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Germany 19452009 II: The Berlin Republic 90

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High degree of repression, only small dissident groups ... In summer 89, east German holiday makers in Hungary and Czechoslovakia storm ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Germany 19452009 II: The Berlin Republic 90


1
Germany 1945-2009 II The Berlin Republic (90-)
Lecture 12
2
The Communist Germany
  • By 1947 Germany not longer a single unit,
    preparations for foundation of two states
  • Soviet structures built in East Germany, fusion
    of SPD and KPD enforced
  • Russian high command closely involved
  • GDR formally established on October 7 1949
  • Russians brought cadre of exiled German
    communists with them (Stalinist purgings)
  • Imitation of soviet structure, but adaptations to
    German situation

3
The Communist Germany II
  • Several phases (Ulbricht, Honecker)
  • 45-52
  • Uprising in 53, New Course after Stalins death
    but Ulbricht still at large
  • Honecker takes over in 1971reform
  • Stagnation in the 1980s
  • Enormous growth of secret service after 53
    uprising
  • Marxims-Leninism a far cry from original Marxism
  • Crucial role of Cadre party, Democratic
    Centralism
  • No substantial changes in party leadership since
    early 1970s, leaders out of touch

Extraordinary circumstances require
extraordinary measures
4
The Communist Germany III
  • GDR a Peoples republic
  • centralised after 1952
  • Formally, parliament, government etc. existed,
    but ...
  • …all structures oft the state linked/permeated
    with/by party structures
  • Formally, a lot of (grass-root) democracy
    (soviets), but …
  • … undermined by Democratic Centralism
  • High level of social protection big factories as
    focal points of society

5
The Breakdown of Communist Rule
  • High degree of repression, only small dissident
    groups
  • Change in the USSR, dissidents uncover fraud in
    local elections in spring 1989
  • In summer 89, east German holiday makers in
    Hungary and Czechoslovakia storm west German
    embassies ? Hungary opens its border
  • New parties, mass demonstrations in October, SED
    willing to use force, but USSR gives no support
  • Powershift within SED, on November 9, the border
    is open

6
The Breakdown of Communist Rule II
  • West German government had no plans for
    unification
  • SED and leaders of opposition in favour of
    Democratic Socialism two Germanys
  • But public mood shifts Wir sind das Volk ? Wir
    sind ein Volk
  • West German government cautious 10 points for
    setting up a confederation in late November
  • US encourage West German government to pursue
    swift unification
  • In January 1990, the two German governments enter
    negotiations regarding unification

7
The road to unification
  • Further acceleration after March election
  • Treaty on Economic, Monetary and Social Union
    signed in May 1990 (came into force in July)
  • GDR Mark replaced by Deutschmark, basically at a
    11 ratio
  • Applied to wages, pensions, scholarships etc.
  • Complete and immediate integration of the GDR
    into the western system nationalised firms
    (almost all) given to the Treuhandanstalt for
    swift privatisation
  • Eastern Welfare system replaced by social
    insurance institutions of the Bonn republic
  • West German laws regarding work relationswelfare
    effective immediately

8
The road to unification II
  • East German Länder re-established in July
  • Einigungsvertrag (negotiated in July/August)
  • Some 900 pages, lots of gory details
  • GDR joins the FRG (Art. 23)
  • Berlin capital
  • Unified (enlarged?) FRG successor of the GDR
    (debts)
  • Accepted by both parliaments on September 20
  • Unification on October 3
  • Articles 146 vs. 23
  • A state peacefully disposes of itself
  • All laws and institutions replaced by those of
    West Germany, all within less than a year
  • Very unusual and very different from other
    post-socialist countries

9
Why so much haste?
  • Narrow and rapidly closing window of opportunity
    (Russia)
  • East German elites/intellectuals not
    pro-unification
  • West German elites liked their system and faced
    no popular resistance (provided that they
    delivered the goods as fast as possible)
  • Massive, unregulated migration from East to West
  • Self-interest of the Kohl government

10
Consequences for East Germany
  • Many institutions (childcare, comprehensive
    schools etc.) esteemed by citizens dismantled
  • East German industry grossly incompetitive after
    11 conversion of wages
  • De-Industrialisation
  • Workforce reduced by some 40 per cent
  • Massive reduction of female workforce
  • Wages approaching Western levels
  • Short, artifical boom in early 1990s
  • Followed by long stagnation and high
    unemployment (officially up to 20 per cent)
  • Population largely protected from economic
    impact, but widespread feelings of
    disenchantment, resentment, inferiority

