The Two Germanies 1963-89

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Economic changes in the GDR 1970s

  • Honecker removed most of New Economic System - aimed to increase industrial production and raise living standards
  • Unity of Social and Economic Policy - wanted to improve effieciency and use technological progress to lead to developed socialist society
  • 1970 - GDR 10th >est economy - economic miracle - no help from Marshall Aid and disadvantaged by stripping of resources
  • 1970 - became USSR's main trading partner & trade with COMECON >ing
  • Shortage of labour 1970s - took on guest workers - 600,000 Vietnamese
  • 1/3 of GDR's trade was with FRG - had to get loans
  • 1970s - self-sufficient
  • Shortage of materials led to economic downturn 1973
  • Balance of trade got worse 1970s
  • UESP led to refusal to balance books & underinvestment in industry
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Economic changes in the GDR 1970s

  • 1971 - minimum wage >ed 
  • Full employment
  • 1976- pensions >ed
  • Living standards highest in Eastern Bloc 
  • 1980s - most houses had a car
  • Living standard low compared to FRG
  • Mid 80s - Telephones ownership highest rate in Eastern bloc at 10% - nearly 100% in FRG
  • Wider range of products in FRG
  • Many goods lower quailty in GDR 
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Economic inequalities in the GDR

  • 1962 - Intershops introduced - sold western goods but only accepted western currency - illegal for GDR to possess til 1974- often staffed by Stasi
  • 800 by 1980 
  • Aimed to reduced resentment - >ed resentment - showed the range of products in FRG
  • Exquist & Delikat - accepted Eastern currency but prices were too high
  • Wandlitz - home of SED members- isolated from society - justified on security grounds
  • Better facilities than rest of GDR - shopping, health and sports facilities
  • 1983 - nuclear bunker - best in Eastern bloc - 200 rooms - could 400 people
  • 1959 - Vilm island sealed off from public as holiday resort for government members
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Economic changes in the GDR 1980s

  • Honecker had borrowed money - heavy debts
  • Mid 80s - industrial growth & incomes falling
  • Took many consumer goods off market to increase exports 
  • Borrowed from FRG - 1983 - DM1 billion
  • Cut domestic spending - living standards decreased
  • tried to trade military expertise with raw materials with Algeria, Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Syria & Zimbabwe
  • Sold 1500 political prisoners a year 1980-85 
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Social factors

  • Niche society - people showed outward support of socialism but kept thier thoughts to themselves and developed self-interests in family and friendship groups
  • Fullbrook - Honecker did not win over the hearts and minds of the people
  • 1949-1989 - population fell - 18 million - 17 million
  • 1970s - 505 population working age
  • 1972 - extensions of welfare provisions - encoauraged women to have more children - >er maternity benefit & >er birth allowances 
  • 1976 & 1984 - gave women a year maternity leave - 1 1/2 for 3rd child > 
  • Provision of pre-school care & afterschool clubs
  • Universities made provision for student mothers 
  • late 80s - 90% women employed
  • tended to end up in low-skilled jobs
  • late 70s - 50% doctors, teachers & dentists women - rarely senior postition
  • only Margot Honecker got high position in politcs
  • 1971 - aimed to build 4 million by 1989 
  • <2 million homes built 1971-88 
  • Most were tower blocks or rows of houses
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Political factors - Relationship with west

  • 1974 - constitution declared GDR 'Republic of Workers'
  • Portrayed FRG as Americanised
  • Wrote made in GDR on goods
  • 1972 - Basic Treaty - acknowleged FRG's existence
  • Honecker announced those who had emigrated were not guilty of flight from republic
  • 1973 - not illegal to watch FRG TV or listen to western radio station
  • 1970 - telephone lines between them
  • motor way connected Berlin to Hamburg 
  • 1975 - Helsinki Accords - allowed more free travel - only pensioners allowed to travel freely to FRG- few visas issued 
  • Nov 1973 - Honecker doubled  exchange rate between eastern and western currency  
  • 1983 - US deployed nuclear weapons in FRG 1983 - futher increase to exchange rate - fall in western vistors
  • 1980s - travel restrictions <ed - 1 million vistied the GDR 
  • Mid 80s - 100,000 applied to emigrate - watched by Stasi
  • 1984 - 40,000 emigrated
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Relationship with west

