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  • Negotiations between the supremacies led to the German divisionNegotiations between the supremacies led to the German division

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East-West German division

Two separate states

When the negotiations between the USA and the Soviet Union concerning Germany stagnated the cooperation gradually developed into a global confrontation. Germany was especially affected by this as the Soviets were entitled to claim the East of Germany and thus ripped the country apart. The consequent estrangement eventually led to the foundation of two separate states in 1949. The occupational powers in the East founded the Federal Republic of Germany in their zone while the Soviets proclaimed the German Democratic Republic.

Cold war

In the historical context however the East-West division within Germany illustrated the world wide division into two blocks of power. The West represented democracy and market economycustomA market economy is an economy in which decisions regarding investment, production and distribution are based on supply and demand, and prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system while the East was controlled by socialism and planned economycustomA planned economy is the economic system in which decisions regarding production and investment are embodied in a plan formulated by a central authority. The Soviet Union placed several states in East Europe under its prevalence, making them politically and economically dependent from the Soviet Union. The term “cold war” is appropriate as the USA and the Soviet Union never entered into direct military action over the following years, even thought the conflict nearly caused a third world war. On the contrary the East-West conflict was prevailed by war rhetoric, arms race and proxy warscustomA proxy war is a conflict between third parties fighting on the behalf of more powerful parties. The international frictions led to the involvement of the FRG and the GDR in two separate defence alliances, the NATOcustomThe North Atlantic Treaty Organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party and the Warsaw PactcustomThe Warsaw Pact was a collective defense treaty among eight communist states of Central and Eastern Europe in existence during the Cold War1.

Democracy vs. Socialism

Any negotiations attempted during the occupation period foundered on the incompatible economical and political systems of the major powers. While the west powers legitimised free elections, parties and democratic principles in their zones, the East was reigned after the Soviet model including elements of planned economy from the outset. German communists, who had fled into exile during the Third ReichcustomThe Third Reich is the name for Germany during 1933 to 1945, when its government was controlled by Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers' Party returned and were immediately entrusted with key position in police and justice. Furthermore the Soviets seized private industrial enterprises and brought all economical commerce under central control2.






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