OCR: Germany 1933-63 - KQ 3

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History Revision Germany 193363
KQ3 ­ To what extent and in what ways did communism transform the GDR?
KQ3 Pages
Situation in Germany 1945 1
Potsdam and The 4 D's 23
The consolidation of Communism under the SED 34
The Berlin blockade 194849 4
The GDR constitution 45
The Uprising 17th June 1953 56
Economic change 67
Social change 79
The Berlin Wall 1961 910
Situation in Germany 1945
"Stunde null" zero hour
Population displacement
o 12 million German refugees
o 10 million so called "displaced persons" from camps
o 11 million German soldiers were POW's
o 7.7 million were in camps in the west
o 3.3 million kept in the USSR into the 50's
o One third did not survive
Urban destruction
o Major cities reduced to rubble
o 20% of housing destroyed
o 30% badly damaged
Food and fuel shortages
o Average calorie consumption sank to 9501150 a day
Economic dislocation
o German infrastructure had broken down
o Massive debt and rising inflation

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History Revision Germany 193363
o Major black market for food and other goods
o Still an efficient civil service, local government, banking system and industrial
o Social fabric did not break down and Christianity survived
Potsdam and The 4 D's
At the postwar Potsdam conference in 1945 it was decided that the following 4
actions would take place in Germany:
1) Denazification removing the Nazi influence on the public that various Nazi
organisations had created
2) Demilitarisation demilitarising Germany from previous military measures
3)…read more

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History Revision Germany 193363
1) Land and property belonging to former Nazi's was confiscated and redistributed
2) There was no radical ­socioeconomic restructuring
3) It soon became apparent that mass internment was impractical
4) Experts and scientists were even kidnapped in order to reconstruct technical
5) Initially there was mass internment of people who had held positions of
political responsibility or leadership in Nazi organisations
6) Fragebogen (questionnaires) ­ people tended to down plat their Nazi pasts and
presents `Persil certificates'
7) Banks and…read more

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History Revision Germany 193363
o SMAD (the soviet military administration) allowed the reestablishment of
nonfascist, democratic parties which led to the recreation of the KPD, SPD,
o The four parties were forced to join the "block of antifascist parties'
(antifas).…read more

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History Revision Germany 193363
Länderkammer Upper house which represented the five Länder (regions)
President The formal head of state, initially Wilhelm Pieck
Prime minister Head of the Government, initially Otto Grotewohl
Staatsraat Replaced the role of president, collective council of state
General secretary Took a more political role than the PM. Initially was Walter
Ulbricht who was the real political force.…read more

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History Revision Germany 193363
o Firmer barriers between east and west Germany ­ erection of a border fence
between east and west Germany, a 5km exclusion zone and removal of
`unreliable' people from their homes
o Rapid social and economic change e.g.…read more

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History Revision Germany 193363
How successfully was the GDR's economy transformed?
Key terms
Collectivisation The policy of creating larger and more efficient
agricultural units run by the state
VEB state owned and managed factories.…read more

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History Revision Germany 193363
o Managers of factories now had the job to oversee production in the `peoples
own factories' (VEB's) and were no longer private capitalists working for their
own gain
o The old middle classes began to give way to a new `Socialists intelligentsia' who
were committed to the system
o Women were given increased support so that they could fully participate in the
workforce as well as being wives and mothers.…read more

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History Revision Germany 193363
o 195253 wages a campaign against member of the `Junge Gemeinde' a loosely
organised youth group of the protestant churches, this made it increasingly
difficult for young Christians to remain at school and take the Abitur or to go
on to study at university
o The `Jugendweihe' (youth dedication service) was resuscitated in 1954 and
imposed on young east Germans
o The church considered this commitment to the atheist worldview of the
MarxistLeninist state to be incompatible with the confirmation and…read more

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History Revision Germany 193363
Alternative youth culture
o In the 1950's most of the youth of the GDR was not impressed by the
antiAmerican, old fashioned stance of the SED
o The culture of the 50's and 60's of rock and roll, Elvis Presley and the Beatles
captured the attention of most east German youth
o The SED tried to clamp down on this culture even by banning Beatles style
o Eventually the SED gave in a bit by creating GDRstyle rock bands
o…read more


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