Thursday, February 27, 2014

Anybody know what the old DDR archives have on Ethiopia?

Today I had an unexpected visitor from Leipzig who is doing a comparative study of popular opinion about the political transitions in Ghana and Ethiopia during the 1990s. I suggested to him that he might check the old East German archives regarding Ethiopia since the Honecker regime had very close relations with Mengistu. He said that was an idea that had not occurred to him. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to give a whole lot more brilliant advice, but I think there might be some useful information about Ethiopia from 1974 to 1989 in the archives in Berlin. It would also be a source easy for him to check. After all Berlin is much closer and easier to get to from Leipzig than Addis Ababa and the documents there are in German not Amharic. In fact given the close relationship between the security forces of the two states I suspect that the archives of the former DDR might actually contain a lot of interesting material on Ethiopia during the communist era. But, perhaps somebody else has already looked at these archives and can comment on what they contain?

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