East Germany: Semantics of Separatism

What wears a uniform, stamps pass ports and has a title 53 letters long?

Answer: Angehoriger des Zolls der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik —a member of the customs office of the German Democratic Republic. Until a few years ago, such an official would have been called simply ein Beamter (an official), and he is still called just that in West Germany. But in an effort to show that their half of the country has nothing in common with the other half, East Germany's Communist bosses are inventing and adapting a whole new lexicon of words and phrases. Explains Die Freiheit, a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!