The multi-faceted and far-reaching dealings between the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) and Third World countries, their liberation movements and development policies have not been focussed on before. For almost forty years there has been a disregard of the history and previously intense relationship which was maintained between the GDR and Africa. This situation is arguably incomprehensible as Germany's image in many Third World countries has been defined greatly by the smaller of the two Germanies, especially in South Africa.
Dr. phil. et Dr. rer.pol.habil. Ulrich van der Heyden PhD (Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa), is a historian at the Free University and the Humboldt University in Berlin. In 2013/14 he was a visiting researcher at the Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies at the University of South Africa (Unisa).