East Germany

  • german democratic republic

    deutsche demokratische republik  (german)
    1949–1990
    flag of east germany
    flag
    (1959–1990)
    national emblem (1955–1990) of east germany
    national emblem (1955–1990)
    motto: proletarier aller länder, vereinigt euch!
    (english: workers of the world, unite!)
    anthem: auferstanden aus ruinen
    (english: "risen from ruins")
    the territory of the german democratic republic (east germany) from its creation on 7 october 1949 until its dissolution on 3 october 1990
    the territory of the german democratic republic (east germany) from its creation on 7 october 1949 until its dissolution on 3 october 1990
    statusmember of the warsaw pact (1955–1989)
    satellite state of the soviet union (1949–1989)
    capital
    and largest city
    east berlin[1] (de facto)
    official languagesgerman
    sorbian (in bezirk dresden and in parts of bezirk cottbus)
    religion
    see religion in east germany
    demonym(s)east german
    governmentfederal marxist–leninist one-party socialist republic
    (1949–1952)
    unitary marxist–leninist one-party socialist republic
    (1952–1989)
    unitary parliamentary republic
    (1989–1990)
    general secretary 
    • 1949–1950 (first)
    wilhelm pieck
    • 1989 (last)
    egon krenz
    head of state 
    • 1949–1960 (first)
    wilhelm pieck
    • 1990 (last)
    sabine bergmann-pohl
    head of government 
    • 1949–1964 (first)
    otto grotewohl
    • 1990 (last)
    lothar de maizière
    legislaturevolkskammer
    • state chamber
    länderkammer[2]
    historical eracold war
    • constitution adopted
    7 october 1949
    • uprising of 1953
    16 june 1953
    • warsaw pact
    14 may 1955
    • berlin crisis
    4 june 1961
    • admitted to the un
    18 september 1973
    • peaceful revolution
    13 october 1989
    • final settlement
    12 september 1990
    • reunification
    3 october 1990
    area
    • total
    108,333 km2 (41,828 sq mi)
    population
    • 1950
    18,388,000[3][4]
    • 1970
    17,068,000
    • 1990
    16,111,000
    currency
    • east german mark (1949–1990), officially named:
      • deutsche mark (1949–1964)
      • mark der deutschen notenbank (1964–1967)
      • mark der ddr (1967–1990)
    • deutsche mark (from 1 july 1990)
    time zone(utc+1)
    driving sideright
    calling code+37
    internet tld.dd[5][6]
    preceded by
    succeeded by
    allied-occupied germany
    soviet occupation zone of germany
    federal republic of germany (reunified germany)
    today part of germany
    the initial flag of east germany adopted in 1948 was identical to that of west germany. in 1959, the east german government issued a new version of the flag bearing the national emblem, serving to distinguish east from west.
    1. ^ not recognised by the three powers: france, united kingdom and the united states.
    2. ^ dissolved by the volkskammer on 8 december 1958.
    3. ^ population statistics according to statistisches bundesamt.
    4. ^ "bevölkerungsstand". the original on 13 november 2013.
    5. ^ although .dd was reserved as corresponding iso code for east germany, it was not entered to the root before the country was reunited with the west.
    6. ^ "top-level-domain .dd" (in german). archived from the original on 4 november 2015.

    east germany, officially the german democratic republic (gdr; german: deutsche demokratische republik [ˈdɔʏtʃə demoˈkʁaːtɪʃə ʁepuˈbliːk], ddr), was a state that existed from 1949 to 1990, the period when the eastern portion of germany was part of the eastern bloc during the cold war. commonly described as a communist state in english usage, it described itself as a socialist "workers' and peasants' state".[1] it consisted of territory that was administered and occupied by soviet forces following the end of world war ii—the soviet occupation zone of the 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 remained outside the jurisdiction of the gdr.

    the german democratic republic was established in the soviet zone, while the federal republic was established in the three western zones. east germany was a satellite state of the soviet union.[2] 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.[3] the sed made the teaching of marxism–leninism and the russian language compulsory in schools.[4]

    the economy was centrally planned and increasingly state-owned.[5] 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 soviets, 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 wall. many people attempting to flee[6][7] were killed by border guards or booby traps, such as landmines.[8] many others spent large amounts of time imprisoned for attempting to escape.[9][10]

    in 1989, numerous social, economic, and political forces in the gdr and abroad led to the fall of the berlin wall and the establishment of a government committed to liberalisation. the following year, free and fair elections were held,[11] 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 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 after reunification for crimes committed during the cold war.

    geographically, the german democratic republic bordered the baltic sea to the north; poland to the east; czechoslovakia to the southeast and west germany to the southwest and west. internally, the gdr also bordered the soviet sector of allied-occupied berlin, known as 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 and france known collectively as west berlin. the three sectors occupied by the western nations were sealed off from the gdr by the berlin wall from its construction in 1961 until it was brought down in 1989.

