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Cold War: East-West Germany Prelude (1945 to 1948)

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Written by   26
2 years ago

During the Cold War, Germany was split between the capitalist market economy driven West and the Marxist socialist command economy driven East. Here, we are going to take a look at the Eastern portion of Germany during the Cold War:

  • East Germany was officially known as the German Democratic Republic. This country was also known as German Deutsche Demokratische Republik, or Ostdeutschland. After Nazi Germany was defeated in May of 1945, sovereign authority over Germany was essentially in the hands of the Allied forces of World War II. One-fourth of Germany's housing was destroyed or damaged & many cities had over 50% of their homes and infrastructure annihilated. The economy had largely collapsed & the former nation was occupied by Americans, British, French, and the Soviet Union. While in this state, Germany was split into four zones based around the nationality of the occupiers. The Soviet zone was one third of Germany and Berlin, the former capital of Germany, was practically surrounded by the Soviet zone. The Soviets unilaterally controlled Germany territories east of the Oder and Neisse rivers with many of the former provinces of East Prussia put under Soviet and Poland.

  • Soviet occupation was somewhat supported originally by leftist parties that were revived after the defeat of the fascists in Nazi Germany such as the moderate Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands; SPD) &  the German Communist Party (Kommunistiche Partei Deutschlands; KPD). They were active during the Weimar Republic, but suppressed by the fascists during World War II (because as mentioned before,  Nazis supported limited capitalism and private ownership, had a market economy, and denounced Marxist ideas like Karl Marx's dictatorship of the proletariat - things both socialist parties heavily opposed). Under pressure of occupying authorities and the local communist party, the Social Democratic Party merged with the Communists in April of 1946 to form the Socialist Unity Party (SED), who rose to victory in the elections held in East Germany. Overtime, those who supported more moderate forms of socialism were removed from leadership roles and all parties were forced to join a coalition under SED leadership.

  • While elections remained by 1947, there were not more multiparty elections. The Americans joined with the British to try to foster economic recovery for Germany through a unit called Bizonia. This unit would later serve as the model for the government of the West German state. The Eastern Communist Party refused to cooperate with the west, so the Bizonia and Western occupiers decided in spring of 1948 to form a 'nation' of their own.

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Written by   26
2 years ago
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nice article sir

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