Unit 3

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  • The Establishment of SED rule.
    • The Constitution
      • Written by the SED
        • The Volkskammer was essentially  a 'Rubber Stamp'
    • Unit 3
      • 1953 riots
        • Causes
          • Ulbricht's May Directive  - Work Norms increased by 10% meaning that the workers had to work harder for longer hours with no pay increase.
        • Events
          • Strikes occured in over 200 towns and cities across the GDR.
          • Tanks were used by the soviets - '21' official deaths.
        • Impact
          • The power of the Stasi increased and they had to undertake daily reports.
          • The riots showed that the West were not willing to intervene outside of their Zones.
            • KPD banned in the West
          • The leaders of the uprising were arrested. - 7 death sentences
          • Russia's interference meant that they recogonised the GDR
            • Caused COMECON to be created - Focused on increasing trade within the E.Bloc
          • On Moscow's instence a new course emerged. Prices of certain goods lowered and more resources.
            • Ulbricht later abandoned this for the 2nd five year plan which favoured heavy industry.
          • SED purged through its ranks.  - 50,000 lesser party members removed.
        • Further troubles in 1956.
          • The Hungarian uprising occured.
            • Ulbricht prevented a similar outbreak in the GDR  by releasing 20,000 political prisoners and by reducing the working week.
              • This saved Ulbricht as there were plans for him to leave.
      • Economic Plans (All policies were shaped by the communist Ideology - by 1951 76% of trade was directed towards the soviet bloc).
        • Starting Point
          • Couldn't access the Ruhr.
          • Dismantled Industrial Plants.
          • 25% of industry was  for the USSR up unitl 1950.
          • Labour hemorage  -Mass Exodus
        • Agriculture
          • 85% of agriculture Collectives  by 1960.
          • Major waves of collectivisation -1945, 1952 and 1960.
            • By 1952 45% of agriculture were collectives.
        • Industry
          • 213 SAGS which focused on providing goods for the USSR
          • Most business' were VEBS (People's enterprises) - 76% of total production.
          • The focus on industry was targets.
            • 7 year plan - Abandoned - The targets were too ambitious.
            • A series of 5 year plans which focused on industry.
              • First five year plan ( 1950)  - Focused on heavy industry and remilitarisation  - viewed as a success in particular the iron and steel industries.
            • Ulbricht wanted the GDR economy to over take that of the FRG - GDR growing by 3% per annum - FRG growing by 8% per annum.
      • The Berlin Wall (1961)
        • Key Causes
          • Mass Exodus
            • 2.5 million citizens fled the GDR up until 1961 - approx 1.6 million of these went through Berlin.
            • Most people fleeing were young skilled workers and therefore the GDR had an ageing population.
          • The Cold War
            • The FRG was a Capitalsit embrassment for the GDR.
            • Khrushchev offered the Berlin Ultimantium - The West had 6 months to declare Berlin a Free city this was rejected.
          • Ulbricht
            • Already began to gather supplies.
            • Put pressure on Khrushchev  for the Wall
          • Impact
            • Just after 6 weeks of the wall being up 85 border guards fled  -Conrad Schuman left just after 48 hours.
            • Made reunification less likely.
            • 3,200 people caught trying to escape.
            • Tore families apart.
            • Ulbricht got his 'anti-facist protective wall.'
            • A Niche Society was created
            • By the late 1960's GDR wages had risen
              • Guranteed Labour supply
      • State Socialism
        • Youth
          • Marxist-Lennism compulsory at all education levels.
            • Private schools abolished
              • Elite schools established - For those with special talents one of which was being the child of the Elite
            • Regulary visted factories to prepare them for the future.
          • Youth groups such as the Young Pioneers gave them new experiences.
            • By not being  a member there future was effected.
            • Atlhletics was highly praised.
        • Woman
          • A woman's duty to work.
            • One household day off per month
            • 1965 Family code - equal share of housework
            • By 1977 87% of woman between the ages of 16-69 had  a low skilled job outside of the home.
        • Culture
          • Worker's urged to pick up their pens..
          • Culture subject to socialism.
        • Workers paradise
          • Subsidised goods, housing, gas e.t.c
            • Everyone had a job
              • Healthcare facilities in factories
          • FDGB reported subvervise activity.
            • Workers had to be  part of this Trade Union
        • The Church
          • Ulbricht tried to weaken the Churches by banning it's Youth Groups.
            • The Church provided  care homes e.t.c and therefore was needed for society to continue.
            • July 1958 - Truce between the Church and the State - Church to continue as a seperate body - respecting the developments towards Socialism.
      • Foreign Influences
        • The West
          • The Hallstein Doctrine  meant there were no relations.
            • Any country wanting to have any relations with the FRG was barred from the GDR
        • USSR
          • Russia had to back all decisions.
        • The Warsaw Pact
          • The Eastern Bloc's version of NATiO
          • GDR had it's own people's army.
            • The GDR Government stressed this was to defend itself against the imperialist West.
            • Conscription had to be introduced due to the anti-war sentiment of the GDR citizens (1962)
          • The USSR had to reocgnise the GDR's soviengtry.
          • With the failure of the Berlin ultimantium ulbricht demanded that Khrushchev signed a seperate treaty on Berlin
    • Initial developments
      • The elections were delayed for a year.
        • The Stasi was set-up.
          • The FDJ and FDGB  were infilitrated with the Government.
    • Ulbricht
      • Mass Purges carried out - 1950-1951.
      • The ruling class lived in the height of hypocritical luxury.
      • He had the backing of Honecker and tight central control e.g. The Stasi and Judiciary was biased.
      • The Berlin Wall strengthened his position.
    • 1950 Elections
      • 99.72% of the population voted on the Unity List - Not voting on this list would make you an enemy of the state.
        • SED received 25% and Mass organisations received 30%

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