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EAST GERMANY, officially the GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (GDR; German : _Deutsche Demokratische Republik_ pronounced , _DDR_), was a socialist state in central -western Europe
Europe
, during the Cold War period. From 1949 to 1990, it administered the region of Germany
Germany
that was occupied by Soviet forces at the end of World War II
World War II
—the Soviet Occupation Zone of the Potsdam Agreement
Potsdam Agreement
, bounded on the east by the Oder–Neisse line
Oder–Neisse line
. The Soviet zone surrounded West Berlin , but did not include it; as a result, West Berlin remained outside the jurisdiction of the GDR. The German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
was established in the Soviet Zone, while the Federal Republic was established in the three western zones. East Germany, which lies culturally in Central Germany
Germany
, was a satellite state of the Soviet Union . Soviet occupation authorities began transferring administrative responsibility to German communist leaders in 1948, and the GDR began to function as a state on 7 October 1949. Soviet forces , however, remained in the country throughout the Cold War. Until 1989, the GDR was governed by the Socialist Unity Party (SED), though other parties nominally participated in its alliance organisation, the National Front of Democratic Germany
Germany
.

The economy was centrally planned, and increasingly state-owned . Prices of basic goods and services were set by central government planners, rather than rising and falling through supply and demand. Although the GDR had to pay substantial war reparations to the USSR, it became the most successful economy in the Eastern Bloc. Nonetheless it did not match the economic growth of West Germany
Germany
. Emigration to the West was a significant problem—as many of the emigrants were well-educated young people, it further weakened the state economically. The government fortified its western borders and, in 1961, built the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
. Many people attempting to flee were killed by border guards or booby traps , such as landmines .

In 1989, numerous social and political forces in the GDR and abroad led to the fall of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
and the establishment of a government committed to liberalization. The following year open elections were held, and international negotiations led to the signing of the Final Settlement treaty on the status and borders of Germany. The GDR was dissolved and Germany
Germany
was unified on 3 October 1990, becoming a fully sovereign state again.

Geographically, the German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
bordered the Baltic Sea to the north; the Polish People\'s Republic to the east; Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
to the southeast and West Germany
Germany
to the southwest and west. Internally, the GDR also bordered the Soviet sector of Allied-occupied Berlin known as East Berlin
East Berlin
which was also administered as the state's de facto capital. It also bordered the three sectors occupied by the United States
United States
, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and France
France
known collectively as West Berlin. The three sectors occupied by the Western nations were sealed off from the rest of the GDR by the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
from its construction in 1961 until it was brought down in 1989.

CONTENTS

* 1 Naming conventions

* 2 History

* 2.1 Origins * 2.2 1949 establishment * 2.3 Soviet role * 2.4 Zones of occupation * 2.5 Partition * 2.6 GDR identity * 2.7 _Die Wende_ (German Reunification)

* 3 Politics

* 3.1 Organization

* 4 Population

* 4.1 Major cities

* 5 Administrative districts

* 6 Military

* 6.1 National People\'s Army * 6.2 Border troops * 6.3 Volkspolizei * 6.4 Stasi * 6.5 Combat groups of the working class * 6.6 Conscientious objection * 6.7 United States
United States
as primary threat * 6.8 Support of Third World socialist countries

* 7 Economy

* 7.1 Consumption and jobs

* 8 Religion

* 8.1 State atheism * 8.2 Protestantism

* 8.3 Roman Catholicism

* 8.3.1 Apostolic Administrators

* 9 Culture

* 9.1 Music * 9.2 Theatre * 9.3 Cinema * 9.4 Sport * 9.5 Television and radio

* 10 Industry

* 10.1 Telecommunications

* 11 Official and public holidays * 12 Legacy * 13 Ostalgie * 14 See also * 15 Notes

* 16 References and bibliography

* 16.1 Historiography and memory * 16.2 In German

* 17 External links

NAMING CONVENTIONS

The official name was _Deutsche Demokratische Republik_ (German Democratic Republic), usually abbreviated to _DDR_. Both terms were used in East Germany, with increasing usage of the abbreviated form, especially since East Germany
Germany
considered West Germans and West Berliners to be foreigners following the promulgation of its second constitution in 1968. West Germans, the western media and statesmen purposely avoided the official name and its abbreviation, instead using terms like _Ostzone_ (Eastern Zone), _Sowjetische Besatzungszone_ (Soviet Occupation Zone; often abbreviated to _SBZ_), and _sogenannte DDR_ (or "so-called GDR"). The centre of political power in East Berlin
East Berlin
was referred to as _ Pankow
Pankow
_. (The seat of command of the Soviet forces in East Germany
Germany
was referred to as Karlshorst . ) Over time, however, the abbreviation _DDR_ was also increasingly used colloquially by West Germans and West German media.

The term _Westdeutschland_ (West Germany
Germany
), when used by West Germans was almost always a reference to the geographic region of Western Germany
Germany
and not to the area within the boundaries of the Federal Republic of Germany. However, this use was not always consistent; for example, West Berliners frequently used the term _Westdeutschland_ to denote the Federal Republic. Before World War II, _Ostdeutschland_ (eastern Germany) was used to describe all the territories east of the Elbe
Elbe
( East Elbia ), as reflected in the works of sociologist Max Weber and political theorist Carl Schmitt
Carl Schmitt
.

HISTORY

Main article: History of East Germany
Germany
Further information: History of Germany
Germany
GERMANY DEFEATED: On the basis of the Potsdam Conference , the Allies jointly occupied Germany
Germany
west of the Oder–Neisse line
Oder–Neisse line
.

Explaining the internal impact of the GDR government from the perspective of German history in the long term, historian Gerhard A. Ritter (2002) has argued that the East German
East German
state was defined by two dominant forces – Soviet communism on the one hand, and German traditions filtered through the interwar experiences of German communists on the other. It was constrained by the powerful example of the increasingly prosperous West, to which East Germans compared their state. The changes made by the communists were most apparent in ending capitalism and transforming industry and agriculture, and in the thrust of the educational system and the media. On the other hand, there was relatively little change made in the historically independent domains of the sciences, the engineering professions, the Protestant
Protestant
churches, and in many bourgeois lifestyles. Social policy, says Ritter, became a critical legitimisation tool in the last decades and mixed socialist and traditional elements about equally.

ORIGINS

At the Yalta Conference during World War II, the Allies (the U.S., the UK and the Soviet Union) agreed on dividing a defeated Nazi Germany
Germany
into occupation zones, and on dividing Berlin, the German capital, among the Allied powers as well. Initially this meant the construction of three zones of occupation, i.e., American, British, and Soviet. Later, a French zone was carved out of the American and British zones.

1949 ESTABLISHMENT

EASTERN BLOC

Soviet Socialist Republics

* Armenia * Azerbaijan * Byelorussia * Estonia * Georgia * Kazakhstan * Kirghizia * Latvia * Lithuania * Moldavia * Russian SFSR * Tajikistan * Turkmenia * Ukraine * Uzbekistan

Allied states

* HUNGARIAN People\'s Republic * POLISH People\'s Republic * CZECHOSLOVAK Socialist Republic * Socialist Republic of ROMANIA * GERMAN Democratic Republic * People\'s Republic of BULGARIA

* Socialist Federal Republic of YUGOSLAVIA (to 1948 )

People\'s Republic of ALBANIA (to 1961 )

* Republic of CUBA * People\'s Revolutionary Government of GRENADA * People\'s Republic of BENIN * People\'s Republic of the CONGO * People\'s Republic of ANGOLA * People\'s Republic of MOZAMBIQUE * People\'s Democratic Republic of ETHIOPIA

* SOMALI Democratic Republic (to 1977 ) * People\'s Democratic Republic of YEMEN * Democratic Republic of AFGHANISTAN * MONGOLIAN People\'s Republic

* People\'s Republic of CHINA (to 1961 ) * Democratic People\'s Republic of KOREA * Socialist Republic of VIETNAM * LAO People\'s Democratic Republic * People\'s Republic of KAMPUCHEA

Related organizations

* Cominform * COMECON * Warsaw Pact

World Federation
Federation
of Trade Unions (WFTU) World Federation
Federation
of Democratic Youth (WFDY)

Dissent and opposition _FOREST BROTHERS _

* in Lithuania * in Latvia * in Estonia

Operation "Jungle"

* Ukrainian Insurgent Army * Goryani
Goryani
movement (Bulgaria) * Romanian anti-communism * Polish Cursed Soldiers

1953 uprisings

* in Plzeň * in East Germany
Germany

1956 protests

* in Georgia * in Poznań

* Hungarian Revolution of 1956 * Novocherkassk massacre (Russia)

_1968 EVENTS_

* Prague Spring
Prague Spring
* Invasion of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
* Red Square demonstration

* Charter 77 (Czechoslovakia)

* Solidarity (Poland)

* Jeltoqsan (Kazakhstan)

* Braşov Rebellion (Romania)

* January Events (Lithuania)

* The Barricades (Latvia)

* April 9 tragedy (Georgia)

* Black January (Azerbaijan)

Cold War events

* Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan

* 1948 Czechoslovak coup

* Tito–Stalin split

* Berlin Blockade

* 1961 Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
crisis

* Cuban Missile Crisis

* 1980 Moscow Olympics

Decline

* Singing Revolution
Singing Revolution

* Polish Round Table Agreement

* Revolutions of 1989

* Fall of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall

January 1991

* in Lithuania * in Latvia

* Breakup of Yugoslavia
Breakup of Yugoslavia

* Yugoslav Wars

* End of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union

* Fall of communism in Albania

* v * t * e

The ruling communist party, known as the Socialist Unity Party of Germany
Germany
(SED), was formed in April 1946 from the merger between the Communist Party of Germany
Germany
(KPD) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany
Germany
(SPD) by mandate of Joseph Stalin . The two former parties were notorious rivals when they were active before the Nazis consolidated all power and criminalised their agitation. The unification of the two parties was symbolic of the new friendship of German socialists in defeating their common enemy; however, the communists, who held a majority, had virtually total control over policy. The SED was the ruling party for the entire duration of the East German
East German
state. It had close ties with the USSR, which maintained military forces in East Germany
Germany
until its dissolution in 1991 (the Russian Federation
Federation
continued to maintain forces in what had been East Germany
Germany
until 1994), with the stated purpose of countering NATO
NATO
bases in West Germany. Historians debate whether the decision to form a separate country was initiated by the USSR
USSR
or by the SED.

As West Germany
Germany
was reorganised and gained independence from its occupiers, the German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
was established in East Germany
Germany
in 1949. The creation of the two states solidified the 1945 division of Germany. On 10 March 1952, (in what would become known as the " Stalin Note ") Stalin put forth a proposal to reunify Germany with a policy of neutrality, with no conditions on economic policies and with guarantees for "the rights of man and basic freedoms, including freedom of speech, press, religious persuasion, political conviction, and assembly" and free activity of democratic parties and organizations. This was turned down; reunification was not a priority for the leadership of West Germany, and the NATO
NATO
powers declined the proposal, asserting that Germany
Germany
should be able to join NATO
NATO
and that such a negotiation with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
would be seen as a capitulation. There have been several debates about whether a real chance for reunification had been missed in 1952.

In 1949 the Soviets turned control of East Germany
Germany
over to the Socialist Unity Party, headed by Wilhelm Pieck (1876–1960), who became president of the GDR and held the office until his death, while most executive authority was assumed by SED General Secretary Walter Ulbricht . Socialist leader Otto Grotewohl (1894–1964) became prime minister until his death.

The government of East Germany
Germany
denounced West German failures in accomplishing denazification and renounced ties to the Nazi past, imprisoning many former Nazis and preventing them from holding government positions. The SED set a primary goal of ridding East Germany
Germany
of all traces of the fascist regime. The SED party platform claimed to support democratic elections and the protection of individual liberties in building up socialism.

