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The secret internet address of the GDR

If there had ever been free Internet in the GDR, this domain would probably have been used: As a counterpart to the extension “.de” in the West, the extension “.dd” was thought up for East Germany at the time – but the Wende intervened.

At the time of the reunification in 1989, the Internet was still in its infancy. Nevertheless, already at that time one thought of a suitable URL ending for web addresses of the GDR. While today only “.de” is known as a country code extension for Germany, for a short time there was actually also a suitable extension for the GDR, but it was never really used and quickly fell into oblivion.

GDR domain “.dd”

The ending was spelled “.dd” and was supposed to function as a counterpart to the West German “.de” – but it never came to that. The domain was never registered in the “Domain Name System” and with the fall of the wall it was too late for that. The “.de” domain was registered in 1986, several years before the fall of the Berlin Wall. But with the “.dd” domain this was not so easy because of the tense political situation.

As part of the Eastern Bloc, the GDR was subject to strict regulations. To this day, all new top-level domains must be authorized by the U.S. Department of Commerce. This is a practice that dates back to the Cold War and made the release of the GDR domain a delicate matter at the time.¬†Efforts were made to make the “.dd” extension a reality after all, but with the fall of the Berlin Wall, “.de” became the single country code extension for Germany.

Universities haveactually used the GDR domain

However, the “.dd” domain was not completely unused: Among others, the universities in Jena and Dresden used the ending for their internal communication for a while – but “.dd” websites were never freely accessible via the Internet.

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