German Democratic Republic

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German Democratic Republic

 

1949–1990
Flag Coat of arms
Motto
"Proletarier aller Länder, vereinigt Euch!"
("Workers of all nations, unite !")
Anthem
"Auferstanden aus Ruinen"
("Risen from Ruins")
Capital East Berlin
Language(s) Official: German
Unofficial minority languages: Sorbian
Government Socialist republic
Communist state
Chairman of the Council of State
 - 1949–60 Wilhelm Pieck (President)
 - 1960–73 Walter Ulbricht
 - 1973–76 Willi Stoph
 - 1976–89 Erich Honecker
 - 1989 Egon Krenz
 - 1989–90 Manfred Gerlach
Chairman of the Council of Ministers
 - 1949–64 Otto Grotewohl
 - 1964–73 Willi Stoph
 - 1973–76 Horst Sindermann
 - 1976–89 Willi Stoph
 - 1989–90 Hans Modrow
 - 1990 Lothar de Maizière
Legislature Volkskammer
Historical era Cold War
 - Established 7 October 1949
 - Final settlement 25 September 1990
 - German reunification 3 October 1990
Area
 - 1990 108,333 km2 (41,828 sq mi)
Population
 - 1990 est. 16,111,000 
     Density 148.7 /km2  (385.2 /sq mi)
Currency Mark der DDR (M) until 30 June 1990, named:
1948–64 Deutsche Mark (DM)
1964–67 Mark der Deutschen Notenbank (MDN)

Deutsche Mark (DM) as of 1 July 1990
Today part of  Germany

The German Democratic Republic, abbreviated 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 Allied-occupied Berlin. The GDR existed from 1949 until 1990, when its constituent states acceded to the adjacent Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), thus producing the current form of the state of Germany.

History

The name

The name East Germany was created after World War II by the occupiers of this part of Germany, the Soviet Union. The name is a forgery, since this area is historically the middle of Germany and not Eastern Germany (i.e: Pomerania, East Prussia, Silesia, West Prussia, Danzig, etc.). Patriotic Germans call this area Mitteldeutschland or Middle Germany.

Parts

It consisted of the current states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, and Saxony; it claimed the eastern part of Berlin as its capital.

Politics

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 DDR and Berlin in particular became focal points of Cold War tensions. Middle Germany (DDR) was a member of the Warsaw Pact and a puppet state of the Soviet Union.

The "Freie Deutsche Jugend" (FDJ, Free German Youth) was the youth movement of the GDR. It was founded on 13 December 1948 and dissolved in 1989. Many considered the FDJ as a "communist Hitler Youth".

Military

The army of the GDR was created in 1956 with the name of Nationale Volksarmee. After 1990 it was merged into the Bundeswehr.

Railways

During the lifetime of the DDR its railways continued to use the pre-1945 name of the Deutsche Reichsbahn.

Fall of the Wall (Mauerfall)

Following the initial opening of small sections of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, new 'elections' were held on March 18, 1990, and the governing party, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, lost its majority in the Volkskammer (the parliament of the DDR) soon after. On 18 May 1990, the two German states signed a treaty agreeing on monetary, economic, and social union. It came into force on 1 July 1990, with the West German Deutsche Mark replacing the East German mark as the official currency of East Germany.

Reunification

The Volkskammer, the Parliament of East Germany, passed a resolution on 23 August 1990 declaring the accession (Beitritt) of the German Democratic Republic to the Federal Republic of Germany, and the extension of the field of application of the Federal Republic's Basic Law to the territory of East Germany as allowed by article 23 of the West German Basic Law, effective 3 October 1990. This Declaration of Accession (Beitrittserklärung) was formally presented by the President of the Volkskammer to the President of the West German Bundestag by means of a letter dated 25 August 1990. Thus, formally, the procedure of reunification by means of the accession of East Germany to West Germany, and of East Germany's acceptance of the Basic Law already in force in West Germany, was initiated as the unilateral, sovereign decision of East Germany, as allowed by the provisions of article 23 of the West German Basic Law as it then existed. As a result of the part-unification on that date, the German Democratic Republic officially ceased to exist.

