German Propaganda Archive Calvin University


Background: Trommel,or “The Drum” was the weekly magazine for elementary school children in the GDR. This page includes material from three issues from 1980. It is a good example of propaganda aimed at children. DDR-Comics has a lot of material from the magazine. Material from Frösi, another magazine aimed at children, is available on the same site.

Material from Trommel

This is the cover of #26/1980. The cover story is an interview with a watchmaker, who spent three months in Vietnam helping to establish a watch factory. A more detailed summary of the contents is available.

This is the cover of issue #18/1980. The picture is of a Siberian school girl who wants to follow in the path of one Gaidarowez, a hero of the Russian revolution. The cover also has an interesting articled titled “Too Much Politics.” It begins by noting some children have written to say that they think there is too much political material.

“When for example Gabi from Berlin has something against the Russians, she should realize that that means she has something against herself as well. . . . The fact that we can write to each other in peace is because of the fact that many people are concerned with politics, and the fact that the Russians are there . . . Nothing against pleasant trivialities, but only he has the right to enjoy them who also is concerned with the main issues of life. That includes politics. That is important. There cannot be too much about politics. It guides all our lives. At most, there can be too much indifference, irrelevancy, and narrow-mindedness.”

This is the cover to issue #43/1980. The cover story is on the visit of a group of school children to the GDR Baltic port of Saßnitz. An interior article on life in the United States begins:

“San Francisco. A city of a million on the West Coast of the USA. A large part of the population is constantly looking for work. Crime is a part of everyday life, everywhere in the USA.”

Go to the GDR Page.

Go to the German Propaganda Home Page.