Section three: communism under GDR

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Potsdam and the Soviet Zone

  • : Divide Germnay into Four Zones (Yalta Feb 1945)
  • Potsdam July 1945 (Stalin, Truman, Attlee

Agreements made at Potsdam

  • Germany to be ruled by the Four Allied Powers
  • Rebuild Germany into a democracy
  • Germans in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia repatriated back to Germany
  • The economy to run as one (reparations to be taken from each zone)

The Four Ds

  • De-Nazification: Get rid of the Nazi Party and its effects
  • Demilitarisation: No independent Military force allowed in Germany
  • Democratisation: Wanted to make Germany a demcracy
  • Deindustrialisation: Getting rid of industry (highy unpractical)
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The Consolodation of Comunism under the SED

  • (SED leading communist party in the East; led by Walter Ulbricht
  • SED argued that ordinary workers and peasents were innocent of Nazism and war guilt
  • Socialist party and communist party merged to become the SED, due to communist party doing poorly in the first election
  • Appeared democratic, however, parties ultimately ruled/controlled by Ulbircht (SED) and USSR.
  • Political opponants made illegal or are arrested

Abandoment of Democracy

  • 1948-1949
  • Marxist-Leninist (world revolution)
  • Democratic centralism (false class consciousness, decisions made by the powerful people)

Growing Division

  • 1947 = Bizonia (America and Britain)
  • 1949 = Trizonia (France, America and Britain)
  • Truman Doctrine and Marshall Aid
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The Berlin Blockade and emergence of the GDR

The Berlin Blockade

  • 24 June 1948- 12 May 1949
  • Soviets blocked access to West Berlin
  • Allies flew supplies to West Belrin
  • Represented a resistance to communism
  • Improves relations between America and West Germans

The 1953 Rising

  • 16 June construction wokring demanded end to increased working hours for no more pay
  • Became political, workers demanded Ulbricht be removed form power
  • Consequences; West revealed to not intervene and Ulbricht has to call in the Russian Army (Stalin and Kristoff forced to support Ulbricht)

- Stasi: secret police, similar to Gestapo

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Economic Change

Land Reform

  • Large estates were given to peasents in 1945
  • 1952 SED introdeuced collectivisation (smaller farms combined into a larger farm under state control)
  • Not popular, led to many leaving the East

Five and Seven Year Plans

  • Focussed on industry
  • things slowly imporved from the 1960s
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Social Change

Peasents and Factory Workers

  • Gained land
  • Better machinery
  • Oppourtunity for education
  • Could become Managers if proved were loyal

Women

  • Could become doctors
  • Support for maternity, creches and after-school

- Mass organisations used like the Nazis (e.g. Democratic Women's League of Germnay)

Youth

  • close links to industry

Religion

  • Religious Education removed from the curriculum
  • communists did not like religion
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The Berlin Wall

  • Completely isolates West Berlin from East Berlin
  • Built to keep West ideas out of the East
  • Happened overnight
  • Due to people fleeing from East Germany
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