Wikijunior Europe: DDR
The Democratic Republic of Germany (German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik), also known as the DDR or East Germany was a country which existed until 1990 in the eastern parts of present-day Germany. The country controlled the eastern parts of Germany except for West Berlin which was administered by the FDR (West Germany). East Germany shared borders with Poland, Czechoslovakia and West Germany. The capital was East Berlin and the country's currency was the DDR Mark.
History of East GermanyEdit
After the end of World War II Germany was divided into many parts. Some eastern areas were completely detached from Germany and given to the USSR (Kaliningrad) and Poland (much of present-day western Poland). What became East Germany was administered by the Soviets while the western parts were controlled by the Americans, British and French. The city of Berlin was similarly divided into four parts too.
In the early years after the war thousands of people fled from East Germany to the west for better jobs and more freedom. In 1961 the Soviets built the Inner German Wall and the Berlin Wall to stop people escaping from East Germany.
In 1989 the communist governments in central and eastern Europe started to collapse starting in Poland and Hungary. Protests against the government became bigger and bigger and eventually in November 1989 the government agreed to allow people to travel to the west. By 1990 East Germany ceased to exist and the two countries were reunited.
Division of Germany after World War II - Dark grey became (West) Germany, red became the DDR with the dark grey in the middle being West Berlin, the crescent-shaped light grey area and the lower of the other two light grey areas were given to Poland and the upper light-grey area became Russia's Kaliningrad
Geography of East GermanyEdit
People of East GermanyEdit
As in Germany today, the national language was German. As a communist government under control of the Soviet Union religion was actively discouraged although the church remained influential. After World War II the country's population was 19 million but this had shrunk to less than 16 million when the country was unified.