History Revision- Chapter 5

SED Rule
  • Ministry of state security set up in 1949= able to hunt down rivals
  • October 1949 govenrment only a temporary coaltion pending elections
  • Elections delayed by soviets in order to give SED time to get stronger
  • Heavy handed terror tactics- forme SPD members targeted too
  • Infiltrted FDGB (a TU) and FDJ
  • Persudaed CDU and LDP to join them in a ‘national front’
  • Only won 25% of vote but other parties such as NDP and Peasants Party had links to SED
  • 14 Bezirke increased centralized control dominated by SED
  • Bourgeoise parties were pushed out
Structure of Government
  • Role of president replaced by Collective Council in 1960
  • PM-not important
  • General Secretary most powerful
  • Volkskammer not democratically elected
  • SED in control of everything- New constituiton 1968
  • 1952 Bezirke introduced
  • Upper House abolished in 1958 ‘false consciousness’
  • Pre-allocated number of seats
  • Bloc parties
  • Williamson-¬†the line of command ran from the top to the bottom.
Leadership of Ulbricht 
  • ¬†Dominated until 1971
  • Big brother USSR watching him
  • Internal disputes
  • Brutal suppression of opposition
  • Purges, 1948, 1951
  • Show trials
  • Political differences between Zaisser and Hernstadt only solved after 1953
  • Further fractionalism dealt with in 1956-1957-8
  • Secure by 1950s with support of Honecker
  • Central control tightened and centralization of power
  • Police increased by 50,000
  • 1950- Ministry of State set up = Stasi established in EG
  • Party and state were fused into one
  • Personal position= widen scope of Central Committee
  • Had final say and was a supreme ‘father figure’- apparatichik
  • 1960s fell ill= Honecker usurping like Macbeth
  • Interests of USSR to keep U in power due to Cold War
  • Ruling class small
  • Wandlitz- ‘height of hypocritical luxury’
  • No life, long hours, heavily guarded, isolation, few privileges.

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