History

Curse of the Communist Mummy

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eastgerman

A developer in Leipzig has uncovered a one-bedroom apartment abandoned in the waning days of East Germany:

A wall calendar showed August 1988, and the kitchen cupboard and drawers contained plastic crockery and aluminium cutlery along with communist-era food brands such as "Vita" Cola, "Marella" margarine, "Juwel" cigarettes and a bottle of "Kristall" vodka.

"When we opened the door we felt like Howard Carter when he found the grave of Tutankhamen," [Mark] Aretz told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

"Everything was a mess but it was like a historic treasure trove, a portal into an age long gone."

Despite the calendar, the place seems to have been occupied well into 1989: It includes a search warrant dated May of that year. (That may explain why the occupant was absent.) The revolt against the Berlin Wall broke out in September.

For a slideshow of the apartment, go here.