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East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic
Republic
(GDR; German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik pronounced [ˈdɔʏtʃə demoˈkʀaːtɪʃə ʀepuˈbliːk], DDR), was a communist state[5][6] in Central Europe, during the Cold War
Cold War
period. It described itself as a socialist "workers' and peasants' state."[6] From 1949 to 1990, it administered the portion of Germany
Germany
that had been occupied by Soviet forces at the end of World War II—the Soviet Occupation Zone
Soviet Occupation Zone
of the Potsdam
Potsdam
Agreement, bounded on the east by the Oder–Neisse line. The Soviet zone surrounded West Berlin, but did not include it; as a result, West Berlin
West Berlin
remained outside the jurisdiction of the GDR. The German Democratic Republic
Republic
was established in the Soviet Zone, while the Federal Republic
Republic
was established in the three western zones. East Germany
Germany
was a satellite state of the Soviet Union.[7] 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. However, Soviet forces 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.[8] The SED made the teaching of Marxism–Leninism
Marxism–Leninism
and the Russian language
Russian language
compulsory in schools.[9] The economy was centrally planned, and increasingly state-owned.[10] Prices of housing, basic goods and services were set by central government planners, rather than rising and falling through supply and demand; and were heavily subsidised. Although the GDR had to pay substantial war reparations to the USSR, it became the most successful economy in the Eastern Bloc. 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
Berlin
Wall. Many people attempting to flee were killed by border guards or booby traps, such as landmines.[11] In 1989, numerous social, economic 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,[12] and international negotiations led to the signing of the Final Settlement treaty on the status and borders of Germany. The GDR dissolved itself and Germany
Germany
was reunified on 3 October 1990, becoming a fully sovereign state again. Several of the GDR's leaders, notably its last communist leader Egon Krenz, were prosecuted in reunified Germany
Germany
for crimes committed during the Cold War. Geographically, the German Democratic Republic
Republic
bordered the Baltic Sea to the north; the Polish People's Republic
Republic
to the east; 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
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 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 Zones of occupation 2.4 Partition 2.5 GDR identity 2.6 Die Wende
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 6.9 Soviet military occupation

7 Economy

7.1 Consumption and jobs

8 Religion

8.1 State atheism 8.2 Protestantism 8.3 Roman Catholicism

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[edit] 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 initially avoided the official name and its abbreviation, instead using terms like Ostzone (Eastern Zone),[13] Sowjetische Besatzungszone (Soviet Occupation Zone; often abbreviated to SBZ), and sogenannte DDR[14] (or "so-called GDR").[15] The centre of political power in East Berlin
East Berlin
was referred to as Pankow. (The seat of command of the Soviet forces in East Germany
Germany
was referred to as Karlshorst.[13]) Over time, however, the abbreviation DDR was also increasingly used colloquially by West Germans and West German media.[16] The term Westdeutschland (West Germany), when used by West Germans was almost always a reference to the geographic region of Western Germany and not to the area within the boundaries of the Federal Republic
Republic
of Germany. However, this use was not always consistent; for example, West Berliners frequently used the term Westdeutschland to denote the Federal Republic.[17] Before World War II, Ostdeutschland (eastern Germany) was used to describe all the territories east of the Elbe (East Elbia), as reflected in the works of sociologist Max Weber
Max Weber
and political theorist Carl Schmitt.[18][19][20][21][22] History[edit] Main article: History of East Germany Further information: History of Germany

Germany
Germany
defeated: On the basis of the Potsdam
Potsdam
Conference, the Allies jointly occupied Germany
Germany
west of the 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
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 legitimization tool in the last decades and mixed socialist and traditional elements about equally.[23] Origins[edit] At the Yalta Conference
Yalta Conference
during World War II, the Allies (the U.S., the UK and the Soviet Union) agreed on dividing a defeated Nazi Germany into occupation zones,[24] 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[edit]

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
Republic
of Romania

German Democratic Republic People's Republic
Republic
of Bulgaria

Socialist Federal Republic
Republic
of Yugoslavia (to 1948)

People's Socialist Republic
Republic
of Albania (to 1961)

Republic
Republic
of Cuba People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada People's Republic
Republic
of Benin People's Republic
Republic
of the Congo People's Republic
Republic
of Angola People's Republic
Republic
of Mozambique People's Democratic Republic
Republic
of Ethiopia

Somali Democratic Republic (to 1977)