  • Accepted into UNs
  • 1969-74 - 90 countries accepted existence
  • 1974 - GDR beat FRG in World Cup
  • Honecker visted Austria 1980
  • Visited Italy 1985
  • State visit to FRG 1987
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Political factors - Relations with East

  • Erected war memorial at Tretpower Park - 5000 soviet soldiers buried there
  • Saw USSR as oppresive occupying force
  • signed Friendship Treaty with USSR 1975
  • Society for German-Soviet Friendship- 6 million members1988
  • Reluctance to allow Polish workers into GDR - friction between Germans and Poles
  • Poles brought consumer goods in GDR during shortages
  • Brought in controls - RM200 exchange for Poles entering GDR   
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Political factors - The Church

  • Honecker showed more acceptance of Protestant Church
  • relationship between state and Church written into 1978 constitution 
  • March 1978 - church agreed to work within socialist society & SED allowed religious broadcasts.
  • Church ran 50 hospitals and old people's homes - received support
  • Church support those deemed enemy to the state - alchoholics, drug addicts & gay people
  • 1978 - allowed open discussion of politics in church meetings - trusted the church to listen and surpress
  • Stolpe was in charge of the Church - Stasi officer
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Political factors - State repression

  • Ministry of State Security set up in 1950
  • Became Stasi in 1953
  • mid 70s - 180,000 offiicers
  • 20% population worked for Stasi as IMs
  • 3/4 population under survailence
  • phone line tapped and letters opened
  • Would break into houses to steal clothes and collect people's smell
  • 1951 - 1989 - used Hohenschonhausen to keep political prisoners
  • Critics of the GDR & prominent writers expelled 
  • December 1975 - Western journalists expelled
  • April 1979 - severe restrictions on foreign journalists
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Ostpolitik

  • introduced by Brandt in 1969
  • wanted to develop relationship between FRG & GDR with rapprochement - diplomacy and agreement
  • Possible due to < in tension between US & USSR after Cuban missile crisis and detente
  • 1970 - Brandt met Minister of Council of Ministers Will Stoph - GDR cheered for Brandt
  • Treaty of Moscow 1970 - FRG & USSR settle territorial disputes
  • Treaty of Warsaw 1970 - FRG respected Poland's western border
  • Four-Power Treaty 1971 - GDR allowed access to West Berlin from FRG and West Berliners could visit East Berlin
  • The Basic Treaty 1972 - FRG & GDR acknowledge each other's exisistence
  • Reduced conflict over Berlin 
  • increased international recognition of GDR
  • FRG & GDR could join UN 1973 
  • Working towards reunification during height of Cold War
  • Germany's division had been accepted
  • Gave GDR economic advantage - DM15 billion loans 1972-89
  • Still ideological divide
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Economy under Erhard

  • 1964 - 8% growth 
  • CDU gained 47.6% of vote
  • 850,000 unfilled jobs
  • 2.5% > in living standards
  • 19 September - SPD 202 votes - FDP 49
  • launched economic programme
  • 1965 - reccesion in Ruhr - excess in public 
  • green plan - wanted to subsidise argiculture - costly
  • wages rose faster than production - inflation 4% 1966
  • forced to cut spending 10%
  • suggested increasing working day by 1 hour - resistance 
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Politics under Erhard

  • tried to buy USSR's support for reunification by giving them $25 million loan
  • 1964 - USSR didn't need loans anymore
  • wanted to unite Europe with economic unity
  • Supported Vietnam war in hope of gaining more support from US - led to protests
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Social factors under Kiesinger

  • APO - left wing students 
  • 1966 - 90% Bundestag controlled by Grand Coalition - strikes and demonstrations
  • membership declined in 1960s 
  • SDS set up as student section of SPD 1946
  • 1961 - SPD excluded them from joining party1965 - led by Rudi Dutschke
  • mid 1960s - protested against Vietnam war and former Nazi holding key positions in coalition
  • 1967 - protest against Shan of Iran state visit - Benno Ohnesorg shot dead - protests
  • Membership peaked 1968
  • 1968 - 80,000 protested against Emergency Laws
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Political factors under Kiesinger

