schleef, Christa Wolf and others

accompanied by songs by Gerhard Gundermann
sung by Alexander Scheer

arranged by Gerhard Ahrens

‘Maybe, we will one day realise that it was our joining the Federal Republic of Germany that turned us into the GDR citizens we never were, or at least not whilst we were forced to be.’

(Wolfgang Hilbig)


On 4 November 1989, the biggest rally of the Peaceful Revolution was held on Alexanderplatz in East Berlin. It was not about the abolition of socialism in the GDR but about uniting socialism with democracy, about ‘socialism with a human face’; a hope many people had still continued to carry in their hearts even after the Prague Spring in 1968. The authors Stefan Heym, Christoph Hein, Christa Wolf, Heiner Müller and many others spoke at the rally. They spoke about ending the SED autocracy, but certainly not about the end of the GDR, a fate that was sealed with the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the GDR joining the FRG on 3 October 1990. Corinna Harfouch and Alexander Scheer recall the turbulent times that accompanied this upheaval, the hopes and the disappointments, with texts by GDR authors and some of Gerhard Gundermann’s songs. ‘In the GDR in 1989 and 1990, we experienced the phenomenon of the peaceful collapse of a state, literally an anti-mythical process – something almost like utopia come true,’ wrote Friedrich Dieckmann. The GDR is somewhat carelessly simply portrayed as a failed state these days; however, this state managed to come to an end peacefully once it had served its historic purpose. This purpose was not, as so many believed and still believe, the establishment of socialism in a quarter of the country (although this was the medium, it was not the actual purpose) but forcing the Germans to accept Germany’s new eastern border, drawn by the victorious Allies in 1945; accordingly, Central Germany suddenly became East Germany.’

Memories of a state

Reading accompanied by music

  • Sunday, 22.09.2019
  • 17:00
  • Great Hall


€ 16 / concessions € 12

Advance bookings

can be made on
+49 (0)33476 600-750

  • 4_tip Berlin
  • 6_rbb_Kultur