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Table of contents

In Halle there were confrontations between the Volkspolizei and adolescents at a Christmas market. Both the Private and this young man were arrested by the Volkspolizei, which caused hundreds of youths to protest in front of an office building for his release. In the following arrests a police officer fell hard to the ground and died shortly afterwards in hospital. This triggered house searches and more arrests. Those adolescents that were more conspicuous than others within the interrogations or who seemed not to be adapting to the socialist education were sent to trial for breach of peace.

The fight against the tendencies of the youths at the end of the 50s was an ideological fight against the american way of life. Through stigmatization of the adolescents as young rowdies with disavantages in school, family and profession, the western influence should have been ended. It always was constrained by the powerful example of the increasingly prosperous West, to which East Germans compared their nation. The changes wrought by the Communists were most apparent in ending capitalism and transforming industry and agriculture, in the militarization of society, and in the political 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 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.

Initially this meant the construction of three zones of occupation, i. Later, a French zone was carved out of the American and British zones. 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.

As West Germany was reorganised and gained independence from its occupiers, the German Democratic Republic was established in East Germany in The creation of the two states solidified the division of Germany. There have been several debates about whether a real chance for reunification had been missed in Socialist leader Otto Grotewohl — became prime minister until his death. The government of East 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 party platform claimed to support democratic elections and the protection of individual liberties in building up socialism. 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 ; subsequently as the other three zones were increasingly unified and granted self-government, the Soviet administration instituted a separate socialist government in its zone. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin , a Communist proponent of reunification, died in early March His successor, Nikita Khrushchev , rejected reunification as equivalent to returning East Germany for annexation to the West; hence reunification went unconsidered until However, the Western Allies disputed this recognition, considering the entire city of 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. The Soviet army initiated the blockade by halting all Allied rail, road, and water traffic to and from West Berlin. Being a Marxist—Leninist political party, the SED's government nationalised infrastructure and industrial plants. 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 cities and towns.

Fearing anti-communist counter-revolution on 18 June , 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, were jailed. Western economic opportunities induced a brain drain. While the Ulbricht government had experimented with liberal reforms, the Honecker government reversed them. The new government introduced a new East German Constitution which defined the German Democratic Republic as a "republic of workers and peasants".

Pop-Rebellion im Nirgendwo – alternative Jugendkultur in der DDR

Initially, East Germany claimed an exclusive mandate for all of Germany, a claim supported by most of the Communist bloc. However, from the s onward, East Germany began recognizing itself as a separate country from West Germany, and shared the legacy of the united German state of — This was formalized in , 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 to the early s, West Germany maintained that East 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 East Germany was recognized primarily by Communist countries and the Arab bloc, along with some "scattered sympathizers". This policy saw the Treaty of Moscow August , the Treaty of Warsaw December , the Four Power Agreement on Berlin September , the Transit Agreement May , and the Basic Treaty December , which relinquished any claims to an exclusive mandate over Germany as a whole and established normal relations between the Germanys.

Both countries were admitted into the United Nations on 18 September This also increased the number of countries recognizing East Germany to 55, including the US, UK and France, though these three still refused to recognize 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.

The Federal Republic continued to maintain that it could not within its own structures recognise the GDR de jure as a sovereign state under international law; but it fully acknowledged that, within the structures of international law, the GDR was an independent sovereign state. By distinction, West Germany 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". This assessment of the Basic Treaty was confirmed in a decision of the Federal Constitutional Court in ; [41].

This finding is independent of recognition in international law of the German Democratic Republic by the Federal Republic of Germany. Such recognition has not only never been formally pronounced by the Federal Republic of Germany but on the contrary repeatedly explicitly rejected.

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 with a single body politic. From the beginning, the newly formed GDR tried to establish its own separate identity. The SED destroyed a number of symbolic relics of the former Prussian aristocracy: In , 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 Hungary removed its border restrictions and unsealed its border, and more than 13, people left East Germany by crossing the border via Czechoslovakia into Hungary and then on to Austria and West Germany. Kurt Masur , the conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra , led local negotiations with the government and held town meetings in the concert hall. On 9 November , a few sections of the Berlin Wall were opened, resulting in thousands of East Germans crossing freely into West Berlin and West 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 democracy in East Germany, this did not come to pass. East Germany held its last elections in March The winner was a coalition headed by the East German branch of West Germany's Christian Democratic Union , which advocated speedy reunification.

The five original East German states that had been abolished in the redistricting were restored. On 1 July a currency union preceded the political union: Although the Volkskammer's declaration of accession to the Federal Republic had initiated the process of reunification; the act of reunification itself with its many specific terms, conditions and qualifications; some of which involved amendments to the West German Basic Law was achieved constitutionally by the subsequent Unification Treaty of 31 August ; that is through a binding agreement between the former Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic now recognising each another as separate sovereign states in international law.

The great economic and socio-political inequalities between the former Germanies required government subsidy for the full integration of the Democratic Republic of Germany into the German Federal Republic. Because of the resulting deindustrialization 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 command economy.

But many 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 enterprises to adapt. There were four periods in East German political history. However, the SED quickly transformed into a full-fledged Communist party as the more independent-minded Social Democrats were pushed out. The 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:. The member parties were almost completely subservient to the SED, and had to accept its " leading role " as a condition of their existence. However, the parties did have representation in the Volkskammer and received some posts in the government.

