Berlin Crises



Stalin died on March 5th 1953. 

On June 9-12th, at the Second Party Congress, Walter Ulbricht announced an accelerated road to socialism with LPGs, agricultural cooperatives for farmers, and new investment in heavy industry. Workers complained due to unfair Christmas bonuses in Christmas, 1952. Alongside this, people resented the collectivisation and forced movement from the border with the West.

Socialist realism oppressed Christians and members of the Junge Gemeinde, and artists had to stay in line with realism.

Lander were replaced with Besirke, regional districts, with Besirksrat, regional councils headed by regional chief secretaries. 

Prison population increased from 45,000 to 66,000 and new crimes were punished, such as illegalc currency and black market involvement. In February 1953 there were hotel raids on the Baltic coast.

Moscow didn't get involved with the July 1952 meetings, workers disliked the lack of unity, but according to Catherine Epstein the veterans could appreciate and understand it.

Senior members of the Politburo expressed their concerns, including Rudolf Hernnstadt, writer of Neues deutschland.

9 April 1953 - 2 million workers no longer receiving food subsidies, and non-essential workers have price rises. 

28 May 1953 - 10% work norms.

Ulbricht and Grotewohl, Prime Minister, went to Moscow. While there, a communique was signed by 11 June committing them to reversing April decisions, ending discrimination to Junge Gemeinde and middle class children, and welcoming back landowners. People feared their return, alongside Westerners using food stamps, causing lower stock. 

On 14 June, Neues Deutschland said work norms would be reversed, to which it was reinforced that the norms would not by Tribune. 

By 16 June, workers marched from Stallinallee to the House of Ministries, demanding removal of work norms and secret police. RIAS allowed radio broadcasts. 420,000 in the West of Germany were involved, compared to 90,000 in the East. By 17-18th June, 51 were killed by Soviet tanks, and 20 were executed at the Soviet tribunals on 22nd June. 



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