Portal:East Germany

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The East Germany Portal
Portal:East Germany
People's Theatre, BerlinBerlin WallTrabant40th anniversary in 1989
"Gruß" and welcome!
The East Germany portal offers an overview of the most important and newest articles on the subject of East Germany, the former Communist state officially known as the German Democratic Republic or GDR The portal contains links to a cross-section of articles from the areas of history and politics, geography and economy, art and culture, and some of the important personalities from the region.
Introduction

East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, pronounced [ˈdɔʏtʃə demoˈkʁaːtɪʃə ʁepuˈbliːk] (listen), DDR, pronounced [ˌdeːdeːˈʔɛʁ] (listen)), was a country that existed from 1949 to 1990 in present-day eastern Germany as part of the Eastern Bloc in the Cold War. Commonly described as a communist state, it described itself as a socialist "workers' and peasants' state". Its territory was administered and occupied by Soviet forces following 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 and West Berlin remained outside the jurisdiction of the GDR.

The GDR was established in the Soviet zone, while the Federal Republic of Germany, commonly referred to as West Germany, was established in the three western zones. 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, although Soviet forces remained in the country throughout the Cold War. Until 1989, the GDR was governed by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), although other parties nominally participated in its alliance organization, the National Front of the German Democratic Republic. The SED made the teaching of Marxism–Leninism and the Russian language compulsory in schools. (Full article...)

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A white sign on a post with the German inscription "Halt! Hier Grenze" (Stop! Here border) and below, in smaller letters, "Bundesgrenzschutz" (Federal Border Guard). In the background a wire fence with an open gate, behind that are trees and a watchtower on the skyline.

The Inner German border (German: Innerdeutsche Grenze [ˈɪnɐˌdɔʏtʃə ˈɡʁɛntsə] or Deutsch-deutsche Grenze [ˈdɔʏtʃˌdɔʏtʃə ˈɡʁɛntsə]; initially also Zonengrenze [ˈtsoːnənˌɡʁɛntsə]) was the border between the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, West Germany) from 1949 to 1990. Not including the similar and physically separate Berlin Wall, the border was 1,393 kilometres (866 miles) long and ran from the Baltic Sea to Czechoslovakia.

It was formally established on 1 July 1945 as the boundary between the Western and Soviet occupation zones of former Nazi Germany. On the eastern side, it was made one of the world's most heavily fortified frontiers, defined by a continuous line of high metal fences and walls, barbed wire, alarms, anti-vehicle ditches, watchtowers, automatic booby traps, and minefields. It was patrolled by fifty thousand armed East German guards who faced tens of thousands of West German, British, and U.S. guards and soldiers. In the frontier areas on either side of the border were stationed more than a million North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and Warsaw Pact troops.

The border was a physical manifestation of Sir Winston Churchill's metaphorical Iron Curtain that separated the Soviet and Western blocs during the Cold War, marking the boundary between two economic systems – capitalism and socialism. Built by East Germany in phases from 1952 to the late 1980s, the fortifications were constructed to stop the large-scale emigration of East German citizens to the West, about 1,000 of whom are said to have died trying to cross it during its 45-year existence. It caused widespread economic and social disruption on both sides; East Germans living in the region suffered especially draconian restrictions. (Full article...)
List of selected articles
Geography and nature
East German administrative divisions or Bezirke

The German Democratic Republic, which consisted geographically of what is now eastern Germany, had an area of 107,771 km2 (41,610 mi2), bordering Czechoslovakia in the south, West Germany in the south and west, the Baltic Sea to the north, and Poland in the east.

Much of the territory of the former East Germany lay on the North German Plain and was largely flat and agricultural apart from low morainic hills left by the ice age. However in the south the land rose to the Ore Mountains and Elbe Sandstone Mountains that formed the border with its Communist neighbour, Czechoslovakia.

