chapter  7
7 Pages

WHEN THE WALL CAME DOWN: East German women employed in archaeology before and after 1989

In order to appreciate the profound changes that have resulted from 1989, a brief overview of the organization of the archaeological education and employment prior to this point is needed. Before 1989 most of us were leading a restricted but 'sheltered life', in the sense that jobs were guaranteed for those who had the opportunity to study at the university. This security was an important aspect of the state system and it survived despite other changes in the organization of archaeology during this period. In the following statistics indicating patterns in the employment of men and women, recent history is divided into four phases: the period from 1953 to 1968, the years 1969 to 1974, the period 1975 to 1988, and the time after 1989. The reasons for this are as follows. The Department of Prehistory and Protohistory was first re-established after the war in 1953, because although the university as a whole re-opened in January 1946, the Soviet authorities decided that prehistory/archaeology had been too highly involved with Nazi ideology to be allowed to continue like any other department. Thus, it was not until 1953, when Karl-Heinz Otto, later professor and head of the department, began to lecture in prehistory that archaeology became part of the post-war academic life of the university. 1968 marks the year, when the then Professor Karl-Heinz Otto left the chair at Humboldt-Universitat. In 1975 a new curriculum was introduced, and instead of the previous strictly fouryear study plan a five-year plan was followed. In 1989 the wall 'came down'.