2: Economic and Political Developments in FRG + GDR 1950-1970

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  • Economic and Political Developments in FRG + GDR 1950-1970
    • Economies and living standards FRG
      • 1945-1950s = massive sustained economic growth
        • 'Economic miracle'
      • Marshall plan
        • Helped strengthen economy
          • But they received less than many other West European countries
      • Economic miracle due to:
        • Marshal aid
        • Introduction of Deutschmark
        • Ample raw materials
        • Cheap labour
        • Demand for manufactured goods
        • No armed forced until 1955
        • 1950s = good living standards -> government able to fund generous welfare provisions
    • Divergence continued
      • Subject of holocaust extremely sensitive
        • GDR gave extra pension allowance to holocaust survivors
        • FRG kept some camps as memorials
          • Also gave compensation to Jewish surivors
      • Trade was generally strong between them
        • 'Inter-German trade' brought no extra taxes
      • For 20 years 'Hallstein Doctrine' dictated FRG's policy on GDR
        • Doctrine stated FRG wouldn't establish full relations with any country which officially recognised GDR
        • Heavily promoted by Adenauer
        • Wanted reunification - saw them as 2 zones, not 2 countries
      • March 1952 - Western allies got note from Stalin proposing reunification
        • Western allies rejected it - suspicious of Stalin's true intentions
    • Governmental systems
      • FRG (west)
        • Split into laender
        • President = largely symbolic figure
        • Bundestag contained elected reps
        • Bundesrat = sent reps from each region of FRG
      • GDR (east)
        • Re-organised into Bezirke (districts)
        • President's role taken over by 'Council of State'
        • Two chambers in parliament
          • Reps supposedly elected but electoral laws guaranteed SED majority
    • Beginnings of divergence
      • 1950s-1960s FRG was dominated by Adenauer's CDU
        • Time of massive economic growth - 'economic miracle'
        • Became more closely integrated with USA + West Europe
        • Growing want of material goods
      • GDR - highly disciplined socialist government set up
        • Controlled by SED
        • Integrated fully with Eastern Blob + USSR
      • Both faced immense challenges
        • Legacy of Holocaust
        • Need for new governmental system
      • Both very successful
        • Became important in their blocs (East or West)
      • Portrayed each other in a negative light
        • FRG saw GDR as totalitarian dictatorship
          • No better than the Nazis
        • GDR found fighting propaganda war very hard
          • Many in East Germany listened to Western radio or watched their TV
            • Hard to manipulate the truth
    • Independant West Germany
      • 1949-1955 relations controlled by Allied High Commision
        • By 1955 Adenauer's policies of economic co-operation with West created atmosphere of trust
      • 1955 FRG became independent state
        • Adenauer chancellor for 14 years
          • His party (CDU) was only Germany party in history to gain overall majority in Bundestag
          • Stayed in power due to: economic miracle, strong foreign policy + lack of oppostions
      • 1951 '131' law
        • Allowed ex-Nazis to be employed in civil service
      • 1955 - allowed to rearm
        • Introduced compulsory military service
      • Brandt = foreign minister 1966
        • Increasingly popular with improving relations  between East and West
    • Development in GDR under Ulbricht
      • Governed as highly disciplined social system
        • Highly influenced by Soviet Union
          • Freedom of speech repressed
      • Stasi set up 1950
        • Used informants to help them
          • Unofficial workers of secret police
        • Late 1960s - 50,000 offical employees + 100,000 unofficial
      • SED introduced a 'fair' society
        • Old capitalist order to be removed
      • Elections not truly democratic
        • Parliament dominated by SED
        • Government took industry + agriculture under its control
      • Living standards inferior to FRG
        • Farms collectivised + run by state
        • Caused resentment
        • Housing shortages
        • June 1953 - major industry strikes
      • Rearmed 1955
      • Large numbers left for West until wall was built
        • A big disadvantage of propaganda war
          • East got TV + radio from West
    • Emigration from GDR to FRG + Berlin wall
      • Berlin wall constructed 1661
      • Eastern side of border = 5km exclusion zone
        • Border guards shoot anyone who tried to cross
      • 1952 - 191 over 3.5 million emigrated from GDR
        • Lost lots of key, skilled workers
        • FRG gave them automatic citizenship
        • GDR labelled them criminals
      • Easy to cross via Berlin before wall
        • The wall caused much change
          • Families separated, some lived + worked on different sides
        • Became even closer guarded
    • Escape attempts
      • Up to 5000 successfully escaped
        • 191 people died
      • Old-age pensioners allowed to 'escape' easier
        • It was hoped they would stay in FRG so they would pay their pensions
      • 1971 Four-Power Agreement
        • Made it easier for those in West to travel East
      • Checkpoint Charlie
        • Well guarded + complex on East
        • Simple wooden hut on West
          • A sign US government would not accept Germany as divided forever
  • Living standards inferior to FRG
    • Farms collectivised + run by state
    • Caused resentment
    • Housing shortages
    • June 1953 - major industry strikes

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