The Fall of Communism in East Germany
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

The Fall of Communism in East Germany

The fall of the Berlin Wall is an event the world will always remember.

The Fall of Communism in East Germany

The end of communism in East Germany was a result of a number of different factors- from economic anxieties and political issues to social disbelief in the system itself. Before the collapse of communism in the state, there was a "golden period" in East Germany between the years of 1960s-1980s, in which the economy was relatively successful and citizens were able to make enough to live rather than just survive. In this period of time, the ideals of Marx were the most present in the economic structure of the state, as well as the culture of the society at large.

In the 1970s-1980s, however, communism in East Germany also experienced an underlying decline in both the effectiveness of the economic and political structures. This led to a steady decline in the popularity of the communist system as a whole among the people, as they realized the extent of their lack of Western facets of life. The people's longing for the greener pastures of West Germany, and the West in general, led to the eventual unraveling of communism in the GDR. This was manifested most clearly in East German citizens longing for lives different from their own. The people of East Germany"...wanted a better life and they blamed socialism and the Communist Party for the fact that they could not get it" (1, Kopstein). In the wake of an economic crisis, the 1980s in East Germany were the tipping point in the public's opinion of communism. Between the economy not measuring up to West Germany or the West as a whole and the people's desire for materialistic items and political freedoms, the people lost their faith in the regime. The ideology of Marxism in East Germany proved to be interpreted and implemented effectively for a period of time, before the economic decline and lack of citizen support. Marxism at its center is a system that must have the people's backing, as it is supposed to be the "dictatorship of the proletariat." As the control of East German citizens by the government was realized by the people themselves, the proletariat's support waned. This proved how difficult it is to have a truly Marxist, or socialist, society.

In East Germany, Marxist ideology, while it was attempted at, lacked the same structure and intentions in actual play in that state that Karl Marx had envisioned. One huge example of the disparity between Marxist ideology and the German Democratic Republic's actuality was the Berlin Wall. Standing for over 20 years, the wall was "...both the most potent symbol of the GDR's lack of freedom and a reminder of how difficult it was to construct a humane socialist society" (110, Kenney). While the establishment of communism in East Germany would not be considered the beginnings of a Marxist society, with a foreign power- the Soviet Union- beginning the regime in the state, the end of the regime could be considered Marxist in nature.

Kopstein, Jeffrey. "The Politics of Economic Decline in East Germany, 1945-1989." University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

Kenney, Padraic. "A Carnival of Revolution: Central Europe 1989." Princeton University Press, 2003.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

150 Words For Anyone Who Loves Football Games

Why I love high school football games, even though I don't like football.

Dallas News

When most think of high school they think of friend drama, parties, getting your drivers license, and best of all foot ball games.

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Greatest Speeches In Modern American History

The United States is a relatively infantile nation, but its legacy of spoken rhetoric is one of the richest in the world.


Rhetoric, in all its forms, arrives under the scrutiny of historians both for its historical impact and literary value. Dozens of speeches have either rallied the nation together or driven it drastically apart –– the impact of speeches in politics, social movements, and wars is undeniable.

Keep Reading... Show less

What If The U.N. Actually United The Nations?

This is me taking a break from being cynical and imagining how the world could be one day.


By now, people are probably sick of hearing me talk about myself, so I’m changing it up this week. In keeping with the subject of my J-Term class, I’m asking myself a political what-if question. What if we could create a sovereign global government firmly grounded in justice that could actually adjudicate Earth’s many disparate nation-states into one unified world government?

Keep Reading... Show less

100 Things I'd Rather Do Than Study

Procrastination Nation, unite.

Panda Whale
Here are 100 things I'd rather to than study. I know the semester just started, but

    1. Watch a movie
    2. Take a nap
    3. Have a dance party
    4. Eat ice cream
    5. Bake a cake
    6. Cry just a little bit
    7. Knit a blanket
    8. Learn to ride a bike
    9. Build a crib
    10. Watch a hockey game
    11. Watch any game
    12. Play with my hair
    13. Dye my hair
    14. Go grocery shopping
    15. Learn to crochet
    16. Do 50 jumping jacks
    17. Drive cross country
    18. Take a bubble bath
    19. Squeeze lemons for lemonade
    20. Sell the lemonade
    21. Make heart-shaped ice cubes
    22. Moisturize my knees
    23. Paint my nails
    24. Find the cure for cancer
    25. Run a marathon
    26. Just kidding, run down the hall
    27. Squat my bodyweight
    28. Eat my bodyweight in French fries
    29. Hibernate until Christmas
    30. Cuddle my body pillow (unless you have a boo)
    31. Think about all the work I’m not doing
    32. Wash my bed sheets
    33. Vacuum my apartment
    34. Play mini golf
    35. Go swimming
    36. Tan in this Texas heat
    37. Sing like I’m about to win American Idol
    38. Blow up balloons
    39. Pop the balloons
    40. Make lists
    41. Write an Odyssey article
    42. Pet a puppy
    43. Adopt a puppy
    44. Pay my rent
    45. Order a pizza
    46. Start a garden
    47. Cook a turkey
    48. Find new music
    49. Clean my waffle iron
    50. Learn to make jam
    51. Jam to music
    52. Play scrabble
    53. Volunteer anywhere
    54. Celebrate a birthday
    55. Watch a makeup tutorial I’ll never use
    56. Go through old pictures on my phone
    57. Make a playlist
    58. Take a shower
    59. Clean my room
    60. Curl my hair
    61. Climb a rock wall
    62. Get a massage
    63. Play with Snapchat filters
    64. Roast a chicken
    65. Go fishing
    66. Chug some Snapple
    67. Ride in a cart around Walmart
    68. Count the days until the semester is over
    69. Overthink about my future
    70. Think of my future baby’s names
    71. Pin everything on Pinterest
    72. Text anybody
    73. Pray about life
    74. Watch a sunset
    75. Watch a sunrise
    76. Have a picnic
    77. Read a book (that’s not for school)
    78. Go to a bakery
    79. Snuggle a bunny
    80. Clean my apartment
    81. Wash my dishes
    82. Rearrange my furniture
    83. Physically run away from my problems
    84. Make some meatballs
    85. Learn to make bread
    86. Google myself
    87. Ride a Ferris wheel
    88. Get stuck on a Ferris wheel (that way, it’s not my fault I’m not studying)
    89. Wash my car
    90. Get on a plane to Neverland
    91. Find Narnia in my closet
    92. Jump on a trampoline
    93. Learn to ice skate
    94. Go rollerblading
    95. Ride a rollercoaster
    96. Carve a pumpkin
    97. Restore water in a third world country
    98. FaceTime my family
    99. Hug my mom
    100. Tell my friends I love them

    The Basics Of The United Nations

    As the General Assembly convenes, here is the United Nations 101


    For an organization that literally unites the nations, it amazes me how little is taught about the United Nations in schools, or at least where I went to school. It wasn't until I went to college and got a higher education that I learned the basics of the United Nations. I believe that every American should know at least the basics of what the United Nations does, especially since our country is one of the 5 permanent members. So here are the main "organs" of the United Nations.

    Keep Reading... Show less

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    Facebook Comments