TimeLine of East German History

 

 

Year

East Germany

 

World

1945

 

Feb 4 - 11

May 1-2

May 8

 

 

 

May 29

 

 

June 10

 

 

July 1

 

July  16-Aug 2

 

Aug 15

 

Oct 31

 

 

Yalta Conference

Suicide of Hitler  Fall of Berlin

Nazi Germany surrenders

 

 

 

German Communists, led by Walther Ulbricht arrive in Berlin

 

antifascist democratic political parties allowed to form in the Soviet zone, elections to be held in Oct of 1946

 

Germany is divided among the 4 Allies

 

Postdam Conference

 

 

 

Soviet allow police to re-arm, would become Volkspolizei (Vopo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japan surrenders

 

 

 

1946

 

Oct

 

 

The Communist Party of Germany, Social Democratic Party of Germany, Christian Democratic Union of Germany and Liberal Democratic Party of Germany merged to form the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED). Walter Ulbricht became first secretary

 

 

1947

 

 

March

 

 

July

 

 

 

 

 

Former U.S.President Herbert Hoover argues against the Morgenthau Plan to turn Germany into a pastoral state

 

Marshall Plan starts, aid offered to Soviet Union and its German sector-rejected as 'dollar imperialism'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1948

 

Feb

 

 

March

 

March 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

June

 

 

June 12-24

 

June 25

June 28

 

Sept 6

 

 

Soviets placesevere travel restrictions on travel through their zone to reach Berlin

 

Soviets withdraw from the ACC (Allied Control Council)

 

London Conference: US,UK and France support for fusing the three Western zones of Germany ( trizone) into an independent, federal form of government, and bringing Western zones into the U.S.-led economic reconstruction efforts

 

 

US, France and Great Britain announced a new currency, the Deutsche mark

 

Soviets close autobahn and rail links to Berlin

 

US and UK Berlin airlift begins

Soviet announce currency for East Germany, the ostmark

 

East German Communists occupied the city council building, A crowd of 500,000 West Germans gathered at the Brandenburg Gate to protest

 

 

 

1949

 

May 12

 

April 4

 

May 23

 

Oct 11

 

 

Agreement reached to end blockade of Berlin

 

NATO formed

 

Federal Republic of Germany formed

 

German Democratic Republic formed with Wilhelm Peck as president

 

Wilhelm Pieck

president

1949-60

 

 

 

 

Walter Ulbricht

general secretary

1950-71

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walter Ulbricht

general secretary

1950-71

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walter Ulbricht

general secretary

1950-71

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walter Ulbricht

general secretary

1950-71

 

1950

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 8

 

 

East Germany joins the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon) a economic organization of communist states

 

Stasi founded

 

 

 

June 5 Korean War Starts

1951

 

 

First Five Year Plan 1951-1955

 

1952

 

 

1953

 

 

 

 

March

 

 

 

 

May

 

 

June 16

 

 

 

June 17

Germany reaches pre-war levels of industrial production

 

East German reparations to Soviet Union finished, est to be $22 million

 

Stalin dies

 

GDR announces New Course (Neue Kurs) economic policy to increase the availability of consumer goods

 

Productivity quotas raised by 10%, if the new quotas were not met then workers would have salaries reduced

 

Strike by Berlin construction workers leds to 1953 uprising

West Berlin radio broadcast news about the strike, helping incite riots throughout East Germany

 

400,000 protesters gather in East Berlin, many protests throught East Germany, demanding Soviets leave and government be replaced. Volkspolizei and Soviet troops stationed in East Germany suppress the riots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 27 Korean War ends

1954

 

 

Soviet Union grants East Germany sovereignty,

 

1955

 

May 9

 

May 14

 

Nov 12

 

 

West Germany joins NATO

 

Warsaw Pact of USSR, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, and East Germany formed

 

West German army Bundeswehr formed, in part to provide soldiers against the numerically superior Warsaw Pact forces

 

1956

 

 

 

March 1

 

Second Five Year Plan 1956-60: Ulbricht's leadership confirmed,focus on technological progress, accelerated efforts toward agricultural collectivization

 

 

East Germany forms the National People’s Army

Oct 23-Nov 10 Hungarian Revolution

1957

 

 

 

first nuclear reactor in East Germany

Oct 4 Sputnik

1958

 

Nov

 

 

Khrushchev announces Allied troops would be given six months to leave Berlin, later backs down

 

1959

 

 

Seven-Year Plan (1959–65) aimed at achieving West Germany's per capita production by the end of 1961 and 85% increase in labor productivity

