East vs West Germany
For a young kid today, there is only Germany, a powerful country in Europe. He may have heard about east and West Germany, but that only through history books as the two parts of Germany existed separately for 45 years from 1945 till 1990, when the Berlin wall, the physical border of the two Germanys, was brought down, and the two united again. However, despite being the same with same people on the two sides of the Berlin Wall, there were differences in East Germany and West Germany that will be highlighted in this article.
After the surrender of Axis powers and the victory of the allies in World War II, Germany was invaded by the allies. While the Americans, the British, and the French moved ahead and captured the western parts of Germany, Soviet allies came from the east and invaded the eastern part of the country. Though it was proposed to control Germany through mutual cooperation, the tensions between American and Soviet forces led to the creation of the Berlin wall inside the capital city in 1949 to create an independent socialist state called East Germany or German Democratic Republic (GDR). In reality, the creation of East Germany added to the number of satellite states for the communist Soviet Union in Europe, particularly Eastern Europe.
West Germany was a new state created with the merger of the zones occupied by the US, British, and French forces in May 1949. Soon after the end of the World War II, tensions started to rise between the USSR and the US. This led to the creation of two separate states inside Germany with USSR controlling the eastern part comprising 6 states while the allied forces of Britain, US, and France agreed to merge 11 states under their control to form Federal republic of German or FRG that was simply called the West Germany. While Bonn was the provisional capital of this part of Germany, eventually Berlin was divided into East Berlin and West Berlin though it was situated deep inside the area of Soviet occupation.
What is the difference between East and West Germany?
• East Germany was comprised of 6 states of erstwhile Germany that were under the control of Soviet forces and was formed as German Democratic Republic, a socialist state.
• West Germany was comprised of 11 states that were under the control of allied forces of Britain, US, and France. It was christened as Federal Republic of Germany and claimed a mandate for the whole of Germany.
• East Germany renounced its Nazi past while West Germany shouldered the responsibility of its Nazi past.
• West Germany was recognized by the rest of the world as the legal successor of Germany whereas East Germany was considered an illegitimate communist state.
• East Germany refused there was anything referred to as anti-Semitism thereby not paying any reimbursement to the victims of the Holocaust, and it became the responsibility of West Germany to pay compensation to the victims.
• The success of West Germany on the economic front led to a revolution in East Germany where people protested against communist policies.
• The pressure of the public became intense in 1989 that led to the fall of the Berlin wall and finally the two Germanys united again after 45 years.