|German Democratic Republic|
|Capital:||Berlin (disputed by NATO)|
|Government:||Marxist–Leninist single-party socialist state|
|Status in OTL:||Defunct|
East Germany, formally the German Democratic Republic or GDR (German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik ([ˈdɔʏtʃə demoˈkʀaːtɪʃə ʀepuˈbliːk]) or DDR), was a communist state within the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War period. The state existed from 1949 to 1990 and was created from the region of Germany which was occupied by the Soviet Union in the aftermath of World War II. The Soviet zone surrounded West Berlin, but did not include it; as a result, West Berlin remained outside the jurisdiction of the GDR. The GDR claimed Berlin (effectively limited to East Berlin) as its capital. The USSR recognized this claim, but NATO did not, asserting that neither German government had ever been allowed to retake administrative authority over Berlin from the Allied occupation.
The GDR was a one party state, ruled by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, and governed largely on the Stalinist model, with carefully staged elections that were not open and free. In 1961, the government built the Berlin Wall, fortifying the country's western border.
While East Germany's planned economy was the most successful economy in the Eastern Bloc, it was still far behind West Germany's. East Germany ceased to exist with the reunification of Germany in 1990.
East Germany in The Hot War
East Germany was the launch pad for the Soviet invasion of West Germany. The Red Army massed on the border of the Allied occupation zone as the United States and the Soviet Union traded atomic bombs in Europe, as did the armies of its allies: Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Czechoslovakia. On 17 February 1951 the Soviet Union invaded Western Europe, and World War III was now past the point of no return.
In the early days, the United States subjected East Germany to atomic bombings in an effort to slow down Soviet supply lines, and perhaps even prompt the governments of the various satellites to reconsider their alliance with Russia, or to prompt the citizens of those states to rebel against their communist governments.
Although it was bombed, East Germany saw little actual fighting within its borders during the war. When peace came in 1952, it was in substantially better shape than West Germany.
East Germany in Joe Steele
East Germany was established by Leon Trotsky's Soviet Union after World War II. The USSR treated East Germany as a source for materials needed to rebuild the Motherland, in much the same way it used North Japan.
In 1953, East German rioters revolted against Soviet domination but were put down bloodily with tanks and machine guns.