40 years ago, between July 28 and August, 5, 1973 the 10th World Festival of Youth and Students took place in East Berlin.
Under the motto "For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship" over 25.000 international participants from 140 countries - including delegations from West Germany and West Berlin - visited the festival.
A claimed 750,000 young people from all over the world descend colourfully on the German Democratic Republic to show solidarity with those fighting imperialism in Vietnam, Palestine, Chile and elsewhere.
As well as a lot of parades, music and dancing, a visit to the memorial at the Buchenwald concentration camp, a tribute ceremony to Soviet soldiers killed liberating Europe from Fascism, and a lot of discussion events were elements of the fetival schedule.
For many former-East Germans who were teenagers or young adults at the time of the festival, the event is recalled as a time of real openness in which the stringent social controls normally in place were suspended, if only briefly. Participants’ reminiscences are filled with stories of partial nakedness in public fountains, camping at the foot of the Berlin TV tower and trysts with exotic visitors in city parks. These sorts of behaviours would normally not have garnered just a wink and a nod from the "Volkspolizei", but the accounts of the event suggest that authorities, eager to leave a good impression, largely left participants to themselves.
You can watch a documentary film in english languag about the festival on http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/explorefurther/filmvideo/worldfestival/.
The album "Für antiimperialistische Solidarität, Frieden und Freundschaft - X. Weltfestspiele der Jugend und Studenten 1973 Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR" features tracks by Franz Josef Degenard,
Hanns Dieter Hüsch, Fasia Jansen, Dietrich Kittner, Dieter Süverkrüp, Hanns Ernst Jäger, Floh De Cologe and others.
VA - Für antiimperialistische Solidarität, Frieden und Freundschaft - X. Weltfestspiele der Jugend und Studenten 1973 Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR
(192 kbps, cover art included)