Economy of East GermanyWith an area of 40, square milessquare kilometersor slightly smaller than the U. Inthe Republic was declared by the Soviet Union to be fully sovereign. However, Soviet troops remained, based on the four-power Potsdam Agreement. Following the initial opening duging sections of the Berlin Wall on November 9,new elections held on March 18,meant the governing SED lost its majority in the Volkskammer the East German east german economy during the cold war. On August 23, east german economy during the cold war Volkskammer decided that the territory of the Republic would accede to the ambit claim of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany on October 3, As a result of the unification on that date, the German Democratic Republic officially max gazze ultimo singolo testo to exist.
Why East Germany may never catch up with the west | Fortune
With an area of 40, square miles , square kilometers , or slightly smaller than the U. In , the Republic was declared by the Soviet Union to be fully sovereign. However, Soviet troops remained, based on the four-power Potsdam Agreement.
Following the initial opening of sections of the Berlin Wall on November 9, , new elections held on March 18, , meant the governing SED lost its majority in the Volkskammer the East German parliament.
On August 23, the Volkskammer decided that the territory of the Republic would accede to the ambit claim of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany on October 3, As a result of the unification on that date, the German Democratic Republic officially ceased to exist. After the German military leaders unconditionally surrendered to Allied forces on May 8, , Germany was devastated, with about 25 percent of the country's housing damaged beyond use.
Factories and transport ceased to function, soaring inflation undermined the currency, food shortages meant city dwellers starved, while millions of homeless German refugees flooded west from the former eastern provinces. Sovereignty was in the hands of the victorious allied nations. Everything had to be rebuilt. The city of Berlin was placed under the control of the four powers.
The German territory east of the Oder-Neisse line, equal in size to the Soviet occupation zone, was handed over to Poland and the Soviet Union , with the larger share going to the Poles as compensation for territory they lost to the Soviet Union. This amounted to a de facto annexation of 25 percent of Germany's territory as of Estimates of casualties from the expulsion range from hundreds of thousands to several million.
In the GDR, the euphemism "resettlement" was officially used to describe this event. The intended governing body of Germany was called the Allied Control Council. The commanders-in-chief exercised supreme authority in their respective zones and acted in concert on questions affecting the whole country. Berlin , which lay in the Soviet eastern sector, was also divided into four sectors—with the Western sectors later becoming West Berlin and the Soviet sector becoming East Berlin, capital of East Germany.
Norman Naimark writes in The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, Many of these victims were raped repeatedly. Naimark states that not only did each victim have to carry the trauma with her for the rest of her days, it inflicted a massive collective trauma on the East German nation. Naimark concludes, "The social psychology of women and men in the soviet zone of occupation was marked by the crime of rape from the first days of occupation, through the founding of the GDR in the fall of , until—one could argue—the present.
Each occupation power assumed rule in its zone by June The powers originally pursued a common German policy, focused on denazification and demilitarization in preparation for the restoration of a democratic German nation-state. Over time, however, the western zones and the Soviet zone drifted apart economically, not least because of the Soviets' much greater use of disassembly of German industry under its control as a form of reparations.
Military industries and those owned by the state, by Nazi activists, and by war criminals were confiscated. These industries amounted to approximately 60 percent of total industrial production in the Soviet zone. Most heavy industry constituting 20 percent of total production was claimed by the Soviet Union as reparations, and Soviet joint stock companies German: Sowjetische Aktiengesellschaften, or SAG were formed.
The remaining confiscated industrial property was nationalized, leaving 40 percent of total industrial production to private enterprise. A key item in the occupiers' agenda was denazification; toward this end, the swastika and other outward symbols of the Nazi regime were banned, and a Provisional Civil Ensign was established as a temporary German flag. A strict non-fraternization policy was adhered to by General Eisenhower and the War department, although this was lifted in stages.
The agrarian reform expropriated all land belonging to former Nazis and war criminals and generally limited ownership to one square kilometer. Growing economic differences combined with developing political tensions between the U. The division of Germany was made clear with the currency reform of June 20, , which was limited to the western zones.
Three days later, a separate currency reform was introduced in the Soviet zone. The introduction of the western Deutsche Mark to the western sectors of Berlin against the will of the Soviet supreme commander, led the Soviet Union to introduce the Berlin Blockade in an attempt to gain control of the whole of Berlin.
The Western Allies decided to supply Berlin via an "air bridge," which lasted 11 months, until the Soviet Union lifted the blockade on May 12, Permission was granted for the formation of anti-fascist democratic political parties in the Soviet zone, with elections to new state legislatures scheduled for October In the October elections, the SED polled approximately 50 percent of the vote in each state in the Soviet zone.
In Berlin, which was still undivided, the SPD had resisted the party merger and, running on its own, had polled When a West German government was likely to be established, an election for a People's Congress was held in the Soviet occupation zone in May By ensuring that communists predominated in these unity lists, the SED determined in advance the composition of the new People's Congress.
About two-thirds of the voters approved the unity lists, while in subsequent elections, favorable margins in excess of 99 percent were announced. A Politburo, Secretariat, and Central Committee were formed.
