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11 Jan 2017 by Jörn Kleinhardt
Throughout its entire existence, the German Democratic Republic had a total of three valid constitutions. The original constitution is from 1949, the founding year of the DDR, and consists of 144 articles. Due to the political developments in the 1950s and 1960s a revision of the old constitution was inevitable.
8 Jun 2016 by Jörn Kleinhardt
The Soviet magazine "Sputnik" (Russian for companion) has been published by the state-owned news agency "Nowosti" since January 1967. It was designed as a digest of the Soviet press and was not only adressed to Russians but also to readers from other socialist and western foreign countries.
20 Jan 2016 by Jörn Kleinhardt
Even though the GDR had quite a number of economic problems itself, the small country nevertheless offered foreign aid to many places around the world since the 1960s, which within the socialist language use, however, was referred to as „Anti-imperialistic solidarity“.
4 Nov 2015 by Jörn Kleinhardt
On October 29th in 1976, exactly 39 years ago, Erich Honecker was elected Chairman of the Privy Council by the People's Chamber. At that moment he had been holding all of the important positions in the GDR such as „General Secretary of the Central Committee of the SED“, „Chairman of the National Defense Council“ as well as „Chairman of the State Council in the GDR“ in personal union since 1976. Domestically, Honecker was at the peak of his power. But how did the little „Saarlander“ get into those influential positions? To answer this question, a look into history is necessary at first.
26 Aug 2015 by Jörn Kleinhardt
In the summer of 1947 the „Society for the Study of the Soviet Culture“ was founded following a proposal by Soviet colonel Sergej Tjulpanow. The newly founded institution was supposed to counteract the common anti-soviet attitude among the population of the GDR. Cultural work was perceived as a useful tool and therefore numerous centers for cultural and political work, which served as “culture houses”, opened in the following years. The „Society for the Study of the Soviet Culture“ was turned into the “Society for German-Soviet Friendship” on July 2nd, 1949.
11 Jun 2015 by Jörn Kleinhardt
On the 13th November 1989, a few days after the opening of the wall, Erich Mielke gave his first speech at the Volkskammer at the Palast der Republik (Palace of the Republic). His words: “I love – I love all – all people/humans – Well, I love – I still stand up for it” have been often quoted and give deep insight into the mind of the 82 year – old man. How could this man serve for more than three decades as a Minister of State Security and give a significant imprinting to the apparatus?