WHO OWNS THE EAST?

Thousands of businesses, hundreds of thousands of homes, millions of hectares of forest and land – all this was declared public property by the GDR. After the fall of the Wall, the big question was: Who actually owns what in the East? In 1990, an entire country was up for sale. Gold rush fever broke out, and international investors smelled big business.

Thousands of businesses, hundreds of thousands of homes, millions of hectares of forest and farmland – all this was once declared public property by the GDR. After the fall of the Wall, the big question that arose was: Who actually owns what in East Germany? In 1990, an entire country was up for sale. Gold rush fever broke out and investors from all over the world smelled big business. Alongside West Germans, investors from abroad – the USA, Asia, but especially France – wanted their slice of the pie. But many investors misjudged the East, financially and psychologically. Anticipated profits failed to materialise, at least in the 1990s. The East Germans were particularly interested in the privatisation of land. Around two million hectares of woodland, thousands of stately homes, publicly owned property, and two million hectares of farmland were on offer after unification. The winners were often the successors of the former agricultural cooperatives, that today farm vast areas of land. Since the 2000s, foreign investors have become interested in East German cities again, because the East is on the rise. Since 2008, the bank crisis has made investment in urban dwellings increasingly attractive. But property prices outside the city centres have also doubled in the past 15 years. The gold rush era, the era of spectacular deals has had a strong impact. Only now are politicians and society as a whole grasping the full scale of the gigantic redistribution process. Private ownership has finally arrived in the former land of state-owned businesses.

Genre Current Affairs
Length 1x52’ / 3x45’ HD
Film by by Ariane Riecker and Matthias Hoferichter
Production Hoferichter und Jacobs
Original Title Wem gehört Osten? / A qui appartient l'ex-RDA ?
Year 2015

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Businesses, homes, forest, farmland – all this was once declared public property by the GDR. After the fall of the Wall, an entire country was up for sale. Who owns what in the East? A vast process of redistribution begins.
Thousands of businesses, hundreds of thousands of homes, millions of hectares of forest and farmland – all this was once declared public property by the GDR. After the fall of the Wall, the big question that arose was: Who actually owns what in East Germany? In 1990, an entire country was up for sale. Gold rush fever broke out and investors from all over the world smelled big business. Alongside West Germans, investors from abroad – the USA, Asia, but especially France – wanted their slice of the pie. But many investors misjudged the East, financially and psychologically. Anticipated profits failed to materialise, at least in the 1990s. The East Germans were particularly interested in the privatisation of land. Around two million hectares of woodland, thousands of stately homes, publicly owned property, and two million hectares of farmland were on offer after unification. The winners were often the successors of the former agricultural cooperatives, that today farm vast areas of land. Since the 2000s, foreign investors have become interested in East German cities again, because the East is on the rise. Since 2008, the bank crisis has made investment in urban dwellings increasingly attractive. But property prices outside the city centres have also doubled in the past 15 years. The gold rush era, the era of spectacular deals has had a strong impact. Only now are politicians and society as a whole grasping the full scale of the gigantic redistribution process. Private ownership has finally arrived in the former land of state-owned businesses.

Current Affairs
Length 1×52’, 3×45’ HD
Films by Ariane Riecker and Matthias Hoferichter
Production Hoferichter und Jacobs for MDR/ARTE, 2015
Original title Wem gehört Osten? / A qui appartient l’ex-RDA ?