Portal:East Germany

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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] (listen), DDR, pronounced [ˌdeːdeːˈʔɛʁ] (listen)), was a state 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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The Fernsehturm seen from southwest

The Berliner Fernsehturm or Fernsehturm Berlin (English: Berlin Television Tower) is a television tower in central Berlin, Germany.

Located in the Marien quarter (Marienviertel), close to Alexanderplatz in the locality and district of Mitte, the tower was constructed between 1965 and 1969 by the government of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). It was intended to be both a symbol of Communist power and of the city. It remains a landmark today, visible throughout the central and some suburban districts of Berlin. With its height of 368 metres (including antenna) it is the tallest structure in Germany, and the third-tallest structure in the European Union. Of the four tallest structures in Europe, it is 2 m shorter than the Torreta de Guardamar, 0.5 m shorter than the Riga Radio and TV Tower, and 8 m taller than the Trbovlje Power Station in 2017. The structure is also more than 220 metres higher than the old Berlin Radio Tower in the western part of the city, which was built in the 1920s.

In addition to its main function as the location of several radio and television broadcasting stations, the building – internally known as "Fernmeldeturm 32" – serves as a viewing tower with observation deck including a bar at a height of 203 metres, as well as a rotating restaurant. Also, the Berlin TV Tower can be booked as a venue for events. The distinctive city landmark has undergone a radical, symbolic transformation: After German reunification, it changed from a politically charged, national symbol of the GDR into a citywide symbol of a reunited Berlin. Due to its universal and timeless design, it has increasingly been used as a trademark and is identified worldwide with Berlin and Germany. In 1979, the Berlin TV Tower received monument status by the GDR, a status which was perpetuated after the German reunification. (Full article...)
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Geography and nature
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

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)

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

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

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

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The following are images from various East Germany-related articles on Wikipedia.
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East Germany(27 C, 12 P)
East Germany-related lists(3 C, 3 P)
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East Berlin(5 C, 79 P)
East German culture(17 C, 27 P)
Economy of East Germany(5 C, 41 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)
East German people(15 C, 33 P)
Politics of East Germany(8 C, 30 P)
German reunification(1 C, 22 P)
East German society(3 C, 2 P)
Sport in East Germany(18 C, 4 P)
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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
The Berlin Wall, which separated East and West Germany for 28 years. 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 YouthSpree IslandFriendship Island
  • History: NeuererMesse der Meister von MorgenFrida Hockauf MethodBückwareCommercial Coordination (Kommerzielle Koordinierung) – State Planning Commission (East Germany)Non-socialist Economic RegionPrisoner ransom (Häftlingsfreikauf) – Personal identity number (East Germany) (Personenkennzahl) – HausbuchTravel application (Ausreiseantrag)
  • Culture: P. AbrahamBoll - East German cinema - FranzHahnemannJankofskyE. Köhler - PalitzschQuermannStengel
    • 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 EngineeringArchitecture in the German Democratic Republic
    • Music: Committee for the Art of ConversationAnstalt zur Wahrung der Aufführungs- und Vervielfältigungsrechte auf dem Gebiet der MusikPerformance licenceMichael Rauhut
  • GDR border: GDR visa warrant (Berechtigungsschein zum Empfang eines Visums der DDR) – Border regime (Grenzregime) – Pass agreeement (Passierscheinabkommen) – Transit trafficVictims of the Berlin WallOperation Vermin (Aktion Ungeziefer)
  • Border crossing victims: GöringHuhn
  • Die Wende: de Maizière governmentCost of German Unity
  • Politics: – Party secretary (East Germany)Bezirkstag
  • Mass organisations: Association of Sport and TechnologyChamber of Technology
  • Armed bodies: Community policeman (Abschnittsbevollmächtigter) – NVA oath of allegiance (Fahneneid) – Schwedt Military GaolState Secretariat for State Security
  • Other orders: Order of Fatherland Service
  • Religion: Christians and the church in the GDRFederation of Evangelical churches in the GDREvangelical State Church of Silesian Upper LusatiaEvangelical-Lutheran State Church of SaxonyFederation of Evangelical-Free Church Parishes in the GDR
  • Education and science: Science and technology in the GDRCentral Institute for Youth ResearchSchool flag ceremonyWorkers and Farmers FacultyMulti-spectral cameraArbeiterstudium
  • Places of interest:– Kyffhausen Imperial CastleWiprecht Castle, Groitzsch
  • Museums: Bell and Town Museum, Apolda
  • Sport: BSG KKW GreifswaldIce hockeyGymnastic and sports festivals in the GDRDDR-Rundfahrt
  • People: AxenBentzienBöhmGießmannHerrmannHeusingerH.-J. HoffmannLietzLuftWarnkeH. WolfZiller
  • Opposition: Weiß
  • Scientists: DatheGossweilerMoritz Mebel
  • Sport:GeißlerReichSchäffnerSchnieke
  • Finance: Commemorative coins of the GDR
  • Cuisine: FilinchenNordhäuser Doppelkorn
  • Media: Tageszeitungen – – National-ZeitungTribüneDie UnionMärkische OderzeitungDas MagazinEulenspiegelFF-DabeiNeue Berliner IllustrierteAtzeTrommelBummiWestfernsehenHerr Fuchs und Frau ElsterGlück muß man habenWilli Schwabes Rumpelkammer - Nationales Spielfilm-FestivalStimme der DDRBerliner WelleSport aktuell (DDR)
  • Postal: East German postage stamps
  • Justice:Labour law (East Germany)Employment law (East Germany)Family law (East Germany)Judicial system of East GermanyCriminal law (East Germany)Waldheim TrialsCivil law (East Germany)Waldheim Gaol
  • Transport: Firefighting vehicles of the GDRL60MZ TS motorcycleSimson S70Roads in the GDRW50
  • Economy: EAW BerlinEinzelhandelsverkaufspreisKonsum (East Germany)Consumer goods production in the GDRList of East German productsMalimoNARVAProduktionsgenossenschaft des Handwerks (PGH)SEROSKETVereinigung Organisationseigener Betriebe (VOB)Wolfen Film Company
Economy and transport
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.

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






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