The injustices and persecution implemented by the communist SED dictatorship shaped attitudes and behaviours for decades, both in the GDR and in the Federal Republic of Germany. They included the suppression of any democratic development of informed opinion, the marginalisation of individual freedoms, the oppression of a large portion of the population by means of a system of surveillance, and the partition of Germany. Only through knowledge of the insidious system of the GDR and by raising interest through a culture of remembrance can the true value of freedom and democracy today be grasped.