SOVIET ROLE

In 1945, the USSR
USSR
declared the Soviet occupation zone – the historic middle portion of Germany
Germany
– to be a sovereign state named the _Deutsche Demokratische Republik_ (German Democratic Republic, established in 1949), while the Red Army
Red Army
and the Western Allies' occupation forces remained in place under the tripartite Potsdam Agreement (1945) which established the Allied Occupation of Germany
Germany
.

The communist German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
was established in the historic "Mitteldeutschland" (Middle Germany
Germany
). Former German territories east of the Oder
Oder
and Neisse rivers, mainly the Prussian provinces of Pomerania
Pomerania
, East Prussia
Prussia
, West Prussia
Prussia
, Upper Silesia , Lower Silesia , the eastern Neumark
Neumark
of Brandenburg
Brandenburg
, and a small piece of Saxony
Saxony
were thus detached from Germany. To compensate Poland
Poland
for the USSR's annexation of its eastern provinces, the Allies provisionally established Poland's post-war western border at the Oder–Neisse line
Oder–Neisse line
at the Yalta Conference (1945). As a result, most of Germany's central territories became the _Sowjetische Besatzungszone_ (SBZ, Soviet Occupation Zone). All other lands east of the Oder–Neisse line
Oder–Neisse line
were put under Polish administration, with the exception of historic northern East Prussia
Prussia
, which went to the USSR.

ZONES OF OCCUPATION

Further information: Allied-occupied Germany

In the Yalta and Potsdam
Potsdam
conferences, the Allies established their joint military occupation and administration of Germany
Germany
via the Allied Control Council (ACC), a four-power (US, UK, USSR, France) military government effective until the restoration of German sovereignty. In eastern Germany, the Soviet Occupation Zone (SBZ – _Sowjetische Besatzungszone_) comprised the five states (_Länder_) of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern , Brandenburg
Brandenburg
, Saxony
Saxony
, Saxony-Anhalt , and Thuringia . Disagreements over the policies to be followed in the occupied zones quickly led to a breakdown in cooperation between the four powers, and the Soviets administered their zone without regard to the policies implemented in the other zones. The Soviets withdrew from the ACC in 1948; subsequently as the other three zones were increasingly unified and granted self-government, the Soviet administration instituted a separate socialist government in its zone. Germany
Germany
1949: West Germany
Germany
(blue) comprised the Western Allies' zones, excluding the Saarland (purple); the Soviet zone, East Germany (red) surrounded West Berlin (yellow)

Yet, seven years after the Allies’ Potsdam Agreement
Potsdam Agreement
to a unified Germany, the USSR
USSR
via the Stalin Note (10 March 1952) proposed German reunification and superpower disengagement from Central Europe, which the three Western Allies (the United States
United States
, France
France
, the United Kingdom ) rejected. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin , a Communist proponent of reunification, died in early March 1953. Similarly, Lavrenty Beria , the First Deputy Prime Minister of the USSR, pursued German reunification, but he was removed from power that same year before he could act on the matter. His successor, Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
, rejected reunification as equivalent to returning East Germany
Germany
for annexation to the West; hence reunification went unconsidered until 1989. Post-war occupied Germany: British (green), Soviet (red), American (orange), and French (blue) occupation zones West and East Berlin
East Berlin
with Berlin wall (interactive map)

East Germany
Germany
considered East Berlin
East Berlin
to be its capital, and the Soviet Union and the rest of the Eastern Bloc diplomatically recognized East Berlin as the capital. However, the Western Allies disputed this recognition, considering the entire city of Berlin to be occupied territory governed by the Allied Control Council
Allied Control Council
. According to Margarete Feinstein, East Berlin's status as the capital was largely unrecognized by the West and most Third World countries. In practice, the ACC’s authority was rendered moot by the Cold War , and East Berlin's status as occupied territory largely became a legal fiction , and the former Soviet sector became fully integrated into the GDR.

The deepening Cold War conflict between the Western Powers and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
over the unresolved status of West Berlin led to the Berlin Blockade (24 June 1948 – 12 May 1949). The Soviet army initiated the blockade by halting all Allied rail, road, and water traffic to and from West Berlin. The Allies countered the Soviets with the Berlin Airlift (1948–49) of food, fuel, and supplies to West Berlin.

PARTITION

PART OF A SERIES ON THE

HISTORY OF GERMANY

_

Early history

* Germanic peoples * Migration Period * Frankish Empire

Medieval Germany
Germany

* East Francia
Francia
* Kingdom of Germany
Germany
* Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
* Eastward settlement

Early Modern period

* Sectionalism * 18th century * Kingdom of Prussia
Prussia

Unification

* Confederation of the Rhine

*

* German Confederation
German Confederation
* Zollverein
Zollverein
_

* German revolutions of 1848 * German Empire
German Empire
(1849) * North German Confederation
German Confederation

German _Reich_

* German Empire
German Empire

-------------------------

* World War I

-------------------------

* Weimar Republic

* Alsace-Lorraine * Saar * Danzig

* Memel * Austria
Austria
* Sudetenland
Sudetenland

-------------------------

* Nazi Germany
Germany

Cold War era

*

* Occupation * _Ostgebiete _

* Expulsion of Germans * West Germany
Germany
* East Germany * Saar Protectorate * German reunification

Contemporary

* New federal states * Reunified Germany
Germany

By topic

* Timeline * Economic history * Military history * Territorial evolution * Berlin * Women\'s history * Names of Germany
Germany

Germany
Germany
portal

* v * t * e

On 21 April 1946, the Communist Party of Germany
Germany
(_Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands_ – KPD) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany
Germany
(_Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands_ – SPD) merged to form the Socialist Unity Party of Germany
Germany
(SED – _Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands_), which then won the elections of 1946, held under the oversight of the Soviet army. Being a Marxist–Leninist political party, the SED's government nationalised infrastructure and industrial plants. GDR leaders: President Wilhelm Pieck and Prime Minister Otto Grotewohl , 1949

In 1948, the German Economic Commission (Deutsche Wirtschaftskomission—DWK) under its chairman Heinrich Rau assumed administrative authority in the Soviet occupation zone, thus becoming the predecessor of an East German
East German
government.

On 7 October 1949, the SED established the _Deutsche Demokratische Republik_ ( German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
– GDR), based on a socialist political constitution establishing its control of the anti-fascist National Front of the German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
(NF, _Nationale Front der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik_), an omnibus alliance of every party and mass organisation in East Germany. The NF was established to stand for election to the _Volkskammer_ (People\'s Chamber ), the East German parliament. The first and only President of the German Democratic Republic was Wilhelm Pieck . However, after 1950, political power in East Germany
Germany
was held by the First Secretary of the SED, Walter Ulbricht . SED First Secretary, Walter Ulbricht , 1950

On 16 June 1953, workers constructing the new _ Stalinallee _ boulevard in East Berlin
East Berlin
, according to The Sixteen Principles of Urban Design , rioted against a 10% production quota increase. Initially a labour protest, it soon included the general populace, and on 17 June similar protests occurred throughout the GDR, with more than a million people striking in some 700 cities and towns. Fearing anti-communist counter-revolution on 18 June 1953, the government of the GDR enlisted the Soviet Occupation Forces to aid the police in ending the riot; some fifty people were killed and 10,000 were jailed. (See Uprising of 1953 in East Germany .)

The German war reparations owed to the USSR
USSR
impoverished the Soviet Zone of Occupation and severely weakened the East German
East German
economy. In the 1945–46 period, the Soviets confiscated and transported to the USSR
USSR
approximately 33% of the industrial plant and by the early 1950s had extracted some US$10 billion in reparations in agricultural and industrial products. The poverty of East Germany
Germany
induced by reparations provoked the _ Republikflucht _ ("desertion from the republic") to West Germany, further weakening the GDR's economy. Western economic opportunities induced a brain drain . In response, the GDR closed the Inner German Border , and on the night of 12 August 1961, East German
East German
soldiers began erecting the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
. Head of State: Erich Honecker (1971–89)

In 1971, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev had Ulbricht removed; Erich Honecker replaced him. While the Ulbricht government had experimented with liberal reforms, the Honecker government reversed them. The new government introduced a new East German Constitution which defined the German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
as a "republic of workers and peasants".

Initially, East Germany
Germany
claimed an exclusive mandate for all of Germany, a claim supported by most of the Communist bloc. It claimed that West Germany
Germany
was an illegally constituted NATO
NATO
puppet state. However, from the 1960s onward, East Germany
Germany
began recognizing itself as a separate country from West Germany, and shared the legacy of the united German state of 1871–1945 . This was formalized in 1974, when the reunification clause was removed from the revised East German constitution. West Germany, in contrast, maintained that it was the only legitimate government of Germany. From 1949 to the early 1970s, West Germany
Germany
maintained that East Germany
Germany
was an illegally constituted state. It argued that the GDR was a Soviet puppet state, and frequently referred to it as the "Soviet occupation zone". This position was shared by West Germany's allies as well until 1973. East Germany
Germany
was recognized primarily by Communist countries and the Arab bloc, along with some "scattered sympathizers". According to the Hallstein Doctrine (1955), West Germany
Germany
also did not diplomatically recognize any country – except the USSR
USSR
– that recognized East German sovereignty. Helsinki Final Act: Chancellor of Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
(West Germany) Helmut Schmidt , Chairman of the State Council of the German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
(East Germany) Erich Honecker , U.S. president Gerald Ford and Austrian chancellor Bruno Kreisky

But in the early 1970s, the _ Ostpolitik _ ("Eastern Policy") of "Change Through Rapprochement" of the pragmatic government of FRG Chancellor Willy Brandt
Willy Brandt
, established normal diplomatic relations with the East Bloc states. This policy saw the Treaty of Moscow (August 1970), the Treaty of Warsaw (December 1970), the Four Power Agreement on Berlin (September 1971), the Transit Agreement (May 1972), and the Basic Treaty (December 1972), which relinquished any claims to an exclusive mandate over Germany
Germany
as a whole and established normal relations between the Germanys. Both countries were admitted into the United Nations
United Nations
on 18 September 1973. This also increased the number of countries recognizing East Germany
Germany
to 55, including the US, UK and France, though these three still refused to recognize East Berlin
East Berlin
as the capital, and insisted on a specific provision in the UN resolution accepting the two Germanys into the UN to that effect. Following the Ostpolitik the West German view was that East Germany
Germany
was a _de facto_ government within a single German nation and a _de jure_ state organisation of parts of Germany
Germany
outside the Federal Republic. The Federal Republic continued to maintain that it could not within its own structures recognise the GDR _de jure_ as a sovereign state under international law; but it fully acknowledged that, within the structures of international law, the GDR was an independent sovereign state. By distinction, West Germany
Germany
then viewed itself as being within its own boundaries, not only the _de facto_ and _de jure_ government, but also the sole _de jure_ legitimate representative of a dormant " Germany
Germany
as whole". The two Germanys relinquished any claim to represent the other internationally; which they acknowledged as necessarily implying a mutual recognition of each other as both capable of representing their own populations _de jure_ in participating in international bodies and agreements, such as the United Nations
United Nations
and the Helsinki Final Act .

This assessment of the Basic Treaty was confirmed in a decision of the Federal Constitutional Court in 1973; "... the German Democratic Republic is in the international-law sense a State and as such a subject of international law. This finding is independent of recognition in international law of the German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
by the Federal Republic of Germany. Such recognition has not only never been formally pronounced by the Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
but on the contrary repeatedly explicitly rejected. If the conduct of the Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
towards the German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
is assessed in the light of its détente policy, in particular the conclusion of the Treaty as de facto recognition, then it can only be understood as de facto recognition of a special kind. The special feature of this Treaty is that while it is a bilateral Treaty between two States, to which the rules of international law apply and which like any other international treaty possesses validity, it is between two States that are parts of a still existing, albeit incapable of action as not being reorganized, comprehensive State of the Whole of Germany
Germany
with a single body politic."

