... by Ernie Trory

A short history of the German Democratic Republic

GDR Flag

This book was written in 1978, and, of course, a lot has happened since then. The GDR no longer exists, and it's history has been re-written, for the timebeing, by the victors. Ernie didn't pretend to be unbiased when he wrote this book - he wrote honestly and truthfully.

'Socialism in Germany' is important in redressing the balance and giving some background context to all the stories about the Berlin Wall and the 'Stasi'.

After reading this website I am sure you will be left with many questions about what happened to that feeling of optimism in the 1970s. How did a country that had been born out of the ruins of 1945, and grew to become one of the most economically succesful countries in the world, just dissolve itself on October 3rd 1990.

An excellent article "Thoughts about the factors that determined the reversal of the socialist system in Europe" written by the Communist Party of Greece, KKE, goes a long way to answering many of the questions that may arise. I recommend reading the whole article, but the section, "Conclusions and thoughts about the causes of the restoration of capitalism" is particularly enlightening.

Auferstanden aus Ruinen (Risen from the Ruins) - The GDR anthem.

Risen from the ruins
and faced towards the future,
Let us serve you for the good,
Germany, united fatherland.
Old woes have to be conquered,
and united so we shall,
For we must be successful for once
that the sun, beautiful as never before,
Shines over Germany,
shines over Germany.

Happiness and peace may be granted
Germany, our fatherland.
All the world longs for peace,
so go forth and extend your hand.
When as brothers we unite,
we defeat the people's foe.
Let shine the light of Peace
so that no mother ever again must
Mourn her son,
mourn her son.

Let us plough, let us build,
do learn and work as never before,
And, with confidence in its own strength,
a free generation will come forth.
German youth, the best endeavor
of our people combined in you,
You will be Germany's new life.
And the sun, more beautiful than ever
Shine over Germany,
shine over Germany.


THIS SHORT HISTORY was written to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the German Democratic Republic on the 7th October 1949. Like the post-war history of Czechoslovakia, the history of the GDR has been distorted out of all recognition by writers in the West of Europe. Their purpose has been to prevent the workers in the so-called "free" world from learning the truth about the advances made by socialism - lest they too should elect to follow the same path.

The events in the history of the GDR which have suffered most by these distortions are those connected with the division of Germany into two countries in 1949; the attempt to provoke a counter-revolution in Berlin in 1953; and the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961. These are what might be termed the sensitive areas of modern European history. All of them are dealt with in the pages that follow. It is to be hoped that the facts contained in this booklet, many of which will be new to most readers, will help to refute the lies that are constantly being circulated in this country by the mass media.

The distribution of this booklet, for various reasons, is not likely to be large; and most of the copies will be bought by people who are probably already aware of the situation in the GDR. Nevertheless, if it increases their knowledge and enables them to marshal their facts for future arguments with their fellow workers, it will have served a useful purpose. If it inspires others to go to the GDR to see for themselves, it will have served an even more useful purpose.

In the meantime, the author says: "Long live the GDR!"

20th December 1978