People's Democratic Republic
Republic
of Yemen Democratic Republic
Republic
of Afghanistan Mongolian People's Republic

People's Republic
Republic
of China (to 1961)

Democratic People's Republic
Republic
of Korea Socialist Republic
Republic
of Vietnam Lao People's Democratic Republic People's Republic
Republic
of Kampuchea

Related organizations

Cominform COMECON Warsaw Pact

World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) World 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

1956 protests

in Georgia in Poznań

Hungarian Revolution
Revolution
of 1956 Novocherkassk massacre
Novocherkassk massacre
(Russia)

1968 events

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Charter 77
Charter 77
(Czechoslovakia)

Solidarity (Poland)

Jeltoqsan
Jeltoqsan
(Kazakhstan)

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January Events (Lithuania)

The Barricades
The Barricades
(Latvia)

April 9 tragedy
April 9 tragedy
(Georgia)

Black January
Black January
(Azerbaijan)

Cold War
Cold War
events

Marshall Plan

1948 Czechoslovak coup

Tito–Stalin split

Berlin
Berlin
Blockade

1961 Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
crisis

Cuban Missile Crisis

1980 Moscow Olympics

Decline

Singing Revolution

Polish Round Table Agreement

Revolutions of 1989

Fall of the Berlin
Berlin
Wall

January 1991

in Lithuania in Latvia

Breakup of Yugoslavia

Yugoslav Wars

End of the 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[citation needed] 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.[25] The SED was the ruling party for the entire duration of the 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 continued to maintain forces in what had been East 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.[26] As West Germany
Germany
was reorganised and gained independence from its occupiers, the German Democratic Republic
Republic
was established in East Germany
Germany
in 1949. The creation of the two states solidified the 1945 division of Germany.[27] 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.[28] 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
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
Otto Grotewohl
(1894–1964) became prime minister until his death.[29] 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.[30] Zones of occupation[edit] 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
Soviet Occupation Zone
(SBZ – Sowjetische Besatzungszone) comprised the five states (Länder) of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, 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
Germany
(red) surrounded West Berlin
West Berlin
(yellow)

Yet, seven years after the Allies’ Potsdam Agreement
Potsdam Agreement
to a unified Germany, the USSR
USSR
via the Stalin Note
Stalin Note
(10 March 1952) proposed German reunification and superpower disengagement from Central Europe, which the three Western Allies (the United States, 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, 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
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
Eastern Bloc
diplomatically recognized East Berlin
Berlin
as the capital. However, the Western Allies disputed this recognition, considering the entire city of Berlin
Berlin
to be occupied territory governed by the 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.[31] 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
Cold War
conflict between the Western Powers and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
over the unresolved status of West Berlin
West Berlin
led to the Berlin Blockade
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
Berlin Airlift
(1948–49) of food, fuel, and supplies to West Berlin.[32] Partition[edit]

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v t e

On 21 April 1946, the Communist Party of Germany
Germany
(Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands – KPD) and the part of the Social Democratic Party of Germany
Germany
(Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands – SPD) in the Soviet zone 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
Wilhelm Pieck
and Prime Minister Otto Grotewohl, 1949

In 1948, the German Economic Commission
German Economic Commission
(Deutsche Wirtschaftskomission—DWK) under its chairman Heinrich Rau
Heinrich Rau
assumed administrative authority in the Soviet occupation zone, thus becoming the predecessor of an East German
East German
government.[33][34] On 7 October 1949, the SED established the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (German Democratic Republic – GDR), based on a socialist political constitution establishing its control of the anti-fascist National Front of the German Democratic Republic
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
Volkskammer
(People's Chamber), the East German
East German
parliament. The first and only President of the German Democratic Republic
Republic
was Wilhelm Pieck. However, after 1950, political power in East Germany
Germany
was held by the First Secretary of the SED, Walter Ulbricht.[35]

SED First Secretary, Walter Ulbricht, 1950

On 16 June 1953, workers constructing the new Stalinallee
Stalinallee
boulevard in 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.[36][37] (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.[38] The poverty of East Germany
Germany
induced by reparations provoked the Republikflucht
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
Berlin
Wall.[39]

Head of State: Erich Honecker
Erich Honecker
(1971–89)

In 1971, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev
had Ulbricht removed; Erich Honecker
Honecker
replaced him. While the Ulbricht government had experimented with liberal reforms, the Honecker
Honecker
government reversed them. The new government introduced a new East German Constitution
East German Constitution
which defined the German Democratic Republic
Republic
as a "republic of workers and peasants".[40] 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".[41] According to the Hallstein Doctrine
Hallstein Doctrine
(1955), West Germany
Germany
also did not establish (formal) diplomatic ties with any country – except the USSR – that recognized East German
East German
sovereignty.

