* 1956 IN Munich
FOR LOVE AND SOCIALISM
Katrin Eder, who grew up in a conservative family home, joins the German Communist Party (Deutsche Kommunistische Partei, or DKP) as a teenager. She is active in a party-affiliated music group when she moves to West Berlin from Munich in 1974, where she becomes a member of the Socialist Unity Party of West Berlin (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Westberlins, or SEW). She falls in love with Ralf, a member of the FDJ (Free German Youth, or Freie Deutsche Jugend) singing group “Oktoberklub,” at a party in East Berlin. Both Katrin and Ralf are drawn to the idea of socialism and decide to live in the GDR together.
I did very well because I believe that renouncing luxury is really awesome.
She moves to East Berlin in June 1976, at the age of 20. She sees her stay in a reception center in Barby, which seems like a prison to her, as proof of her great devotion. The same year, she becomes a GDR citizen in a festive ceremony with coffee and cake at the city council of the borough of Berlin-Friedrichshain. Because of her general enthusiasm for anti-authoritarian educational styles, Katrin Eder doesn’t always feel comfortable with her job as an educator at a school for children with speech and language handicaps. She is disturbed by the strict tone and lack of creativity involved in the training of “socialist personalities.” As the mother of three children, she ultimately withdraws into private life. She doesn’t regret her decision to move to the GDR, insisting, “It was an unbelievably interesting experience.”