The Economy of the GDR and the Problem of Forming of the East German Identity
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The Economy of the GDR and the Problem of Forming of the East German Identity
Annotation
PII
S207987840012158-2-1
DOI
10.18254/S207987840012158-2
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Boris Yablokov 
Affiliation:
State Academic University for the Humanities
Institute of World History RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Abstract

The study of the GDR in modern historical science is predominantly based on the assertion of the artificial nature of the “SED dictatorship” imposed by the Soviet government on the population of East Germany solely for political reasons, as well as the subordination of the policy of the East European countries as a whole to the political line of the USSR. The national policy of the SED, in particular the concept of a “socialist state of the German nation,” put forward in the second half of the 1960s by the SED leadership and affirmed in the first article of the Constitution of the GDR on April 8, 1968, was also subjected to unconditional criticism as an ideological instrument of political demarcation from the FRG. However, the study of previously unpublished materials from the Russian archives casts doubt on such statement and makes it possible to hypothesize that the demarcation of the German nation in the post-war period, despite the obvious political conditionality, was based on the objective public demand of the GDR citizens, exhausted with the war and the Nazi dictatorship, for social justice, the strengthening and expansion of humanistic principles in culture, social democratic traditions in government. Despite the predominance of communist ideology in its essence, the national policy pursued by the GDR government led to the formation of a special East German identity, which was also largely facilitated by fundamental differences in the socio-economic structure of the two German states and the foreign policy factor. The contradiction between these concepts raises a number of problematic research questions, the solution of which is of exceptional scientific importance for understanding the mechanisms of formation of national identity. Thus, the key scientific problem (addressed on the material of the GDR history), is whether changes in national self-consciousness can be artificial in nature or the stability of the ideologemes introduced into public consciousness is fundamentally impossible without socio-economic changes corresponding to the public demand.

Keywords
GDR, SED, FRG, USSR, COMECON, world system of socialism, historical memory, national identity, East German identity, economy, socialism, new economic system
Received
12.05.2020
Publication date
14.09.2020
Number of characters
2144
Number of purchasers
1
Views
42
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0.0 (0 votes)
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