Dictionary of East European History since 1945

By Joseph Held | Go to book overview

governing sports activities. Boarding schools for promising young athletes were established at state expense, and the College for Physical Education was raised to university status. Great emphasis was placed on participation in international competition, and this led to the relative neglect of mass sports activities.


Bibliograhy

Klein Helmuth, and Zuckert Ulrich, Learning for Living: Education in the GDR ( East Berlin, 1979); Kohn Erwin, and Postler Fred, Polylechnical Education of the German Democratic Republic ( Dresden, 1976); Schneider Eberhard, The GDR: The History, Politics, Economy, and Society of east Germany ( London, 1978).

Establishment of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). The Soviet decision to establish an East German state was announced on October 5, 1949. The meeting of the Soviet-created People's Council, under the chairmanship of Wilhelm Pieck, issued the following declaration:

The formation of a separate West German state, the Occupation Statute, the dismantling operations that are contrary to international law, the refusal of (signing) a peace treaty, and the control exercised by the High Commissioners, . . . have revealed a serious national emergency brought about in Germany by the dictatorial policy of the Western Powers. To safeguard the national interests of the German people by national setf-help, the German People's Council, which was elected by the German People's Congress in May 1949, is hereby requested to declare itself the Provisional People's Chamber (Volkskammer), under the articles of the constitution adopted by the People's Congress and Council, and to create a constitutional government of the German Democratic Republic. . . . On October 7 of the same year the People's Council met in East Berlin and unanimously adopted the declaration. During the next few months, rigged elections were held, and a bogus parliament was "elected' on a single list dominated by communists. Wilhelm Pieck was "elected" the first president of East Germany. The new state and the Soviet Union and its satellites soon exchanged ambassadors and established "normal" diplomatic relations.


Bibliography

Croan Melvin, and Friedrich Karl J., "The East German Regime and Soviet Policy in Germany," The Journal Politics 20. 1: ( February 1958), pp. 44-63; Keesing's Research Report. Germany and Eastern Europe Since 1945: From the Potsdam Agreement to Chancellor Brandt's Ostpolitik ( New York, 1973); Krisch Henry, German Politics Under Soviet Occupation ( New York, 1974); Stahl Walter, The Politics of Postwar Gemany ( New York, 1963).

Eurocommunism and East Germany. During the mid-1970s three large European Communist parties subscribed to what they called Euro-communism. The French, the Italian, and the Spanish Communist parties adhered to this version of doctrine. Eurocommunism was interpreted by orthodox Marxist-Lininists to mean the acceptance of Western ideas on democracy, and the corresponding abandonment of the notion of the dictatorship of the proletariat as the only means of achieving socialism.

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