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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 February, 2003, 18:00 GMT
'Mini East Germany' planned
Berlin wall
Few want a return to the days of the Berlin Wall
The German phenomenon of Ostalgie - nostalgia for the former East Germany - has sparked plans for a theme park celebrating all aspects of life in the communist state.

With surly border guards, bland regulation restaurant food and typical East German Trabant cars trundling the streets, the 10,000 square-metre (107,000 sq ft) park promises to provide its punters with an authentic eastern experience.

"We don't want to poke fun at what it used to be like - we want to provide a truly historical experience," Susanne Reich, spokeswoman for the project, told BBC News Online.

Although the plan is just at the idea stage, the company, Massine Productions, is confident that interest is sufficient to see it realised - possibly in the east Berlin suburb of Koepenick.

Looking back

Nostalgia among eastern Germans has manifested itself in books, songs and films since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1990.

Currently the film Goodbye, Lenin - the story of a young man who shortly after reunification brings the former east back to life in his flat for the sake of his sick mother - is at the top of the German film charts.

Few former easterners want to return to the totalitarian days, but the full employment under the communist regime looks attractive amid the high unemployment that currently plagues Germany - and particularly eastern areas of the country.

While proponents of the park expect many of its visitors to be looking for a trip down memory lane, they also hope to draw in those Germans who never experienced it, as well as foreign tourists.

Visitors will be invited to sample old eastern products that no longer exist, try on some of the eastern fashions, drive a Trabant, and watch old eastern films in an old eastern-style cinema.

It is not clear whether euros will be accepted on the site, or just East German mark notes.



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