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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 (German: Ostdeutschland, pronounced [ˈɔstˌdɔʏtʃlant] ), officially known as the German Democratic Republic (GDR; Deutsche Demokratische Republik, pronounced [ˈdɔʏtʃə demoˈkʁaːtɪʃə ʁepuˈbliːk] , DDR), was a country in Central Europe from its formation on 7 October 1949 until its reunification with West Germany on 3 October 1990. Until 1989, it was generally viewed as a communist state and described itself as a socialist "workers' and peasants' state". The economy of this country was centrally planned and state-owned. Although the GDR had to pay substantial war reparations to the Soviets, it became the most successful economy in the Eastern Bloc.

Before its establishment, the country's territory was administered and occupied by Soviet forces with the autonomy of the native communists following the Berlin Declaration abolishing German sovereignty in World War II. The Potsdam Agreement established the Soviet-occupied zone, bounded on the east by the Oder–Neisse line. It was a satellite state of the Soviet Union. The GDR was dominated by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), a communist party, from 1949 to 1989, before being democratized and liberalized under the impact of the Revolutions of 1989 against the communist states, facilitating East Germany's unification with the West. Unlike West Germany, the SED did not see its state as the successor of the German Reich (1871–1945) and abolished the goal of unification in the constitution (1974). The SED-ruled GDR was often described as a Soviet satellite state; historians described it as an authoritarian regime. (Full article...)

Hohenschönhausen Prison Complex

The Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial (German: Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen) is a museum and memorial located in Berlin's north-eastern Lichtenberg district in the locality of Alt-Hohenschönhausen, part of the former borough of Hohenschönhausen. It was opened in 1994 on the site of the main political prison of the former East German Communist Ministry of State Security, the Stasi.

Unlike many other government and military institutions in East Germany, Hohenschönhausen prison was not stormed by demonstrators after the fall of the Berlin Wall, allowing prison authorities to destroy evidence of the prison's functions and history. Because of this, today's knowledge of the functioning of the prison comes mainly from eye-witness accounts and documents sourced from other East German institutions.

The prison was depicted in the 2006 film The Lives of Others, in 2017 TV series The Same Sky, in 2018 Amazon Prime series Deutschland 86, and in the 2020 series The Defeated. It is a member organisation of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience. (Full article...)
List of selected articles
Geography and nature
East German administrative divisions or Bezirke
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
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)
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
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

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
Erich Mielke, Head of the Stasi
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.
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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
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: AxenBentzienBöhm – Gießmann – Herrmann – Heusinger – H.-J. Hoffmann – Lietz – LuftWarnke – H. Wolf – Ziller
  • Opposition: Weiß
  • Scientists: DatheGossweiler – 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 – 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
An East German Deutsche Reichsbahn express locomotive, the Class 01.5
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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