German Democratic Republic (1949-1990) Part I

German Democratic Republic 1

German Democratic Republic, abbreviation GDR, state in Central Europe from 1949 to 1990, acceded to the Federal Republic of Germany (Germany)on October 3rd, 1990 according to Article 23 of the Basic Law (old version).

Political system: From its foundation, the GDR was a state that saw itself as the “dictatorship of the proletariat” and sought to implement a socialist society based on the Soviet model under the leadership of the SED state party; it became the second German dictatorship. The policy of the SED led to the development of a bureaucratic-administrative system that permeated all areas of society. In the constitution of April 6, 1968 (slightly revised 1974), the SED also anchored its leading role in state and society in constitutional law, which was linked to a close – also personal – amalgamation of state and party and which increasingly went against the interests of all democratic parties Forces directed (parallel structure of state and SED). The economic basis was the largely nationalized economy with a centrally controlled mechanism of planning and management, which often served state-political power interests regardless of economic requirements. In the field of culture and science, Marxism-Leninism became the dominant ideology, combined with the oppression and persecution of dissenters. In terms of foreign policy, the GDR was closely linked to the Soviet Union and integrated into the so-called socialist community of states through membership in the Council for Mutual Economic Aid (since 1950) and in the Warsaw Pact (since 1955). The GDR had been a member of the UN since 1973. Towards the Federal Republic of Germany, it pursued a policy of demarcation, increasingly since 1971. which often served state political power interests regardless of economic requirements. In the field of culture and science, Marxism-Leninism became the dominant ideology, combined with the oppression and persecution of dissenters. In terms of foreign policy, the GDR was closely linked to the Soviet Union and integrated into the so-called socialist community of states through membership in the Council for Mutual Economic Aid (since 1950) and in the Warsaw Pact (since 1955). The GDR had been a member of the  UN since 1973. Towards the Federal Republic of Germany, a country that belongs to European Union according to Globalsciencellc, it pursued a policy of demarcation, increasingly since 1971.

The collective head of state since 1960 (1949-60 had a president with a representative function at the head of the state) was the Council of State elected by the People’s Chamber, which until 1974 had extensive state powers. As a rule, there was a personal union between the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the SED and the Chairman of the Council of State. The Council of Ministers, the government of the GDR, was the highest executive body. He was responsible for the implementation of the laws passed by the People’s Chamber and the decisions of the National Defense Council (formed in 1960); he was bound by the constitution and the law on the Council of Ministers directly to party decisions. The chairman of the Council of Ministers was proposed by the strongest parliamentary group in the People’s Chamber, the SED parliamentary group, his election and that of the entire cabinet were made by parliament. De facto, however, the Politburo of the Central Committee of the SED was regarded as the decisive political and state power and the Secretary General as the highest representative of the state. According to the constitution, the Volkskammer (400 from 1949–63 and 1990, 500 members in the meantime; elected for 4 years until 1974, then for 5 years) was the highest state organ of power in the GDR; the legislature lay with her. The People’s Chamber, in which all 5 parties and some mass organizations with parliamentary groups were represented, elected all other constitutional organs, the chairman and members of the State Council and the Council of Ministers, the chairman of the National Defense Council for a period of 5 years (up to 1974 4 years), the President and Judges of the Supreme Court, and the Attorney General.

Parties and mass organizations: Until 1989 there were 5 parties: the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), the Liberal Democratic Party of Germany (LDPD), the Democratic Peasant Party of Germany (DBD) and the National Democratic Party of Germany (NDPD). All parties committed themselves to the socialist order in their programs. The task of the (bloc) parties operating under the leadership of the SED was to involve the social strata they represented in the political development of society. About the amalgamation of the parties and mass organizations (including the Free German Trade Union Federation [FDGB], Free German Youth [FDJ], Democratic Women’s Federation of Germany [DFD], Kulturbund der GDR]) in the National Front of the GDR, which they clearly dominated, the SED also asserted its claim to leadership in this area. During the political upheavals from autumn 1989 (peaceful revolution), new political parties and democratic organizations emerged, some of which arose from the civic movements, among others. New Forum, Social Democratic Party in the GDR (SDP), Democratic Awakening, Green Party in the GDR, German Social Union. For the Volkskammer elections on March 18, 1990, some of them concluded electoral alliances (“Alliance for Germany”, “Alliance 90”); In the run-up to and during the election campaign, the influence of the Federal Republican parties grew.

Management: The national territory was initially divided into 5 countries, since July 1952 into 14 districts and the capital of the GDR Berlin (East). With the abolition of the federal states, the districts were redefined and the remnants of local self-government were eliminated. Since then, the administration has been headed by the Council of Ministers. The districts were divided into districts, city districts (partly with city districts), cities and municipalities, and Berlin (East) into city districts. In the territorial units there were elected representative bodies for 5 years (up to 1974 for 4 years). These elected collective councils (executive / disposing organs) and formed specialist organs.

German Democratic Republic 1