Why is the study of citizenship important

Martin Fischer: Citizenship - From life in the GDR

Published on 06/28/2017

Who are you?

My name is Martin Fischer and I've been producing the Citizenship podcast since 2012. I studied media and communication economics in Ravensburg and after my studies worked in marketing for Trumpf, a laser and machine tool company, until I moved to Berlin. In the capital, I now work for Visitate, a manufacturer of museum software, where I am responsible for marketing and press work.

Why podcasts?

In my teenage years, I really wanted to be a journalist: "All the President’s Men" with Robert Redford and Paul Newman is such a great film that shows what the Fourth Estate can do. Even when I decided to study media, I was stuck with publishing. I really enjoy writing texts, but blogging has never been my thing - too random, too unstructured, too aimless. I was missing a topic that I could write about and that wasn't already being worked on by a hundred other bloggers.

With my first iPod, I discovered the world of podcasts in spring 2005 (triggered by an article in "Neon") - Adam Curry, Annik Rubens and Michael Butler were in my playlist at the time. Gradually more and more German-language offers were added and I thought: “I want to do that too”! No other medium manages to convey knowledge and views so directly and personally. Whenever it comes to people and their stories, the voice and mood of these people are an important part of communication. But it took almost seven years until a colleague at the Christmas market gave me the right idea. I had already told my family about the GDR past and our departure several times and he said: “I would like to hear more about that.” And so I convinced my parents to start this little experiment with contemporary documents. Here I was able to combine my interests in journalism and history, learn more about my origins in a country that no longer exists and above all get to know a lot of great people over the years. Through podcasting, I not only interviewed interesting guests, but also got to know a community of people, many of whom are now my best friends.

Why Science?

I am aware that with my “oral history” approach I am reporting subjectively from the past, but I see the documentation of memories and experiences as an important building block in history work. I am not a studied historian, but I approach the GDR with respect to coming to terms with it. I have always enjoyed studying sources and I am all the more pleased to be able to put one or the other new source on the Internet.

Podcast recommendations

If you are interested in history, there is no way around Zeitsprung: Daniel and Richard lead so charmingly and calmly, always knowledgeable and well-informed, through their stories from history that I am really happy every time it is the turn of a new episode in the Podcatcher. From the history of the bicycle to the time change, there is always something new to discover and with just under half an hour there is always time for an episode.

Outside of the science podcasts, I have to point out Lucky & Fred. Friedrich Küppersbusch (as a former moderator of ZAK and most recently Tagesschaum also an idol for me when it comes to critical and intelligent journalism) and Lukas Heinser comment - far too seldom! - the political events. The lightning-clever play on words and thought jumps are unmatched and if you want to hear clever thoughts from good journalists, this is the right place!

Podcasts on the topic


About life in the GDR

A podcast about life in the GDR. In conversation with guests, Martin Fischer looks back at every episode of the life aspects of a citizen of the former German Democratic Republic. The spectrum of topics ranges from the school system and cultural life to political repression. The podcast comes out roughly every three weeks.

Last updated: 04/09/2021

More information on Citizenship Studies


Guest in the BR studios at Subscribe 9 in Munich
Podcasting in the garden: During the recordings for SBK061 LPG - with a lot of natural atmosphere in the secluded garden
Citizenship tells about life in the GDR