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Zorach Collection of East German Literature

Identifier: MS 077


This collection consists of literature from the former Democratic Republic of Germany (East Germany) collected by Franklin and Marshall College Professor of German, Cecile Zorach during travels to East Germany. Literature consists of government and non-governmental publications (some propagandic in nature), guidebooks, and magazines on themes such as politics, nuclear war, economics, youth, education, culture, and tourism. The bulk of the literature dates from the 1980s and gives a view of socialism in a Soviet-influenced, Eastern-Bloc country during the late Cold War period. A similar collection of Soviet Union material is available in the library as the J. William Frey Collection on the Soviet Union.


  • Creation: 1976-1990,
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1980-1989


Language of Material

All materials in English and German.

Restrictions on Access

Access unrestricted.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Photocopying and publication restricted by copyright. except by permission of copyright holder..

Biographical / Historical

Cecile C. Zorach has served as Professor of German at Franklin and Marshall College from 1984 to the present. A native of Arkansas, Zorach holds an A.B. from Oberlin College (Religious Studies), an M.A. from the University of Massachusetts (German), and a Ph. D in German from Princeton University. Before coming to F & M in 1984, Zorach served as Visiting Assistant Professor of German at Stanford University, 1976-78; Assistant Professor of German University of Michigan, 1978-84; and Director, German Program Residential College/University of Michigan, 1978-84. From 2001-2008 she served as Director of the F & M International Studies Program and Joseph International Center.

Biographical / Historical

The Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR or Democratic Republic of Germany) was created as a nation state in 1949, as a result of the defeat of Germany in the Second World War by the United States, United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union. The 1945 Potsdam Conference (held by the victors) divided Germany into areas of occupation roughly correlating to the geographic areas conquered by each nation?s military forces. The western part was occupied and governed by the western allies, U.S., U.K., and France, while the eastern part was occupied and governed by the Soviet Union. By 1949, agreements resulted in the partitioning of Germany into the nation states of West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany), whose democratic government allied itself with the western allies, and East Germany (Democratic Republic of Germany), whose ruling Socialist Party aligned itself with the Soviet Union. Post war tensions between the democratic, capitalist west and the totalitarian, communist east resulted in a further divide between the Soviet-dominated Eastern bloc governments (Eastern Europe) and U.S.-influenced Western Europe, setting the stage for the subsequent 40-year Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. As part of the Potsdam agreement, the city of Berlin, which was located in the Soviet zone of occupation, was divided into four sectors of occupation among the conquering nations. In 1961, the East Germans constructed the Berlin Wall to seal off movement and political defections between the eastern and western parts of the city and between West Berlin and East Germany, further exacerbating Cold War tensions. By 1989, social, economic, and political forces resulted in largely peaceful revolution and the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the Berlin Wall was dismantled. In 1990 the nation of East Germany was dissolved and reunited with West Germany as the modern-day Federal Republic of Germany.


1.5 Linear feet (4 boxes)


Collection: Organized into seven series: based on subjects and genres of material such as politics, youth, education, culture, guidebooks, magazines, and miscellaneous items.

Ownership and Custodial History

All materials in this collection were collected by Cecile Zorach from the 1980s through 2000s. Some material was collected in the 1980s during personal trips to the former East Germany, while additional material was given to her through the years by colleagues. All material was in her possession until donated to Franklin and Marshall College in 2014.


Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Franklin and Marshall College Special Collections Repository

PO Box 3003
Lancaster PA 17604 United States