Helsinki Final Act: Chancellor of Federal Republic
Republic
of Germany
Germany
(West Germany) Helmut Schmidt, Chairman of the State Council of the German Democratic Republic
Republic
(East Germany) Erich Honecker, U.S. president Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
and Austrian chancellor Bruno Kreisky

But in the early 1970s, the Ostpolitik
Ostpolitik
("Eastern Policy") of "Change Through Rapprochement" of the pragmatic government of FRG Chancellor 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 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.[41] Following the Ostpolitik
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
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 as whole".[42] 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
Federal Constitutional Court
in 1973;[43]

"... the German Democratic Republic
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
Republic
by the Federal Republic
Republic
of Germany. Such recognition has not only never been formally pronounced by the Federal Republic
Republic
of Germany
Germany
but on the contrary repeatedly explicitly rejected. If the conduct of the Federal Republic
Republic
of Germany
Germany
towards the German Democratic Republic
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."[44]

Travel between the GDR and Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary
Hungary
was visa-free since 1972.[45] GDR identity[edit]

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

From the beginning, the newly formed GDR tried to establish its own separate identity.[46] Because of the imperial and military legacy of 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
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
Germany
upheld historical reformers such as Karl Freiherr vom Stein, Karl August von Hardenberg, Wilhelm von Humboldt, and Gerhard von Scharnhorst
Gerhard von Scharnhorst
as examples and role models.[47]

Police cadets of the East German
East German
Volkspolizei
Volkspolizei
wait for the official opening of the Brandenburg
Brandenburg
Gate on 22 December 1989.

Die Wende
Die Wende
(German Reunification)[edit] Main articles: Die Wende
Die Wende
and German reunification In 1989, following widespread public anger over the faking of results of local government elections, 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 into Hungary
Hungary
and then on to Austria
Austria
and West Germany.[48] Many others demonstrated against the ruling party, especially in the city of Leipzig. Kurt Masur, the conductor of the Leipzig
Leipzig
Gewandhaus Orchestra, led local negotiations with the government and held town meetings in the concert hall.[49] The demonstrations eventually led Erich Honecker
Erich Honecker
to resign in October, and he was replaced by a slightly more moderate communist, Egon Krenz.[50] 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
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
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.[50] On 3 October 1990, the five states officially joined the Federal Republic
Republic
of Germany, while East and West Berlin
Berlin
united as a third city-state (in the same manner as Bremen
Bremen
and 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
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
Republic
now recognising each another as separate sovereign states in international law.[51] This treaty was then voted into effect prior to the agreed date for Unification by both the Volkskammer
Volkskammer
and the Bundestag
Bundestag
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.[52] Politics[edit] Main article: Politics of East Germany

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

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Anarchism Anti-communism Anti-communist mass killings Anti-fascism Anti-globalization movement Anti-nationalism Capitalism Cold War Communitarianism Criticisms of communist party rule Intentional community Internationalism Left-wing politics

Old Left New Left

Mass killings under communist regimes New class Post-communism Red Scare Revolution Second World Socialism Social anarchism Social democracy Socialist economics Socialist mode of production Syndicalism Third-Worldism Trade union Worker cooperative

Communism
Communism
portal

v t e

DDR flag at UN headquarters, New York City, 1973

There were four periods in East German
East German
political history.[53] 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
Honecker
Era, and saw closer ties with West Germany; and 1985–89 saw the decline and extinction of East Germany. Organization[edit] Further information: Constitution of East Germany The ruling political party in East Germany
Germany
was the Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands (Socialist Unity Party of 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.[47] 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, a broad coalition of parties and mass political organisations, including:

Christlich-Demokratische Union Deutschlands (Christian Democratic Union of Germany, CDU), which merged with the West German CDU after reunification. Demokratische Bauernpartei Deutschlands (Democratic Farmers' Party of Germany, DBD). The party merged with the West German CDU after reunification. Liberal-Demokratische Partei Deutschlands (Liberal Democratic Party of Germany, LDPD), merged with the West German FDP after reunification. Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (National Democratic Party of Germany, NDPD), merged with the West German FDP after reunification.[47]

