ECLECTICIST: East Germany
Show Notes & Research
From the Show
Broadcast: 10th January, 2016
Published: 16th January, 2016
Last update: 16th January, 2016
- Read the feedback, notes from the last show
- Begin recording
- Introduction and description of the podcast, goals, modus operandi.
- What An investigation of everything from a British perspective by two brothers (who consider themselves to be relatively normal chaps), one topic at a time.
- Who Benjamin de-Campos (designer and believer) and
Geoffrey Campos (engineer and engine-ear),
- How Choose a topic of interest, spend a little time researching it, have a discussion then publish the notes - which are available on the site to read along!
- Why The main benefits are the fostering of a greater understanding of the world before we die and hopefully, to prompt further thought and discussion from our listeners.
- The topic we will be discussing in this episode is East Germany
The Deutsche Demokratische Republik otherwise known as East Germany was a significant slice of post war Deutschland administered by the Soviet Union for over 40 years. During that time, the population endured an ever dwindling economic output. Goods and services taken for granted by those in the perceived American puppet state over The Wall were unimaginable. The people were largely trapped in a state where the suspicion of dissent or insurrection was punishable by harsh personal levies and on occasion, beatings and execution. After Reunification and much needed investment, the vestiges of the Eastern Bloc persist and the region suffers from slow and patchy development and a decline in population. What must it have been like living with secret police, citizen informants, variable rationing, no bananas, free childcare and all the best museums?
What we’re not talking about
Each bullet is a talking point. Sub-bullets are topics that may or may not be covered. Usage: Read the bullet and sub-bullets then talk about some or all sub-bullets.
- Why was there an ‘East Germany’?
- Atheist state
- worse than the Nazis and their reign of terror went on much longer
- Mass rapes on the approach to Berlin at the end of the war. Vladimir Gelfand account.
- Stalin personality cult
- Looting of East German tech, resources
- Anti-fascist protective wall
- Constructed August 13th, 1961
- Demolished November 9th, 1989
- Completely surrounded West Berlin
- Breaking bottles in the hall, can you help me?
- Not just the Berlin wall. There was also a wall that separated East and West Germany. Not many people know about this but they should. The Inner German Border - 866 miles of fortified barriers erected to protect East Germaners from the corruption of the West.
- The German people appeared to easily transition from rabid anti-commie nazis to rabid anti-western commies. How?
- Leonid Brezhnev’s Politburo, relative stability 1964-82
- Soviet-forced ‘Socialist Unity Party’ GDR government
- Mikhail Gorbachev
- General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union 11 Mar 1985 – 24 Aug 1991, President 15 Mar 1990 – 25 Dec 1991
- Glasnost (openness) and Perestroika (restructuring) were his weapons against the Cold War
- Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR)
- Dramatic collapse of the Soviet Union
- Everyone found out who the Stasi citizen informants were
- Stasi Staatssicherheit, Ministry for State Security, formalised in 1950. Closely affiliated with the KGB
- State Plan 14.25 - doping in sport - most athletes didn’t know/see anything wrong
- 111 miles of documents recovered after the wall came down
- 1 in 50 East Berliners were informants
- Socialist Realism
- Little Sandman
- Jugendweihe ceremony
- Deutschland 83
- Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others)
Terminology specific to the topic
- Checkpoint Charlie Famous crossing point across the Berlin Wall
- DDR/GDR Deutsche/German Demokratische Republik
- Iron Curtain Border fortifications dividing the Eastern Bloc and the West
- Marshall Plan Americans gave $13 billion to help rebuild Western Europe
- Potsdam Agreement Agreement made by the victors on how to manage policy in Germany
- Stasi (Staatssicherheit) East German secret police
- Weimar Republic Federal government that replaced the German Empire and was itself replaced by Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers' Party
- Details about site, contacts, next show: Creationism
- Outro music choice - something open source or out of copyright so we don’t get sued
- National Anthem of East Germany (1949) - ‘Auferstanden aus Ruinen’ (Risen from Ruins). Music by Hanns Eisler, Lyrics by Johannes R. Becher.
- Recording ends, postmortem recording begins
- Add intro music, outro, any editing
From the Show
Notes, corrections and further references
The Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former GDR
- 1929 Global economic depression, mass unemployment.
- 1933 Hitler becomes chancellor. Weimar Republic gives way to a one-party state.
- 1934 Hitler proclaims the Third Reich in 1934.
- 1935 Germany begins to re-arm. Nuremberg Laws deprive German Jews of citizenship.
- 1936 Olympics hosted by Berlin
- 1938 Annexation of Austria and Sudetenland.
- Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) sees orchestrated attacks on Jews and their property as well as synagogues.
- 1939-1945 Invasion of Poland triggers World War II. Nazis implement an extermination policy in the death camps of eastern Europe.
- 1945 German army defeated. Allies divide Germany into occupation zones.
- 1945-1946 Nuremberg war crimes trials.
- 1949 Germany is divided. The US, French and British zones in the west become the Federal Republic of Germany; the Soviet zone in the east becomes the communist German Democratic Republic - DDR.
- 1949, Oct 7th - Wilhelm Pieck first president of East Germany
- 1949 First Russian nuclear test, RDS-1
- 1950s Start of rapid economic growth in West Germany
- 1950 Stasi founded
- 1953 Joseph Stalin dies
- 1953 Nikita Khrushchev First Minister of the Soviet Union
- 1953 Soviet tanks roll into East Berlin to quash an uprising over the economy, government. 50+ people killed. Started with a strike. National commemorative holiday in West Germany until reunification.
- 1955 West Germany joins Nato; East Germany joins the Warsaw Pact.
- 1957 West Germany joins the European Economic Community (EEC)
- 1957 Sputnik first manmade satellite. Major marketing coup
- 1960 Johannes Dieckmann elected as president of DDR
- 1961 Tsar Hydrogen bomb detonated as a test by the Russians. 50mt, equivalent to 10x all the explosives used in WW2. Major ramp up of nuclear capabilties on both sides of the Cold War.
- 1961, May - 20,000 East Berliners flood into West Berlin. 3.5 million had emigrated/escaped.
- 1961, August - Construction of the Berlin Wall by the Commies
- 1968 East German constitution declares unification impossible until the West turns socialist.
- 1968 Soviet troops invade Czechoslovakia to stop reforms. Largest military mobilisation since WW2.
- 1969 Social Democrat (SPD) Willy Brandt becomes chancellor
- 1971 Walter Ulbricht is succeeded in East by Erich Honecker.
- 1973 East and West Germany join the UN.
- 1974 Brandt is replaced by Chancellor Helmut Schmidt who continues "Ostpolitik" (eastern policies). Brandt resigned over a spying scandal involving one of his close aides
- Wall tumbles
- 1982 Christian Democrat Helmut Kohl becomes chancellor
- 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev becomes General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
- 1987 East German leader Erich Honecker pays a first official visit to West
- 1989 Soviet Bloc relax travel restrictions, most East Germans leave!
- Berlin Wall dismantled by civilians as part of a peaceful revolution.
- 1990 Kohl leads a reunified Germany
Good 1996 interview with Gorbachev on reforms that led to the fall of the Iron Curtain (YouTube)