Forbidden buttons

She remembers an incident regarding TV programmes – forbidden TV programmes, so to say. Back in the 1980s her family had a TV standing in their living room with several programme buttons. Two of them were marked with coloured dots – those were the two DDR programmes. Her parents told the kids that they were only allowed to watch those two, either the green one or the yellow button/programme. When the girl was at home alone after school one afternoon, she decided to switch to one of the other – forbidden – buttons to see what this was about. And there it was: colourful afternoon West German TV programme! She remembers being totally excited about watching a short cartoon that was shown between different broadcasts (“Mainzelmännchen” – little dwarfs that barely say more than “Good evening” in a special way). At the same time she felt guilty because she did something that was explicitly forbidden. In the evening she couldn't stand it any longer and told her mother that she had watched the cartoon and asked her why she wasn't allowed to watch something nice like that. She doesn’t recall her mother’s exact answer but she remembers the feeling that her mother was absolutely not amused but couldn't explain the reasons to her daughter. Years later she learned that since her parents were working as customs officers during the 1980s, they weren't allowed any private contact with West Germany and that included popular media such as TV. They were perhaps afraid that their daughter could talk about her TV experience at school and be somehow punished for that.