Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Helmut Kury & Ursula Smartt
For more than forty years, Germany was split in two. Following World War II, the territory was divided into East (the German Democratic Republic, or GDR) and West (the Federal Republic of Germany, or FRG). German unification took place at the beginning of the 1990s, after the collapse of the socialist-communist regime in the GDR toward the end of the 1980s, which followed the opening and democratization of Eastern Europe. East and West Germany were under completely different governmental and economical regimes during the second half of the twentieth century. The FRG developed as a free, capitalist-oriented state within the western pact. The GDR, on the other hand, was locked into the Eastern Bloc under the state administration of the so-called real-existing socialism (real existierender Sozialismus ), which had an enormous effect on the lives of East Germans. Citizens had no proprietary rights to land and property (all land, farms, ...