 

143,000 flee East Germany

 

1960

 

 

199,000 flee East Germany

May 5 U-2 spy plane shot down over USSR

1961

 

 

Aug 13

 

Oct 21

 

 

 

Construction starts on Berlin Wall

 

Tank standoff in Berlin

 

1962

 

Cuban Missle Crisis

1963

 

 

 

 

June

 

Ulbricht adopts Soviet economist Evsei Liberman's reforms in the New Economic System (NES), allowing for some decentralization in decision making

 

Kennedy visits Berlin, makes Ich bin ein Berliner speech

 

1964

 

Oct 14 Leonid Brezhnev removes Khrushchev from power, becomes General Secretary of the Soviet Union

1965

 

March Nicolae

Ceausescu becomes leader of Romaina

1966

 

 

1967

 

 

1968

 

 

Economic System of Socialism (ESS) 1968-70, focus on high-tech, centralized planning was reintroduced, managers given more freedom to decide material and labor needs, factories were taxed on assets, managers required to repay government loans

 

East German troops sent into Czechoslovakia during Rrague Spring rebellion

Jan 5-Aug 21 Prague Spring rebellion in Czechoslovakia

Nov Brezhnev reiterates the Soviet policy to use force against hostile to Communism-Brazhnev Doctrine

1969

 

Willy Brandt becomes Chancellor  of West Germany, starts policy of Ostpolitik to improve relations with East Germany

 Sino-Soviet clash on border-leads to detente to prevent a US-China alliance

1970

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Treaty of Moscow between West Germany and the USSR, GDR recognized, Allies to leave Germany, Soviet troops to leave by end of  1994, no foreign troops or nuclear weapons in East Germany, Germany renounces claims to territory former German territories east of the Oder-Neisse line

 

1971

 

May 3

 

 

 

 

Ulbricht forced to resign, replaced by Erich Honecker

 

Honecker introduces Main Task economic policy, re-emphasizing Marxism-Leninism with more centralized state planning. Attention paid to produce more consumer goods

 

direct telephone service between East and West Germany restored

 

 

 

Erich Honecker

general secretary

1971-89

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erich Honecker

general secretary

1971-89

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erich Honecker

general secretary

1971-89

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erich Honecker

general secretary

1971-89

 

1972

 

Dec

 

 

Basic Treaty between East and West Germany, each ecognized each other as sovereign states for the first time

 

1973

 

 

Sept 18

 

 

 

Both East and West Germany admitted to the UN

 

1974

 

April

 

 

 

 

Dec

 

 

Günter Guillaume, Willy Brandt's personal assistant, arrested as a Stasi agent, Brandt resigns

 

East Germany defeats West Germany at the World Cup

 

Diplomatic relations established with the US

 

1975

 

 April 30, end of Vietnam War

1976

 

 

1977

 

 Soviets move SS-20s to East Germany

1978

 

Aug

 

 

Sigmund Jähn, first German cosmonaut, flew to Soviet space station Salyut 6

 

1979

 

Dec 7 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan-end of détente era, with the imposition of a grain embargo by the U.S

1980

 

Solidarity formed in Poland

Reagan becomes president, takes strong stance against Soviet Union, Cold War escalates

1981

 

Dec Wojciech Jaruzelski  declares martial law in Poland

1982

 Christian Democrat conservative Helmut Kohl comes to power in West Germany, new conservative approach to the GDR, American missiles deployed despite protests

 Nov 10 Brezhnev dies, succeeded by Yuri Andropov

1983

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug

 SS-23 nuclear missiles deployed in East Germany

 March Regan starts SDI program-Evil Empire speech

 

Sept 1 Korean Air flight 007 shot down by Soviet jets

 

Nov KGB reports that US may be planning sudden nuke strike with Able Archer military exercise closest to war since Cuban missile crisis

 

 

1984

 

 Feb 4 Yuri Andropov dies,succeeded by Konstantin Chernenko

 

Reagan reelected

 

Soviets plan 45 percent increase in military spending into its next five-year plan

1985

 

March

 March 10, Konstantin Chernenko dies

 

Mikhail Gorbachev starts policy of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring)

 

1986

 

 Reykjavik summit, Gorbachev and Reagen come close to agreeing to remove all nuclear weapons from Europe, but Reagen refuses to halt SDI .