Another society of note was the Society for German-Soviet Friendship. The Left Party continues to be a political force in many parts of Germany, albeit drastically less powerful than the SED.

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This was primarily a result of emigration—about one quarter of East Germans left the country before the Berlin Wall was completed in , [55] and after that time, East Germany had very low birth rates, [56] except for a recovery in the s when the birth rate in East Germany was considerably higher than in West Germany. 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 new Bezirke , named after their district centres, were as follows: East Berlin was made the country's 15th Bezirk in but retained special legal status until , 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. The government of East 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 —92 , 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. It was an all volunteer force until an eighteen-month conscription period was introduced in The border troops of the Eastern sector were originally organised as a police force, the Deutsche Grenzpolizei, similar to the Bundesgrenzschutz in West Germany.

It was controlled by the Ministry of the Interior. Following the remilitarisation of East Germany in , the Deutsche Grenzpolizei was transformed into a military force in , modeled after the Soviet Border Troops , and transferred to the Ministry of National Defense, as part of the National People's Army. In , it was separated from the NVA, but it remained under the same ministry. At its peak, it numbered approximately 47, men.

These units were, like the Kasernierte Volkspolizei, equipped as motorised infantry, and they numbered between 12, and 15, men. The Ministry of State Security Stasi included the Felix Dzerzhinsky Guards Regiment , which was mainly involved with facilities security and plain clothes events security. They were the only part of the feared Stasi that was visible to the public, and so were very unpopular within the population.

The Stasi numbered around 90, men, the Guards Regiment around 11,, men. The Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse combat groups of the working class numbered around , for much of their existence, and were organised around factories. They received their training from the Volkspolizei and the Ministry of the Interior. Membership was voluntary, but SED members were required to join as part of their membership obligation.

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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 , two years after the introduction of conscription, in response to political pressure by the national Lutheran Protestant Church upon the GDR's government. In the s, East German leaders acknowledged that former construction soldiers were at a disadvantage when they rejoined the civilian sphere.

The East German state promoted an anti-imperialist line that was reflected in all its media and all the schools. Popular reaction to these measures was mixed, and Western media penetrated the country both through cross-border television and radio broadcasts from West 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 in After receiving wider international diplomatic recognition in —73, the GDR began active cooperation with Third World socialist governments and national liberation movements.

East Germany

While the USSR was in control of the overall strategy and Cuban armed forces were involved in the actual combat mostly in the People's Republic of Angola and socialist Ethiopia , the GDR provided experts for military hardware maintenance and personnel training, and oversaw creation of secret security agencies based on its own Stasi model. In the s official cooperation was established with other self-proclaimed socialist governments and people's republics: The first military agreement was signed in with the People's Republic of the Congo.

In friendship treaties were signed with Angola, Mozambique and Ethiopia. It was estimated that altogether, — 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 GDR. The East German economy began poorly because of the devastation caused by the 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 dismantled and transported to Russia the infrastructure and industrial plants of the Soviet Zone of Occupation.

By the early s, 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 by the decision of Stalin. In , collective state enterprises earned In , the average annual growth of the GDP was approximately five percent. This made East German economy the richest in all of the Soviet Bloc until after the fall of Communism in the country.

Notable East German exports were photographic cameras , under the Praktica brand; automobiles under the Trabant , Wartburg , and the IFA brands; hunting rifles, sextants , typewriters and wristwatches. Until the s, East Germans endured shortages of basic foodstuffs such as sugar and coffee. East Germans with friends or relatives in the West or with any access to a hard currency and the necessary Staatsbank foreign currency account could afford Western products and export-quality East German 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". For the consumer, it led to the substitution of GDR money with time, barter, and hard currencies.

The socialist economy became steadily more dependent on financial infusions from hard-currency loans from West Germany.

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  4. East Germans, meanwhile, came to see their soft currency as worthless relative to the Deutsche Mark DM. 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. They numbered more than , by Many, such as future politician Zeca Schall who emigrated from Angola in as a contract worker stayed in Germany after the Wende.

    Religion became contested ground in the GDR, with the governing Communists promoting state atheism , although some people remained loyal to Christian communities.

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    In , the renowned philosophical theologian, Paul Tillich , claimed that the Protestant population in East Germany had the most admirable Church in Protestantism, because the Communists there had not been able to win a spiritual victory over them. When it first came to power, the Communist party asserted the compatibility of Christianity and Marxism and sought Christian participation in the building of socialism.

    At first the promotion of Marxist-Leninist atheism received little official attention. In the mids, as the Cold War heated up, atheism became a topic of major interest for the state, in both domestic and foreign contexts. University chairs and departments devoted to the study of scientific atheism were founded and much literature scholarly and popular on the subject was produced.

    Official and scholarly attention to atheism renewed beginning in , 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 was never intended to jeopardise the cooperation that was desired from those East Germans who were religious.

    East Germany, historically, was majority Protestant primarily Lutheran from the early stages of the Protestant Reformation onwards. Between and the leadership of the East German Lutheran churches gradually changed its relations with the state from hostility to cooperation. The church adopted an attitude of confrontation and distance toward the state.

    Around 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 mids, 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 acceptance of secular power to a positive attitude toward socialist ideas. This file, the second one of 5 that might end result from the learn, seems at how summer season courses affected pupil functionality on math, analyzing, and social and emotional exams in fall A Comparative Study on the Role of Universities in - download pdf or read online.

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