Travel between the GDR and Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary
Hungary
was visa-free since 1972.

GDR IDENTITY

_ GDR-era Karl Marx
Karl Marx
monument in Chemnitz
Chemnitz
(renamed Karl-Marx-Stadt_ from 1953 to 1990).

From the beginning, the newly formed GDR tried to establish its own separate identity. Because of the imperial and military legacy of Prussia
Prussia
, the SED repudiated continuity between Prussia
Prussia
and the GDR. The SED destroyed a number of symbolic relics of the former Prussian aristocracy: the Junker manor houses were torn down, the Berliner Stadtschloß was razed, and the equestrian statue of Frederick the Great was removed from East Berlin. Instead the SED focused on the progressive heritage of German history, including Thomas Müntzer 's role in the German Peasants\' War and the role played by the heroes of the class struggle during Prussia's industrialization.

Especially after the Ninth Party Congress in 1976, East Germany upheld historical reformers such as Karl Freiherr vom Stein , Karl August von Hardenberg , Wilhelm von Humboldt , and Gerhard von Scharnhorst as examples and role models. Police cadets of the East German
East German
Volkspolizei wait for the official opening of the Brandenburg
Brandenburg
Gate on 22 December 1989.

_DIE WENDE_ (GERMAN REUNIFICATION)

Main articles: Die Wende and German reunification

In 1989, following widespread public anger over the faking of results of local government elections that spring, many citizens applied for exit visas or left the country contrary to GDR laws. In August 1989 Hungary
Hungary
removed its border restrictions and unsealed its border, and more than 13,000 people left East Germany
Germany
by crossing the border via Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
into Hungary
Hungary
and then on to Austria
Austria
and West Germany. Many others demonstrated against the ruling party , especially in the city of Leipzig
Leipzig
. Kurt Masur
Kurt Masur
, the conductor of the Leipzig
Leipzig
Gewandhaus Orchestra , led local negotiations with the government and held town meetings in the concert hall. The demonstrations eventually led Erich Honecker to resign in October, and he was replaced by a slightly more moderate communist, Egon Krenz .

On 9 November 1989, a few sections of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
were opened, resulting in thousands of East Germans crossing freely into West Berlin and West Germany
Germany
for the first time in nearly 30 years. Krenz resigned a few days later, and the SED abandoned power shortly afterward. Although there were some limited attempts to create a permanent democratic East Germany, this did not come to pass.

East Germany
Germany
held its last elections in March 1990. The winner was a coalition headed by the East German
East German
branch of West Germany's Christian Democratic Union , which advocated speedy reunification. Negotiations (2+4 Talks) were held involving the two German states and the former Allied Powers which led to agreement on the conditions for German unification. By a two-thirds vote in the _ Volkskammer _ on 23 August 1990, the GDR declared its accession to the Federal Republic. The five original East German
East German
states that had been abolished in the 1952 redistricting were recreated. On 3 October 1990, the five states officially joined the Federal Republic of Germany, while East and West Berlin united as a third city-state (in the same manner as Bremen
Bremen
and Hamburg
Hamburg
). On 1 July a currency union preceded the political union: the "Ostmark" was abolished, and the Western German "Deutsche Mark" became common currency.

Although the Volkskammer's declaration of accession to the Federal Republic had initiated the process of reunification; the act of reunification itself (with its many specific terms, conditions and qualifications; some of which involved amendments to the West German Basic Law) was achieved constitutionally by the subsequent Unification Treaty of 31 August 1990; that is through a binding agreement between the former GDR and the Federal Republic now recognising each another as separate sovereign states in international law. This treaty was then voted into effect prior to the agreed date for Unification by both the Volkskammer and the Bundedstag by the constitutionally required two-thirds majorities; effecting on the one hand, the extinction of the GDR, and on the other, the agreed amendments to the Basic Law of the Federal Republic.

The great economic and socio-political inequalities between the former Germanies required government subsidy for the full integration of East Germany
Germany
to the Federal German Republic. Because of the resulting deindustrialisation in the former East Germany, the causes of the failure of this integration continue to be debated. Some western commentators claim that the depressed eastern economy is a natural aftereffect of a demonstrably inefficient socialist economy . But many East German
East German
critics contend that the shock-therapy style of privatization , the artificially high rate of exchange offered for the Ostmark , and the speed with which the entire process was implemented did not leave room for East German
East German
enterprises to adapt.

POLITICS

Main article: Politics of East Germany
Germany
SED logotype: The Communist–Social Democrat handshake of Wilhelm Pieck and Otto Grotewohl , establishing the SED in 1946.

Part of a series on

COMMUNISM

Concepts

* Class struggle * Class consciousness * Classless society * Collective leadership * Common ownership * Commune * Communist society * Free association

* From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs * Gift economy * Proletarian internationalism * Stateless society * Workers\' self-management * World revolution

Aspects

* Communist state * Communist party
Communist party
* Communist revolution * Communist symbolism * History of communism

Variants

* Anarchist * European * Chinese * _ Juche
Juche
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Communism
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* v * t * e

DDR flag at UN headquarters, New York City, 1973

There were four periods in East German
East German
political history. These included: 1949–61, which saw the building of socialism; 1961–1970 after the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
closed off escape was a period of stability and consolidation; 1971–85 was termed the Honecker Era, and saw closer ties with West Germany; and 1985–89 saw the decline and extinction of East Germany.

ORGANIZATION

The ruling political party in East Germany
Germany
was the _Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands_ (Socialist Unity Party of Germany
Germany
, SED). It was created in 1946 through the Soviet-directed merger of the Communist Party of Germany
Germany
(KPD) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany
Germany
(SPD) in the Soviet controlled zone. However, the SED quickly transformed into a full-fledged Communist party
Communist party
as the more independent-minded Social Democrats were pushed out.

The Potsdam Agreement
Potsdam Agreement
committed the Soviets to supporting a democratic form of government in Germany, though the Soviets' understanding of "democracy" was radically different from that of the West. As in other Soviet-bloc countries, non-communist political parties were allowed. Nevertheless, every political party in the GDR was forced to join the National Front of Democratic Germany
Germany
, a broad coalition of parties and mass political organisations, including:

* _Christlich-Demokratische Union Deutschlands_ (Christian Democratic Union of Germany
Germany
, CDU), which merged with the West German CDU after reunification. * _Demokratische Bauernpartei Deutschlands_ (Democratic Farmers\' Party of Germany
Germany
, DBD). The party merged with the West German CDU after reunification. * _Liberal-Demokratische Partei Deutschlands_ (Liberal Democratic Party of Germany
Germany
, LDPD), merged with the West German FDP after reunification. * _Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands_ (National Democratic Party of Germany
Germany
, NDPD), merged with the West German FDP after reunification.

Palast der Republik , the seat of the Volkskammer Poster with inscription "Berlin - Hauptstadt der DDR", 1967

Ernst Thälmann Island was gifted to East Germany
Germany
in 1972 by Cuba as an act of fraternity, although the resulting status of the island is now unclear.

The member parties were almost completely subservient to the SED, and had to accept its "leading role " as a condition of their existence. However, the parties did have representation in the Volkskammer and received some posts in the government.

The Volkskammer also included representatives from the _mass organisations _ like the Free German Youth (_Freie Deutsche Jugend_ or _FDJ_), or the Free German Trade Union Federation
Federation
. There was also a Democratic Women\'s Federation
Federation
of Germany
Germany
, with seats in the Volkskammer.

Important non-parliamentary mass organisations in East German
East German
society included the German Gymnastics and Sports Association (_Deutscher Turn- und Sportbund_ or _ DTSB _), and People\'s Solidarity (_Volkssolidarität_), an organisation for the elderly. Another society of note was the Society for German-Soviet Friendship .

After the fall of Communism, the SED was renamed the "Party of Democratic Socialism
Socialism
" (PDS) which continued for a decade after reunification before merging with the West German WASG to form the Left Party (_Die Linke_). The Left Party continues to be a political force in many parts of Germany, albeit drastically less powerful than the SED.

POPULATION

HISTORICAL POPULATION

YEAR POP. ±%

1950 18,388,000 —

1960 17,188,000 −6.5%

1970 17,068,000 −0.7%

1980 16,740,000 −1.9%

1990 16,028,000 −4.3%

Source: DUSTATIS

The East German
East German
population declined by three million people throughout its forty-one year history, from 19 million in 1948 to 16 million in 1990; of the 1948 population, some 4 million were deported from the lands east of the Oder-Neisse line . This was a stark contrast from Poland, which increased during that time; from 24 million in 1950 (a little more than East Germany) to 38 million (more than twice of East Germany's population). This was primarily a result of emigration—about one quarter of East Germans left the country before the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
was completed in 1961, and after that time, East Germany
Germany
had very low birth rates, except for a recovery in the 1980s when the birth rate in East Germany
Germany
was considerably higher than in West Germany. In general, the birth rate per woman was never much lower than in West Germany, except during the 1990s.

MAJOR CITIES

(1988 populations)

* East Berlin
East Berlin
(1,200,000) * Leipzig
Leipzig
(556,000) * Dresden
Dresden
(520,000) * Karl-Marx-Stadt (317,000) ( Chemnitz
Chemnitz
until 1953, reverted to original name in 1990) * Magdeburg
Magdeburg
(290,000) * Rostock
Rostock
(250,000) * Halle (Saale) (236,000) * Erfurt
Erfurt
(215,000) * Potsdam
Potsdam
(140,000) * Gera
Gera
(131,000) * Schwerin
Schwerin
(130,000) * Cottbus (125,000) * Zwickau
Zwickau
(120,000) * Jena
Jena
(107,000) * Dessau (105,000)

^A _"Bezirksstadt" (centre of district)_

ADMINISTRATIVE DISTRICTS

Administrative map: The districts of the German Democratic Republic in 1952. Main article: Administrative divisions of East Germany
Germany

Until 1952, East Germany
Germany
comprised the capital, East Berlin
East Berlin
(though legally, it was not fully part of the GDR's territory), and the five German states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (in 1947 renamed Mecklenburg), Brandenburg
Brandenburg
, Saxony-Anhalt , Thuringia , and Saxony
Saxony
, their post-war territorial demarcations approximating the pre-war German demarcations of the Middle German _Länder_ (states) and _Provinzen_ (provinces of Prussia
Prussia
). The western parts of two provinces, Pomerania
Pomerania
and Lower Silesia , the remainder of which were annexed by Poland, remained in the GDR and were attached to Mecklenburg and Saxony, respectively.

The East German Administrative Reform of 1952 established 14 _Bezirke_ (districts) and _de facto_ disestablished the five _Länder_. The new _Bezirke_, named after their district centres, were as follows: (i) Rostock
Rostock
, (ii) Neubrandenburg , and (iii) Schwerin created from the _Land_ (state) of Mecklenburg; (iv) Potsdam
Potsdam
, (v) Frankfurt (Oder) , and (vii) Cottbus from Brandenburg; (vi) Magdeburg and (viii) Halle from Saxony-Anhalt; (ix) Leipzig
Leipzig
, (xi) Dresden
Dresden
, and (xii) Karl-Marx-Stadt ( Chemnitz
Chemnitz
until 1953 and again from 1990) from Saxony; and (x) Erfurt
Erfurt
, (xiii) Gera
Gera
, and (xiv) Suhl from Thuringia.

