In 1989, over a million people in East Germany who had applied for a phone were still waiting to be connected. In the postal system, long waiting times and failure to deliver were common. It was an open secret that the Ministry for State Security (Stasi) listened into phone calls and systematically monitored letters and parcels. The East German media was also controlled by the state and subject to censorship. After the Peaceful Revolution in 1989 and German reunification the following year, the newly united country faced the massive challenge of overcoming decades of division in all spheres of life, including modern communications.
To mark the 25th anniversary of German reunification, this exhibition showcases the development of the postal and communication network in the former East Germany after 1990 – one of the core tasks in the Aufbau Ost reconstruction programme. From telephones for everyone to unified postal codes – over 200 exhibits as well as installations and media stations show how cutting-edge telecommunication and logistics infrastructures, new digital technologies and an independent media landscape have helped East and West to grow together. The exhibition also recounts the stories of the individuals and institutions whose profound personal and professional commitment have made the successful reunification of this once divided nation possible.