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Digital Archive International History Declassified

Podcast

Episode 17 - East German Soft Power

Mike Dennis

The East German regime saw sport as a means to demonstrate the superiority of socialism over the capitalist system

TABLE OF CONTENTS

“Sport is not an end in itself, but the means to an end” – Erich Honecker

The East German regime saw sport as a means to demonstrate the superiority of socialism over the capitalist system, especially as compared with West Germany. Mike Dennis (University of Wolverhampton) explains how the East German state organized its sport system with the goal of winning Olympic medals and international glory. He delves into the state-sponsored doping program and the involvement of the Stasi in keeping East German athletes in check.

Mike Dennis is coauthor of Sport Under Communism: Behind the East German “Miracle”

Image: Lutz Eigendorf (left), East German football player who defected in 1979 (Bundesarchiv Bild 183-P00521-0033).

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