Administration divisions (Bezirke): BerlinCottbusDresdenErfurtFrankfurt (Oder)GeraHalleKarl-Marx-StadtLeipzigMagdeburgNeubrandenburgPotsdamRostockSchwerinSuhl

Cities and towns: AltenburgApoldaBautzenBrandenburg/HavelCottbusDessauDresdenEberswaldeEisenachStalinstadt/EisenhüttenstadtErfurtFrankfurt (Oder)FreibergGeraGörlitzGothaGreifswaldHalberstadtHalleHalle-NeustadtHoyerswerdaJenaChemnitz/Karl-Marx-StadtLeipzigMagdeburgMerseburgNeubrandenburgPlauenPotsdamRostockSchwedtSchwerinStralsundSuhlWeimarWismarWittenbergZittauZwickau

Rivers and canals: ElbeGera - HavelNeißeOderSaaleSpreeUnstrutWhite ElsterBlack ElsterMittelland CanalWerra

Waterbodies: MüritzSchweriner SeePlauer SeeKummerower SeeScharmützelseeWerbellinseeGroßer MüggelseeBay of GreifswaldOderhaff

Islands: RügenPoelUsedomHiddenseeGreifswalder Oie

Mountain and hill ranges: Ore MountainsHarzElbe Sandstone MountainsThuringian ForestThuringian HighlandVogtlandKyffhäuserRhönZittau Mountains

Regions: Dresden Elbe ValleyLusatiaSpreewaldMecklenburg Lake DistrictBarnimFlämingMagdeburg BördeAltmarkSaxon SwitzerlandEichsfeld

History, politics and religion
Border installations at Marienborn

History: 1953 UprisingDachaFour Power Agreement on BerlinBasic Treaty, 1972Permanent representativePalace of the RepublicBegrüßungsgeld

GDR border: Treaty of ZgorzelecBerlin WallInner German borderBorder crossingsBerlin Friedrichstraße stationCheckpoint CharlieMarienborn border crossingSpring-gunRepublikfluchtMindestumtausch

Die Wende: Monday demonstrationsSocial Democratic Party1990 General ElectionTreuhandTwo Plus Four AgreementReunification (Einigungsvertrag)Stasi Records AgencyOstalgie

Logo of the Socialist Unity Party (SED)

Politics: State flagNational EmblemNational hymnConstitutionVolkskammer (People's Chamber)State CouncilCouncil of MinistersNational FrontSocialist Unity PartyBloc partyChristian Democratic UnionLiberal Democratic PartyDemocratic Farmers' PartyNational Democratic PartyAdministrative divisions (Bezirke)

"Mass organisations": Free German YouthFree German Trade Union FederationCultural Association of the GDRDemocratic Women's League of GermanyPeople's SolidaritySociety for German–Soviet FriendshipErnst Thälmann Pioneer Organisation

Armed bodies: National People's ArmyBorder TroopsSchießbefehlStasiHauptverwaltung Aufklärung (Main Directorate for Reconnaissance)VolkspolizeiCombat GroupsVolksmarineArmeegeneralMarshalWarsaw PactConstruction soldier

Other orders: Orders, decorations, and medals of East GermanyBanner of LabourOrder of Karl MarxNational Prize of the German Democratic RepublicScharnhorst OrderStar of People's FriendshipBlücher Order

Dresden's Roman Catholic Cathedral (the Hofkirche) at night

Religion: Evangelical Church in Berlin, Brandenburg and Silesian Upper LusatiaEvangelical Lutheran Church of MecklenburgPomeranian Evangelical ChurchEvangelical Church of the Church Province of SaxonyEvangelical Lutheran Church in ThuringiaRoman Catholic Archdiocese of BerlinRoman Catholic Diocese of Dresden-MeissenRoman Catholic Diocese of ErfurtRoman Catholic Diocese of GörlitzRoman Catholic Diocese of Magdeburg

Education, culture and sport
DD-Schloss-gp.jpg

Education and science: Education in East GermanyAcademy of Sciences of the German Democratic RepublicCharitéHumboldt University of BerlinErweiterte OberschulePolytechnic Secondary SchoolTierpark BerlinMuttiheft

Language: GermanBerlinerischSorbian

Culture: Culture of East GermanyClassical Weimar

Art: Theater am SchiffbauerdammSemperoper

Architecture: Bauhaus World Heritage Site - Fernsehturm Berlin - Krämerbrücke - Plattenbau - Prora

Music: List of classical composersOstrock

Film: DEFADEFA Film Library - Kino International - List of films set in Berlin

Places of interest: Dresden CastleSanssouciDessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm

Cathedrals and churches: Berlin CathedralErfurt CathedralNaumburg Cathedral

Gdr homekit.gif

Museums and collections: DDR Museum - German Hygiene Museum - Memorial and Education Centre Andreasstrasse - Museum IslandOld Synagogue (Erfurt) - Pergamon Museum - Stasi Museum - Tränenpalast

Sport: List of football clubsGDR Football AssociationDDR-OberligaFDGB-Pokal1. FC Union BerlinBerliner FC DynamoDynamo DresdenFC Carl Zeiss JenaRed Bull Arena

East German people
Erich Mielke, Head of the Stasi

Politicians: BenjaminBergmann-PohlBöhmeDertingerDieckmannFechnerGerlachGöttingG. GysiHagerH. HoffmannTh. HoffmannE. HoneckerM. HoneckerKeßlerKrackKrenzde MaizièreMaleudaMielkeMittagModrowNeumannNordenSchabowskiSchalck-GolodkowskiSindermannStophTischUlbrichtVernerM. WolfWollweberZaisser

Opposition and resistance: BahroBiermannM. BirthlerBohleyBrüsewitzEppelmannFuchsFührerGauckHavemannUllmann

Scientists: von Ardenne

Artists, playwrights, poets, writers: Andersen NexøBaierlBrechtBuschEscheHacksHeymKantH. MüllerNollPlenzdorfAnna SeghersStrittmatterTübkeWeigelChr. WolfWomacka

Athletes: CierpinskiEmmrichGeyerHoppeLanghammerLaserRecknagelSammerTäve SchurSieglSparwasserStreichWeißflogWitt

General images
The following are images from various East Germany-related articles on Wikipedia.
Quick start

Coat of arms of East Germany.svg  East Germany
Coat of arms of East Germany.svg  History of East Germany
Coat of arms of East Germany.svg  East Germans
Coat of arms of East Germany.svg  Warsaw Pact
Coat of arms of East Germany.svg  Comecon
Coat of arms of East Germany.svg  Portal:Soviet Union

Wikipedia in the local dialects

Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg  Plattdüütsch Wikipedia
Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg  Dolnoserbski Wikipedia
Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg  Hornjoserbšćina Wikipedia

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Did you know?

... that Ostalgie is a German term referring to nostalgia for aspects of the old life in East Germany?

Image of the month
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R0515-0006, Fußballmannschaft SG Dynamo Dresden.jpg
The championship-winning squad of Dynamo Dresden FC, 1976–77. more...
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Wanted articles

The following are wanted articles, related to East Germany, that exist on German Wikipedia, or are otherwise wanted.

Economy and transport
An East German Deutsche Reichsbahn express locomotive, the Class 01.5

Finance: MindestumtauschForum checkEast German markStaatsbank

Cuisine: BroilerKetwurstSoljanka

Media: Censorship in East Germany

Newspapers and magazines: Berliner ZeitungNeues DeutschlandJunge WeltDer MorgenSputnikMosaikFRÖSI

Radio: Rundfunk der DDRBerliner RundfunkRadio DDR 1Radio DDR 2DeutschlandsenderRadio Berlin InternationalDT64

Television: Fernsehen der DDRAktuelle KameraSandmännchenDer schwarze Kanal

Cinema and films: DEFASolo SunnyDie Legende von Paul und PaulaTraces of StonesBear Ye One Another's Burden

Postal: Deutsche Post of the GDR

Justice: Brandenburg-Görden Prison

Transport: AlexanderplatzKarl-Marx-AlleeBarkasInterflugReichsbahnRoburTrabantWartburg

Economy: Genex - Industrieverband Fahrzeugbau (IFA)IntershopCombineLeipzig Trade FairLandwirtschaftliche Produktionsgenossenschaft (LPG)MinolORWOPentaconPlanned economy - PrakticaComeconVEB RobotronKombinat Mikroelektronik Erfurt - SDAG WismutTreuhandVolkseigener Betrieb (VEB)Public property

New and expanded articles

The following are articles, related to East Germany, added in the last six months.

All articles on East Germany are here;
Articles on East German people are here.
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