East Berlin
East Berlin
was made the country’s 15th _Bezirk_ in 1961 but retained special legal status until 1968, when the residents approved the new (draft) constitution. Despite the city as a whole being legally under the control of the Allied Control Council
Allied Control Council
, and diplomatic objections of the Allied governments, the GDR administered the _Bezirk_ of Berlin as part of its territory. _ Uni-Riese (University Giant_) in 1982. Built in 1972, it was once part of the Karl-Marx-University and is Leipzig's tallest building.

MILITARY

_ East German
East German
Nationale Volksarmee _ changing-of-the-guard ceremony, East Berlin.

The government of East Germany
Germany
had control over a large number of military and paramilitary organisations through various ministries. Chief among these was the Ministry of National Defence. Because of East Germany's proximity to the West during the Cold War (1945–91), its military forces were among the most advanced of the Warsaw Pact . Defining what was a military force and what was not is a matter of some dispute.

NATIONAL PEOPLE\'S ARMY

Main article: National People\'s Army

The Nationale Volksarmee (NVA) was the largest military organisation in East Germany. It was formed in 1956 from the Kasernierte Volkspolizei (Barracked People's Police), the military units of the regular police ( Volkspolizei ), when East Germany
Germany
joined the Warsaw Pact. From its creation, it was controlled by the Ministry of National Defence (East Germany) . It was an all volunteer force until an eighteen-month conscription period was introduced in 1962. It was considered one of the most professional and best prepared military forces in the world. The NVA consisted of the following branches:

* Army _( Landstreitkräfte )_ * Navy _( Volksmarine _ – People's Navy) * Air Force _(Luftstreitkräfte/Luftverteidigung )_

BORDER TROOPS

Main article: Border Troops of the German Democratic Republic

The border troops of the Eastern sector were originally organised as a police force, the Deutsche Grenzpolizei, similar to the Bundesgrenzschutz in West Germany. It was controlled by the Ministry of the Interior. Following the remilitarisation of East Germany
Germany
in 1956, the Deutsche Grenzpolizei was transformed into a military force in 1961, modeled after the Soviet Border Troops , and transferred to the Ministry of National Defense, as part of the National People's Army. In 1973, it was separated from the NVA, but it remained under the same ministry. It was an all-volunteer force. At its peak, it numbered approximately 47,000 men.

VOLKSPOLIZEI

Main article: Bereitschaftspolizei § In the former German Democratic Republic

After the NVA was separated from the Volkspolizei in 1956, the Ministry of the Interior maintained its own public order barracked reserve, known as the Volkspolizei-Bereitschaften (VPB). These units were, like the Kasernierte Volkspolizei, equipped as motorised infantry, and they numbered between 12,000 and 15,000 men.

STASI

Main article: Stasi

The Ministry of State Security (Stasi) included the Felix Dzerzhinsky Guards Regiment , which was mainly involved with facilities security and plain clothes events security. They were the only part of the feared Stasi that was visible to the public, and so were very unpopular within the population. The Stasi numbered around 90,000 men, the Guards Regiment around 11,000-12,000 men.

COMBAT GROUPS OF THE WORKING CLASS

The _ Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse _ (combat groups of the working class) numbered around 400,000 for much of their existence, and were organised around factories and neighbourhoods. The KdA was the political-military instrument of the SED; it was essentially a "party Army". All KdA directives and decisions were made by the ZK's _Politbüro _. They received their training from the Volkspolizei and the Ministry of the Interior. Membership was voluntary, but SED members were required to join as part of their membership obligation.

CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION

Main article: Conscientious objection in East Germany
Germany

Every man was required to serve eighteen months of compulsory military service ; for the medically unqualified and conscientious objector , there were the _ Baueinheiten _ (construction units), established in 1964, two years after the introduction of conscription, in response to political pressure by the national Lutheran
Lutheran
Protestant Church upon the GDR’s government. In the 1970s, East German
East German
leaders acknowledged that former construction soldiers were at a disadvantage when they rejoined the civilian sphere.

UNITED STATES AS PRIMARY THREAT

North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
with East German
East German
Young Pioneers , 1957

The East German
East German
state promoted an anti-imperialist line that was reflected in all its media and all the schools. This line followed Lenin's theory of imperialism as the highest and last stage of capitalism, and Dimitrov\'s theory of fascism as the dictatorship of the most reactionary elements of financial capitalism . Popular reaction to these measures was mixed, and Western media penetrated the country both through cross-border television and radio broadcasts from West Germany
Germany
and from the American propaganda network Radio Free Europe
Europe
. Dissidents, particularly professionals, sometimes fled to West Germany, which was relatively easy before the construction of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
in 1961.

SUPPORT OF THIRD WORLD SOCIALIST COUNTRIES

Angola's José Eduardo dos Santos
José Eduardo dos Santos
during his visit in East Berlin.

After receiving wider international diplomatic recognition in 1972-73, the DDR began active cooperation with Third World socialist governments and national liberation movements . While the USSR
USSR
was in control of the overall strategy and Cuban armed forces were involved in the actual combat (mostly in the People\'s Republic of Angola
Angola
and socialist Ethiopia ), the DDR provided experts for military hardware maintenance and personnel training, and oversaw creation of secret security agencies based on its own Stasi model.

Already in the 1960s contacts were established with Angola’s MPLA , Mozambique’s FRELIMO and the PAIGC in Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde. In the 1970s official cooperation was established with other self-proclaimed socialist governments and people’s republics: People\'s Republic of the Congo , People\'s Democratic Republic of Yemen , Somali Democratic Republic , Libya , and the People\'s Republic of Benin .

The first military agreement was signed in 1973 with the People's Republic of the Congo. In 1979 friendship treaties were signed with Angola, Mozambique
Mozambique
and Ethiopia.

It was estimated that altogether 2000 – 4000 DDR military and security experts were dispatched to Africa. In addition, representatives from African and Arab countries and liberation movements underwent military training in the DDR.

ECONOMY

Main article: Economy of the German Democratic Republic Map of the East German
East German
economy Communist economic staple: The Trabant automobile was a profitable product made in the German Democratic Republic (GDR).

The East German
East German
economy began poorly because of the devastation caused by the war, the loss of so many young soldiers, the disruption of business and transportation, the presence of so many refugees, and finally reparations owed to the USSR. The Red Army
Red Army
dismantled and transported to Russia the infrastructure and industrial plants of the Soviet Zone of Occupation. By the early 1950s, the reparations were paid in agricultural and industrial products; and Lower Silesia , with its coal mines and Szczecin
Szczecin
, an important natural port, were given to Poland
Poland
by the decision of Stalin.

The socialist centrally planned economy of the German Democratic Republic was like that of the USSR. In 1950, the GDR joined the COMECON trade bloc. In 1985, collective (state) enterprises earned 96.7% of the net national income. To ensure stable prices for goods and services, the state paid 80% of basic supply costs. The estimated 1984 per capita income was $9,800 ($22,600 in 2015 dollars). In 1976, the average annual growth of the GDP was approximately five percent. This made East German
East German
economy the richest in all of the Soviet Bloc until 1990 after the fall of Communism
Communism
in the country.

Notable East German
East German
exports were photographic cameras , under the Praktica brand; automobiles under the Trabant , Wartburg , and the IFA brands; hunting rifles, sextants , typewriters and wristwatches .

Until the 1960s, East Germans endured shortages of basic foodstuffs such as sugar and coffee . East Germans with friends or relatives in the West (or with any access to a hard currency ) and the necessary Staatsbank foreign currency account could afford Western products and export-quality East German
East German
products via Intershop . Consumer goods also were available, by post, from the Danish Jauerfood , and Genex companies.

The government used money and prices as political devices, providing highly subsidised prices for a wide range of basic goods and services, in what was known as "the second pay packet". At the production level, artificial prices made for a system of semi-barter and resource hoarding. For the consumer, it led to the substitution of GDR money with time, barter, and hard currencies. Ironically, the socialist economy became steadily more dependent on financial infusions from hard-currency loans from West Germany. East Germans, meanwhile, came to see their soft currency as worthless relative to the Deutsche Mark (DM).

CONSUMPTION AND JOBS

Many western commentators have maintained that loyalty to the SED was a primary criterion for getting a good job, and that professionalism was secondary to political criteria in personnel recruitment and development.

No worker could be sacked, unless for serious misconduct or incompetence; even in such cases, alternative work would be offered. The GDR had no system of unemployment benefit because the concept of unemployment did not exist.

With a very low birth rate and a high rate of exodus, East Germany was losing workers. As the goal of socialism is the elimination of capitalist economics, the GDR strove to reduce wealth disparity between individuals through the elimination of private property, businesses and stores. While enforcement of this ideal led to a more economically even society, it prompted many with economic ambition or those who did not agree with its enforcement to escape—typically those with higher education: doctors, scientists, engineers, and skilled workers. This growing loss of skilled personnel was intended to be curtailed with the building of the wall.

Beginning in 1963 with a series of secret international agreements, East Germany
Germany
recruited workers from Poland
Poland
, Hungary
Hungary
, Cuba
Cuba
, Albania , Mozambique
Mozambique
, Angola
Angola
and Vietnam
Vietnam
. They numbered more than 100,000 by 1989. Many, such as future politician Zeca Schall (who emigrated from Angola
Angola
in 1988 as a contract worker) stayed in Germany
Germany
after the Wende.

RELIGION

Main articles: Christianity in East Germany
Germany
and Persecution of Christians in the Eastern Bloc

RELIGION IN EAST GERMANY, 1950

Religion

Percent

Protestant
Protestant
  85%

Roman Catholic   10%

Unaffiliated   5%

RELIGION IN EAST GERMANY, 1989

Religion

Percent

Protestant
Protestant
  25%

Roman Catholic   5%

Unaffiliated   70%

Religion became contested ground in the GDR, with the governing Communists promoting state atheism , although some people remained loyal to Christian communities. In 1957 the State authorities established a State Secretariat for Church Affairs to handle the government's contact with churches and with religious groups; the SED remained officially atheist.

In 1950, 85% of the GDR citizens were Protestants
Protestants
, while 10% were Roman Catholics . In 1961, the renowned philosophical theologian, Paul Tillich , claimed that the Protestant
Protestant
population in East Germany
Germany
had the most admirable Church in Protestantism, because the Communists there had not been able to win a spiritual victory over them. By 1989, membership in the Christian churches dropped significantly. Protestants
Protestants
constituted 25% of the population, Roman Catholics 5%. The share of people who considered themselves irreligious rose from 5% in 1950 to 70% in 1989.

The policies of the state, communist propaganda , the oppression of churches by the state and the general rise in religious scepticism, all encouraged people to leave their respective churches. This resulted in states (_Bundesländer_) of the former East Germany remaining particularly irreligious.

STATE ATHEISM

Main article: State atheism

When it first came to power, the Communist party
Communist party
asserted the compatibility of Christianity and Marxism and sought Christian participation in the building of socialism. At first the promotion of atheism received little official attention. In the mid-1950s, as the Cold War heated up, atheism became a topic of major interest for the state, in both domestic and foreign contexts. University chairs and departments devoted to the study of scientific atheism were founded and much literature (scholarly and popular) on the subject was produced. This activity subsided in the late 1960s amid perceptions that it had started to become counterproductive. Official and scholarly attention to atheism renewed beginning in 1973, though this time with more emphasis on scholarship and on the training of cadres than on propaganda. Throughout, the attention paid to atheism in East Germany
Germany
was never intended to jeopardise the cooperation that was desired from those East Germans who were religious. Eastern Germany is the least religious region in the world today. (Compare Irreligion by country
Irreligion by country
.)

