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The East Germany Portal
Portal:East Germany
"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.

East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, pronounced [ˈdɔʏtʃə demoˈkʁaːtɪʃə ʁepuˈbliːk] (About this soundlisten), DDR, pronounced [ˌdeːdeːˈʔɛʁ] (About this soundlisten)), was a country that existed from 1949 to 1990, the period when the eastern portion of Germany was part of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. Commonly described as a communist state in English usage, it described itself as a socialist "workers' and peasants' state". It consisted of territory that 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. However, 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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Steineckert in 1987
Steineckert in 1987

Gisela Steineckert (born 13 May 1931) is a German writer known for her books and song lyrics. She has also written numerous radio plays and several film scripts. In terms of published output she was particularly prolific before 1989, but her professional career has nevertheless robustly outlasted the German Democratic Republic.

A member of the East German arts establishment, she served as national "President of the Entertainment Committee" following the retirement, in 1984, of Siegfried Wagner. Her unforced support for the East German system before reunification has drawn hostility from writers and artists who found themselves persecuted by the régime: Bettina Wegner dismissively opines of her supervisory duties with the October Club (state sponsored song performance association) during the 1980s that Steineckert was the chief censor ("Das war die Oberzensorin"). (Full article...)
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Geography and nature

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.
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Wikipedia in the local dialects

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East Germany(28 C, 11 P)
East Germany-related lists(3 C, 3 P)
East German architecture(2 C, 7 P)
East Berlin(5 C, 79 P)
East German culture(16 C, 26 P)
Economy of East Germany(5 C, 51 P)
Events in East Germany(6 C, 1 P)
Geography of East Germany(2 C, 5 P)
Government of East Germany(5 C, 17 P)
History of East Germany(6 C, 29 P)
East German law(2 C, 18 P)
East German mass media(2 C, 27 P)
Military of East Germany(8 C, 32 P)
Ostalgie(27 P)
East German people(15 C, 34 P)
Politics of East Germany(8 C, 30 P)
German reunification(1 C, 23 P)
East German society(3 C, 2 P)
Sport in East Germany(18 C, 4 P)
Transport in East Germany(5 C, 6 P)
Works about East Germany(2 C, 4 P)
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
A Trabant, the classic people's car of East Germany. more...
Related portals
Wanted articles

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

  • Geography:
    • Waterbodies: Borna Reservoir
    • Islands, etc.: Island of Youth – Spree Island – Friendship Island
  • History: Neuerer – Messe der Meister von Morgen – Frida Hockauf Method – Bückware – Commercial Coordination (Kommerzielle Koordinierung) – State Planning Commission (East Germany) – Non-socialist Economic Region – Prisoner ransom (Häftlingsfreikauf) – Personal identity number (East Germany) (Personenkennzahl) – Hausbuch – Travel application (Ausreiseantrag)
  • Culture: P. Abraham – Boll - East German cinema - Franz – Hahnemann – Jankofsky – E. Köhler - Palitzsch – Quermann – Stengel
    • Literature: – East German Science Fiction - East German socialist realism
    • Language: – Language usage in the GDR
    • Art: – Olympic Games on stamps of the GDR Deutsche Post
    • Architecture: GDR College of Construction Engineering – Architecture in the German Democratic Republic
    • Music: Committee for the Art of Conversation – Anstalt zur Wahrung der Aufführungs- und Vervielfältigungsrechte auf dem Gebiet der Musik – Performance licence – Michael Rauhut
  • GDR border: GDR visa warrant (Berechtigungsschein zum Empfang eines Visums der DDR) – Border regime (Grenzregime) – Pass agreeement (Passierscheinabkommen) – Transit traffic – Victims of the Berlin Wall – Operation Vermin (Aktion Ungeziefer)
  • Border crossing victims: Göring – Huhn
  • Die Wende: de Maizière governmentCost of German Unity
  • Politics: – Party secretary (East Germany) – Bezirkstag
  • Mass organisations: Association of Sport and Technology – Chamber of Technology
  • Armed bodies: Community policeman (Abschnittsbevollmächtigter) – NVA oath of allegiance (Fahneneid) – Schwedt Military Gaol – State Secretariat for State Security
  • Other orders: Order of Fatherland Service
  • Religion: Christians and the church in the GDR – Federation of Evangelical churches in the GDR – Evangelical State Church of Silesian Upper LusatiaEvangelical-Lutheran State Church of Saxony – Federation of Evangelical-Free Church Parishes in the GDR
  • Education and science: Science and technology in the GDR – Central Institute for Youth Research – School flag ceremony – Workers and Farmers Faculty – Multi-spectral camera – Arbeiterstudium
  • Places of interest:– Kyffhausen Imperial Castle – Wiprecht Castle, Groitzsch
  • Museums: Bell and Town Museum, Apolda
  • Sport: BSG KKW Greifswald – Ice hockey – Gymnastic and sports festivals in the GDR – DDR-Rundfahrt
  • People: Axen – Bentzien – Böhm – Gießmann – Herrmann – Heusinger – H.-J. Hoffmann – Lietz – LuftWarnke – H. Wolf – Ziller
  • Opposition: Weiß
  • Scientists: Dathe – Gossweiler – Moritz Mebel
  • Sport:GeißlerReich – Schäffner – Schnieke
  • Finance: Commemorative coins of the GDR
  • Cuisine: Filinchen – Nordhäuser Doppelkorn
  • Media: Tageszeitungen – – National-Zeitung – Tribüne – Die Union – Märkische Oderzeitung – Das Magazin – Eulenspiegel – FF-Dabei – Neue Berliner Illustrierte – Atze – Trommel – Bummi – Westfernsehen – Herr Fuchs und Frau Elster – Glück muß man haben – Willi Schwabes Rumpelkammer - Nationales Spielfilm-Festival – Stimme der DDR – Berliner Welle – Sport aktuell (DDR)
  • Postal: East German postage stamps
  • Justice:Labour law (East Germany) – Employment law (East Germany) – Family law (East Germany) – Judicial system of East Germany – Criminal law (East Germany) – Waldheim Trials – Civil law (East Germany) – Waldheim Gaol
  • Transport: Firefighting vehicles of the GDR – L60 – MZ TS motorcycle – Simson S70 – Roads in the GDR – W50
  • Economy: EAW Berlin – Einzelhandelsverkaufspreis – Konsum (East Germany) – Consumer goods production in the GDR – List of East German products – Malimo – NARVA – Produktionsgenossenschaft des Handwerks (PGH) – SERO – SKET – Vereinigung Organisationseigener Betriebe (VOB) – Wolfen Film Company –
Economy and transport

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.

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






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