Palast der Republik, the seat of the Volkskammer

Poster with inscription " Berlin
Berlin
- Hauptstadt der DDR", 1967

[Full screen]

Ernst Thälmann Island
Ernst Thälmann Island
was gifted to East Germany
Germany
in 1972 by Cuba
Cuba
as an act of fraternity, although the resulting status of the island is now unclear.[54]

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
Volkskammer
and received some posts in the government. The Volkskammer
Volkskammer
also included representatives from the mass organisations like the Free German Youth
Free German Youth
(Freie Deutsche Jugend or FDJ), or the Free German Trade Union Federation. There was also a Democratic Women's Federation of 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
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" (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.[55] Population[edit]

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.[56] 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,[57] and after that time, East Germany
Germany
had very low birth rates,[58] except for a recovery in the 1980s when the birth rate in East Germany
Germany
was considerably higher than in West Germany.[59] Major cities[edit] (1988 populations)

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

^a "Bezirksstadt" (centre of district) Administrative districts[edit]

Administrative map: The districts of the German Democratic Republic
Republic
in 1952.

Main article: Administrative divisions of East 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
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
(in 1947 renamed Mecklenburg), Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, and Saxony, their post-war territorial demarcations approximating the pre-war German demarcations of the Middle German Länder (states) and Provinzen (provinces of Prussia). The western parts of two provinces, 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
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, (ii) Neubrandenburg, and (iii) Schwerin
Schwerin
created from the Land (state) of Mecklenburg; (iv) Potsdam, (v) Frankfurt (Oder), and (vii) Cottbus
Cottbus
from Brandenburg; (vi) Magdeburg
Magdeburg
and (viii) Halle from Saxony-Anhalt; (ix) Leipzig, (xi) Dresden, and (xii) Karl-Marx-Stadt ( Chemnitz
Chemnitz
until 1953 and again from 1990) from Saxony; and (x) Erfurt, (xiii) Gera, and (xiv) Suhl
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, 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[edit]

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
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[edit] 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
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[edit] 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
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[edit] Main article: Bereitschaftspolizei § In the former German Democratic Republic After the NVA was separated from the Volkspolizei
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[edit] 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
Stasi
that was visible to the public, and so were very unpopular within the population. The Stasi
Stasi
numbered around 90,000 men, the Guards Regiment around 11,000-12,000 men. Combat groups of the working class[edit] The Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse
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
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[edit] Main article: Conscientious objection in East 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
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
United States
as primary threat[edit]

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.[60] 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. Dissidents, particularly professionals, sometimes fled to West Germany, which was relatively easy before the construction of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
in 1961.[61][62] Support of Third World socialist countries[edit]

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
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
Stasi
model. Already in the 1960s contacts were established with Angola’s MPLA, Mozambique’s FRELIMO
FRELIMO
and the PAIGC
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
Republic
of the Congo, People's Democratic Republic
Republic
of Yemen, Somali Democratic Republic, Libya, and the People's Republic
Republic
of Benin. The first military agreement was signed in 1973 with the People's Republic
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.[63] Soviet military occupation[edit] Main article: Group of Soviet Forces in Germany Economy[edit] Main article: Economy of the German Democratic Republic

Map of the East German
East German
economy

The Trabant
Trabant
automobile was a profitable product made in the German Democratic Republic
Republic
(GDR).

The East German
East German
economy began poorly because of the devastation caused by the Second World
Second World
War; the loss of so many young soldiers, the disruption of business and transportation, 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, an important natural port, were given to Poland
Poland
by the decision of Stalin.[38] The socialist centrally planned economy of the German Democratic Republic
Republic
was like that of the USSR. In 1950, the GDR joined the COMECON
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.[64] Notable East German
East German
exports were photographic cameras, under the Praktica
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
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".[65] 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).[66] Consumption and jobs[edit] 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.[67] No worker could be sacked, unless for serious misconduct or incompetence; even in such cases, alternative work would be offered.[citation needed] The GDR had no system of unemployment benefit because the concept of unemployment did not exist.[citation needed] With a very low birth rate and a high rate of exodus, East Germany
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.[68] Beginning in 1963 with a series of secret international agreements, East Germany
Germany
recruited workers from Poland, Hungary, Cuba, Albania, Mozambique, Angola
Angola
and North 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.[69] Religion[edit] Main articles: Christianity in East Germany, Persecution of Christians in the Eastern Bloc, and Irreligion in Germany

