East Berlin
Overview
 
East Berlin was the name given to the eastern part of Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 between 1949 and 1990. It consisted of the Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 sector
Allied Occupation Zones in Germany
The Allied powers who defeated Nazi Germany in World War II divided the country west of the Oder-Neisse line into four occupation zones for administrative purposes during 1945–49. In the closing weeks of fighting in Europe, US forces had pushed beyond the previously agreed boundaries for the...

 of Berlin that was established in 1945. The American, British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 sectors became West Berlin
West Berlin
West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

, a part strongly associated with West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 but a free city. Despite its status as part of an occupied city, East Berlin was claimed as the capital of East Germany, as the Soviets did not honor the distinction of a free city for their sector.
Encyclopedia
East Berlin was the name given to the eastern part of Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 between 1949 and 1990. It consisted of the Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 sector
Allied Occupation Zones in Germany
The Allied powers who defeated Nazi Germany in World War II divided the country west of the Oder-Neisse line into four occupation zones for administrative purposes during 1945–49. In the closing weeks of fighting in Europe, US forces had pushed beyond the previously agreed boundaries for the...

 of Berlin that was established in 1945. The American, British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 sectors became West Berlin
West Berlin
West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

, a part strongly associated with West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 but a free city. Despite its status as part of an occupied city, East Berlin was claimed as the capital of East Germany, as the Soviets did not honor the distinction of a free city for their sector. From 13 August 1961 until 9 November 1989 East Berlin was separated from West Berlin
West Berlin
West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

 by the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

. The East German government referred to East Berlin simply as "Berlin" or often "Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR" (Berlin, capital of the GDR). The term "Democratic Sector" was also used until the 1960s. (See also Naming conventions).

Overview

The Western Allies
Western Allies
The Western Allies were a political and geographic grouping among the Allied Powers of the Second World War. It generally includes the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth, the United States, France and various other European and Latin American countries, but excludes China, the Soviet Union,...

 (the USA, Britain and France) never formally acknowledged the authority of the East German government to govern East Berlin; the official Allied protocol recognized only the authority of the Soviet Union in East Berlin in accordance with the occupation status of Berlin as a whole. The United States Command Berlin, for example, published detailed instructions for U.S. military and civilian personnel wishing to visit East Berlin. In fact, the three Western commandants regularly protested the presence of the East German National People's Army
National People's Army
The National People’s Army were the armed forces of the German Democratic Republic .The NVA was established in 1956 and disestablished in 1990. There were frequent reports of East German advisors with Communist African countries during the Cold War...

 (NVA) in East Berlin, particularly on the occasion of military parades. Nevertheless, the three Western Allies eventually established embassies in East Berlin in the 1970s, although they never recognized it as the capital of East Germany. Treaties instead used terms such as "seat of government."

On 3 October 1990, West and East Germany were reunited
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

, thus formally ending the existence of East Berlin.

East Berlin today

Since reunification, the German government has spent vast amounts of money on reintegrating the two halves of the city and bringing services and infrastructure in the former East Berlin up to the standard established in West Berlin. Despite this, there are still obvious differences between eastern and western Berlin. Eastern Berlin has a distinctly different visual aspect, partly because of the greater survival of prewar façades and streetscapes, some still showing signs of wartime damage, and partly because of the distinctive style of urban Stalinist architecture
Stalinist architecture
Stalinist architecture , also referred to as Stalinist Gothic, or Socialist Classicism, is a term given to architecture of the Soviet Union between 1933, when Boris Iofan's draft for Palace of the Soviets was officially approved, and 1955, when Nikita Khrushchev condemned "excesses" of the past...

 used in the GDR. As in other former East German cities, a small number of GDR-era names commemorating socialist heroes have been preserved, such as Karl-Marx-Allee
Karl-Marx-Allee
The Karl-Marx-Allee is a monumental socialist boulevard built by the GDR between 1952 and 1960 in Berlin Friedrichshain and Mitte. Today the boulevard is named after Karl Marx....

, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz
Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz
The Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz is a square in Berlin-Mitte, Germany.The square is dominated by the Volksbühne and by the Karl-Liebknecht-Haus, the headquarters of the German Left Party...

 and Karl-Liebknecht-Straße; this followed a long process of review in which many such street names were deemed inappropriate and were changed. Still visible throughout former East Berlin are the characteristic "Ampelmännchen
Ampelmännchen
is the symbolic person shown on traffic lights at pedestrian crossings in the former German Democratic Republic . Prior to the German reunification in 1990, the two German states had different forms for the Ampelmännchen, with a generic human figure in West Germany, and a generally male figure...

" on some pedestrian traffic lights. These days they are also visible in parts of the former West Berlin following a civic debate about whether the "Ampelmännchen" should be abolished or disseminated more widely.

