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Lecture notes (week ten): East Germany

PowerPoint GDR lecture

Lecture 17


Early East Germany (1945-63)

30.4.45 Ulbricht flies to Germany - rejects immediate SPD-KPD merger

11.6.45 Refounded KPD launches a moderate reform programme

14.7.45 KPD, SPD, CDU and LDP form an Antifascist Bloc

3-11.9.45 Land reform in the Soviet Zone

31.10.45 State/Nazi property confiscated - 25% becomes Soviet companies (SAGs) - huge dismantling/reparations from current production

14.9.45 Defiant speech by SPD's Grotewohl changes KPD mind on merger

21.12.45 SPD tentatively agrees to Reich merger at `Sixty' Conference

6.2.46 Eastern SPD leaders cave in to KPD demands for zonal merger

22.4.46 SPD and KPD merge

30.6.46 77.6% in Sachsen vote to expropriate war criminals & Nazis

20.10.46 Landtag elections in SBZ give SED only 47.5% - last free elecs

14.6.47 Deutsche Wirtschaftskommission for central economic planning

6-7.12.47 People's Congress for Unity and Just Peace

26.2.48 End of denazification in Soviet Zone

24.6.48 Berlin Blockade begins (lasts until 12.5.49)

16.9.48 SED renounces `special German road to socialism'

13.10.48 Hennecke becomes German Stakhanov, overfulfilling norm by 380%

28.1.49 SED sovietises itself becoming a new-type party with Politbüro

7.10.49 German Democratic Republic (DDR) founded

8.2.50 Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (Stasi) founded

6.7.50 DDR signs treaty with Poland recognising Oder-Neisse border

15.10.50 Elections in DDR affirm changes by 99.7% (87.4% turn-out)

26.5.52 Closing-down of border between East and West Germany

12.7.52 SED decides on `Building of Socialism' in DDR

9.6.53 SED backtracks under Moscow pressure, announcing `New Course'

17.6.53 Uprisings against raised work norms - Red Army intervenes

27.11.58 Khrushchev issues ultimatum to west to vacate West Berlin

3.6.59 Land Production Collectives law; LPGs cover 45% of agriculture

13.8.61 `Anti-Fascist Protection Wall' to stop brain- & labour-drain

25.6.63 New Economic System of Planning and Leadership (NÖSPL)

The Collapse of East Germany (1988-90)

17.1.1988 120 Luxemburg & Liebknecht mourners arrested in East Berlin

1.1989 GDR citizens seek sanctuary in the FRG's East Berlin mission

2.5.1989 Hungary begins dismantling its border installations

7.5.1989 Local GDR elections yield 98.85% - accusations of rigging

4.6.1989 Chinese demonstrators are massacred in Tianamen Square

8.6.1989 GDR's People's Chamber condones the Beijing massacres

15.6.1989 Gorbachev in Bonn - hints that Wall might be able to come down

7.7.1989 Gorbachev assures East Bloc states autonomy (Sinatra Doctrine)

4.8.1989 130 GDR citizens in West German embassy in Hungary

19.8.1989 661 East Germans flee from Hungary to Austria

22.8.1989 140 East Germans in West German embassy in Czechoslovakia

24.8.1989 108 East Germans in Budapest receive authorisation to leave

2.9.1989 Over 3,500 East Germans stuck in Hungarian transit camps

4.9.1989 Hundreds demand freedom to travel before Leipzig Nikolaikirche

7.9.1989 80 protestors at election-rigging arrested on Alexanderplatz

11.9.1989 Hungary authorises all GDR citizens to leave the country

In East Berlin New Forum is founded

24.9.1989 Hundreds of East Germans in West German embassy in Warsaw

25.9.1989 5,000 protest in Leipzig at the banning of New Forum

30.9.1989 East Germans holed up in embassies embark on trains to west

2.10.'89 20,000 Leipzig demonstrators dispersed - Democratic Awakening

3.10.'89 West Germany's Czech embassy already filled with another 7,600

4.10.'89 At GDR stations East Germans stopped from jumping onto trains

5.10.'89 Magdeburg and Dresden demonstrators broken up by force

6.10.'89 Gorbachev in East Berlin calls indirectly for GDR reforms

7.10.'89 During GDR's 40th birthday celebrations largest demos since 53

Sozialdemokratische Partei in der DDR (SDP) founded

9.10.'89 50-70,000 Leipzig demonstrators - fears of a `Peking solution'

