East german democratic republic


The Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic (1961)

This map contrasts the federal structure of the Federal Republic of Germany with the centralized structure of the German Democratic Republic. The Federal Republic was made up of ten federal states [ Bundesländer ]: the territorial states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, and Schleswig-Holstein, as well as the city-states of Hamburg and Bremen. In 1952, the former states [ Länder ] of the GDR were replaced by fourteen districts [ Bezirke ] under the control of the central government in Berlin (East). According to Allied stipulations, Berlin constituted a special zone. Nonetheless, the respective governments in East and West followed a de facto policy of incorporating the sections of Berlin that belonged to them into their own administrative structures – even though this could be challenged by the opposite side on a de jure basis. West Berlin was frequently viewed as an eleventh federal state. On account of its special status, however, it could only exercise a limited right to representation in Bonn’s upper and lower houses of parliament (the Bundesrat and Bundestag , respectively). The East German government, on the other hand, treated East Berlin as a fifteenth district of the GDR. Please click on print version (below) for a larger version with enhanced resolution. print version     return to map list      next map

Recent studies produced by historians Christian Booß and Helmut Müller-Enbergs also show domestic surveillance in East Germany went far beyond the Stasi's network of IMs. The two work at the BStU and not long ago, they happened across Stasi informant groups into which hardly any research has been conducted. They found that institutions in which people provided information about others were categorized as POZW -- which stood for "Partner in Political-Operative Cooperation." In contrast to IMs feeding information to the Stasi, these people were not forced to sign a document obliging them to pass along information. But they did so nonetheless. Numerous POZW reports are still in existence -- from banks, for example, or libraries, hospitals, registration offices and judiciary agencies.

The CDU favors better security at the cost of increased state surveillance, supports using the military to fight terrorism, wants greater assistance for stay-at-home parents and is generally more free-market-friendly than the SPD - which Germany's big businesses reciprocate with large donations . The party is traditionally very positive toward America, but that's cooled markedly of late, as Merkel is anything but a fan of Donald Trump. Many CDU members reject gay marriage and abortion, but German conservatives are on the whole far more liberal socially than American ones. Ever the pragmatic tactician, Merkel opened the door to legalizing gay marriage late in this legislative period by allowing a conscience vote in the Bundestag - and then voted against it herself.

East german democratic republic

east german democratic republic

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