Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Thursday, 29 January 2009

Untouched East Germany flat found

The East German flag
The Soviet bloc state of East Germany existed for about 40 years

A flat apparently untouched since before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 has been discovered in the German city of Leipzig, German media report.

An architect who renovates buildings in eastern Germany unlocked the door last week and was shocked to find himself in a veritable East German time warp.

It appears the inhabitant of the humble flat fled in a hurry and shrivelled bread rolls still lay in a string bag.

Grocery brands from the Socialist state filled the kitchen.

"When we opened the door we felt like Howard Carter when he found the grave of Tutankhamun," 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."

A wall calendar showed August 1988 and an empty bottle of Vita Cola, Marella margarine, Juwel cigarettes and a bottle of Kristall vodka were in the kitchen.

Plastic crockery and aluminium cutlery completed the picture of a bygone state.

The only foreign product to be found was a West German bottle of deodorant.

A zinc bath stood upright against a wardrobe. There was no toilet in the flat - the occupant used one on the landing.

According to Mr Aretz, documents and letters in the flat suggest the occupant was a man aged 24 who was in trouble with the East German authorities, and who left in a hurry some time before the Wall came down in November 1989.

The flat has since been developed, the architect has told the BBC.

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