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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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Nationwide Goals and Zonal Priorities:The KPD/SED and the German Question from Potsdam to Bizonia

Nationwide Goals and Zonal Priorities:The KPD/SED and the German Question from Potsdam to Bizonia

Chapter:
(p.58) 2 Nationwide Goals and Zonal Priorities:The KPD/SED and the German Question from Potsdam to Bizonia
Source:
The East German Leadership and the Division of Germany
Author(s):

DIRK SPILKER

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199284122.003.0003

This chapter deals with the German Question and the attitudes of the Soviet Union and the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) towards it. It argues that, with Moscow's backing, the SED leaders sought to extend their control over the whole of Germany but found themselves frustrated by the Western Allies as well as the incompetence of their West German fellow comrades. By mid-1946, the lines for the division of Germany had been drawn following a dramatic decline in Soviet-Western relations as well as the SED's failure to turn itself into a nationwide party, although the belief that Western Germany was not viable on its own gave the SED leaders hope. The founding of the SED via a zonal rather than a nationwide merger between the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) was a severe blow to the idea of German political unity. Its implications were not lost on the KPD leaders.

Keywords:   German Question, Germany, Soviet Union, Socialist Unity Party of Germany, political unity, Communist Party of Germany

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