East german republic

My book titled Bending Spines: The Propagandas of Nazi Germany and the German Democratic Republic (Michigan State University Press, 2004) provides an analysis of much of the material on the German Propaganda Archive. It can be ordered in the United States through amazon . It is also available in a French translation. A Chinese edition appeared in July 2012 but was almost immediately banned by the Chinese government (but not in Hong Kong). It has since been “unbanned.”

Starting with the 1 Pf. in 1960, followed by the 10 Pf. in 1963, and the 5 Pf. in 1968, the old style coins were gradually replaced with new coins depicting the state name "Deutsche Demokratische Republik." Aluminium 1 Mark, 2 Mark and 50 Pfennig pieces were released for circulation in 1956, 1957 and 1958, respectively. In 1969, brass 20 Pfennig coins were introduced, with nickel-bronze (later cupro-nickel) 5 Mark coins issued from 1968. In 1973 and 1974, 1 and 2 Mark coins were redesigned dropping the former "Deutsche Mark" title. The brass 20 Pfennig coins were issued partly because pay telephones had a standard charge of 20 Pf. and were having problems with smaller aluminium coins jamming due to their light weight. Commemorative 5, 10, and 20 Mark coins of various types have also occasionally made it into circulation.

Egon Krenz was elected by the politburo to be Honecker's successor. Krenz tried to show that he was looking for change within the GDR but the citizens did not trust him. On November 9, 1989, the SED announced that East Germans would be able to travel to West Berlin the next day. The spokesman who announced the new travel law incorrectly said that it would take effect immediately, implying the Berlin Wall would open that night. People began to gather at border checkpoints at the wall hoping to be let through, but the guards told them that they had no orders to let citizens through. As the number of people grew, the guards became alarmed and tried to contact their superiors but had no responses. Unwilling to use force, the chief guard at the checkpoint relented at 10:54pm and ordered the gate to be opened. Thousands of East-Germans swarmed into West Berlin and the purpose of the wall was deemed now obsolete. The fall of the wall destroyed the SED politically as well as the career of its leader, Egon Krenz. On December 1, 1989, the GDR government revoked the law that guaranteed the SED the right to rule the East German political system, effectively ending communist rule in the GDR.

East german republic

east german republic


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