The Impact of Stalinism, 1949–53
Central Europe before 1945 was dominated by Germany but afterwards it became more and more usual to speak of Eastern and Western Europe — Germany had been cut up and part of it belonged to Eastern and part of it to Western Europe. As Germany was torn asunder, traditional links were disrupted and new ones forged with the respective Great Power. As time passed the division of Germany began to take on an air of permanence as the political, economic and social development of the two states — one striving to become a liberal democracy, the other socialist— pulled them further and further apart. The poor resource base of the GDR meant that she had to import much of her energy and essential raw materials. Since the Western Powers had imposed an embargo on the export of strategic and other important goods the GDR was forced to look increasingly to the East for her imports and exports. As time passed she added economic as well as political dependence on the Soviet Union. If the years 1947–9 had seen the Soviet model trumpeted abroad, then the following four years saw an attempt to impose full-blown Stalinism on the GDR. However when the Soviet dictator died in March 1953 the GDR had still not become totally Stalinist.
KeywordsMass Organisation German Democratic Republic Peace Treaty Free Election Youth Movement
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