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4. The Insurrection of 1953
About this Lecture
this module, we think about the popular uprising that took place across East Germany on 16-17 June 1953, focusing in particular on: (i) the political instability created by the death of Stalin in March 1953 in both Russia and East Germany; (ii) the failures of Ulbricht's policy of the 'building of socialism' (Aufbau des Sozialismus); (iii) the origins of the uprising in a workers' dispute, and the demonstrations in East Berlin on 16 June; (iv) the escalation of the protest and the mass demonstrations across the country on 17 June; (v) the means by which the East German government (with Soviet support) are able to crush the uprising; (vi) the extent to which the demonstrations on 16-17 June 1953 were nationalist in character; (vii) the explanation offered for the demonstration by the East German authorities; (viii) the attempt by the West to exploit the unrest in East Germany; and (ix) the longer-term effect of the 1953 uprising.
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 Insurrection of 1953 [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/germany-east-germany-1945-89/the-insurrection-of-1953
Major, P. "Germany – East Germany, 1945-89 – The Insurrection of 1953." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Mar 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/germany-east-germany-1945-89/the-insurrection-of-1953