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July 24, 1994|CHARLES SOLOMON

DDR SOUVENIRS by Andreas Michaelis, translated from the German by Michael Hulce (Benedikt Taschen Verlag: $19.99; 160 pp., paperback original). The "Special Inventory" collection of official gifts and memorabilia from the old East German regime embodies the vapid pomposity of Social Realist art. Images of Marx and Lenin are painted on vases, carved in stone, cast in plaster and woven into tapestries; a desk set features pens shaped like guided missiles. These hilariously tasteless tchotchkes will win the hearts of flea-market afficionados.

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