In 1979, two families escaped East Germany in a homemade hot air balloon. They flew for 28 minutes at −8 °C (18 °F) with no shelter as the gondola was just a clothesline railing. They landed just 10km (6.2 mi) from the border. The escape was planned out over 1 and 1/2 years and took 3 attempts.
Before the fall of the German Wall, East Germany lacked significant resources to manufacture cars. As a result, the Trabant automobile used recycled cotton waste for the body instead of steel.
East Germany created its own cola drink. Vita-Cola‘s sales almost disappeared after the fall of the Berlin Wall brought Coke and Pepsi into the East. It is still the most popular cola in Thuringia, making the German state one of the few places in the world where Coca-Cola is not the leader.
East Germany lives on – as a tiny island off Cuba. In 1972, Fidel Castro gifted the island to East Germany. The island was not addressed in the 1990 reunification, and as such is still technically East German territory, even though the nation no longer exists.