PROTESTANTISM

Main article: de:Bund der Evangelischen Kirchen in der DDR A 1980 meeting between representatives of the BEK and Erich Honecker

East Germany, historically, was majority Protestant
Protestant
(primarily Lutheran
Lutheran
) from the early stages of the Protestant
Protestant
Reformation onwards. In 1948, freed from the influence of the Nazi-oriented German Christians , Lutheran
Lutheran
, Reformed and United churches from most parts of Germany
Germany
came together as the Evangelical Church in Germany
Germany
(EKD) at the Conference of Eisenach
Eisenach
(_Kirchenversammlung von Eisenach_).

In 1969 the regional Protestant
Protestant
churches in East Germany
Germany
and East Berlin broke away from the EKD and formed the _ Federation
Federation
of Protestant
Protestant
Churches in the German Democratic Republic_ (German: _Bund der Evangelischen Kirchen in der DDR_, BEK), in 1970 also joined by the Moravian _Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine_. In June 1991, following the German reunification , the BEK churches again merged with the EKD ones.

Between 1956 and 1971 the leadership of the East German
East German
Lutheran churches gradually changed its relations with the state from hostility to cooperation. From the founding of the GDR in 1949, the Socialist Unity Party sought to weaken the influence of the church on the rising generation. The church adopted an attitude of confrontation and distance toward the state. Around 1956 this began to develop into a more neutral stance accommodating conditional loyalty. The government was no longer regarded as illegitimate; instead, the church leaders started viewing the authorities as installed by God and, therefore, deserving of obedience by Christians. But on matters where the state demanded something which the churches felt was not in accordance with the will of God, the churches reserved their right to say no. There were both structural and intentional causes behind this development. Structural causes included the hardening of Cold War tensions in Europe
Europe
in the mid-1950s, which made it clear that the East German state was not temporary. The loss of church members also made it clear to the leaders of the church that they had to come into some kind of dialogue with the state. The intentions behind the change of attitude varied from a traditional liberal Lutheran
Lutheran
acceptance of secular power to a positive attitude toward socialist ideas.

Manfred Stolpe became a lawyer for the Brandenburg
Brandenburg
Protestant
Protestant
Church in 1959 before taking up a position at church headquarters in Berlin. In 1969 he helped found the _Bund der Evangelischen Kirchen in der DDR_ (BEK), where he negotiated with the government while at the same time working within the institutions of this Protestant
Protestant
body. He won the regional elections for the Brandenburg
Brandenburg
state assembly at the head of the SPD list in 1990. Stolpe remained in the Brandenburg
Brandenburg
government until he joined the federal government in 2002.

Apart from the Protestant
Protestant
state churches (German: _Landeskirchen _) united in the EKD/BEK and the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
there was a number of smaller Protestant
Protestant
bodies, including Protestant
Protestant
Free Churches (German: _Evangelische Freikirchen_) united in the Federation
Federation
of the Free Protestant
Protestant
Churches in the German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
and the Federation
Federation
of the Free Protestant
Protestant
Churches in Germany, as well as the Free Lutheran
Lutheran
Church, the Old Lutheran
Lutheran
Church and Federation
Federation
of the Reformed Churches in the German Democratic Republic. The Moravian Church also had its presence as the _Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine_. There were also other Protestants
Protestants
such as Methodists , Adventists , Mennonites
Mennonites
and Quakers
Quakers
.

ROMAN CATHOLICISM

The smaller Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
in eastern Germany
Germany
had a fully functioning episcopal hierarchy that was in full accord with the Vatican. During the early postwar years, tensions were high. The Catholic Church as a whole (and particularly the bishops) resisted both the East German
East German
state and Marxist ideology. The state allowed the bishops to lodge protests, which they did on issues such as abortion.

After 1945 the Church did fairly well in integrating Catholic exiles from lands to the east (which mostly became part of Poland) and in adjusting its institutional structures to meet the needs of a church within an officially atheist society. This meant an increasingly hierarchical church structure, whereas in the area of religious education, press, and youth organisations, a system of temporary staff was developed, one that took into account the special situation of Caritas , a Catholic charity organisation. By 1950, therefore, there existed a Catholic subsociety that was well adjusted to prevailing specific conditions and capable of maintaining Catholic identity.

With a generational change in the episcopacy taking place in the early 1980s, the state hoped for better relations with the new bishops, but the new bishops instead began holding unauthorised mass meetings, promoting international ties in discussions with theologians abroad, and hosting ecumenical conferences. The new bishops became less politically oriented and more involved in pastoral care and attention to spiritual concerns. The government responded by limiting international contacts for bishops.

* Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Berlin

Apostolic Administrators

* Erfurt-Meiningen * Görlitz * Magdeburg
Magdeburg
* Schwerin

CULTURE

Main article: Culture of East Germany
Germany

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East Germany's culture was strongly influenced by communist thought and was marked by an attempt to define itself in opposition to the west, particularly West Germany
Germany
and the United States. Critics of the East German
East German
state have claimed that the state's commitment to Communism
Communism
was a hollow and cynical tool, Machiavellian in nature, but this assertion has been challenged by studies that have found that the East German
East German
leadership was genuinely committed to the advance of scientific knowledge, economic development, and social progress. However, Pence and Betts argue, the majority of East Germans over time increasingly regarded the state's ideals to be hollow, though there was also a substantial number of East Germans who regarded their culture as having a healthier, more authentic mentality than that of West Germany.

GDR culture and politics were limited by the harsh censorship .

MUSIC

The Puhdys and Karat were some of the most popular mainstream bands in East Germany. Like most mainstream acts, they appeared in popular youth magazines such as _Neues Leben_ and _Magazin_. Other popular rock bands were Wir , Dean Reed , City , Silly and Pankow
Pankow
. Most of these artists recorded on the state-owned AMIGA label.

Bands and singers from other Communist countries were popular, eg. Czerwone Gitary from Poland
Poland
known as the _Rote Gitarren_. Czech Karel Gott , the Golden Voice from Prague, was beloved in both German states. Hungarian band Omega performed in both German states.

West German television and radio could be received in many parts of the East. The Western influence led to the formation of more "underground" groups with a decisively western-oriented sound. A few of these bands were Die Skeptiker , Die Art and Feeling B . Additionally, hip hop culture reached the ears of the East German youth. With videos such as _ Beat Street
Beat Street
_ and _ Wild Style _, young East Germans were able to develop a hip hop culture of their own. East Germans accepted hip hop as more than just a music form. The entire street culture surrounding rap entered the region and became an outlet for oppressed youth.

The government of the GDR was invested in both promoting the tradition of German classical music , and in supporting composers to write new works in that tradition. Notable East German
East German
composers include Hanns Eisler , Paul Dessau , Ernst Hermann Meyer , Rudolf Wagner-Régeny , and Kurt Schwaen .

The birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
(1685–1750), Eisenach
Eisenach
, was rendered as a museum about him, featuring more than three hundred instruments, which, in 1980, received some 70,000 visitors. In Leipzig, the Bach archive contains his compositions and correspondence and recordings of his music.

Governmental support of classical music maintained some fifty symphony orchestras, such as Gewandhausorchester and Thomanerchor
Thomanerchor
in Leipzig; Sächsische Staatskapelle in Dresden; and Berliner Sinfonie Orchester and Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin. Kurt Masur
Kurt Masur
was their prominent conductor. See also: Jazz in Germany
Germany

THEATRE

Playwright Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956)

East German
East German
theatre was originally dominated by Bertolt Brecht , who brought back many artists out of exile and reopened the _Theater am Schiffbauerdamm _ with his Berliner Ensemble . Alternatively, other influences tried to establish a "Working Class Theatre", played for the working class by the working class.

After Brecht's death, conflicts began to arise between his family (around Helene Weigel ) and other artists about Brecht's heritage. Heinz Kahlau, Slatan Dudow , Erwin Geschonneck , Erwin Strittmatter , Peter Hacks , Benno Besson , Peter Palitzsch and Ekkehard Schall were considered to be among Bertolt Brecht's scholars and followers.

In the 1950s the Swiss director Benno Besson with the Deutsches Theater successfully toured Europe
Europe
and Asia
Asia
including Japan with _The Dragon_ by Jewgenij Schwarz . In the 1960s, he became the Intendant of the Volksbühne
Volksbühne
often working with Heiner Müller .

In the 1970s, a parallel theatre scene sprung up, creating theatre "outside of Berlin" in which artists played at provincial theatres. For example, Peter Sodann founded the Neues Theater in Halle/Saale and Frank Castorf at the theater Anklam .

Theatre and cabaret had high status in the GDR, which allowed it to be very pro-active. This often brought it into confrontation with the state. Benno Besson once said, "In contrast to artists in the west, they took us seriously, we had a bearing." Volksbühne
Volksbühne

Important theatres include the Berliner Ensemble , the Deutsches Theater , the Maxim Gorki Theater , and the Volksbühne
Volksbühne
.

CINEMA

The prolific cinema of East Germany
Germany
was headed by the DEFA , _Deutsche Film AG_, which was subdivided in different local groups, for example _Gruppe Berlin_, _Gruppe Babelsberg
Babelsberg
_ or _Gruppe Johannisthal _, where the local teams shot and produced films. The East German
East German
industry became known worldwide for its productions, especially children's movies (_ Das kalte Herz _, film versions of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales and modern productions such as _Das Schulgespenst _).

Frank Beyer 's _Jakob der Lügner _ (Jacob the Liar), about the Holocaust , and _ Fünf Patronenhülsen _ (Five Cartridges), about resistance against fascism, became internationally famous.

Films about daily life, such as _Die Legende von Paul und Paula _, by Heiner Carow , and _ Solo Sunny _, directed by Konrad Wolf and Wolfgang Kohlhaase , were very popular.

The film industry was remarkable for its production of _ Ostern _, or Western-like movies. Native Americans in these films often took the role of displaced people who fight for their rights, in contrast to the American westerns of the time, where Native Americans were often either not mentioned at all or are portrayed as the villains. Yugoslavians were often cast as the Native Americans because of the small number of Native Americans in Europe. Gojko Mitić was well known in these roles, often playing the righteous, kindhearted and charming chief (_Die Söhne der großen Bärin _ directed by Josef Mach ). He became an honorary Sioux
Sioux
chief when he visited the United States in the 1990s, and the television crew accompanying him showed the tribe one of his movies. American actor and singer Dean Reed , an expatriate who lived in East Germany, also starred in several films. These films were part of the phenomenon of Europe
Europe
producing alternative films about the colonization of America.

Cinemas in the GDR also showed foreign films. Czechoslovak and Polish productions were more common, but certain western movies were shown, though the numbers of these were limited because it cost foreign exchange to buy the licences. Further, movies representing or glorifying capitalist ideology were not bought. Comedies enjoyed great popularity, such as the Danish _ Olsen Gang _ or movies with the French comedian Louis de Funès .

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, several movies depicting life in the GDR have been critically acclaimed. Some of the most notable were _ Good Bye Lenin! _ by Wolfgang Becker , _Das Leben der Anderen _ (The Lives of Others) by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (won the Academy Award for best Film in a Foreign Language) in 2006, and _Alles auf Zucker! _ (Go for Zucker) by Dani Levi. Each film is heavily infused with cultural nuances unique to life in the GDR.

SPORT

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East Germany
Germany
was very successful in the sports of cycling , weight-lifting , swimming, gymnastics, track and field, boxing , ice skating , and winter sports. The success is attributed to the leadership of Dr. Manfred Hoeppner which started in the late 1960s. The East German
East German
football team lining up before a match in June 1974

Another supporting reason was doping in East Germany
Germany
, especially with anabolic steroids, the most detected doping substances in IOC -accredited laboratories for many years. The development and implementation of a state-supported sports doping program helped East Germany, with its small population, to become a world leader in sport during the 1970s and 1980s, winning a large number of Olympic and world gold medals and records.