Soviet and East German Commandants of East Berlin

Name Term
Nikolay Berzarin  2 May 1945 – 16 June 1945
Aleksandr Gorbatov 17 June 1945 – 19 November 1945
Dimitry Smirnov 19 November 1945 – 1 April 1946
Aleksandr Kotikov 1 April 1946 – 7 June 1950
Sergey Dienghin 7 June 1950 – April 1953
Pavel Dibrov April 1953 – 23 June 1956
Andrey Chamov 28 June 1956 – 26 February 1958
Nikolay Zakharov 26 February 1958 – 9 May 1961
Andrey Soloviev 9 May 1961 – 22 August 1962
Helmut Poppe 22 August 1962 – 31 May 1971
Artur Kunath 1 June 1971 – 31 August 1978
Karl-Heinz Drews 1 September 1978 – 31 December 1988
Wolfgang Dombrowski 1 January 1989 – 30 September 1990
Detlef Wendorf 1 October 1990 – 2 October 1990

Boroughs of East Berlin

At the time of German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

, East Berlin comprised the boroughs of
  • Friedrichshain
    Friedrichshain
    Friedrichshain is a part of Berlin's borough of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, and like Kreuzberg across the river it has its own distinct character, with the result that the new double name is hardly ever used outside government administration. From its creation in 1920 until Berlin's 2001...

  • Hellersdorf
    Hellersdorf
    Hellersdorf is a locality in the borough of Marzahn-Hellersdorf in Berlin. Between 1986 and Berlin's 2001 administrative reform, it was a borough in its own right, consisting of the current area of Hellersdorf as well as Kaulsdorf and Mahlsdorf.-History:...

     (since 1986)
  • Hohenschönhausen
    Hohenschönhausen
    Hohenschönhausen was a borough of Berlin, that existed from 1985 until Berlin's 2001 administrative reform. It was composed by the localities of Alt-Hohenschönhausen , Neu-Hohenschönhausen, Malchow, Wartenberg and Falkenberg.-Overview:...

     (since 1985)
  • Köpenick
    Köpenick
    Köpenick is a historic town and locality that is situated at the confluence of the rivers Dahme and Spree in the south-east of the German capital city of Berlin. It was formerly known as Copanic and then Cöpenick, only officially adopting the current spelling in 1931...

  • Lichtenberg
    Lichtenberg
    Lichtenberg is the eleventh borough of Berlin, Germany. In Berlin's 2001 administrative reform it absorbed the former borough of Hohenschönhausen.-Overview:...

  • Marzahn
    Marzahn
    Marzahn is a locality within the borough of Marzahn-Hellersdorf in Berlin. Berlin's 2001 administrative reform led to the former boroughs of Marzahn and Hellersdorf fusing into a single new borough...

     (since 1979)
  • Mitte
    Mitte
    Mitte is the first and most central borough of Berlin. It was created in Berlin's 2001 administrative reform by the merger of the former districts of Mitte proper, Tiergarten and Wedding; the resulting borough retained the name Mitte. It is one of the two boroughs which comprises former West and...

  • Pankow
    Pankow
    Pankow is the third borough of Berlin. In Berlin's 2001 administrative reform it was merged with the former boroughs of Prenzlauer Berg and Weißensee; the resulting borough retained the name Pankow.- Overview :...

  • Prenzlauer Berg
    Prenzlauer Berg
    Prenzlauer Berg is a locality of Berlin, in the borough of Pankow.Until 2001, Prenzlauer Berg was a borough of Berlin; in that year it was included in the borough of Pankow....

  • Treptow
    Treptow
    Treptow is a former borough in the southeast of Berlin. It merged with Köpenick to form Treptow-Köpenick in 2001.-Geography:The district was composed by the localities of Alt-Treptow, Plänterwald, Baumschulenweg, Niederschöneweide, Johannisthal, Adlershof, Altglienicke and Bohnsdorf....

  • Weissensee

See also

  • History of Berlin
    History of Berlin
    Berlin is the capital city of Germany. Berlin is a young city by European standards, founded in the 12th century.-Early history:*98 AD: Tacitus described the territory of Germania. What is now Berlin, in ancient times was well outside the frontiers of the Roman Empire...

  • Berlin Wall
    Berlin Wall
    The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

  • Bonn
    Bonn
    Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

  • Cold War
    Cold War
    The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

  • Checkpoint Charlie
    Checkpoint Charlie
    Checkpoint Charlie was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War....

  • East Germany
  • Ghost station
    Ghost station
    Ghost stations is the usual English translation for the German word Geisterbahnhöfe. This term was used to describe certain stations on Berlin's U-Bahn and S-Bahn metro networks that were closed during the period of Berlin's division during the Cold War...

  • History of Germany since 1945
    History of Germany since 1945
    As a consequence of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II Germany was split between the two global blocs in the East and West, a period known as the division of Germany. While seven million prisoners and forced laborers left Germany, over 10 million German speaking refugees arrived there from...

  • West Berlin
    West Berlin
    West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...


External links

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