Many former members of the SPD and some communist advocates of a social-democratic road to socialism were purged from the SED. Five weeks after declaration of the western Federal Republic of Germany, on October 7, , a constitution ratified by the People's Congress went into effect in the Soviet zone, which became the German Democratic Republic Deutsche Demokratische Republik , commonly known as East Germany, with its capital in the Soviet sector of Berlin.
The German Democratic Republic was created as a socialist republic in and began to institute a government based on that of the Soviet Union. The constitutional structure consisted of a directly elected unicameral legislature or People's Chamber Volkskammer , an executive Council of Ministers, and a judiciary. Although constitutionally a parliamentary democracy, actual power lay with the SED and its boss, Walter Ulbricht, who was deputy premier in the government.
As in the Soviet Union, the government was the agent of the communist-controlled Socialist Unity Party, which was ruled by a self-selecting Politburo. As the Potsdam Agreement had committed the Soviets to supporting a democratic form of government in Germany, other political parties were technically permitted, although in practice they had no political power and were not allowed to meaningfully question or oppose government policy.
Along with other parties, the SED was part of the "National Front of Democratic Germany," ostensibly a united coalition of anti- fascist political parties. Suffrage was universal to all citizens age 18 and over.
National elections took place every five years, and were prepared by an electoral commission of the National Front. The ballot was supposed to be secret and voters were permitted to strike names off ballot. In an attempt to include women in the political life of East Germany, there was a Democratic Women's Federation of Germany, with seats in the Volkskammer.
Another society of note and very popular during the late s was the Society for German-Soviet Friendship. The legal system was based on civil law system modified by Communist legal theory. The court system paralleled administrative divisions. There was no judicial review of legislative acts.
Easy Germany did not accept compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction. A highly effective secret police force called the Stasi infiltrated and reported on most private activity in East Germany, limiting opportunity for non-sanctioned political organization. All formal organizations except for churches were directly controlled by the East German government. Churches were permitted to operate more or less free from government control, as long as they abstained from political activity.
The next day, former Social Democrat Otto Grotewohl was installed as premier at the head of a cabinet, nominally responsible to the chamber. The Socialist Unity Party concentrated on building an economy in a territory lacking natural resources , that was less than one-half the size of the Federal Republic, and which had a population one-third as large. The industrial sector, employing 40 percent of the working population, was subjected to further nationalization, resulting in the formation of the People's Enterprises German: The First Five-Year Plan —55 introduced centralized state planning, stressing high production quotas for heavy industry and increased labor productivity.
The construction of basic industries was emphasized at the expense of the production of consumer goods. War reparations required that much productive capacity be diverted to Soviet needs. The standard of living lagged far behind that of West Germany. Food rationing continued long after it had ended in West Germany. Thousands of farmers fled to West Germany each year rather than merge their land into the collective farms. The pressures of the plan, plus relentless ideological indoctrination, repression of dissent, and harassment of churches by a militantly atheistic regime, caused an exodus of East German citizens to West Germany.
In , monthly emigration figures fluctuated between 11, and 17, In , East Germany sealed its borders, but East Germans continued to leave through Berlin, where free movement still prevailed. By an average of 37, men, women and children were leaving each month. There were also other indications of opposition, even from within the government itself.
In the fall of , several prominent members of the SED were expelled and arrested as "saboteurs" or "for lacking trust in the Soviet Union. The regime enacted anti-family legislation. Under a law passed by the Volkskammer in , the age at which Germany's youth may reject parental supervision was lowered from 21 to At the end of the draft of a new family code was published which aimed at destroying all parental influence.
The , the Stalin Note proposed German unification and superpower disengagement from Central Europe but the United States and its allies rejected the offer. Soviet leader Josef Stalin died in March Though powerful Soviet politician Lavrenty Beria briefly pursued the idea of German unification once more following Stalin's death, he was arrested and removed from office in a coup d'etat in mid His successor, Nikita Khrushchev , firmly rejected the idea of handing eastern Germany over to be annexed, marking the end of any serious consideration of the unification idea until the resignation of the East German government in On June 16, , following a production quota increase of 10 percent for workers building East Berlin's new boulevard the Stalinallee, today's Karl-Marx-Allee , demonstrations by disgruntled workers broke out in East Berlin, the first popular uprising in the postwar Soviet bloc.
The next day the protests spread across East Germany with more than a million on strike and demonstrations in communities. Fearing revolution, the government requested the aid of Soviet occupation troops and on the morning of the 18th tanks and soldiers were dispatched who dealt harshly with protesters.
Soviet troops killed 21 people, wounded hundreds of others, and were jailed. The Socialist Unity Party announced the New Course which aimed at improvement in the standard of living, stressed a shift in investment toward light industry and trade and a greater availability of consumer goods. The party relaxed pressure on farmers to enter collective farms.
Agricultural yields improved, and the last food rationing ended in By this time, reparations payments had been completed. In , East Germany became a charter member of the Warsaw Pact , the Soviet bloc's military alliance. President Pieck died in , and Ulbricht became head of a newly created Council of State, entrenching a totalitarian communist dictatorship. Due to the lure of higher salaries in the West and political oppression in the East, many skilled workers such as doctors crossed into the West, causing a 'brain drain' in the East.