THE EMERGENCE, CULTURE, IMPACT AND REPRESSION
OF THE GOTHIC ANTI-MOVEMENT IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE
GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (1981-1989)
This research seeks to address the historical
background of the Gothic “anti-movement” and its associated
subculture in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) in the
decade of the 1980s. Focussing primarily on the era of social
control and political enforcement imposed by the erstwhile GDR
through the “Stasi” (Ministerium für Staatssicherheit – Ministry
for State Security), the contexts of both state culture and
disaffected Gothic or “Grufti” subculture will be examined. The
links that abide between the United Kingdom’s original Darkwave
Gothic scene and the GDR’s “Grufti” scene will be explored, and the
impact of these connections will be examined.
Stasi records held in various regional
Stasi offices were largely destroyed in 1989 as the GDR was
transformed into a re-unified part of the Federal Republic of
Germany. Nevertheless, many records remain, and amongst these
documents and artefacts are records of Stasi activities and
procedures that may provide a wealth of insight into the “Grufti”
scene in the GDR.
Typically, “Gruftis” were perceived as anti-social and
anathema to the GDR philosophy of Socialist labour oriented
integration into a common society. Perceived as such, they were
persecuted, spied on and treated with deep suspicion by the Stasi
who appear to have been determined to extract a clear understanding
of what sort of threat the “Gruftis” posed.
The Goth scene today is a thriving subculture in Germany, and
in many countries around the world. Having originated in the United
Kingdom as a disassociated, non-violent, non-political music and
fashion subculture, it was adopted, through its primarily
melancholy music style and dark/black fashion statements
(generating the term “Darkwave”) by many disaffected and frustrated
youths in the GDR in lieu of violent or politicised
I completed a BA (Hons) degree in Administrative
Management at the University of Humberside, graduating in
1995. Further studies have included an HNC in Civil Engineering
(Surveying), an Advanced Diploma in Administrative Management,
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineering, and a Postgraduate Diploma
in Gestalt Psychotherapy.
I am a Fellow of the Institute of Administrative
Management, and a member of the UKCP (United Kingdom Council for
I chair the University of Hull's Disabled Staff Network, and I
am an active NHS Governor with the Humber Foundation Trust.
While working with the Department of History at Hull, where I am
currently on the academic staff working as a Researcher, I
completed a Research MA in Philosophy of Mind in 2007. I
began my PhD in September 2014.
For my University duties and profile, including publications,
To access information about my research, click here.