Talked to someone yesterday about the former GDR where life was good for about 80% of the people. Housing was cheap, education and health care were good and free. And if you just walked in line, you would have a job, or at least a job, all your life.
Many ex Ossies were therefore not happy with the unification
They would rather have had the chance to turn their 'country' into a kind of GDR with advantages. In the meantime there is nostalgia for the time when the GDR was still East Germany "De Ostalgie".
Meanwhile, the new federal states are really not in good shape and old GDR citizens feel abandoned by God and government. But the system had gone down financially. Because during the GDR era, initiative, research and development were not really propagated.
Bureaucracy at its best
And then you get a police station where 800 tires for 2 MZ police motorcycles are stored. Simply because The System stores that four tires for the local police motorcycles had to be sent every six months. Another government office received a crate every four years with a new diesel engine for a truck they had never owned. And if you agitated too much against such administrative misunderstandings, someone was irritated somewhere on the bureaucratic ladder and you possibly came into the focus of the Stasi.
In the meantime, some books have been published about 'classic' cars and motorcycles from the GDR era. Those books are educational to endearing at the very least. Because the idea of making the reinforcement of the 'plestik' Trabantjes from old textiles is a very nice weakness.
And those MZs weren't wrong at all
Let us remember that Suzuki's competitive success was based on the ideas of Walter Kaaden who fled the GDR and then gained deep knowledge of capitalism in the West.
As a state-owned company in the former GDR, MZ was a company with more than 3000 employees and manufactured up to 100.000 motorcycles per year.
Trabant, cotton and lignite
Trabant is the brand name of a series of models from the East German car factory VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerk Zwickau in Zwickau. The name was chosen in 1957 after a competition after the car was first sold under its type designation. The name is very appropriate: on the one hand it means as much as 'buddy'. Many people, after a considerable wait, really considered their Trabant part of their family. On the other hand, the name refers to Erdtrabant, or satellite. The car had to show that the GDR was going along with the technological progress that delivered the first satellite in the Soviet Union in 1957.
The inner part of the body was self-supporting of metal, but the outside of the fenders, doors, roof, bonnet and boot lid were made of Duroplast, a plastic made of cotton fibers soaked in phenolic resin. The Duroplast was used because of a steel shortage due to a trade embargo by the West, and a surplus of cotton fibers from the Soviet Union. The phenolic resin was extracted from brown coal, which was widely available in the GDR.
The importer in the Netherlands was first Van Hoek from Ravenstein. Freight trains arrived there with dozens of wagons full of Trabants, which were then transferred to the nearby importer's premises. In the late 1969s, the import went to De Binckhorst Auto & Motor Import in The Hague. In 601 the 3.795 standard model in the Netherlands cost 4.000 guilders, making it one of the few cars below 500 guilders, together with the Fiat 3, the Jalta 3A500 and the Autobianchi XNUMX Quattroposti.