German Democratic Republic – that was the name assumed by the state proclaimed in East Germany by the Soviet military administrationThe Soviet Military Administration was the Soviet military government, that directly ruled the Soviet occupation zone of Germany from the German surrender in May 1945 until 1949 in 1949. However there were barely any democratic elements in the GDR. While the FRG was integrated into west Europe through the Marshall planMarshall plan was the American support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II in order to prevent the spread of Soviet Communism, the NATO and the ECCThe European Economic Community (EEC) was founded in 1957. Its aim was to bring about economic integration, including a common market in Europe the Soviet Union turned the GDR into another satellite state, politically and economically dependent on the Soviet Union.
Just after the war had ended a squad of communistic functionaries of the Communist Party of Germany had travelled to Berlin, the so called Ulbricht groupThe Ulbricht Group was a group of exiled German communists who flew from the Soviet Union back to Germany on April 30, 1945. Aim was the re-establishment of communist organizations and unions in postwar Berlin. During the NS-reign those politicians had been in exile in the Soviet Union and were thereupon commissioned to assume responsibility for the administration of the Soviet occupation zone. The strategy of the Communist Party of Germany was to occupy all key positions and to thereby introduce a profound structural alteration: installing a system that appeared democratic on the outside but was in fact under control of the Communist Party of Germany1.
Forced merging of the SPD and the CPD
In the first elections after 1945 the Communist Party of Germany did not achieve enough votes to reform the political system. The Socialist Party of Germany however was quite popular. Therefore the two parties agreed on a cross-party coalition. As the two parties’ programs were however radically different it is assumed that the coalition was forced into existence by the Soviet Union, thus ensuring that the resulting Socialist Unity PartyThe Socialist Unity Party was the governing Marxist–Leninist political party of the German Democratic Republic from 1946 until 1990 of Germany could consolidate their power according to the Marxist-Leninist ideology. From then on other parties lost their autonomy and were strictly controlled by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. By founding the state security service called StasiThe Ministry for State Security was the official state security service of the German Democratic Republic the Socialist Unity Party of Germany installed a domestical network of informants that was supposed to ensure the security of the German Democratic Republic against anti-communistic forces2.
Erection of socialism
After the foundation of the GDR in 1949 the political dependence on the Soviet Union endured. The Socialist Unity Party of Germany declared the guidelines of the Marxist-Leninist according to the example of the CPSUCPSU was the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on their party conference in 1950. The first general secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, Walter UlbrichtWalter Ulbricht was first secretary of the Socialist Unity Party, and as such the actual leader of East Germany, from 1950 to 1971, possessed a universal right of control and authority concerning all administrative organs in the GDR. The People’s Parliament possessed the sole legislative and constituent power. As elections were held according to single lists the Socialist Unity Party of Germany constantly gained most votes through manipulation and thus determined the political course, controlling state and society in the German Democratic Republic. The Soviet Union economically tied the GDR to itself when introducing controlled economy. The agrarian reform led to a collectivisation and nationalisation of agriculture, free trade and private property were hence forbidden.