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3. The Economy of East Germany
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the economy of East Germany, focusing in particular on: (i) the question of whether the East German economy was doomed from the start; (ii) the impact of the agrarian reform (Bodenreform) in East Germany; (iii) the introduction of collective people's farms (LPGs) in the early 1950s, and the intensification of collectivization later in the same decade; (iv) Ulbricht's policy of the 'building of socialism' (Aufbau des Sozialismus); (v) the strategies used to improve worker productivity, e.g. the Hennecke movement; (vi) the limited success of the New Economic System, launched in 1963; (vii) the new direction charted by Erich Honecker, who replaced Walter Ulbricht in 1971; (ix) the dependency of the East Germany on oil and gas from Russian and loans from the west; and (x) the concept of the shortage economy.
In this course, Professor Patrick Major (University of Reading) explores the history of East Germany from the end of the Second World War to the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989. In the first module, we think about the origins of East Germany in the years immediately following the Second World War. After that, we think about Stalin's blockade of Berlin between May 1948 and June 1949 and the Berlin Airlift, before turning in the third module to consider the economy of East Germany between 1948-89. In the fourth module, we focus on the anti-government protests that took place across East Germany on 17 June 1953, before turning in the fifth module to consider the events that led to the erection of the Berlin Wall on 13 August 1961. Finally, in the sixth module, we think about the events that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of East Germany.
Patrick Major is Professor of History at the University of Reading. His research interests are primarily the political, social and cultural history of divided Germany in the Cold War. He has recently completed a large project on the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, and is currently undertaking a project on Anglo-American and German film depictions of 'bad Nazis' and 'good Germans', which has been funded by the British Academy.
Cite this Lecture
Major, P. (2021, March 23). Germany – East Germany, 1945-89 - The Economy of East Germany [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/germany-east-germany-1945-89/the-economy-of-east-germany
Major, Patrick. "Germany – East Germany, 1945-89 – The Economy of East Germany." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Mar 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/germany-east-germany-1945-89/the-economy-of-east-germany