Newer scholarship on the arts under socialism seeks to re-appropriate the field by bringing contemporary interests and research questions to bear upon it. Such work is yielding more nuanced and in-depth insights into how the arts functioned in socialist society, which highlight commonalities as well as differences between socialist and capitalist modernity. Because the different disciplines we engage exhibit significant interpretive differences—and the experience of East German artists working in different media was also quite varied—the Institute expects to break new ground by challenging conventional assumptions about periodization and socialist ideology and cultural policies.
But Götz had no regrets and went on to win the UEFA Cup in 1988 with his new West German team, Bayer Leverkusen. But life in the West did not mean he, or others, had escaped the clutches of the Stasi (indeed, he later found out that the Stasi had, within their files, photographs of his new home in West Germany). Cases of defectors drugged and smuggled back East, although rare, were not unheard of. A friend of Götz in West Germany, a fellow East German, was killed in a car accident. Götz, suspecting it was no accident, feared for his own life.
One particularly extreme example of that is found in the papers the day after the now-immortalized worker's uprising on June 17, 1953, when the East German government brought in Soviet tanks and gunned down crowds of peaceful demonstrators. A June 18, 1953 edition of the Berliner Zeitung pinned the uprising on "fascist elements" from West Berlin, while Neues Deutschland wrote that the government had protected the city from an attack by "agents of foreign powers" and "German monopolists" who wanted to prevent the government from improving living standards in East Germany .