Religion in East Germany, 1950

Religion

Percent

Protestant

85%

Roman Catholic

10%

Unaffiliated

5%

Religion in East Germany, 1989

Religion

Percent

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.[70] In 1957 the State authorities established a State Secretariat for Church Affairs to handle the government's contact with churches and with religious groups;[citation needed] the SED remained officially atheist.[71] In 1950, 85% of the GDR citizens were 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.[72] By 1989, membership in the Christian churches dropped significantly. Protestants
Protestants
constituted 25% of the population, Roman Catholics
Roman Catholics
5%. The share of people who considered themselves non-religious rose from 5% in 1950 to 70% in 1989. State atheism[edit] Further information: State atheism
State atheism
and Irreligion in Germany When it first came to power, the Communist party
Communist party
asserted the compatibility of Christianity and Marxism
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
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.[by whom?] 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.[73] Protestantism[edit] 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) from the early stages of the Protestant
Protestant
Reformation onwards. In 1948, freed from the influence of the Nazi-oriented German Christians, 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[74] broke away from the EKD and formed the Federation of Protestant
Protestant
Churches in the German Democratic Republic
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.[75] 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 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.[76] Manfred Stolpe
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 of the Free Protestant
Protestant
Churches in the German Democratic Republic
Republic
and the Federation of the Free Protestant
Protestant
Churches in Germany, as well as the Free Lutheran
Lutheran
Church, the Old Lutheran
Lutheran
Church and 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 and Quakers. Roman Catholicism[edit] See also: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Berlin

Katholikentag, Dresden, 1987 (left to right) Bishop Karl Lehmann
Karl Lehmann
and Cardinals Gerhard Schaffran, Joseph Ratzinger
Joseph Ratzinger
and Joachim Meisner.

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.[76] 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.[77][page needed] 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.[78][need quotation to verify] List of apostolic administrators:

Erfurt-Meiningen Görlitz Magdeburg Schwerin

Culture[edit] Main article: Culture of East 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[who?], Machiavellian in nature, but this assertion has been challenged by studies[which?] 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.[79] GDR culture and politics were limited by the harsh censorship.[80] Music[edit] The Puhdys
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. Most of these artists recorded on the state-owned AMIGA label.[citation needed] Schlager, which was very popular in the west, also gained a foothold early on in East Germany, and numerous musicians, such as Gerd Christian, Uwe Jensen, and Hartmut Schulze-Gerlach gained national fame. From 1962 to 1976, an international schlager festival was held in Rostock, garnering participants from between 18 and 22 countries each year.[81] The city of Dresden
Dresden
held a similar international festival for schlager musicians from 1971 until shortly before reunification.[82] There was a national schlager contest hosted yearly in Magdeburg
Magdeburg
from 1966 to 1971 as well.[83] Bands and singers from other Communist countries were popular, e.g. Czerwone Gitary
Czerwone Gitary
from Poland
Poland
known as the Rote Gitarren.[84][85] Czech Karel Gott, the Golden Voice from Prague, was beloved in both German states.[86] Hungarian band Omega performed in both German states, and Yugoslavian band Korni Grupa
Korni Grupa
toured East Germany
Germany
in the 1970s.[87][88] 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.[89] 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.[90] 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.[citation needed] The birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
(1685–1750), 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.[91] Governmental support of classical music maintained some fifty symphony orchestras, such as Gewandhausorchester
Gewandhausorchester
and Thomanerchor
Thomanerchor
in Leipzig; Sächsische Staatskapelle in Dresden; and Berliner Sinfonie Orchester and Staatsoper Unter den Linden
Staatsoper Unter den Linden
in Berlin.[citation needed] Kurt Masur was their prominent conductor.[92] See also: Jazz in Germany Theatre[edit]

