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4. To what extent did external influences contribute to the collapse of the GDR?
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the extent to which external influences contributed to the collapse of the GDR, focusing in particular on: (i) Gorbachev's reforming policies in the Soviet Union; (ii) the importance of the Helsinki Accords, signed in 1975; (iii) the influence of the Tiananmen Square protests in China; (iv) the loosening of Soviet control in Eastern Europe, especially in Poland and Hungary; (v) the opening up of parts of the border between East and West Europe, and the beginnings of mass emigration from east to west; and (vi) the influence of West Germany as a constant reminder of East Germany's backwardness.
In this course, Professor Anna Saunders (University of Liverpool) explores the final decade of communist rule in East Germany, through six key questions: (1) To what extent did economic factors accelerate the demise of the GDR?; (2) To what extent were Gorbachev’s policies responsible for the collapse of communist rule in East Germany?; (3) To what extent was the Protestant church significant in the collapse of communism in the GDR?; (4) To what extent did external influences contribute to the collapse of the GDR?; (5) How important was popular dissent in bringing about the demise of the GDR?; and (6) How accurate is it to say that Helmut Kohl was the main driver of reunification?
Anna Saunders is Professor of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Liverpool. She specialises in the history and memory of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), and in questions of memorialisation and the performance of memory in the built environment. Her recent publications include Memorializing the GDR: Monuments and Memory after 1989 (2018) and Honecker's Children: Youth and Patriotism in East(ern) Germany, 1979-2002 (2007).
Cite this Lecture
Saunders, A. (2021, February 22). Germany – The Decline of the GDR, 1980-90 - To what extent did external influences contribute to the collapse of the GDR? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/germany-the-decline-of-the-gdr-1980-90/to-what-extent-did-external-influences-contribute-to-the-collapse-of-the-gdr
Saunders, A. "Germany – The Decline of the GDR, 1980-90 – To what extent did external influences contribute to the collapse of the GDR?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 22 Feb 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/germany-the-decline-of-the-gdr-1980-90/to-what-extent-did-external-influences-contribute-to-the-collapse-of-the-gdr