Another factor for success was the furtherance system for young people in GDR. Sport teachers at school were encouraged to look for certain talents in children ages 6 to 10 years old. For older pupils it was possible to attend grammar schools with a focus on sports (for example sailing, football and swimming). This policy was also used for talented pupils with regard to music or mathematics. Karin Janz

Sports clubs were highly subsidized, especially sports in which it was possible to get international fame. For example, the major leagues for ice hockey and basketball just included each 2 teams. Football was the most popular sport. Club football teams such as Dynamo Dresden
Dresden
, 1. FC Magdeburg
Magdeburg
, FC Carl Zeiss Jena
Jena
, 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig
Leipzig
and BFC Dynamo
BFC Dynamo
had successes in European competition. Many East German players such as Matthias Sammer and Ulf Kirsten became integral parts of the reunified national football team. Other sports enjoyed great popularity like figure skating, especially because of sportspeople like Katarina Witt . Successful sportspeople

* Waldemar Cierpinski , athlete * Ernst Degner , racing motorcyclist * Heike Drechsler , athlete * Maxi Gnauck , gymnast * Lutz Heßlich , track cyclist * Falk Hoffmann , diver * Jan Hoffmann , figure skater * Uwe Hohn , athlete * Karin Janz , gymnast * Karin Kania , speed skater * Marita Koch , athlete * Christa Luding-Rothenburger , speed skater and track cyclist * Olaf Ludwig , road cyclist * Henry Maske , boxer * Heinz Melkus , auto racing driver * Meinhard Nehmer , bobsledder * Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann , speed skater * Frank-Peter Roetsch , biathlete * Gustav-Adolf Schur , road cyclist * Gaby Seyfert , ice skater * Jürgen Sparwasser , footballer * Uwe Rösler , footballer * Jens Weißflog , ski jumper * Katarina Witt , figure skater

The East and the West also competed via sport; GDR athletes dominated several Olympic sports. Of special interest was the only football match between the Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
and the German Democratic Republic , a first-round match during the 1974 FIFA World Cup , which the East won 1–0; but West Germany, the host, went on to win the World Cup. "25 years of the GDR" is a 1974 postage stamp commemorating the 25th anniversary of East Germany’s establishment on 7 October 1949. 1989 USSR
USSR
stamp: "40 years of the German Democratic Republic"

TELEVISION AND RADIO

Television and radio in East Germany
Germany
were state-run industries; the _ Rundfunk der DDR _ was the official radio broadcasting organisation from 1952 until unification. The organization was based in the _Funkhaus Nalepastraße_ in East Berlin. _ Deutscher Fernsehfunk
Deutscher Fernsehfunk
_ (DFF), from 1972–1990 known as _Fernsehen der DDR_ or DDR-FS, was the state television broadcaster from 1952. Reception of Western broadcasts was widespread. _ Gerhard Behrendt with character from stop-animation series Sandmännchen _

INDUSTRY

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Further information: Telecommunications in Germany
Germany

By the mid-1980s, East Germany
Germany
possessed a well-developed communications system. There were approximately 3.6 million telephones in usage (21.8 for every 100 inhabitants), and 16,476 Telex stations. Both of these networks were run by the Deutsche Post der DDR (East German Post Office). East Germany
Germany
was assigned telephone country code +37 ; in 1991, several months after reunification, East German telephone exchanges were incorporated into country code +49.

An unusual feature of the telephone network was that, in most cases, direct distance dialing for long-distance calls was not possible. Although area codes were assigned to all major towns and cities, they were only used for switching international calls. Instead, each location had its own list of dialing codes with shorter codes for local calls and longer codes for long-distance calls. After unification, the existing network was largely replaced, and area codes and dialing became standardised.

In 1976 East Germany
Germany
inaugurated the operation of a ground-based radio station at Fürstenwalde for the purpose of relaying and receiving communications from Soviet satellites and to serve as a participant in the international telecommunications organization established by the Soviet government, Intersputnik .

OFFICIAL AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

DATE ENGLISH NAME GERMAN NAME REMARKS

1 January New Year's Day _Neujahr_

Good Friday _Karfreitag_

Easter Sunday
Easter Sunday
_Ostersonntag_

Easter Monday _Ostermontag_ Was not an official holiday after 1967.

1 May International Workers\' Day /May Day _Tag der Arbeit_ (name in FRG ) The official name was _Internationaler Kampf- und Feiertag der Werktätigen_ (approx. 'International Day of the Struggle and Celebration of the Workers')

8 May Victory in Europe
Europe
Day _Tag der Befreiung_ The translation means "Day of Liberation"

Father\'s Day / Ascension Day _Vatertag/Christi Himmelfahrt_ Thursday after the 5th Sunday after Easter. Was not an official holiday after 1967.

Whitmonday _Pfingstmontag_ 50 days after Easter Sunday

7 October Republic Day
Republic Day
_Tag der Republik_ National holiday

Day of Repentance and Prayer _Buß- und Bettag_ Penultimate Wednesday before the fourth Sunday before 25 December. Was not an official holiday after 1967.

25 December First Day of Christmas _1. Weihnachtsfeiertag_

26 December Second Day of Christmas _2. Weihnachtsfeiertag_

LEGACY

Margot Honecker , former Minister for Education of East Germany, summed up its legacy as: "In this state, each person had a place. All children could attend school free of charge, they received vocational training or studied, and were guaranteed a job after training. Work was more than just a means to earn money. Men and women received equal pay for equal work and performance. Equality for women was not just on paper. Care for children and the elderly was the law. Medical care was free, cultural and leisure activities affordable. Social security was a matter of course. We knew no beggars or homelessness. There was a sense of solidarity. People felt responsible not only for themselves, but worked in various democratic bodies on the basis of common interests."

German historian Jürgen Kocka in 2010 summarized the consensus of most recent scholarship: "Conceptualizing the GDR as a dictatorship has become widely accepted, while the meaning of the concept dictatorship varies. Massive evidence has been collected that proves the repressive, undemocratic, illiberal, nonpluralistic character of the GDR regime and its ruling party."

OSTALGIE

Main article: Ostalgie

Many East Germans initially regarded the dissolution of the GDR positively. But this reaction soon turned sour. West Germans often acted as if they had "won" and East Germans had "lost" in unification, leading many East Germans (_Ossis_) to resent West Germans (_Wessis_). In 2004, Ascher Barnstone wrote, "East Germans resent the wealth possessed by West Germans; West Germans see the East Germans as lazy opportunists who want something for nothing. East Germans find 'Wessis' arrogant and pushy, West Germans think the 'Ossis' are lazy good-for-nothings." On a more fundamental level, unification and subsequent federal policies led to serious economic hardships for many East Germans that had not existed before the Wende. Unemployment and homelessness, which had been minimal during the communist era, grew and quickly became widespread; this, as well as the closures of countless factories and other workplaces in the east, fostered a growing sense that East Germans were being ignored or neglected by the federal government.

These and other effects of unification led many East Germans to begin to think of themselves more strongly as "East" Germans rather than as simply "Germans". In many former GDR citizens this produced a longing for some aspects of the former East Germany, such as full employment and other perceived benefits of the GDR state, termed " Ostalgie " (a blend of _Ost_ "east" and _Nostalgie_ "nostalgia") and depicted in the Wolfgang Becker film _ Goodbye Lenin! _.

SEE ALSO

GERMANY

* Berlin

* Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
* East Berlin
East Berlin
* West Berlin

* History of East Germany
Germany
* History of Germany
Germany
since 1945 * Inner German border * Iron Curtain * Leaders of East Germany
Germany
* Ministerrat * West Germany
Germany

ARMED FORCES

* Conscientious objection in East Germany
Germany
* Grenztruppen (Border troops) * Landstreitkräfte (Ground troops) * Luftstreitkräfte (Air Force) * National People\'s Army * Stasi (Secret police) * Volksmarine (Navy) * Volkspolizei (Police)

MEDIA

* _ Aktuelle Kamera _, GDR's main TV news show * _ Der Tunnel _, a film about a mass evacuation to West Berlin through a tunnel * Deutscher Fernsehfunk
Deutscher Fernsehfunk
* East German
East German
Cold War Propaganda * _ Good Bye, Lenin! _, a tragicomedy film about the German reunification * Radio Berlin International * Rundfunk der DDR

TRANSPORT

* Barkas * Deutsche Reichsbahn – The railway company of the GDR * Interflug – The airline of the GDR * Trabant * Transport in the German Democratic Republic * Wartburg

OTHER

* Education in the German Democratic Republic * Index of East Germany-related articles * GDR jokes * Ostalgie (Nostalgia, missing the DDR) * Palast der Republik * Dean Reed * Sportvereinigung (SV) Dynamo * Tourism in East Germany
Germany
* Omoiyari Yosan (DDR government→ USSR
USSR
Forces)

* East Germany
Germany
portal

NOTES

* ^ Bevölkerungsstand Archived 13 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ Top-Level-Domain .DD Information site about .dd in German language * ^ Karl Dietrich Erdmann, Jürgen Kocka, Wolfgang J. Mommsen, Agnes Blänsdorf. _Towards a Global Community of Historians: the International Historical Congresses and the International Committee of Historical Sciences 1898–2000_. Berghahn Books, 2005, pp. 314. ("However the collapse of the Soviet empire, associated with the disintegration of the Soviet satellite regimes in East-Central Europe, including the German Democratic Republic, brought about a dramatic change of agenda.") * ^ _Eugene Register-Guard_ October 29, 1989. p. 5A. * ^ Peter E. Quint. _The Imperfect Union: Constitutional Structures of German Unification_ Princeton University Press 2012, pp. 125-126. * ^ "More Than 1,100 Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
Victims". _Deutsche Welle_. 9 August 2005. Retrieved 8 August 2009. * ^ Geoffrey Pridham, Tatu Vanhanen. _Democratization in Eastern Europe_ Routledge, 1994. ISBN 0-415-11063-7 pp. 135 * ^ _A_ _B_ Berlin Korrespondent. "Nationale Front in der Ostzone". Die Zeit , June 1949. Retrieved 10 May 2013. * ^ Vom Sogenannten, _ Der Spiegel
Der Spiegel
_, 21 October 1968, page 65 * ^ _Facts about Germany: The Federal Republic of Germany_, 1959 - Germany
Germany
(West), page 20 * ^ The use of the abbreviation _BRD_ (FRG) for West Germany, the _Bundesrepublik Deutschland_ (_Federal Republic of Germany_), on the other hand, was never accepted in West Germany
Germany
since it was considered a political statement. Thus _BRD_ (FRG) was a term used by East Germans, or by West Germans who held a pro-East-German view. Colloquially, West Germans called West Germany
Germany
simply "Germany" (reflecting West Germany's claim to represent the whole of Germany) or, alternatively, the _Bundesrepublik_ or _Bundesgebiet_ (federal republic, or federal territory, respectively), referring to the country, and _Bundesbürger_ (federal citizen) for its citizens, with the adjective, _bundesdeutsch_ (federal German). * ^ Lora Wildenthal. _The Language of Human Rights in West Germany_. p. 210. * ^ Cornfield, Daniel B. and Hodson, Randy (2002). _Worlds of Work: Building an International Sociology of Work._ Springer, p. 223. ISBN 0306466058 * ^ _Östereichische Zeitschrift für Soziologie_, by Michael Pollock. Zeitschrift für Soziologie; ZfS, Jg. 8, Heft 1 (1979); 50-62. 01/1979 (in German) * ^ Baranowsky, Shelley (1995). _The Sanctity of Rural Life: Nobility, Protestantism, and Nazism in Weimar Prussia._ Oxford University Press, pp. 187-188. ISBN 0195361660 * ^ Schmitt, Carl (1928). _Political Romanticism._ Transaction Publishers, Preface, p. 11. ISBN 1412844304 * ^ _Each spring, millions of workmen from all parts of western Russia arrived in eastern Germany, which, in political language, is called East Elbia._ from _The Stronghold of Junkerdom_, by George Sylvester Viereck . Viereck's, Volume 8. Fatherland Corporation, 1918 * ^ Gerhard A. Ritter, "Die DDR in der deutschen Geschichte," _Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte,_ Apr 2002, Vol. 50 Issue 2, pp 171–200; this author is the son of historian Gerhard Ritter . * ^ "Yalta Conference". spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2010. * ^ Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. "LeMO Kapitel: Zwangsvereinigung zur SED". _hdg.de_. * ^ See Spilker (2006) * ^ See Anna M. Cienciala "History 557 Lecture Notes * ^ Steininger, Rolf (1990). The German Question: The Stalin Note of 1952 and the Problem of Reunification. New York: Columbia University * ^ Roth, Gary. "Review of Hoffmann, Dierk, _Otto Grotewohl (1894-1964): Eine politische Biographie_" H-German, H-Net Reviews. November 2010. online * ^ See SED Party Programme * ^ Debra J. Allen (2003). _The Oder-Neisse Line: The United States, Poland, and Germany
Germany
in the Cold War_. Greenwood. pp. 101–48.