11
Consequences for West Germany
  • Many structural problems identified in the 1980s
    not resolved and exacerbated by unification
  • Standard of living still high
  • Total net transfers to the East somewhere around
    a 1,000 billion Euros (Abschwung West)
  • Enormous budget deficit
  • Money not invested for future generations
    (education!) but used for (Eastern) consumption
  • Contribution-based social insurance systems in
    trouble

12
Institutions
  • Constitution largely unchanged enlargement of
    territory
  • Federal Parliament (Bundestag) enlarged
  • Federal government, parliament and council moved
    to Berlin but ... ? institutions even more widely
    spread
  • Federal council enlarged (69 votes)
  • New coalitions (East vs. West, large vs. small,
    north vs. south, CDU vs. SPD)
  • New majorities for constitutional change and
    Zustimmungsgesetze
  • Cautious attempts at constitutional reform (1992,
    2006, ?)

13
Elections in Germany
14
Party System
  • (Almost) two separate party systems
  • 2 2½ in the West
  • Looks much like the late 1980s
  • Basically reflects the political conflicts of the
    Bonn Republic
  • 3 in the East
  • PDS second strongest or strongest in many
    districts (East Berlin!)
  • PDS confined to the East from 1990-2005
  • Parliamentary groups in 90, 94, 98 (specific
    rules applied)
  • Reduced to 2 MPs in 2002
  • Conflict over Schröders neoliberal reforms ?
    WASG, provides PDS with a toehold in the West

15
Federal Election 2005 Greens
16
Federal Election 2005 PDS/WASG
17
Germany in 2005
  • February 2005 unemployment rate highest in
    German history Pension system not sustainable
  • Exploding costs in health care
  • Tax system too complex
  • Federal system ponderous
  • Reformstau (reform logjam)
  • Yet world no 1 in exports and biggest economy in
    Europe

18
The 2005 Election
  • SPD/Greens lost long string of Land elections
    since 1999
  • Reforms big issue for the last years
  • Government unpopular with voters and parties
  • CDU/FDP approaching 2/3 majority in Federal
    Council
  • Early Election, parliament dissolved by a staged
    vote of no confidence very unusual
  • Voters preferences rather unstable
  • Result a puzzle
  • CDU/FDP unfeasible
  • SPD/Greens unfeasible
  • Traffic light or Jamaica coalitions?
  • Grand Coalition the outcome almost no one
    (about 15 per cent of the voters) preferred

19
PDS and Political Culture
  • PDS support based on durable political
    preferences
  • Democracy popular in both parts of Germany but
  • West Germans lean towards standard liberal
    democracy
  • East Germans lean towards democratic socialism
  • Preferences for higher level of welfare state
    activity, much greater reliance on the state

20
PDS and Political Culture II
  • Socialism as a principle
  • 56 per cent of East Germans (2002) Socialism a
    good idea in principle (23)
  • 31 in favour of large-scale nationalisation
    (10)
  • Substantial support for the GDR amongst older,
    highly qualified citizens
  • Gender roles
  • Working Moms ok 83 vs. 69
  • Being a housewife fulfilling 29 vs. 47
  • Attitudes/value orientations very stable, will
    probably take one or two generations to close gap
  • Distributional conflict
  • PDS as an advocate of material Eastern interests
  • ¼ of West Germans wants to rebuild the wall

21
GDR More positive than negative aspects
1 Complete Disagreement 3 Neutral 5 Complete
Agreement
22
New Cleavages
  • Germany now a centrifugal state?
  • Social (unemployment the biggest problem
    Schröder would not have won the 2002 election
    without Eastern Germans Stoiber lost in the
    East)
  • Economic (demise of industrial sector)
  • Political (not always visible as many wessis run
    ossi governments however ossi minister is a
    must on central level, east Länder form cluster
    across party lines, many jokes)
  • (Party) politics now much more interesting than
    before 1990
  • Unique situation
  • Germany different from all other West European
    states
  • East Germany different from all other
    post-socialist states

23
Germany - too big for Europe but too small for
the world?
  • History causes for the German Sonderweg
    (special way)
  • Geographical position and the size problem
  • Remaining problems welfare state, military
    strategy, foreign policy
  • Germany finally a normal state?

24
Summary
  • An interesting polity in many ways
  • If the last 50 minutes were not a totally boring
    experience for you, enrol for the German Politics
    course in your third year!
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