Primary Sources

Forty Years of Making Vehicles


This plate is typical of the sort of commemorative object given to workers in factories all across Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union prior to 1989. In this particular case, the plate commemorates forty years of making motor vehicles in Gotha, East Germany. Workers were often expected to display objects such as this in their homes as a sign that they were proud of their personal productivity and that of the enterprise where they worked. While many workers certainly felt such pride and displayed objects such as this without feeling coerced, others certainly felt pressured to display the items they received from their workplace.


Forty Years of Making Motor Vehicles (Leipzig, East Germany), courtesy of the Wende Museum, Los Angeles, CA.

How to Cite this Source

"Forty Years of Making Vehicles," Making the History of 1989, Item #716, (accessed May 28 2021, 3:24 pm).