Germany 1949

Germany 1949. Divided history, picture: Jacoby, ID 00330892

Divided history

Four years lay between the fall of National Socialist Germany and the founding of the FRG and the GDR. They were marked by the consequences of the Second World War, destruction and manifold social problems, but also by reconstruction and an increasing normalization of everyday life, the further society moved away from the exceptional situation of the immediate post-war period. From the outset, these developments took place in separate spheres, as the victorious powers occupied the land and divided it into occupation zones. And the more the former Allies against the "Third Reich" became ideological rivals, the more the parts of Germany they protected became the local scene of the Cold War. In 1949, the year of fate, this development culminated in the founding of two states on German soil: Konrad Adenauer signed the constitution for the Federal Republic of Germany on 23 May, and on 7 October the constitution of the German Democratic Republic was enacted. Two states had emerged whose history for the next 40 years was to run in very different paths.