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East Germany

German Democratic Republic
Deutsche Demokratische Republik
Member of the Warsaw Pact
Flag (1959–1990) National Emblem
Proletarier aller Länder, vereinigt Euch!
English: Workers of the world, unite!
Auferstanden aus Ruinen
"Risen from Ruins"
The German Democratic Republic in 1990
Capital East Berlin
Languages German
Russian (de facto)
Religion None (state atheism)
Government Federal Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist state (1949-1952)
Unitary Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist state (1952-Nov. 1989)
Unitary Parliamentary republic (Nov. 1989-Oct. 1990)
General Secretary
 •  1949–1950 Wilhelm Pieck
 •  1949–1950 Otto Grotewohl
 •  1950–1971 Walter Ulbricht
 •  1971–1989 Erich Honecker
 •  1989 Egon Krenz
Head of State
 •  1949–1960 Wilhelm Pieck (first)
 •  1990 Sabine Berg.-Pohl (last)
Head of Government
 •  1949–1964 Otto Grotewohl (first)
 •  1990 Lothar de Maizière (last)
Legislature Volkskammer
 •  State Chamber Länderkammer
Historical era Cold War
 •  Constitution adopted 7 October 1949
 •  Uprising of 1953 16 June 1953
 •  Berlin Crisis 4 June 1961
 •  Peaceful Revolution 13 October 1989
 •  Final Settlement 12 September 1990
 •  Reunification 3 October 1990
 •  1990 108,333 km² (41,828 sq mi)
 •  1950 est. 18,388,000 
 •  1970 est. 17,068,000 
 •  1990 est. 16,111,000 
     Density 148.7 /km²  (385.2 /sq mi)
Currency 1949–1964: Deutsche Mark
1964–1967: Mark der Deutschen Notenbank,
Mark der DDR
(Three different names for the same currency)
Deutsche Mark
(from 1 July 1990)
Internet TLD .dd
Calling code +37
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Allied-occupied Germany
Soviet occupation zone
Today part of  Germany
The initial flag of East Germany adopted in 1948 was identical to that of West Germany. In 1959, the East German government issued a new version of the flag bearing the national emblem, serving to distinguish East from West.
^a Dissolved by the Volkskammer on 8 December 1958.
^b Population statistics according to Statistisches Bundesamt.
^c Although .dd was reserved as corresponding ISO code for East Germany, it was not entered to the root before the country was reunited with the west.

East Germany, formally the German Democratic Republic or GDR (German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik [ˈdɔʏtʃə demoˈkʀaːtɪʃə ʀepuˈbliːk]), was an Eastern Bloc state during the Cold War period. From 1949 to 1990, it administered the region of Germany that was occupied by Soviet forces at the end of World War II—the Soviet Occupation Zone of the Potsdam Agreement, bounded on the east by the Oder–Neisse line. The Soviet zone surrounded West Berlin, but did not include it; as a result, West Berlin remained outside the jurisdiction of the GDR. The German Democratic Republic was established in the Soviet Zone, while the Federal Republic was established in the three western zones. East Germany was a satellite state of the Soviet Union. Soviet occupation authorities began transferring administrative responsibility to German communist leaders in 1948, and the GDR began to function as a state on 7 October 1949. Soviet forces, however, remained in the country throughout the Cold War. Until 1989, the GDR was governed by the Socialist Unity Party (SED), though other parties nominally participated in its alliance organisation, the National Front of Democratic Germany.

The economy was centrally planned, and increasingly state-owned. Prices of basic goods and services were set by central government planners, rather than rising and falling through supply and demand. Although the GDR had to pay substantial war reparations to the USSR, it became the most successful economy in the Eastern Bloc. Nonetheless it did not match the economic growth of West Germany. Emigration to the West was a significant problem—as many of the emigrants were well-educated young people, it further weakened the state economically. The government fortified its western borders and, in 1961, built the Berlin Wall. Many people attempting to flee were killed by border guards or booby traps, such as landmines.



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