Buildings, Housing and Work in Jena

Cookie Roll building, a round, glass-steel building
Two shots of
Die Keksrolle
Older building with a spray-painted sign on its base, Cookie Roll in background

This is a building the people call die Keksrolle , the cookie roll, that typifies Communist architecture. It is part of the Uni Jena, a faculty office building with bad ventalaton. Everyone seems to dislike it. In the picture on the right there is graffiti on the base of the yellow building in the foreground that asks, Wo sind Eure Traeume geblieben! Where did your dreams get stuck? A good question, for which there seems no ready answer.

older smaller buildings on left, newer, aluminum and glass buildings on rightThe building on the right typifies new architecture that takes notice of the old, on the left. It is a good solution in the opinion of most people here, who want to see continuity in their culture.

An ice cream parlor, 1950's style

A 1950-ish looking ice cream store
East German taste seems to have gotten stuck in the fifties. East Germans are playing cultural catch-up in general, but particularly in respect to entertainment: People stand in line to see movies and musicals -mainly American- from the 1960s and 1970s, like "West Side Story."

Cranes, cranes, cranes!

Cranes, old houses in backgroundnon-stop building, cranes everywheremore cranes...cranes, and still more cranes

Everywhere you look in East Germany - in every town and community - there are cranes nowadays. Building goes on around the clock at this site,where they are building a shopping center in downtown Jena.

Information tent, lots of takersThe Government actually tries to enlighten its new citizens on issues and policies. The information at this Government stand covered a wide-range of issues, such as benefits, health, women's issues, education,the law, taxes, foreigners in Germany.

Employment office in Jena, prospects are not goodThe Carl Zeiss factory is having troubles in the autumn of 1994. Zeiss wants to lay off personnel in Jena and in Oberkochen in West Germany. Of their 15,000 employees, the company management insists that 3,000 must go, 600 of them from the Jena plant. Herr Winfried Koksch here at the Arbeitsamt (Labor office) in Jena was worried when we visited him in late June of this year (1994). He has the responsibility of getting employment for highly qualified technicians in the Jena area. There are simply not that many good jobs there and it is tough. A Jena native himself, he is very sincere about getting employment for those in need. Official unemployment there is not that high, about fifteen percent, which is good for the East. In other areas it is 25 and 26 percent. I am sure Herr Koksch is still on the job and that he is more worried now, than he was when I visited him.


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Proceed to Part 6. Kahla, an East German Success Story or, switch to another Part:

1. Berlin and Environs
2. Freiburg: Living the Good Life
3. Jena and Environs: Work in East Germany
4. The Klemms: an East German family
5. Building, Housing and Work in Jena -Top of this page
7. Buchenwald and Beyond: The continuing legacy of the Holocaust
8. Duisburg: The East-West Unification Blues

9. Return to Index