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The East German Leadership and the Division of GermanyPatriotism and Propaganda 1945-1953$
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Dirk Spilker

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199284122

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199284122.001.0001

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Unity Postponed: The SED and the Founding of the GDR

Unity Postponed: The SED and the Founding of the GDR

(p.142) 4 Unity Postponed: The SED and the Founding of the GDR
The East German Leadership and the Division of Germany


Oxford University Press

This chapter, which covers 1948 and 1949, chronicles the breakup of Germany into two separate states, East Germany and West Germany, and the reaction of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) to this event. It suggests that the SED leaders were already resigned to the division of Germany but had hopes that the new West German state would fail because of a crisis of capitalism as well as an increase in (communist-led) German patriotic resistance. Convinced that the division of Germany was a fait accompli, the SED leaders decided to concentrate on attempts to tighten their hold on the Soviet zone of occupation (SBZ). This chapter discusses the political developments leading up to the creation of a new state called the German Democratic Republic (GDR) headed by Wilhelm Pieck.

Keywords:   Germany, East Germany, West Germany, German Democratic Republic, capitalism, Soviet zone of occupation, Wilhelm Pieck

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