German Democratic Republic
The German Democratic Republic abrreviated as GDR (in German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik or DDR) mistakenly known in English as East Germany, was a Communist state created by the Soviet Union in the Soviet Zone of occupied Germany and the Soviet sector of occupied Berlin. The GDR existed from 1949 until 1990, when its states acceded to the adjacent democratic Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), thus producing the current form of the state of Germany.
The name East Germany was created after World War II by the occupiers of this part of Germany, the Soviet Union, and the name is a forgery, since this area is historically the middle of Germany and not Eastern Germany (i.e: Pomerania, East Prussia, Danzig, etc.). Germans themselves call this area Mitteldeutschland = Middle Germany.
In 1955 the wholly communist German Democratic Republic was declared by the Soviet Union to be "fully sovereign"; however, Soviet troops remained. As NATO troops remained in West Berlin and West Germany, the GDR and Berlin in particular became focal points of Cold War tensions. Middle Germany (GDR) was a member of the Warsaw Pact and a puppet state of the Soviet Union. Following the initial opening of sections of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, new 'elections' were held on March 18, 1990, and the governing party, the SED, lost its majority in the Volkskammer (the parliament of the GDR) soon after. On August 23, the Volkskammer decided that the Republic would re-unite with the Federal Republic of Germany on October 3, 1990. As a result of the part-unification on that date, the German Democratic Republic officially ceased to exist.
The army of the GDR was created in 1956 with the name of Nationale Volksarmee.