Population

Average population (thousand)[1] Live births Deaths Natural change Crude birth rate (per 1,000) Crude death rate (per 1,000) Natural change (per 1,000) Total fertility rate
1946 188,679 413,240 −224,561 10.2 22.4 −12.1
1947 247,275 358,035 −110,760 13.1 19.0 −5.9 1.75
1948 243,311 289,747 −46,436 12.7 15.2 −2.4 1.76
1949 274,022 253,658 20,364 14.5 13.4 1.1 2.03
1950 18,388 303,866 219,582 84,284 16.5 11.9 4.6 2.35
1951 18,350 310,772 208,800 101,972 16.9 11.4 5.6 2.46
1952 18,300 306,004 221,676 84,328 16.6 12.1 4.6 2.42
1953 18,112 298,933 212,627 86,306 16.4 11.7 4.7 2.40
1954 18,002 293,715 219,832 73,883 16.3 12.2 4.1 2.38
1955 17,832 293,280 214,066 79,215 16.3 11.9 4.4 2.38
1956 17,604 281,282 212,698 68,584 15.8 12.0 3.9 2.30
1957 17,411 273,327 225,179 48,148 15.6 12.9 2.7 2.24
1958 17,312 271,405 221,113 50,292 15.6 12.7 2.9 2.22
1959 17,286 291,980 229,898 62,082 16.9 13.3 3.6 2.37
1960 17,188 292,985 233,759 59,226 16.9 13.5 3.4 2.35
1961 17,079 300,818 222,739 78,079 17.6 13.0 4.6 2.42
1962 17,136 297,982 233,995 63,987 17.4 13.7 3.7 2.42
1963 17,181 301,472 222,001 79,471 17.6 12.9 4.6 2.47
1964 17,004 291,867 226,191 65,676 17.1 13.3 3.9 2.48
1965 17,040 281,058 230,254 50,804 16.5 13.5 3.0 2.48
1966 17,071 267,958 225,663 42,295 15.7 13.2 2.5 2.43
1967 17,090 252,817 227,068 25,749 14.8 13.3 1.5 2.34
1968 17,087 245,143 242,473 2,670 14.3 14.2 0.1 2.30
1969 17,075 238,910 243,732 −4,822 14.0 14.3 −0.3 2.24
1970 17,068 236,929 240,821 −3,892 13.9 14.1 −0.2 2.19
1971 17,054 234,870 234,953 −83 13.8 13.8 −0.0 2.13
1972 17,011 200,443 234,425 −33,982 11.7 13.7 −2.0 1.79
1973 16,951 180,336 231,960 −51,624 10.6 13.7 −3.0 1.58
1974 16,891 179,127 229,062 −49,935 10.6 13.5 −3.0 1.54
1975 16,820 181,798 240,389 −58,591 10.8 14.3 −3.5 1.54
1976 16,767 195,483 233,733 −38,250 11.6 13.9 −2.3 1.64
1977 16,758 223,152 226,233 −3,081 13.3 13.5 −0.2 1.85
1978 16,751 232,151 232,332 −181 13.9 13.9 −0.0 1.90
1979 16,740 235,233 232,742 2,491 14.0 13.9 0.1 1.90
1980 16,740 245,132 238,254 6,878 14.6 14.2 0.4 1.94
1981 16,706 237,543 232,244 5,299 14.2 13.9 0.3 1.85
1982 16,702 240,102 227,975 12,127 14.4 13.7 0.7 1.86
1983 16,701 233,756 222,695 11,061 14.0 13.3 0.7 1.79
1984 16,660 228,135 221,181 6,954 13.6 13.2 0.4 1.74
1985 16,640 227,648 225,353 2,295 13.7 13.5 0.2 1.73
1986 16,640 222,269 223,536 −1,267 13.4 13.5 −0.1 1.70
1987 16,661 225,959 213,872 12,087 13.6 12.8 0.8 1.74
1988 16,675 215,734 213,111 2,623 12.9 12.8 0.1 1.67
1989 16,434 198,992 205,711 −6,789 12.0 12.4 −0.4 1.56
1990 16,028 178,476 208,110 −29,634 11.1 12.9 −1.8 1.51
Source:[2]

References