From Der Spiegel

Wieder daheim in der DDR fallen nicht wenige der Westreisenden in Depressionen, die Betriebe stellen nach ihrer Rückkehr einen erhöhten Krankenstand fest.

Im Jahr 1987 dürfen 1,3 Millionen DDR-Bürger in den Westen, 1988 sogar 1,6 Millionen. So sickert das süße Gift von Freiheit und Konsum ins sozialistische Kollektiv. Und mit ihm wächst der Groll derer, denen Reisen verwehrt werden. Längst ist die DDR eine Zweiklassengesellschaft der besonderen Art: mit oder ohne Westverwandschaft, mit oder ohne Westgeld, mit oder ohne monatliche Pakete aus der BRD.

Directly translated, the last sentence would be:

For a long time, the DDR is a second-class society of a particular sort: with or without western relatives, with or without western money, with or without monthly packets from the BRD.

What does "with or without western relatives, with or without western money, with or without monthly packets from the BRD" mean?

Does it mean that the DDR remains a second-class society, no matter whether people have western relatives, western money, or monthly packets from the BRD?


Maybe you are misled by a translation error - Zweiklassengesellschaft isn't a "second-class society", it is a "two class / dual class / two tier society" (see some discussions on leo.org). So it means there were two classes in the society of the GDR (DDR): the people with West-German currency and relatives in Western Germany who would sent monthly parcels with western goods, and the people without all this.

(From my personal experience as a former GDR citizen: monthly parcels from beyond the wall seem to be an exaggeration of the author.)


It means that the DDR is - was - a two-tier society in that way that some people had western relatives and therefore, some access to western money and packages from the BRD. Western money then could be used to buy western goods, the DDR had special shops to do so, so called "Intershops".

Those who had no relatives in the BRD, on the other hand, did not enjoy these privileges.

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