  • naming conventions
  • history
  • politics
  • population
  • administrative districts
  • military
  • foreign policy
  • economy
  • religion
  • culture
  • industry
  • official and public holidays
  • legacy
  • ostalgie
  • see also
  • notes
  • references
  • further reading
  • external links

German Democratic Republic

Deutsche Demokratische Republik  (German)
1949–1990
Flag of East Germany
Flag
(1959–1990)
National emblem (1955–1990) of East Germany
National emblem (1955–1990)
Motto: Proletarier aller Länder, vereinigt Euch!
(English: Workers of the world, unite!)
Anthem: Auferstanden aus Ruinen
(English: "Risen from Ruins")
The territory of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) from its creation on 7 October 1949 until its dissolution on 3 October 1990
The territory of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) from its creation on 7 October 1949 until its dissolution on 3 October 1990
StatusMember of the Warsaw Pact (1955–1989)
Satellite state of the Soviet Union (1949–1989)
Capital
and largest city
East Berlin[1] (de facto)
Official languagesGerman
Sorbian (in Bezirk Dresden and in parts of Bezirk Cottbus)
Religion
See Religion in East Germany
Demonym(s)East German
GovernmentFederal Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic
(1949–1952)
Unitary Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic
(1952–1989)
Unitary parliamentary republic
(1989–1990)
General Secretary 
• 1949–1950 (first)
Wilhelm Pieck
• 1989 (last)
Egon Krenz
Head of State 
• 1949–1960 (first)
Wilhelm Pieck
• 1990 (last)
Sabine Bergmann-Pohl
Head of Government 
• 1949–1964 (first)
Otto Grotewohl
• 1990 (last)
Lothar de Maizière
LegislatureVolkskammer
• State Chamber
Länderkammer[2]
Historical eraCold War
7 October 1949
16 June 1953
14 May 1955
4 June 1961
18 September 1973
13 October 1989
12 September 1990
3 October 1990
Area
• Total
108,333 km2 (41,828 sq mi)
Population
• 1950
18,388,000[3][4]
• 1970
17,068,000
• 1990
16,111,000
Currency
  • East German mark (1949–1990), officially named:
    • Deutsche Mark (1949–1964)
    • Mark der Deutschen Notenbank (1964–1967)
    • Mark der DDR (1967–1990)
  • Deutsche Mark (from 1 July 1990)
Time zone(UTC+1)
Driving sideright
Calling code+37
Internet TLD.dd[5][6]
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Allied-occupied Germany
Soviet occupation zone of Germany
Federal Republic of Germany (reunified Germany)
Today part of Germany
The initial flag of East Germany adopted in 1948 was identical to that of West Germany. In 1959, the East German government issued a new version of the flag bearing the national emblem, serving to distinguish East from West.
  1. ^ Not recognised by the Three Powers: France, United Kingdom and the United States.
  2. ^ Dissolved by the Volkskammer on 8 December 1958.
  3. ^ Population statistics according to Statistisches Bundesamt.
  4. ^ "Bevölkerungsstand". the original on 13 November 2013.
  5. ^ Although .dd was reserved as corresponding ISO code for East Germany, it was not entered to the root before the country was reunited with the west.
  6. ^ "Top-Level-Domain .DD" (in German). Archived from the original on 4 November 2015.

East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik [ˈdɔʏtʃə demoˈkʁaːtɪʃə ʁepuˈbliːk], DDR), was a state that existed from 1949 to 1990, the period when the eastern portion of Germany was part of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. Commonly described as a communist state in English usage, it described itself as a socialist "workers' and peasants' state".[1] It consisted of territory that was administered and occupied by Soviet forces following the end of World War II—the Soviet occupation zone of the 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 remained outside the jurisdiction of the GDR.

The German Democratic Republic was established in the Soviet zone, while the Federal Republic was established in the three western zones. East Germany was a satellite state of the Soviet Union.[2] 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.[3] The SED made the teaching of Marxism–Leninism and the Russian language compulsory in schools.[4]

The economy was centrally planned and increasingly state-owned.[5] 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 Soviets, 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 Wall. Many people attempting to flee[6][7] were killed by border guards or booby traps, such as landmines.[8] Many others spent large amounts of time imprisoned for attempting to escape.[9][10]

In 1989, numerous social, economic, and political forces in the GDR and abroad led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the establishment of a government committed to liberalisation. The following year, free and fair elections were held,[11] 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 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 after reunification for crimes committed during the Cold War.

Geographically, the German Democratic Republic bordered the Baltic Sea to the north; Poland to the east; Czechoslovakia to the southeast and West Germany to the southwest and west. Internally, the GDR also bordered the Soviet sector of Allied-occupied Berlin, known as 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 and France known collectively as West Berlin. The three sectors occupied by the Western nations were sealed off from the GDR by the Berlin Wall from its construction in 1961 until it was brought down in 1989.