  • Kiesinger was an ex-Nazi - protests from students
  • Grand coalition - too much power - no opposition
  • Ex-Nazis were in important positions
  • 1968 Emergency Laws - government with two thirds majority could have extra powers in time of state emergency - people worried about Keisinger gaining too much power
  • West German Communist Party set up 1968
  • neo-Nazi NDP party had gained seats in Bavaria, Schleswig-Holstein & Rhineland - never got 5% of vote
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Political factors under Brandt

  • Munich Olympics 1972 - Palestinian Liberation Organisation broke into Olympic complex and held members of Israeli team hostage
  • Attempt at rescue failed - all hostages killed and 3 terrorists survived
  • Security increased and conter-terrorist force GSG9 created but Brandt looked weak
  • Implimented Ostpolitik in early 1970s 
  • Guilliame Affair 1974 - discovered in that Brandt 's personal adviser Gunter Guilliame was a spy for the GDR and had been passing state secrets to GDR - Brandt resigns 
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Social factors under Brandt

  • Red Army Faction or Baader-Meinhof gang created 1968 - left-wing millitant group
  • trained by the PLO in Palestien - lead to bombings and armed robberies 
  • 1970s - 15% population supported them
  • Brandt unable to stop them - appeared weak
  • Baader, Meinhof and Enslinn are arrested 1972 - didn't stop terrorism - made Brandt look weak
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Economy under Brandt

  • 1969-1972 - education budget doubled & welfare expenditure DM17 billion - DM22 billion
  • 1973 Oil Crisis - Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries put embargo on oil to US - had supplied Israel with weapons during Yom Kippur - tripled prices of oil
  • 1974 - 5% inflation & 3 miilion unemployed
  • High employment = <ing revenue from taxes, >ing public spending & >ing taxes
  • Post war baby boom - demand for 100,000 jobs a year
  • Car free sundays & speed limits on motor ways
  • 1973 - banned guest workers 
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Economy under Schmidt

  • Effects of oil crisis decreased
  • high level of  exports maintained - demand due to high quality
  • advertising meant goods had international market
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Political factors

  • Worked with French President Giscard d'Estaing to develop European Monetary system - developed closer links with EEC
  • 1977 - Morgadishu incident - PLO hijacked plane travelling from Majorca to Frankfurt 
  • Landed in Rome and demanded the release of RAF leaders -  took of and landed in Morgadishu in Somalia
  • Schmidt managed to send elite counter-terrorist force in unnoticed to storm the plane- killed 3 terrorists and saved all passengers unharmed
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Social factors under Schmidt

  • 1975 - 2 staff from West German embassy murdered - Schmidt had refused to give in to thier demands
  • 1975 - trial of RAF leaders
  • 1976 - Meifhof commited suicide
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Social and Political factors under Kohl

Social

  • Two thirds society - only 2/3 cared for by government
  • 1/3 society in long term unemployment 
  • guest workers neglected

Political

  • Bitburg affair 1985 - Reagan to attend 40th memorial of the end of WWII - took place at Bitburg cemetary - Kohl knew 49 SS officers were buried there but did not do anything - seen as distasteful 
  • 1983 - nuclear weapon deployed in FRG - candlelit processions and petitions 
  • Green Party reentered Bundestag - centre of oppostion gained minority
  • 1984 -  missiles deployed in GDR
  • 1985 - FRG endorsed USAs Star Wars project & agreed to use technolgy and research to develop NATO weapons
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Economy under Kohl

  • Late 70s - falling unemployment & rising wages 
  • Recession after second Oil Crisis in 1979 
  • Unemployment rose - 2/3 society 
  • Kohl cut welfare expenditure
  • Inflation fell to 2% by 1983
  • End of second oil crisis - drop in oil prices 
  • allowed recovery - not down to Kohl's actions  
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