How did Germans react to the Communist reigime?

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Ferrograd
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Interested to find out how a fascist, Nazi state then went from a self proclaimed, communist, internationalist one. How did the German people in east germany react to the change? Did they support/like it? Given that east germany was also very militaristic, it was similar in some ways to the old reigime. did ex nazis prefer the west german government or the east german one? Any sources or information would be much appreciated. Today, east germany is a hotbed of Neo-Nazism. either east germany didn't confront its nazi past sufficiently or it just went unnoticed due to a largely ethnically homogenous population.

I can imagine many Germans would have been humiliated to now being living under a state that was under the control of its invaders. Yet East Germany was inherently more "german" than west germany, and was not particuarly Russified
Last edited by Ferrograd; 1 week ago
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Avesta2003
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Depends on the German. It definitely wasn't as prosperous as West Germany, but didn't do awfully - they had free healthcare and education as well as 'milk banks' for women who couldn't feed milk to their babies and a lack of unemployment and homelessness. You could see how people hated East Germany though - over 300 thousand people fled from East Germany to the prosperous West Germany before and after the construction of the Wall.
But while economic development in West Germany was higher, the level of social provisions, education, job security, etc. were undeniably better in East Germany. Defectors to the west were mostly professionals such as skilled workers, intelligentsia and doctors, who wanted more profitable careers. West German companies added to this problem by offering ‘bonuses’ (bribes) to people who defected.

Here's something else I found:
Here are some reasons why East Germany was not as wealthy as West Germany:

- East Germany suffered far more damaged during WWII
- The US literally pumped billions of dollars directly into West Germany via the Marshall plan.
- The United States wasn't invaded during WWII and were virtually unscratched, so they were better equipped to help rebuild West Germany.
- East Germany received comparatively little outside aid and had 60% of its total industry expropriated to the USSR as reparations as eastern Europe was basically in ruin.
- The East was historically less developed and less industrialized before the war. Even before WWII East Germany was less developed than West Germany.


Also - of course, most Nazis would've preferred West Germany over East Germany as they were almost the polar opposite of the communists (despite being National SOCIALISTS). Most Nazis fled to other countries such as the US or Argentina though to avoid capture, although many still were captured.

Also - it certainly wasn't humiliating for many Germans to be living under a state under the control of its invaders. As a matter of fact, many of them thanked Joseph Stalin for liberating them from the Nazi Regime (which is shocking because most of us see Stalin as a ruthless evil dictator)! But yes, there would have been people who were humiliated by the occupation of the Soviets since many also disliked the Slavic people as well. These people were usually in the very right-wing and weren't a great number of people. I have met many East Germans from both sides of the political compass who thank Stalin and the Soviets for rescuing them. The Nazi regime was far worse than the Soviet's regime. There are even plenty of Facebook groups which are dedicated to Stalin, who liberated the East Germans from the brutal regime of Hitler.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions please do let me know - I am quite the expert on the Soviet Union and Soviet history!
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Ferrograd
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(Original post by Avesta2003)
Depends on the German. It definitely wasn't as prosperous as West Germany, but didn't do awfully - they had free healthcare and education as well as 'milk banks' for women who couldn't feed milk to their babies and a lack of unemployment and homelessness. You could see how people hated East Germany though - over 300 thousand people fled from East Germany to the prosperous West Germany before and after the construction of the Wall.
But while economic development in West Germany was higher, the level of social provisions, education, job security, etc. were undeniably better in East Germany. Defectors to the west were mostly professionals such as skilled workers, intelligentsia and doctors, who wanted more profitable careers. West German companies added to this problem by offering ‘bonuses’ (bribes) to people who defected.

Here's something else I found:
Here are some reasons why East Germany was not as wealthy as West Germany:

- East Germany suffered far more damaged during WWII
- The US literally pumped billions of dollars directly into West Germany via the Marshall plan.
- The United States wasn't invaded during WWII and were virtually unscratched, so they were better equipped to help rebuild West Germany.
- East Germany received comparatively little outside aid and had 60% of its total industry expropriated to the USSR as reparations as eastern Europe was basically in ruin.
- The East was historically less developed and less industrialized before the war. Even before WWII East Germany was less developed than West Germany.


Also - of course, most Nazis would've preferred West Germany over East Germany as they were almost the polar opposite of the communists (despite being National SOCIALISTS). Most Nazis fled to other countries such as the US or Argentina though to avoid capture, although many still were captured.

Also - it certainly wasn't humiliating for many Germans to be living under a state under the control of its invaders. As a matter of fact, many of them thanked Joseph Stalin for liberating them from the Nazi Regime (which is shocking because most of us see Stalin as a ruthless evil dictator)! But yes, there would have been people who were humiliated by the occupation of the Soviets since many also disliked the Slavic people as well. These people were usually in the very right-wing and weren't a great number of people. I have met many East Germans from both sides of the political compass who thank Stalin and the Soviets for rescuing them. The Nazi regime was far worse than the Soviet's regime. There are even plenty of Facebook groups which are dedicated to Stalin, who liberated the East Germans from the brutal regime of Hitler.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions please do let me know - I am quite the expert on the Soviet Union and Soviet history!
Hmm, in some ways I thought the old Nazis may have preffered East Germany. I say this because if you look at it, East Germany was certainly more "German" than the West. Take military uniforms, for instance. Whilst most expected East Germany to use standard Soviet uniforms, they basically wore modified Prussian/old Nazi uniforms, with the classic helmets being old Nazi ones that were being tested. Compare this to west germany, which the east frequently used to berate for being an american puppet, through the use of american style uniforms and weapons.

