Presentation on theme: "West Germany FRG: Federal Republic of Germany capital Bonn Chancellor Konrad Adenauer President Theodor Heuss Parlimentary democratic republic East Germany."— Presentation transcript:
West Germany FRG: Federal Republic of Germany capital Bonn Chancellor Konrad Adenauer President Theodor Heuss Parlimentary democratic republic East Germany GDR: German Democratic Republc, capital Berlin (East) President Wihelm Pieck PM Otto Grotewohl SED leader Walter Ulbricht In effect one party communist republic Divided Germany
Thursday 19 th May am 1 hour
To what extent and in what ways did Communism transform the GDR?
Constitution 1949 Parliament Volkskammer, representative of the people Upper House, Landerkammer, represented the five regions of East Germany or Lander President Wihelm Pieck: head of state Prime Minister Otto Grotewohl: head of government
Democratic Politics in the GDR? SED general secretary Walter Ulbricht. The Lander were abolished in 1952 and replaced by smaller and more numerous units the Bezirke Upper House abolished 1958
Changes in the GDR... Life on the Land 1952: Collectivisation ‘land production cooperatives’ LPGs: a collective farm often made up of several previously independent farms now joined together LPGs unpopular, many farmers fled to the West Problems with food supply: contributed to uprising 1953
Uprising 17 th June 1953 Causes: tightening of borders, collectivisation, emphasis on enhanced productivity USSR was not happy with the developments in the GDR June 1953 key SED leaders summoned to Moscow and asked to make changes: condition of workers would become worse, they were to produce 10% more, but wages the same
Uprising 17 th June 1953 Confusion: Different messages came out in the Communist Party newspaper and Trade Union newspaper. Construction on the building work in Berlin halted 16 th June, workers marched to House of Ministries One worker got to a loudspeaker and announced a general strike for the following day. News spread throughout the GDR
Aftermath of the Uprising Ulbricht got help from the USSR and the uprising was crushed by Soviet tanks West Germany under Konrad Adenauer didn’t intervene East Germans felt abandoned Workers won concessions Inadequacy of secret security service in noticing signs of unrest Ulbricht criticised by party SED paranoid about views of the people and determined to crush any signs of unrest
Land Reform Ambitious building program: 101,800 new apartment houses were to be built between 1948 and In the end, however, only 39% built in 1950.
Success? Agriculture did become more efficient Farmers well trained, becoming specialists in crop or livestock production Collective farms treated as industrial factories, a place of work rather than an inherited property.
Relationship with USSR page 147 What was the Warsaw Pact? What was the Comecon?
Relationship with the West Social and economic changes stirred up widespread unrest, the need for protection and fortification was apparent to the SED leadership. May 1952, 5km exclusion zone along the border between East and West Germany was created, with the forcible removal of ‘unreliable’ people from their homes and villages, and the erection of a firmer border fence and no mans land