Joseph Wechsberg went inside the Deutsche Demokratische Republik last fall and this small book is as sensitive a reading of the psychological temper of life in Eastern Germany as one is likely to get. Native-born and Germany as one is likely to get. Native-born and German speaking, Wechsberg was able to put ""the East West problem in a nutshell"" within a few hours: ""we spoke the same language but the words had different meanings."" People talked to him, fairly freely whenever possible, of their hopes, and more often their hopelessness; in any case their eyes, furtive, doubtful, desperate, always betrayed them. They distrust the regime; but then they have no faith in the West; money has little value; education is limited. The account ends with a revisitation of Weimar and a re-evaluation of Goethe; if it seems like a turn-off, it is not; the ""apostle of freedom"" seems far less olympian, and then where the Goethe Oak stood, Buchenwald rose. All over the land there is the invisible Druck, or pressure, the grayness, the resignation which is registered here with maximal effectiveness.