Developments in East Germany (GDR) 1949-1971

Eva Clifton
Mind Map by Eva Clifton, updated more than 1 year ago
Eva Clifton
Created by Eva Clifton about 6 years ago
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Description

A Levels History (Germany - Divided and Reunited 1945-1991) Mind Map on Developments in East Germany (GDR) 1949-1971, created by Eva Clifton on 04/28/2014.

Resource summary

Developments in East Germany (GDR) 1949-1971
1 Economic Developments
1.1 June 1953 - major strike by industrial workers, angry at unrealistic targets set by the government
1.1.1 demanded free elections and the resignation of the SED
1.1.2 Russian army had to intervene - 600 tanks and 20,000 soldiers - thousands arrested and 70 killed
1.2 did not focus on producing consumer goods and living standards were lower than in the FRG - caused resentment
1.3 industry and agriculture were under state control. All energy production, major industry and farm land was owned by the state by the late 50s
1.3.1 1955 - industrial production had doubled in 5 years
1.4 farms in the GDR were collectivised - grouped together. Many East Germans fled into the FRG during the 1950s - there were food shortages and productivity took ages to increase
1.5 the large number of people leaving the GDR (until 1961) caused problems - labour shortages on farms and the armed forces
1.6 men who didn't join the army were 'construction soldiers' - they did hard labour on public projects. They were denied educational and career opportunities that were offered to soldiers
2 Political and Social Development
2.1 the GDR was disadvantaged with propaganda - many East Germans could receive West German TV and Radio - impossible to enforce a ban
2.2 the East German Army (NVA) was efficient - it constructed the Berlin Border (and Wall) in one night in 1961
2.3 the GDR allied itself with the Soviet Union - 1955 joined the Warsaw Pact, the USSR's version of NATO
2.4 the GDR preserved concentration camps as memorials to Communists - Jews received an additional pension allowance, but this was less than the Communists received
2.5 elections in the GDR were not truly democratic - voters had to pick from a list of nominated candidates by the government - Parliament was dominated by the SED
2.6 the GDR portrayed the FRG as selfish and plagued by drug abuse, homelessness and inequality
2.7 the SED brought about the 'Creation of the basis of Socialism' between 1949-61
2.8 after the June 1953 uprising the Stasi collected mood reports on the population - helped to gauge public opinion and target propaganda
2.9 freedom of speech was repressed - the Stasi was set up in 1950 - it used surveillance, arrest and intimidation to maintain government control
2.10 by the late 1960s the Stasi had 50,000 official employees and 100,000 informers - people became informers to gain opportunities
3 Foreign policy and Military Alliance
3.1 severe restrictions put on those who travelled to the FRG - 1.5million people (1949-61) fled to the West because of poor living standards
3.2 1950s - GDR and USSR became very close. The GDR joined COMECON - the USSR's version of the European Coal and Steel community
3.3 people resented military spending whilst living standards were so low - they were also suspicious of military organisations due to WWII
3.4 the GDR opposed Israel and saw it as an American puppet. Supported Arab and Palestinian freedom fighters against Israel
3.5 the GDR remilitarised in 1955 - few people joined and compulsory service was introduced in 1962 - claimed they needed defence against Western expansionism
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