Warm Wishes From the DDR


01 Cover, Contra, 1967, 2 (East German tabloid)

Arthur at recto|verso (the blog of F. A. Bernett Books) provided these scans from a serial named Contra, “produced by the DDR in an effort to undermine BGS [border guards] morale and solicit West German defections to the apparent socialist paradise which awaited them on the other side.”

Contra is one small part of a 1969 British Frontier Service dossier recently obtained by the bookstore. It documents “examples of leaflets fired in large and small ‘propaganda rockets’ and ‘metal coconuts’ into Federal territory from the DDR.” Visit recto|verso to read Arthur’s larger post, “Everything has its Limit! Even Miniskirts…”

Some more information from Arthur:

The tabloid was a kind of proletariat skin magazine, with breezy articles boasting of superior Soviet weapons systems, East German sports prowess, and goofy cheesecake photographs of scantily dressed women.

A regular feature also claimed to convey “warm wishes from the DDR” to current BGS troops on behalf of West German military defectors, who, judging by the photographs, were clearly enjoying the superior charms of these East German swimsuit models, along with the professional services of expert tailors and barbers. [Ed.: see the image third from the bottom.]

02 From Contra, an East German tabloid, 1967

03 From Contra, an East German tabloid, 1967

04 From Contra, an East German tabloid, 1967

To view more wonderful images click here.

Will Schofield is the editor of 50 Watts (original name: A Journey Round My Skull) and Writers No One Reads. More from this author →