1987

 

June 12

 

Sept

 

 

Regan makes ' Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!' speech at Berlin

 

Honecker visits West Germany

 

1988

 

Nov

 

 

East German police raid Zion Evangelical Church in Berlin, Honecker begins moving against dissidents

Gorbachev

renounces Brezhnev Doctrine

 

Nov George H Bush elected

1989

 

 

 

 

Aug

 

 

Sept 4

 

 

Oct 7

 

 

Oct 8

 

 

 

 

Oct 17

 

 

Oct 18

 

 

Sept 1

 

 

Nov 4

 

 

early Nov

 

Nov 7

 

 

Nov 9

 

 

 

Nov 29

 

Dec 7

 

 

Dec 15

 

 

Dec 19

 

 

 

 

 

Hungary removeds its border restrictions, thousands begin to leave East Germany

 

Monday demonstrations  begin in Leipzig, Wir sind das Volk! - "We are the people!"chants

 

GDR 40th anniversary celebration with Gorbachev as guest of honor

 

Erich Mielke chief of the Stasi, tells agents to prepare 'Day X' when thousands of dissidents would be arrested, the large size of the demonstrations made this impossible

 

 

Honecker orders Leipzig police to use force if necessary, orders not obeyed

 

Politbüro forces Honecker to resign, replaced by Egon Krenz

 

Krenz meets with Gorachev in Moscow, declare there will be no reunification

 

Czechoslovakia opens borders to East Germans wanting to go to West Germany, in a few days 50,000 leave via this route

 

massive demonstrations in Berlin of up to half a million people

 

East German cabinet resigns, Hans Modrow, mayor of Dresden made new prime minister

 

Politburo member Günter Schabowski, due to a misunderstanding, announces all the borders to be open, leading to a mass exodus, opening the Berlin Wall and reulting in the fall of the SED

 

Stasi ordered to stop spying on East Germans

 

Egon Krenz forced to resign, Manfred Gerlach becomes last head of East Germany till 1990

 

SED renames itself the Party of Democratic Socialism, Open elections scheduled for May, 1990, then moved up to March

 

Chancellor Helmut Kohl visits East Germany

 

Feb 15, Soviet troops leave Afghanistan

 

April Solidarity wins elections in Poland

 

June 3-4 Tiananmen

massacre, hundreds killed

 

 Solidarity wins majority against Communists in Polish elections

 

Nov 16-Dec 29 Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, overthrow of Communist government

 

Oct Communist in Hungary agree to free elections in 1990

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 16 Timisoara uprising against Nicolae Ceausescu

 

Dec 25 Ceausescu executed

1990

 

Jan 15

 

 

Jan 30

 

 

Feb 10

 

March 19

 

 

 

April 7

 

 

 

 

 

July 1

 

 

July 14

 

Sept 12

 

 

Oct 3

 

Dec 2

 

 

over 100,000 demonstrate at Stasi headquarters on Normannen Street in Berlin and break in

 

East German PM Modrow  declares some sort of confederation will happen

 

Gorbachev gives his assent to reunification

 

In early 1990 Kohl campaigns for Christian Democrats in east Germany, Willy Brabdt for the Eastern Social Democrats

 

Election day, pro unification Alliance for Germany wins

 

 the new Volkskammer admits East Germany's share of the responsibility f the Holocaust. Lothar de Maiziere made prime minister

 

Deutsche mark becomes offical currency of East and West Germany

 

Gorbachev agrees to reunification within  NATO

 

Treaty on the Final Settlement With Respect to Germany

 

 

East and West Germany officially reunited

 

first all German election since 1932, Kohl and Christian Democrats win overwhelming victory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec Walesa becomes president of Poland, ending Communist rule

1991

 

 

 

March 14

 

July 1

 

Trabant stops production  unemployment in East Germany at 40%

 

Honecker flown by Soviet jet to Moscow

 

Warsaw Pact dissolved

 

 

 

 

July Boris Yeltsin become president of Russian Federation

 

Aug 18 Soviet coup attempt fails

 

Aug 24 Ukraine declares independence

 

Sept 6 Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.declare independence

 

Des 26 Gorbachev resigns, Soviet Union dissolved

1992

 

 

 

 

July 22

 

Aug

 

Nov 12

 

Jan 13

Treuhandandanstadt 'Trusteeship' privatizes over 9,000 east German businesses  

 

 Stasi files opened to individuals

 

Russians hand Honecker to Germans

 

Attacks on foreigners

 

Honecker's trial begins

 

Honecker ruled too ill to stand trial, allowed to go to Chile with family,

 

 

1993

 

 

 

1994

 

May 29

 

 

Honecker dies in Chile