Trabants, Skodas, autonomous vehicles

Trabants, Skodas, autonomous vehicles


Trabant, an East German logo truck.

Philippe Bregowy

This reality film takes a few decades back. At the time, owning a car was almost beyond the reach of the inhabitants of the Soviet camp. It may even take up to twenty years between order and delivery of the vehicle. Clearly, benefiting from it represented some freedom, in a closed world. Considering that the worst cars ever made, Trabants could cost up to one year ‘s salary. It may seem like a lot, but these cars had an average life span of twenty-eight years.

Trabant is driving near the Checkpoint Charlie website in Berlin on October 22, 2019.
Trabant is driving near the Checkpoint Charlie website in Berlin on October 22, 2019.

AFP

We find in this film the production lines of the state-owned industries of these cars, which are unknown to us, such as Wartburg, Moskovitch or Zaporojets, the famous Trabant and Skoda, the brand has been well established in the West for a few years. Former drivers are reminded of their good memories of driving and local trips. Others talk about their dream of moving to the West, especially in 1968 during the Prague Spring. There are even pictures of thousands of Trabants abandoned at the scene by freedom-loving people at the time. Period reports and quotes from old Soviet films illustrate this situation.