What was agreed at Yalta, 1945?
- The setting up of the United Nations to maintain world stability and security
- Free elections in Poland
What was agreed at Potsdam, 1945?
- Germany would be divided into 4 zones (French, British, American and Soviet)
- Berlin would be the capital, also split into 4 zones
- Reparations, territorial agreements, denazification, disarmament
Which new leaders were present at Potsdam, 1945?
Harry Truman - less willing to work with USSR
What were the two main sources of conflict at Potsdam, 1945?
- Poland (it was apparent Stalin wished to install a USSR friendly government, worried Allies)
- Reparations - USSR wanted heavy repayments
What form did the USSR reparations from Germany take?
- The USSR stripped Eastern Germany of factories, railway track, rolling stock, scientists, doctors, technological experts
- Up to a quarter of industrial capacity taken to USSR
- Not until 1948 that the USSR stopped stripping Germany
- This worried the West
Why was there initial conflict between East and West zones?
USSR failed to fulfil agreement to supply food from the more agricultural East to the more industrial West
- This caused massive food shortages in the Western zones
How did the West retaliate to the food shortages?
The West stopped sending consumer goods to the East in 1946, hampering the Soviet zone’s economy
Why was the period 1945-9 grim for Germans?
- Food shortages
- Displaced people
- Rations lower than wartime
- Occupied tension
- Potatoes and cigarettes replaced money as tender
What was the policy on displaced persons?
The USSR demanded any refugees from the Eastern zone should return, and many were returned by the West
Why were there tensions between Germans and Western occupiers?
- There was some segregation between Germans and Allied troops
- Allies enjoyed luxuries whilst Germans suffered
- German women mixed with British, French and American officers
- German women often had to resort to prostitution to survive
Why was there tension between Germans and Eastern occupiers?
- Approximately 2 million German women were raped by Soviet forces, and men who tried to protect them were often shot
- This continued until harsher penalties were put in place in 1949
Who were the Trummerfrauen?
German girls and women who helped clear the rubble of decimated German cities were called Trummerfrauen
How was denazification carried out in the East?
Denazification was carried out ruthlessly and thoroughly in the East:
- Many suspected and actual Nazis were sent to old concentration camps, called ‘Special Camps’’, as were political prisoners
How was denazification carried out in the West?
Denazification was confusing and eventually abandoned in the West.
Many ex-Nazis were able to work in the German government and legal system
- For the West, practicalities were more important, they needed those with medical and technological skills
Which group of committed German Communists returned to Germany from the USSR in 1945?
The Ulbricht Group, led by Walter Ulbricht?
What did the Ulbricht group aim to achieve?
The Ulbricht group aimed to achieve political power in the Soviet zone
Did the Soviet zone allow other parties to exist within East Germany?
Yes, there was an illusion of democracy, but in fact Stalin intended German Communists to have power
What was the name of the German Communist Party?
The KPD was the German Communist Party
Why were the KPD initially unpopular?
Many Germans were still outraged by Soviet behaviour after the War, and many remembered Nazi anti-Communist propaganda
What was the most popular party in East Germany, 1945-46?
The SPD was the most popular party 1945-6, the Social Democratic Party
What did the USSR do to gain Communist control in East Germany?
The USSR forced a merger between the KPD and SPD, to form the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, in 1946
What year was the SED created?
The SED was created in 1946
What was the FDG?
The FDG was the Free German Youth, a youth organisation young East Germans were urged to join
What other organisations were set up by the SED?
The SED set up organisations for women, those persecuted by the Nazis, and an organisation promoting German and Soviet friendship
What economic changes did the SED implement?
- The SED nationalised 60 per cent of business and industry by 1949
- Large estates were divided up and given to the workers and refugees by the state (sadly less efficient than large farms)
What changes did the SED make to education?
The SED removed any traces of Nazism from the German education system
- Communisty friendly textbooks were supplied
- Working class children were given new opportunities
- Not being a member of the FDG could hinder entrance to university
- SED tightly controlled what children were taught
What was allowed politically in the Western zone after 1945?
Political parties were allowed to re-establish themselves
What political parties were there in Western Germany?
- The Social Democratic Party
- The German Communist Party
- The Christian Democratic Union
- Free Democratic Party
What was the Truman Doctrine, 1947?
The Truman Doctrine was the declaration of President Truman of the USA to defend any country which felt threatened by Communism
What was the Marshall Plan, 1947?
The Marshall Plan backed up the Truman Doctrine economically: it aimed to protect against Communism by boosting Western economies
- This massively boosted Western economies
- There was massive economic growth in much of West Europe
How did Stalin respond to the Marshall Plan, 1947?
Stalin responded to the Marshall Plan, 1947, by setting up COMECOM, which aimed to support Eastern economies
What was Currency Reform, 1948?
In 1948, the West introduced the Deutschmark, as the old currency had become worthless. This was needed to revive the West German economy, but severely damaged the Easten economy
How did the USSR respond to Currency Reform, 1948?
The USSR responded to Currency Reform in 1948 with:
The Berlin Blockade - all land and water routes from West Germany to West Berlin were blocked. This made the division of Germany a virtual certainty
- Vicious anti-West propaganda
How did the West respond to the Berlin Blockade, 1948-49?
The West supplied West Berlin by air
What did the British and Americans decide days into the Berlin Blockade?
Days into the Berlin Blockade, 1948, the American and British decided to merge their zones, creating Bizonia in 1949
After how many months did Stalin call of the Berlin Blockade?
Stalin called the Blockade off after 11 months, in 1949
What happened overall in the West up to 1949?
- Social and economic rebuilding
- Reintroduction of democracy
- Suspicion of Communism
- Formation of Bizonia, 1949
- Denazification had taken a backseat
What was happening in the East?
Politics were shaped along one-party, Communist lines
When was the FRG set up?
What did the new constitution of the FRG state?
The constitution of the FRG stated the President could not remove the chancellor, and that parties had to gain at least 5 per cent of the vote to gain seats, to minimise the impact of extremist parties
- The constitution was committed to the reunification of Germany
Who became the first Chancellor of the FRG?
What kind of government did Adenauer lead?
Konrad Adenauer led a coalition government, of the Christian Democratic Union party
What did people fear about Adenauer and his government?
- That the coalition would be weak
- That Adenauer would be a puppet for the USA
- Adenauer was more in favour of distancing the West from the East
What did the Soviet zone become in 1949?
The Soviet zone became the German Democratic Republic in 1949, the GDR
Who were the dominant party in the GDR?
The dominant party in the GDR were the SED
What did the GDR constitution claim?
The GDR constitution claimed to give freedom of speech, religion and the right to strike, but in reality suppressed opposition ideas to the SED