Playwright Bertolt Brecht
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.[93] Alternatively, other influences tried to establish a "Working Class Theatre", played for the working class by the working class.[citation needed] 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
Ekkehard Schall
were considered to be among Bertolt Brecht's scholars and followers.[citation needed] In the 1950s the Swiss director Benno Besson
Benno Besson
with the Deutsches Theater successfully toured Europe and 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.[citation needed] 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
Peter Sodann
founded the Neues Theater in Halle/Saale
Halle/Saale
and Frank Castorf at the theater Anklam.[citation needed] 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
Benno Besson
once said, "In contrast to artists in the west, they took us seriously, we had a bearing."[94][citation needed] The Friedrichstadt-Palast
Friedrichstadt-Palast
in Berlin
Berlin
is the last major building erected by the GDR, making it an exceptional architectural testimony to how Germany
Germany
overcame of its former division. Here, Berlin’s great revue tradition lives on, today bringing viewers state-of-the-art shows.[95]

Volksbühne

Important theatres include the Berliner Ensemble,[96] the Deutsches Theater,[97] the Maxim Gorki Theater,[98] and the Volksbühne.[99] Cinema[edit] The prolific cinema of East Germany
Germany
was headed by the DEFA,[100] 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
Brothers Grimm
fairy tales and modern productions such as Das Schulgespenst).[citation needed] Frank Beyer's Jakob der Lügner (Jacob the Liar), about the Holocaust, and Fünf Patronenhülsen
Fünf Patronenhülsen
(Five Cartridges), about resistance against fascism, became internationally famous.[citation needed] Films about daily life, such as Die Legende von Paul und Paula, by Heiner Carow, and Solo Sunny, directed by Konrad Wolf
Konrad Wolf
and Wolfgang Kohlhaase, were very popular.[citation needed] 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
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
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 producing alternative films about the colonization of America.[citation needed] 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
Olsen Gang
or movies with the French comedian Louis de Funès.[citation needed] Since the fall of the Berlin
Berlin
Wall, several movies depicting life in the GDR have been critically acclaimed.[citation needed] Some of the most notable were Good Bye Lenin!
Good Bye Lenin!
by Wolfgang Becker,[101] Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others) by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (won the Academy Award
Academy Award
for best Film in a Foreign Language) in 2006,[102] and Alles auf Zucker! (Go for Zucker) by Dani Levi. Each film is heavily infused with cultural nuances unique to life in the GDR.[103] Sport[edit]

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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.[citation needed]

The East German
East German
football team lining up before a match in June 1974

Another supporting reason was doping in East Germany, especially with anabolic steroids, the most detected doping substances in IOC-accredited laboratories for many years.[104][105] 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.[106][107][108][109][110][111][112][113][114][115][116][117][118][119][excessive citations] 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.[citation needed]

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 2 teams each. Football was the most popular sport. Club football teams such as Dynamo Dresden, 1. FC Magdeburg, FC Carl Zeiss Jena, 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig
Leipzig
and BFC Dynamo had successes in European competition. Many East German
East German
players such as Matthias Sammer
Matthias Sammer
and Ulf Kirsten
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.[citation needed]

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
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.[120]

"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[edit] Television and radio in East Germany
Germany
were state-run industries; the Rundfunk der DDR
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 to 1990 known as Fernsehen der DDR or DDR-FS, was the state television broadcaster from 1952. Reception of Western broadcasts was widespread.[121]

Gerhard Behrendt
Gerhard Behrendt
with character from stop-animation series Sandmännchen

Industry[edit] Telecommunications[edit] Further information: Telecommunications in 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
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
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[edit]

Date English Name German Name Remarks

1 January New Year's Day Neujahr  

Good Friday Karfreitag  

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 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
Republic
Day Tag der Republik National holiday

Day of Repentance and Prayer Buß- und Bettag Penultimate Wednesday before the fourth Sunday before 25 December. Originally a Protestant
Protestant
feast day, it was demoted as an official holiday in 1967.

25 December First Day of Christmas 1. Weihnachtsfeiertag  

26 December Second Day of Christmas 2. Weihnachtsfeiertag  

Legacy[edit] 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.[122]

German historian Jürgen Kocka
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.[123]

Ostalgie[edit] Main article: Ostalgie Many East Germans initially regarded the dissolution of the GDR positively.[124] But this reaction soon turned sour.[125] 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).[126] 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."[127] 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
Wolfgang Becker
film Goodbye Lenin!. See also[edit]

Germany

Berlin

Berlin
Berlin
Wall East Berlin West Berlin

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

Armed Forces

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

Media

Aktuelle Kamera, GDR's main TV news show Der Tunnel, a film about a mass evacuation to West Berlin
West Berlin
through a tunnel Deutscher Fernsehfunk East German
East German
Cold War
Cold War
Propaganda Good Bye, Lenin!, a tragicomedy film about the German reunification Radio Berlin
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
Ostalgie
(Nostalgia, missing the DDR) Palast der Republik Dean Reed Sportvereinigung (SV) Dynamo Tourism in East Germany Omoiyari Yosan
Omoiyari Yosan
(DDR government→ USSR
USSR
Forces)