I would have just thought that whilst the Nazis were obviously extremely totolitarian, they were at least, democratically elected, and most Germans were happy to live under the reigime. I understand most people escaping east germany were the wealthy who could be paid more in the west.

I understand why East Germany was poorer, though I don't see the pragmatism in Stalin having 60% off their total industry expropriated to to the USSR. Whilst they did need money to rebuild Eastern Europe, surely it would be more pragmatic to claim that the East Germans were victims of Nazism, and therefore it was a liberation rather than an occupation? Could they have not agreed with the americans to have the west germans pay something? If they hadn't expropriated so much, East Germany could be wealthier and they could have presented the East as an even better alternative to the West.

Also

History coursework - I'm investigating whether in 1924 the Russian people had replaced one authortarian reigime (tsarism) with another (bolshevism/stalinism). Do you have any experience with the book a Penguin History of Russia by Robert Service? Or any other books that may cover the subject. Need different historians interpretations, have already got a few but need more detail.

So...

1) Some historians believe Bolshevism/Stalinismwas better than Tsarism, and that most Russians approved of it
2) Bolshevism/Stalinism was merely a continuation of the old Tsarist era
3) It doesn't matter which ideology, Russia requires an auhtoritarian leader owing to its history under the Mongols and the influence of the Orthodox church etc
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Avesta2003
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(Original post by Ferrograd)
Hmm, in some ways I thought the old Nazis may have preffered East Germany. I say this because if you look at it, East Germany was certainly more "German" than the West. Take military uniforms, for instance. Whilst most expected East Germany to use standard Soviet uniforms, they basically wore modified Prussian/old Nazi uniforms, with the classic helmets being old Nazi ones that were being tested. Compare this to west germany, which the east frequently used to berate for being an american puppet, through the use of american style uniforms and weapons.

I would have just thought that whilst the Nazis were obviously extremely totolitarian, they were at least, democratically elected, and most Germans were happy to live under the reigime. I understand most people escaping east germany were the wealthy who could be paid more in the west.

I understand why East Germany was poorer, though I don't see the pragmatism in Stalin having 60% off their total industry expropriated to to the USSR. Whilst they did need money to rebuild Eastern Europe, surely it would be more pragmatic to claim that the East Germans were victims of Nazism, and therefore it was a liberation rather than an occupation? Could they have not agreed with the americans to have the west germans pay something? If they hadn't expropriated so much, East Germany could be wealthier and they could have presented the East as an even better alternative to the West.

Also

History coursework - I'm investigating whether in 1924 the Russian people had replaced one authortarian reigime (tsarism) with another (bolshevism/stalinism). Do you have any experience with the book a Penguin History of Russia by Robert Service? Or any other books that may cover the subject. Need different historians interpretations, have already got a few but need more detail.

So...

1) Some historians believe Bolshevism/Stalinismwas better than Tsarism, and that most Russians approved of it
2) Bolshevism/Stalinism was merely a continuation of the old Tsarist era
3) It doesn't matter which ideology, Russia requires an auhtoritarian leader owing to its history under the Mongols and the influence of the Orthodox church etc
First of all, most of the people who fled to West Germany weren't always wealthy - they consist of people such as skilled workers, students and academics. Even just regular citizens of East Germany who weren't wealthy at all would see how well West Germany was doing and would just move there.

Also, just because they wore more uniforms in the East and such doesn't make a nazi like that side more - they were still Slavic people and anti-Slavic racism was an essential component of Nazism - what uniforms each side wore wouldn't really change anything.

I have not read that book - did you want my interpretation or the interpretation of another author?
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Ferrograd
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(Original post by Avesta2003)
First of all, most of the people who fled to West Germany weren't always wealthy - they consist of people such as skilled workers, students and academics. Even just regular citizens of East Germany who weren't wealthy at all would see how well West Germany was doing and would just move there.

Also, just because they wore more uniforms in the East and such doesn't make a nazi like that side more - they were still Slavic people and anti-Slavic racism was an essential component of Nazism - what uniforms each side wore wouldn't really change anything.

I have not read that book - did you want my interpretation or the interpretation of another author?
Who was still "slavic people"?

In many ways though, East Germany was a paradox because at time it was extremely conservative socially similar to the Nazi reigime, with masculinity embraced, the nuclear family promoted, and homosexuality viewed as contravening the "healthy mores of working people" and a "remenant of bourgeousis decadence". Though they then became quite socially liberal by the 1980s with homosexuality decriminalised in 1968.

I wanted an author's interpretation, but go on, provide your own interpretation
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