16.10.'89 120,000 demonstration in Leipzig - biggest since 17.6.1953

18.10.'89 Honecker relieved by Egon Krenz as head of state and party

23.10.'89 300,000 demonstrate in Leipzig for free elections and reforms

29.10.'89 20,000 East Berliners demand the demolition of the Berlin Wall

4.11.'89 500,000 East Berliners demonstrate at the SED's power monopoly

7.11.'89 Premier Willi Stoph and entire East German government resign

9.11.'89 GDR leaders announce opening of Wall - nocturnal exodus!

13.11.'89 Hans Modrow, tipped as the German Gorbachev, GDR's new Premier

17.11.'89 Modrow advocates long-term `treaty community' between FRG/GDR

28.11.'89 Kohl's gradual 10-Point Programme to overcome German division

1.12.'89 People's Chamber strikes SEDs `leading role' from constitution

3.12.'89 Politbüro, Central Committee and Krenz resign en masse

4.12.'89 Christian Democrats and Liberals abandon the Democratic Bloc

7.11.'89 SED's Politbüro begins `Round Table' talks with non-Communists

9.12.'89 At SED's Extraordinary Convention Gregor Gysi new witty leader

11.12.'89 First calls at regular `Monday demonstrations' for unification

17.12.'89 SED renames itself SED-PDS (Party of Democratic Socialism)

22.12.'89 Brandenburg Gate reopened (on New Year's Eve quadriga damaged)

1989 343,854 `resettlers' into FRG - GDR exodus continues unabated

15.1.1990 150,000 in Leipzig demonstrate for unification

Thousands of East Berliners storm & occupy Stasi headquarters

21.1.1990 Mayor of Dresden, Berghofer, resigns as Deputy SED-PDS leader

28.1.1990 Round Table agrees to a Government of National Responsibility

1.2.1990 Modrow's step-by-step plan: treaty community to confederation

5.2.1990 CDU, DSU & DA form Alliance for Germany; New Forum, Democracy Now & Initiative for Peace & Human Rights form Alliance '90

10.2.1990 Gorbachev assures Kohl and Genscher he will not obstruct unity

20.2.1990 Panic-buying in GDR as Round Table abolishes food subsidies

25.2.1990 George Bush and Kohl agree united Germany must remain in NATO

6.3.1990 Moscow: Modrow and Gorbachev agree unification must be gradual

12.3.1990 Round Table's last session refuses to adopt FRG's Basic Law

18.3.1990 1st free GDR elections - CDU 40.6%; SPD 21.8%; PDS 16.3%

1.4.1990 Bundesbank proposes 2:1 M/DM exchange rate in currency union

5.5.1990 Two-Plus-Four Talks between FRG/DDR + USA, GB, France, USSR

10.5.1990 GDR-wide protest concerned at future social security - strikes

18.5.1990 FRG & GDR sign State Treaty on currency, econ. & social union

16.6.1990 Protests begin at FRG Basic Law's clause 218 denying abortion

1.7.1990 Currency union: limited sums up to 6,000 M at 1:1; rest at 2:1

16.7.1990 Trustee Institute set up to privatise 8,000 People's Own Works

19.8.1990 SPD leaves de Maizière's coalition - controversy over unity

22.8.1990 In all-night session People's Chamber agrees to accede to FRG

12.9.1990 At Two-Plus-Four talks Allies concede FRG full sovereignty

3.10.'90 German unification consummated - all-night partying in Berlin

2.12.'90 1st all-German elecs. give CDU/CSU-FDP majority - Greens out