* ^ Arthur Gunlicks (2003). _The Lander and German Federalism_. Manchester University Press. pp. 36–39. * ^ "State symbols: the quest for legitimacy in the Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
and the German Democratic Republic, 1949–1959", by Margarete Myers Feinstein, page 78: " ... claims of East Berlin
East Berlin
as the capital of the GDR, ... East Berlin
East Berlin
was not recognized by the West and most Third World countries" * ^ Michael D. Haydock, _City Under Siege: The Berlin Blockade and Airlift, 1948–1949_ (2000) * ^ Weitz 1997 , p. 350: Following a Soviet order in February 1948, the German Economic Commission became a nascent state structure for all intents and purposes, with competence far beyond the economy proper and it was granted power to issue orders and directives to all German organs within the Soviet Occupation Zone. * ^ McCauley 1983 , p. 38: The DWK had become the de facto government of the Soviet zone. Its chairman was Heinrich Rau (SED) and four of his six deputies were also SED members. * ^ Patrick Major and Jonathan Osmund, _Workers' and Peasants' State: Communism
Communism
and Society in East Germany
Germany
under Ulbricht, 1945–71_ (2002) * ^ East Berlin
East Berlin
17 June 1953: Stones Against Tanks, _Deutsche Welle_. Retrieved 16 May 2007 * ^ Victor Baras, "Beria's Fall and Ulbricht's Survival," _Soviet Studies,_ 1975, Vol. 27 Issue 3, pp. 381–395 * ^ _A_ _B_ Norman M. Naimark. _The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945–1949._ Harvard University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-674-78405-7 pp. 167–9 * ^ Frederick Taylor, _Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961–1989_ (2007) * ^ Henry Krisch, "Soviet-GDR Relations in the Honecker Era," _East Central Europe,_ Dec 1979, Vol. 6 Issue 2, pp 152–172 * ^ _A_ _B_ "EAST GERMANY: The Price of Recognition". _TIME.com_. 1 January 1973. * ^ Quint, Peter E (1991), _The Imperfect Union; Constitutional Structures for German Unification_, Princeton University Presss, pp. 14] * ^ Kommers, Donald P (2012), _The Constitutional Jursiprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany_, Duke University Presss, p. 308 * ^ _Texas Law: Foreign Law Translations 1973_, University of Texas , retrieved 7 December 2016 * ^ * ^ David Priestand, _Red Flag: A History of Communism_," New York: Grove Press, 2009 * ^ Eric D. Weitz, _Creating German Communism, 1890-1990: From Popular Protests to Socialist State_. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997 * ^ The Berlin Wall
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(1961–89) German Notes. Retrieved 24 October 2006. * ^ Darnton, Robert, _Berlin Journal_ (New York, 1992, W.W. Norton) pp.98–99 * ^ Mary Elise Sarotte, _Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall_, New York: Basic Books, 2014 * ^ Mary Elise Sarotte, _Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall_, New York: Basic Books, 2014 * ^ Kommers, Donald P (2012), _The Constitutional Jursiprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany_, Duke University Presss, p. 309 * ^ For example the economist Jörg Roesler – see: Jörg Roesler: Ein Anderes Deutschland war möglich. Alternative Programme für das wirtschaftliche Zusammengehen beider deutscher Staaten, in: Jahrbuch für Forschungen zur Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung , No. II/2010, pp.34-46. The historian Ulrich Busch argued that the currency union came too early; see Ulrich Busch: Die Währungsunion am 1. Juli 1990: Wirtschaftspolitische Fehlleistung mit Folgen, in: Jahrbuch für Forschungen zur Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung , No. II/2010, pp.5-24. * ^ David P. Conradt, _The German Polity_ (2008) p. 20 * ^ Eric D. Weitz, _Creating German Communism, 1890-1990: From Popular Protests to Socialist State_. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997 * ^ Eric D. Weitz, _Creating German Communism, 1890-1990: From Popular Protests to Socialist State_. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997 * ^ Nik Martin (27 November 2016). "Castro\'s Caribbean island gift to East Germany". _ Deutsche Welle
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(DW)_. * ^ Mary Elise Sarotte, _1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe_ (Second Edition) Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014 * ^ "East Germany: country population". Populstat.info. Retrieved 28 March 2010. * ^ "In the period between the Second World War and 1961, a total of 3.8 million people emigrated from East to West Germany." Laar, M. (2009). "The Power of Freedom. Central and Eastern Europe
Europe
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Germany
Population – Historical Background". Country-studies.com. Retrieved 28 March 2010. * ^ Destatis.de page 17 * ^ Mark Allinson , _Politics and Popular Opinion in East Germany 1945-1968_ (2000) ch 1 * ^ Schnoor, "The Good and the Bad America: Perceptions of the United States
United States
in the GDR," 2:618-26 * ^ Thomas Adam (2005). _ Germany
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and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History ; a Multidisciplinary Encyclopedia_. ABC-CLIO. p. 1067. * ^ _Moscow\'s Third World Strategy_, Alvin Z. Rubinstein, Princeton University Press, 1990 * ^ "Business America. (27 February 1989). German Democratic Republic: long history of sustained economic growth continues; 1989 may be an advantageous year to consider this market – Business Outlook Abroad: Current Reports from the Foreign Service.". _Business America_. 1989. Retrieved 2 October 2007. * ^ Boroch, Wilfried (1996), "Social policy as an institutional transformation problem", _Transition Economies_, Volume 31, Number 3, pp139-146 * ^ Jonathan R. Zatlin, _The Currency of Socialism: Money and Political Culture in East Germany_ (2007) * ^ Peter W. Sperlich (2006). _Oppression and Scarcity: The History and Institutional Structure of the Marxist-Leninist Government of East Germany
Germany
and Some Perspectives on Life in a Socialist System_. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 191. * ^ ""Ich liebe Thüringen, ich liebe Deutschland"" (in German). Retrieved 2017-01-20. * ^ Mary Fulbrook, "The Limits Of Totalitarianism: God, State and Society in the GDR," _Transactions of the Royal Historical Society,_ Jan 1957, Vol. 7 Issue 1, pp 25–52 * ^ de Silva, Brendan (2000). "The Protestant
Protestant
Church and the East German State: an organisational perspective". In Cooke, Paul; Grix, Jonathan. _East Germany: Continuity and Change_. German Monitor. Amsterdam: Rodopi B.V. pp. 104–105. ISBN 9789042005792 . Retrieved 2015-09-21. 'The SED will refrain from talks with the churches, since it must be seen as an "atheistic party against the Church". Thus, negotiations must be led by the State, which is understood to be non-partisan, namely by the state Secretary for Church Affairs. But decisions on Church policies are to be made exclusively "in the party" .' * ^ Paul Tillich. Christianity and the Encounter of the World Religions (New York: Columbia University Press, 1963), p. 20. * ^ Fulbrook, "The Limits Of Totalitarianism: God, State and Society in the GDR" * ^ "WHY EASTERN GERMANY IS THE MOST GODLESS PLACE ON EARTH". Die Welt. 2012. Archived from the original on 26 August 2012. Retrieved 2009-05-24. The statistics are most striking among those under 28 years old: more than 71% of eastern Germans in this age group say they have never believed in the existence of God. That's nearly as many as in the 38-47 group, of which 72.6% are non-believers. Approximately 46% of East Germans surveyed described themselves as atheists, compared to 4.9% of West Germans. In eastern Germany, the trend actually strengthened over time: between 1991 and 2008 the number of atheists increased by 3.4% while during the same period the number sank by 11.7% in Russia. * ^ "East Germany
Germany
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Germany
had the highest rate of people who said they never believed in God (59 percent) .' * ^ The Eastern churches were the Evangelical Church of Anhalt , Evangelical Church in Berlin, Brandenburg
Brandenburg
and Silesian Upper Lusatia#Evangelical Church in Berlin- Brandenburg
Brandenburg
(EKiBB, East Ambit, for East Berlin
East Berlin
and Brandenburg), Evangelical Church of the Görlitz Ecclesiastical Region , Evangelical Church in Greifswald , Evangelical Lutheran
Lutheran
Church of Mecklenburg , Evangelical- Lutheran
Lutheran
Church of Saxony , Evangelical Church of the Church Province of Saxony
Saxony
(KPS), Evangelical Lutheran
Lutheran
Church in Thuringia and Evangelical Church of the Union (East Region, for EKiBB-East Ambit, Görlitz, Greifswald and KPS, and since 1970 for Anhalt too). * ^ Martin Onnasch, "Konflikt und Kompromiss: Die Haltung der evangelischen Kirchen zu den gesellschaftlichen Veränderungen in der DDR am Anfang der fünfziger Jahre," , _Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte / Halbjahresschrift für Theologie und Geschichtswisseschaft,_ 1990, Vol. 3 Issue 1, page 152–165 * ^ _A_ _B_ Stephen R. Bowers, "Private Institutions in Service to the State: The German Democratic Republic's Church in Socialism," _East European Quarterly,_ Spring 1982, Vol. 16 Issue 1, page 73–86 * ^ Bernd Schaefer (2010). _The East German
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FR". _FIFA.com_. Retrieved 27 January 2017. * ^ _Representing East Germany
Germany
since unification: from colonization to nostalgia_, By Paul Cooke, Berg Publishers, 1 August 2005, ISBN 978-1-84520-189-0 , page 146. Retrieved from Google Books 25 January 2010. * ^ Interview with the GDR’s Margot Honecker — \'The past was brought back\', _ Workers World _, November 16, 2015 * ^ Jürgen Kocka, ed. (2010). _Civil Society & Dictatorship in Modern German History_. UPNE. p. 37. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link ) * ^ Martin Blum, "Remaking the East German
East German
Past: 'Ostalgie,' Identity, and Material Culture," _Journal of Popular Culture,_ Winter 2000, Vol. 34 Issue 3, pp 229–54 * ^ Leonie Naughton (2002). _That Was the Wild East: Film Culture, Unification, and the "New" Germany_. U. of Michigan Press. p. 14. * ^ Andrew Bickford (2011). _Fallen Elites: The Military Other in Post-Unification Germany_. Stanford U.P. p. 10. * ^ Ascher Barnston (2005). _The Transparent State: Architecture and Politics in Postwar Germany_. Psychology Press. p. 92.

REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

* Allinson, Mark. _Politics and Popular Opinion in East Germany 1945–68_ (2000) * Augustine, Dolores. _Red Prometheus: Engineering and Dictatorship in East Germany, 1945–1990._ (2007) 411pp * Baylis, Thomas A., David H Childs and Marilyn Rueschemeyer, eds.; East Germany
Germany
in Comparative Perspective, Routledge. 1989 * Berger, Stefan, and Norman LaPorte, eds. _The Other Germany: Perceptions and Influences in British- East German
East German
Relations, 1945–1990_ (Augsburg, 2005). * Berger, Stefan, and Norman LaPorte, eds. _Friendly Enemies: Britain and the GDR, 1949-1990_ (2010) online review * Berghoff, Hartmut, and Uta Andrea Balbier, eds. _The East German Economy, 1945-2010: Falling Behind Or Catching Up?_ (Cambridge UP, 2013). * Betts, Paul. _Within Walls: Private Life in the German Democratic Republic_, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2013 * Childs, David H. . _The Fall of the GDR,_ Longman Personed.co.uk, 2001. ISBN 978-0-5823-1569-3 , ISBN 0-582-31569-7 * Childs, David H. . & Richard Popplewell. _The Stasi: East German Intelligence and Security Service,_ Palgrave Macmillan Palgrave.com,Amazon.co.uk 1996. * Childs, David H. . _The GDR: Moscow's German Ally,_ George Allen & Unwin, 1983. ISBN 0-04-354029-5 , ISBN 978-0-04-354029-9 . * Childs, David H. . _The Two Red Flags: European Social Democracy Mary . _Anatomy of a Dictatorship: Inside the GDR, 1949–1989_ (Oxford University Press, 1995). * Fulbrook, Mary and Andrew I. Port, eds., _Becoming East German: Socialist Structures and Sensibilities after Hitler_ (New York and Oxford: Berghahn, 2013). * Gray, William Glenn. _Germany's Cold War: The Global Campaign to Isolate East Germany, 1949–1969_ (U of North Carolina Press, 2003). online * Grieder, Peter. _The German Democratic Republic_ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), scholarly history. * Grix, Jonathan. _The Role of the Masses in the Collapse of the GDR_ Macmillan, 2000 * Jarausch, Konrad H., and Eve Duffy; _Dictatorship as Experience: Towards a Socio-Cultural History of the GDR_ (Berghahn Books, 1999). * Kupferberg, Feiwel. _The Rise and Fall of the German Democratic Republic_ (2002) 228pp; online review * McAdams, A. James. "East Germany
Germany
and Detente" (Cambridge UP, 1985). * McAdams, A. James. " Germany
Germany
Divided: From the Wall to Reunification" (Princeton UP, 1992 and 1993). * McCauley, Martin (1983). _The German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
since 1945_. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-26219-0 . Retrieved 24 October 2010. * McLellan, Josie. _Love in the Time of Communism: Intimacy and Sexuality in the GDR_. (Cambridge UP, 2011). * Major, Patrick, and Jonathan Osmond, eds. _The Workers' and Peasants' State: Communism
Communism
and Society in East Germany
Germany
under Ulbricht 1945–71_ (Manchester University Press, 2002), 272 pp. * Naimark, Norman M. _The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945–1949_ (1997) excerpt and text search * Pence, Katherine and Paul Betts. _Socialist Modern: East German Everyday Culture and Politics_, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2008 * Port, Andrew I. _Conflict and Stability in the German Democratic Republic_ Cambridge University Press , 2007. * Pritchard, Gareth, _The Making of the GDR 1945–53: From Antifascism to Stalinism_ (2000) * Steiner, André. _The Plans That Failed: An Economic History of East Germany, 1945–1989_ (2010) * Sarotte, Mary Elise. _Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall_, New York: Basic Books, 2014 * Spilker, Dirk. _The East German
East German
Leadership
Leadership
and the Division of Germany: Patriotism and Propaganda 1945–1953._ (2006). online review * Stokes, Raymond G. _Constructing Socialism: Technology and Change in East Germany, 1945–1990_ (2000) * Zatlin, Jonathan R. _The Currency of Socialism: Money and Political Culture in East Germany._ (2007). 377 pp. online review

HISTORIOGRAPHY AND MEMORY

* Bridge, Helen. _Women's Writing and Historiography in the GDR_ (Oxford UP, 2002). * Hodgin, Nick, and Caroline Pearce, eds. _The GDR remembered: representations of the East German
East German
state since 1989_ (Camden House, 2011). excerpt * Kwiet, Konrad. "Historians of the German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
on Antisemitism and Persecution." _The Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook_ 21.1 (1976): 173-198. * Port, Andrew I. "The Banalities of East German
East German
Historiography," in _Becoming East German: Socialist Structures and Sensibilities after Hitler,"_ ed. Mary Fulbrook and Andrew I. Port (New York and Oxford: Berghahn, 2013), 1-30. (http://www.berghahnbooks.com/downloads/intros/FulbrookBecoming_intro.pdf) * Port, Andrew I. "Central European History since 1989: Historiographical Trends and Post-Wende “Turns”." _Central European History_ 48#2 (2015): 238-248. online * Ritter, Gerhard A. "Die DDR in der Deutschen Geschichte," _Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte,_ Apr 2002, Vol. 50 Issue 2, pp 171–200. * Ross, Corey. _The East German
East German
Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives in the Interpretation of the GDR_ (Oxford UP, 2002). * Saunders, Anna, and Debbie Pinfold, eds. _Remembering and rethinking the GDR: multiple perspectives and plural authenticities_ (Springer, 2012). * Steding, Elizabeth Priester. "Losing Literature: The Reduction of the GDR to History." _German Politics " rowspan="1">Preceded by Allied Occupation Zones in Germany
Germany
and the Soviet Military Administration in Germany
Germany
(1945–1949) German Democratic Republic (concurrent with the Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
) 1949–1990 Succeeded by Federal Republic of Germany
Germany

* v * t * e

_ Administrative divisions of the German Democratic Republic (1949–90)

BEZIRKE (1952–90)

* East Berlin
East Berlin
* Cottbus * Dresden
Dresden
* Erfurt
Erfurt
* Frankfurt (Oder) * Gera
Gera
* Halle * Karl-Marx-Stadt * Leipzig
Leipzig
* Magdeburg
Magdeburg
* Neubrandenburg * Potsdam
Potsdam
* Rostock
Rostock
* Schwerin
Schwerin
* Suhl

STATES (1949–52; 1990)

* East Berlin
East Berlin
(de facto_) * Brandenburg
Brandenburg
* Mecklenburg-Vorpommern * Saxony
Saxony
* Saxony-Anhalt * Thuringia

* v * t * e

Countries of Eastern and Central Europe
Central Europe
during their Communist period

* Albania
Albania
* Bulgaria * Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
* East Germany * Hungary
Hungary
* Poland
Poland
* Romania

* Yugoslavia

* Soviet Russia / Soviet Union
Soviet Union
: 1917–27 * 1927–53 * 1953–64 * 1964–82

* 1982–91

* Byelorussia

* Ukraine

* Eastern Bloc * Warsaw Pact * Comecon

* v * t * e

Eastern Bloc

* Soviet Union
Soviet Union
* Communism
Communism

FORMATION

* Secret Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact protocol * Soviet invasion of Poland
Poland

* Soviet occupations

* Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina * Baltic states * Hungary
Hungary
* Romania

* Yalta Conference

Annexed as, or into, SSRs

* Eastern Finland * Estonia * Latvia * Lithuania * Memel * East Prussia
Prussia
* West Belarus * Western Ukraine * Moldavia

SATELLITE STATES

* Hungarian People\'s Republic * Polish People\'s Republic * Czechoslovak Socialist Republic * Socialist Republic of Romania * German Democratic Republic * People\'s Republic of Albania
Albania
(to 1961) * People\'s Republic of Bulgaria * Federal People\'s Republic of Yugoslavia (to 1948)

ANNEXING SSRS

* Russian SFSR * Ukrainian SSR * Byelorussian SSR

ORGANIZATIONS

* Cominform * COMECON * Warsaw Pact * World Federation
Federation
of Trade Unions (WFTU) * World Federation
Federation
of Democratic Youth (WFDY)

Revolts and opposition

* Welles Declaration * Goryani
Goryani
Movement * Forest Brothers * Ukrainian Insurgent Army * Operation Jungle * Baltic state continuity * Baltic Legations (1940–1991) * Cursed soldiers * Rebellion of Cazin 1950 * 1953 uprising in Plzeň * 1953 East German
East German
uprising * 1956 Georgian demonstrations * 1956 Poznań protests * 1956 Hungarian Revolution * Novocherkassk massacre * 1965 Yerevan demonstrations * Prague Spring
Prague Spring
/ Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
* Brezhnev Doctrine * 1968 Red Square demonstration * 1968 student demonstrations in Belgrade * 1968 protests in Kosovo * 1970 Polish protests * Croatian Spring
Croatian Spring
* 1972 unrest in Lithuania SSR * June 1976 protests * Solidarity / Soviet reaction / Martial law * 1981 protests in Kosovo * Reagan Doctrine * Jeltoqsan * Karabakh movement * April 9 tragedy * Romanian Revolution * Black January

COLD WAR EVENTS

* Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
* Berlin Blockade * Tito–Stalin split * 1948 Czechoslovak coup d\'état * 1961 Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
crisis

CONDITIONS

* Emigration and defection (list of defectors ) * Sovietization of the Baltic states * Information dissemination * Politics * Economies * Telephone tapping

DECLINE

* Revolutions of 1989 * Fall of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
* Romanian Revolution * Fall of communism in Albania * Singing Revolution
Singing Revolution
* Collapse of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
* Dissolution of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
* January 1991 events in Lithuania * January 1991 events in Latvia

POST-COLD WAR TOPICS

* Baltic Assembly * CSTO * Commonwealth of Independent States * Craiova Group * European Union
European Union
(expansion to Eastern Europe) * Eurasian Economic Union
Eurasian Economic Union
* NATO
NATO
(expansion to Eastern Europe) * Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
* Visegrad Group * European migrant crisis
European migrant crisis

* v * t * e

Socialism
Socialism
by country

HISTORY BY COUNTRY

* Australia * Brazil * Canada * Estonia * France
France
* Hong Kong * India * Netherlands * New Zealand * Pakistan * United Kingdom
United Kingdom
* United States
United States

REGIONAL VARIANTS

* African * Arab * British * Burmese * Chinese * Israeli * Melanesian * Nicaraguan * Venezuelan

COMMUNIST STATES

AFRICA

* Angola
Angola
* Benin * Congo-Brazzaville * Ethiopia (1974–87) * Ethiopia (1987–91) * Mozambique
Mozambique
* Somalia

AMERICAS

* Cuba
Cuba
* Grenada

ASIA

* Afghanistan * Cambodia (1976–79) * Cambodia (1979–93) * China
China
* North Korea
North Korea
* Laos
Laos
* Mongolia * Tuva

* Vietnam
Vietnam

* North Vietnam
Vietnam

* South Yemen

SHORT-LIVED

* Gilan * Iranian Azerbaijan * Kurdish Republic of Mahabad * South Vietnam
Vietnam
* Soviet China
China

EUROPE

* Albania
Albania
* Bulgaria * Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
* East Germany * Hungary
Hungary
(1949–89) * Poland
Poland
* Romania * Soviet Union
Soviet Union
* Yugoslavia

SHORT-LIVED

* Alsace-Lorraine * Bavaria * Bremen
Bremen
* Finland * Hungary
Hungary
(1919) * Galicia * Ireland * Slovakia (1919)

AUTHORITY CONTROL

* WorldCat Identities * VIAF : 125035363 * LCCN : n80125938 * ISNI : 0000 0001 2242 8348 * GND : 4011890-3 * SUDOC : 026358662 * BNF : cb11862204b (data) * NDL : 00561600

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Germany
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