East Germany
Germany
portal

Notes[edit]

^ "Warsaw Pact". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 6 March 2018.  ^ "Council for Mutual Economic Assistance". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 6 March 2018.  ^ Bevölkerungsstand Archived 13 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Top-Level-Domain .DD Information site about .dd in German language ^ "German Democratic Republic
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(GDR), 1949–1990" (p. 798), in Edmund Jan Osmańczyk (ed.), Encyclopedia of the United Nations
United Nations
and International Agreements, Taylor & Francis, 2003 ^ a b Patrick Major, Jonathan Osmond, The Workers' and Peasants' State: Communism
Communism
and Society in East Germany
Germany
Under Ulbricht 1945–71, Manchester University Press, 2002, ISBN 9780719062896 ^ 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 29 October 1989. p. 5A. ^ Grix, Jonathan; Cooke, Paul (2003). East German
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Distinctiveness in a Unified Germany. p. 17. ISBN 1902459172.  ^ Peter E. Quint. The Imperfect Union: Constitutional Structures of German Unification Princeton University Press 2012, pp. 125-126. ^ "More Than 1,100 Berlin Wall
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of Germany, 1959 - Germany (West), page 20 ^ The use of the abbreviation BRD (FRG) for West Germany, the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic
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[s]) 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
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Germany
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East Berlin
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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
Heinrich Rau
(SED) and four of his six deputies were also SED members. ^ Patrick Major and Jonathan Osmund, Workers' and Peasants' State: Communism
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Germany
under Ulbricht, 1945–71 (2002) ^ East Berlin
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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
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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
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of Germany, Duke University Presss, p. 308  ^ Texas Law: Foreign Law Translations 1973, University of Texas, retrieved 7 December 2016  ^ [Eric G. E. Zuelow, Touring Beyond the Nation: A Transnational Approach to European Tourism History, p. 220] ^ David Priestand, Red Flag: A History of Communism," New York: Grove Press, 2009 ^ a b c 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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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 ^ Nik Martin (27 November 2016). "Castro's Caribbean island gift to East Germany". Deutsche Welle
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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 21 September 2015. '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" ^ The Eastern churches were the Evangelical Church of Anhalt, Evangelical Church in Berlin, Brandenburg
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doping take their battle to court" Archived 30 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine.The Guardian – 1 November 2005 ^ Jackson, Guy. Winning at Any Cost?: "Doping for glory in East Germany" Archived 11 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.UNESCO]] – September 2006 ^ "Ex- East German
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athletes compensated for doping" Archived 12 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine.Associated Press]] – (c/o ESPN) – 13 December 2006 ^ " East German
East German
doping victims to get compensation" Archived 2 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.Associated Press]] – (c/o CBC Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) – 13 December 2006 ^ Starcevic, Nesha. – " East German
East German
doping victims to get compensation" Archived 3 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.Associated Press]] – (c/o San Diego Union-Tribune) – 13 December 2006 ^ " Germany
Germany
completes $4.1M payout to doping victims" Archived 11 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.USA Today – 11 October 2007 ^ " 1974 FIFA World Cup
1974 FIFA World Cup
Germany, Germany
Germany
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
Google Books
25 January 2010. ^ Interview with the GDR’s Margot Honecker
Honecker
— 'The past was brought back', Workers World, 16 November 2015 ^ Jürgen Kocka, ed. (2010). Civil Society & Dictatorship in Modern German History. UPNE. p. 37.  ^ 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[edit]

Allinson, Mark. Politics and Popular Opinion in East Germany
Germany
1945–68 (2000) Augustine, Dolores. Red Prometheus: Engineering and Dictatorship in East Germany, 1945–1990. (2007) 411pp Baylis, Thomas A., David H Childs
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 & Soviet Communism
Communism
Since 1945, Routledge, 2000. Informaworld.com De La Motte and John Green, " Stasi
Stasi
State or Socialist Paradise? The German Democratic Republic
Republic
and What became of it", Artery Publications. 2015 Fulbrook, Mary. The People's State: East German
East German
Society from Hitler to Honecker
Honecker
(Yale University Press, 2005. 352 pp. ISBN 0-300-10884-2. Fulbrook; 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
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
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
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
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[edit]

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
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," [The GDR in German history] 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 & Society 32.4 (2014): 39-55. Argues the history of East Germany
Germany
is taught in the 21st century German schools, but not its literature.

