Soviet Military Administration in Germany
The Soviet Military Administration in Germany was 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....

 military government, headquartered in Berlin-Karlshorst, that directly ruled the Soviet occupation zone of Germany from the German surrender in May 1945 until after the establishment of the German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
The German Democratic Republic , informally called East Germany by West Germany and other countries, was a socialist state established in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, including East Berlin of the Allied-occupied capital city...

 (GDR) in October 1949.

Notable SVAG Officials

  • Major General
    Major General
    Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

     Sergei Ivanovich Tiulpanov
    Sergei Ivanovich Tiulpanov
    Major General Sergei Ivanovich Tiulpanov was the director of the Propaganda Administration of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany which governed eastern Germany from 1945 - 1949....

    , director of the Propaganda Administration


According to the Potsdam Agreement
Potsdam Agreement
The Potsdam Agreement was the Allied plan of tripartite military occupation and reconstruction of Germany—referring to the German Reich with its pre-war 1937 borders including the former eastern territories—and the entire European Theatre of War territory...

 in 1945, the SMAD was assigned the eastern portion of present-day Germany, consisting mostly of central Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

. Prussia was dissolved by the Allies in 1947 and this area was divided between several German states (Länder). German lands east of the Oder-Neisse line
Oder-Neisse line
The Oder–Neisse line is the border between Germany and Poland which was drawn in the aftermath of World War II. The line is formed primarily by the Oder and Lusatian Neisse rivers, and meets the Baltic Sea west of the seaport cities of Szczecin and Świnoujście...

 were annexed by Soviet Union
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....

 or granted
Recovered Territories
Recovered or Regained Territories was an official term used by the People's Republic of Poland to describe those parts of pre-war Germany that became part of Poland after World War II...

 to Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, and Germans living in these areas were resettled, retaining almost all their belongings, to the American, British, and Soviet zones.

Actions of the SMAD

The main purpose of the SMAD was to maintain the unity of Germany. It also had to deal with refugees, such as those resettled from Poland, the homeless, and former German soldiers. Resources were short, and the economy needed to be shifted from wartime production to peacetime. However, the Soviets were also concerned with their own well-being, and dismantled entire factories and railroads to be reassembled in the USSR.

In late 1945 a land reform confiscated the land of German nobles (Junker
A Junker was a member of the landed nobility of Prussia and eastern Germany. These families were mostly part of the German Uradel and carried on the colonization and Christianization of the northeastern European territories during the medieval Ostsiedlung. The abbreviation of Junker is Jkr...

, to be given to cottagers and landless farmhands. Banks were also nationalized that year. In 1946 an education reform established separation of church and state in elementary schools, and heavy industries were nationalized under the guise of confiscation of the property of Nazi war criminals.

The SMAD set up ten "special camps"
NKVD special camps
NKVD special camps were NKVD-run late and post-World War II internment camps in the Soviet-occupied parts of Germany and areas east of the Oder-Neisse line. The short-lived camps east of the line were subsequently transferred to the Soviet occupation zone, where they were set up by the Soviet...

 for the detention of Germans, some of them former Nazi concentration camps
Nazi concentration camps
Nazi Germany maintained concentration camps throughout the territories it controlled. The first Nazi concentration camps set up in Germany were greatly expanded after the Reichstag fire of 1933, and were intended to hold political prisoners and opponents of the regime...



A decree of 10 June 1945 allowed for the formation of antifascist democratic political parties and called for elections in October 1946. A coalition of four parties was formed in July, consisting of the Communist (KPD), Social Democratic
Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...

 (SPD), Christian Democratic
Christian Democratic Union (Germany)
The Christian Democratic Union of Germany is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It is regarded as on the centre-right of the German political spectrum...

 (CDU), and Liberal Democratic
Liberal Democratic Party of Germany
The Liberal Democratic Party of Germany ) was a political party in East Germany. Like the other allied parties of the SED in the National Front it had 52 representatives in the Volkskammer.-Foundation:...

 parties. This coalition was known as the National Front
National Front (East Germany)
The National Front of the German Democratic Republic was an alliance of political parties and mass organisations in East Germany...

. In April 1946 the KPD and SPD merged under Soviet pressure into the Socialist Unity Party of Germany
Socialist Unity Party of Germany
The Socialist Unity Party of Germany was the governing party of the German Democratic Republic from its formation on 7 October 1949 until the elections of March 1990. The SED was a communist political party with a Marxist-Leninist ideology...

 (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands--SED). In the October 1946 elections, the SED won in the East German states, but lost in Greater 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...

 to the local SPD, which had not merged with the KPD there.

In May 1949, when a West German
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....

 government began to be formed, a German People's Congress (Deutscher Volkskongreß) was elected for the Soviet occupation zone. However, the only options voters had were to approve or reject "unity lists" of pre-picked candidates from the various parties, largely made up of communists. About two-thirds of East Germans approved the list for the new Congress.

In November 1948, the German Economic Commission
German Economic Commission
The German Economic Commission was the top administrative body in the Soviet Occupation Zone of Germany prior to the creation of the German Democratic Republic ....

 (Deutsche Wirtschaftskommission--DWK) assumed administrative authority in East Germany under Soviet supervision. On 7 October 1949, the German People's Congress formed a provisional government and established the German Democratic Republic with Wilhelm Pieck
Wilhelm Pieck
Friedrich Wilhelm Reinhold Pieck was a German politician and a Communist. In 1949, he became the first President of the German Democratic Republic, an office abolished upon his death. He was succeeded by Walter Ulbricht, who served as Chairman of the Council of States.-Biography:Pieck was born to...

 as its first president. On 5 November 1949, the SMAD was abolished and replaced by the Soviet Control Commission (Sowjetische Kontrolkommission--SKK). However, the SKK did not formally turn over administrative responsibilities to the GDR government until 11 November 1949.

See also

  • Soviet Occupation Zone
  • Group of Soviet Forces in Germany
    Group of Soviet Forces in Germany
    The Group of Soviet Forces in Germany , also known as the Group of Soviet Occupation Forces in Germany and the Western Group of Forces were the troops of the Soviet Army in East Germany....

  • Allied Occupation Zones in Germany
    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...

External links

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