1949 celebration with posters of Wilhelm Pieck and Stalin


The blockade of Berlin convinced the French, who had objections before , that they should accept the integration of the 3 western zones into a sovereign state .The new state, the Federal Republic of Germany ( West ) was formed on May 23, 1949 . Bonn was chosen as the capital. The Germans held their first open election in 17 years. In September, Konrad Adenauer, of the Christian democrat party became the first chancellor of West Germany .



Video of the founding celebrations of the GDR.


The German Democratic Republic came into being a few weeks later on October 11, 1949 with old-time Comintern leader Wilhelm Peck as its president.  Pieck was really a puppet for SED leader Walther Ulbricht (1893-1973) . When Pieck died in 1960, Ulbricht promoted himself to president .In September 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) was created out of the three western zones . In 1952, West Berliners were no longer allowed to travel to East Germany and West German land holdings in East Berlin were expropriated and all phone lines to the West Germany were cut .


Walther Ulbricht (l) and premier Willi Stoph at a Warsaw Pact meeting



 The Father of the Berlin Wall - Walter Ulbricht

"No one intends to build a wall!“ - Walter Ulbricht's famous quote, implying that nobody would dare to close the borders between West Germany and the GDR, confirmed the plans for a wall in the best Freudian fashion. But as the first Secretary General for the East German Unity Party ( SED), the "father of the Berlin Wall" did much more for the history of the German Democratic Republic.






Berlin Airlift  1948-9


The 1953 Uprising