7. Female models . Several women pointed out to me that GDR models weren’t anorexic waifs or larger-than-life sex bombs but rather average women. There was no East German Kate Moss. In fact, many weren’t professionals at all but hobby models. Leafing through a few old copies of magazines like Für Dich ( For You ) and Modische Maschen ( Fashionable Stitches ) most of the clothes look dowdy and, indeed, the models are everyday women — though, naturally, on the pretty side. They certainly wear less make up and show less skin than those in Vogue . There are no sex tips, but rather an emphasis on work, motherhood, and party politics. For all their libertine body culture, it all strikes me as awfully prude.
As West Germany was reorganised and gained independence from its occupiers, the German Democratic Republic was established in East Germany in 1949. The creation of the two states solidified the 1945 division of Germany.  On 10 March 1952, (in what would become known as the " Stalin Note ") Stalin put forth a proposal to reunify Germany with a policy of neutrality, with no conditions on economic policies and with guarantees for "the rights of man and basic freedoms, including freedom of speech, press, religious persuasion, political conviction, and assembly" and free activity of democratic parties and organizations.  This was turned down; reunification was not a priority for the leadership of West Germany, and the NATO powers declined the proposal, asserting that Germany should be able to join NATO and that such a negotiation with the Soviet Union would be seen as a capitulation. There have been several debates about whether a real chance for reunification had been missed in 1952.
I can still remember how my heart leapt to my throat the first time I entered the Janus Shop at 40 Old Compton Street. It was the late winter of 1986. I was 22 years old and visiting London with my parents, who were stationed with the US Diplomatic Corps across the ditch in Belgium. How I learned of the shop’s existence I can no longer say – very likely from an advert on the back page of a tourist guide. I am even certain that I knew of Janus as a publication then, although my hyper – sensitive ‘spanko’ eye would have scarcely missed it on a newsstand. In any case, I was convinced that I harbored a shameful secret, like Cain cast out to wander Earth alone – and without an internet password! What a revelation that Old Compton Shop was! I felt like a kid in the proverbial candy shop. I rushed back to my parents’ hotel with my magazine purchase in a black plastic bag, locked myself into the bathroom, read every word from cover to cover, and in the process made very short work of my member – and undoubtedly more than once (what joy and what torment to be so young!). From that moment on the artwork and stories became a fixture of my sexual life. They were still with me when I finally found my first spanking partner, some thirteen years later. Even today specific images come back to me unbidden , from this photo – set or that drawing or from this or the other story detail. How exciting to come across this website now and see that the old world has not been forgotten: I feel like a former East German with ‘Ostalgie,’ or like someone who grew up in the old Soviet Union. It’s delightful to recognize my old favorite images – and discover new ones I missed the first time through. And BTW , Paula Meadows , I love you!