2007 | 1(11) | 33-60
Article title

Od nieudanej rewolucji do zapobiegania powstaniom: panowanie SED w latach 1953–1961

Title variants
From the Failed Revolution to Riot-Prevention. The SED-Dictatorship from 1953 to 1961
Languages of publication
The uprising in June 1953 in East Germany is besides the erection of the wall in 1961 and the revolution of 1989 the most decisive historical event in the history of the GDR. “June 17th” is of tremendous importance for the further development of the GDR – both state and society. This contribution aims at discussing the consequences of the riot. Moreover, the thesis is elaborated that there is an interrelationship between the failed revolution in 1953 and the erection of the wall in 1961 – an interdependence that has hardly been considered in academic discussions yet. The article starts off from a discussion of the West German transformation processes in the 1960s to 1980s in assessing “June 17th”. Relying on these thoughts, I consider in some detail whether developments in East Germany or political reasons in West German politics have caused this shift in evaluating the riot. This part aims at showing which exemplary continuities and fragmentations between 1953 and 1961 may be identifi ed. In doing so I will focus on the “inner state foundation” [“innere Staatsgründung”] – a concept that expresses another central thesis of mine. Since this process can be analysed only exemplarily, the article concentrates on some decisive developments such as the transference of internal party processes and structures onto the whole society, the process of structural and discursive subversion of the church and the militarisation of society as well as the hegemony of the party in some central sectors of society (industry, agriculture, university). This fi nally includes a brief glance at the changes in the relationship between the Soviet occupation army and the SED-leadership. In two following theoretical parts I aim at developing explanations for these empirical findings. Largely, I am concerned with the concept of the “inner state foundation” and then the concept of “revolution”. Both terms are being discussed highly controversial for the respective historical context. To wind up my paper, the consequences of the “inner state foundation” for the further progress of GDR-history are being discussed.
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
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