The Echoes of the Brother Countries Reader embarks on a rigorous reappraisal of the historical exchanges between the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and its socalled
Bruderländer (brother countries). The publication considers the notion of echoes as a fulcrum to examine the resonant aesthetic, social, and political implications of an era from the perspectives of those who were deeply affected by the GDR’s state and labour policies, yet gravely overlooked in its histories. Scrutinizing mainstreamed discourses about ‘unification’, ‘contract workers’, and ‘East
Germany’, the contributions offer a critical assessment of the GDR’s interactions with other socialist countries as well as the implications for the people who lived in the GDR. Conversations
and essays from witnesses, scholars, and artists make a case for a more discerning perspective
on the connections of solidarity that linked the GDR to countries such as Angola, Cuba, Ghana, Mozambique, and Vietnam, among others. The GDR is revealed as an interface where ideologies, visions, and illusions converged, through which states and individuals forged connections, however performative, against the backdrop of transformative historical currents.