In German[edit]

Dahn, Daniela. Vertreibung ins Paradies: Unzeitgemäße Texte zur Zeit, Berlin: Rowohlt Verlag, 1998 Dahn, Daniela. Wenn und Aber: Anstiftungen zem Widerspruch, Berlin: Rowohlt Verlag, 1997 Dahn, Daniela. Westwärts und nicht vergessen: Vom Unbehagen in der Einheit, Rowohlt Verlag, 1997

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to German Democratic Republic.

Border Museum at Schifflersgrund AHF – Nationale Volksarmee : NVA That was the GDR (in German) at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
(archived 8 April 2010) The German Democratic Republic, an English-language East German
East German
work from 1986 providing an overview of its society. GDR: An Historical Outline, an English-language East German
East German
history book published in 1981. Translations of propaganda materials from the GDR. Geschichte des ostdeutschen Designs – history of east German design (in German) DDR Museum Berlin – Culture of GDR Interactive Map of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
Note: This domain name expired on 12/16/2017 and is pending renewal or deletion. East Berlin, past and present at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
(archived 28 September 2007) Pictures of the GDR 1949–1973 RFE/RL East German
East German
Subject Files Open Society Archives, Budapest at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
(archived 2 December 2008) Stamps Catalog of the German Democratic Republic
Republic
at Archive.is (archived 2 January 2013) East German
East German
anthem with English and German lyrics Map of Europe at the time of the creation of East Germany (omniatlas.com)

List of sovereign states · Europe

Preceded by Allied Occupation Zones in Germany and the Soviet Military Administration in Germany (1945–1949) German Democratic Republic (concurrent with the Federal Republic
Republic
of Germany) 1949–1990 Succeeded by Federal Republic
Republic
of Germany

v t e

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

Bezirke (1952–90)

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

States (1949–52; 1990)

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

v t e

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

Albania Bulgaria Czechoslovakia East Germany Hungary Poland Romania Yugoslavia

Soviet Russia / 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 Communism

Formation

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

Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina Baltic states Hungary Romania

Yalta Conference

Annexed as, or into, SSRs

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

Satellite states

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

Annexing SSRs

Russian SFSR Ukrainian SSR Byelorussian SSR

Organizations

Cominform COMECON Warsaw Pact World Federation of Trade Unions
World Federation of Trade Unions
(WFTU) World Federation of Democratic Youth
World 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
Warsaw Pact
invasion of Czechoslovakia Brezhnev Doctrine 1968 Red Square demonstration 1968 student demonstrations in Belgrade 1968 protests in Kosovo 1970 Polish protests Croatian Spring 1972 unrest in Lithuania
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
Cold War
events

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

Post- Cold War
Cold War
topics

Baltic Assembly Collective
Collective
Security Treaty Organization Commonwealth of Independent States Craiova Group European Union European migrant crisis Eurasian Economic Union NATO Post-Soviet states Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Visegrad Group

v t e

Socialism
Socialism
by country

By country

American Left Australia British Left Canada Estonia France Hong Kong India Netherlands New Zealand Pakistan

History

Brazil United Kingdom United States

Regional variants

African Arab British Burmese Chinese Israeli Melanesian Nicaraguan Tanzanian Venezuelan Vietnamese

Communist states

Africa

Angola Benin Congo-Brazzaville Ethiopia (1974–1987) Ethiopia (1987–1991) Madagascar Mozambique Somalia

Americas

Cuba Grenada

Asia

Afghanistan Cambodia (1976–1979) Cambodia (1979–1993) China North Korea Laos Mongolia Tuva Vietnam

North Vietnam

South Yemen

Short-lived

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

Europe

Albania Bulgaria Czechoslovakia East Germany Hungary
Hungary
(1949–1989) Poland Romania Soviet Union Yugoslavia

Short-lived

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

History of socialism

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 125035363 LCCN: n80125938 ISNI: 0000 0001 2242 8348 GND: 4011890-3 SELIBR: 161042 SUDOC: 026358662 BNF: cb11862204b (d

.