East Berlin

East Berlin
Ostberlin / Berlin (Ost)
East Berlin
Soviet-occupied sector of Berlin,
East Germany

Flag Coat of arms
Flag Coat of arms
Location of East Berlin
The four occupation zones of Berlin. East Berlin is in red
Historical era Cold War
 - Established 1949
 - Reunification 3 October 1990
 - 1989 409 km2 (158 sq mi)
 - 1989 1,279,212 
     Density 3,127.7 /km2  (8,100.6 /sq mi)

East Berlin was the name given to the eastern part of Berlin between 1949 and 1990. It consisted of the Soviet sector of Berlin that was established in 1945. The American, British and French sectors became West Berlin, a part strongly associated with West Germany but a free city. Despite its status as part of an occupied city, East Berlin was claimed as the capital of East Germany, as the Soviets did not honor the distinction of a free city for their sector. From 13 August 1961 until 9 November 1989 East Berlin was separated from West Berlin by the Berlin Wall. The East German government referred to East Berlin simply as "Berlin" or often "Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR" (Berlin, capital of the GDR). The term "Democratic Sector" was also used until the 1960s. (See also Naming conventions).




The Western Allies (the USA, Britain and France) never formally acknowledged the authority of the East German government to govern East Berlin; the official Allied protocol recognized only the authority of the Soviet Union in East Berlin in accordance with the occupation status of Berlin as a whole. The United States Command Berlin, for example, published detailed instructions for U.S. military and civilian personnel wishing to visit East Berlin.[1] In fact, the three Western commandants regularly protested the presence of the East German National People's Army (NVA) in East Berlin, particularly on the occasion of military parades. Nevertheless, the three Western Allies eventually established embassies in East Berlin in the 1970s, although they never recognized it as the capital of East Germany. Treaties instead used terms such as "seat of government."

On 3 October 1990, West and East Germany were reunited, thus formally ending the existence of East Berlin.

East Berlin today

Since reunification, the German government has spent vast amounts of money on reintegrating the two halves of the city and bringing services and infrastructure in the former East Berlin up to the standard established in West Berlin. Despite this, there are still obvious differences between eastern and western Berlin. Eastern Berlin has a distinctly different visual aspect, partly because of the greater survival of prewar façades and streetscapes, some still showing signs of wartime damage, and partly because of the distinctive style of urban Stalinist architecture used in the GDR. As in other former East German cities, a small number of GDR-era names commemorating socialist heroes have been preserved, such as Karl-Marx-Allee, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz and Karl-Liebknecht-Straße; this followed a long process of review in which many such street names were deemed inappropriate and were changed. Still visible throughout former East Berlin are the characteristic "Ampelmännchen" on some pedestrian traffic lights. These days they are also visible in parts of the former West Berlin following a civic debate about whether the "Ampelmännchen" should be abolished or disseminated more widely.

Soviet and East German Commandants of East Berlin

Marx-Engels-Platz and the Palast der Republik in East Berlin in the summer of 1989. The Fernsehturm (TV Tower) is visible in the background
Boroughs of East Berlin (as of 1987)
Name [2] Term
Nikolay Berzarin 2 May 1945 – 16 June 1945
Aleksandr Gorbatov 17 June 1945 – 19 November 1945
Dimitry Smirnov 19 November 1945 – 1 April 1946
Aleksandr Kotikov 1 April 1946 – 7 June 1950
Sergey Dienghin 7 June 1950 – April 1953
Pavel Dibrov April 1953 – 23 June 1956
Andrey Chamov 28 June 1956 – 26 February 1958
Nikolay Zakharov 26 February 1958 – 9 May 1961
Andrey Soloviev 9 May 1961 – 22 August 1962
Helmut Poppe 22 August 1962 – 31 May 1971
Artur Kunath 1 June 1971 – 31 August 1978
Karl-Heinz Drews 1 September 1978 – 31 December 1988
Wolfgang Dombrowski 1 January 1989 – 30 September 1990
Detlef Wendorf 1 October 1990 – 2 October 1990

Boroughs of East Berlin

At the time of German reunification, East Berlin comprised the boroughs of

Images of East Berlin

See also

Statues of Marx and Engels, Marx-Engels-Forum


History of Berlin
Coat of arms of Berlin
This article is part of a series
Weimar Republic (1919–33)
1920s Berlin
Greater Berlin Act
Nazi Germany (1933–45)
Welthauptstadt Germania
Bombing of Berlin in World War II
Battle of Berlin
Divided city (1945–90)
East Berlin
West Berlin
Berlin Wall
Berlin Blockade (1948–49)
Berlin Crisis of 1961
"Ich bin ein Berliner" (1963)
"Tear Down This Wall" (1987)
See also:
History of Germany
Margraviate of Brandenburg

  v · ^ (PDF) Helpful Hints for US Visitors to East Berlin. Headquarters, U.S. Command Berlin. 1981-11-09. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7d/USCOB_Hints_on_Visiting_East_Berlin_-_19811109.pdf. 
  • ^ "Commandants of Berlin Soviet Zone". World Statesmen.org. http://www.worldstatesmen.org/German_States1918.htm#Soviet. 
  • External links

    Coordinates: 52°31′7″N 13°24′16″E / 52.51861°N 13.40444°E / 52.51861; 13.40444

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    Look at other dictionaries:

    • East Berlin — East Berlin, PA U.S. borough in Pennsylvania Population (2000): 1365 Housing Units (2000): 588 Land area (2000): 0.695691 sq. miles (1.801831 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.695691 sq. miles (1 …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

    • East Berlin, PA — U.S. borough in Pennsylvania Population (2000): 1365 Housing Units (2000): 588 Land area (2000): 0.695691 sq. miles (1.801831 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.695691 sq. miles (1.801831 sq. km)… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

    • East Berlin — see BERLIN2 * * * German  Ost Berlin,         eastern part of the city of Berlin (q.v.) that served as the capital of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) until the reunification of the German state in 1990. * * * …   Universalium

    • East Berlin — East′ Berlin′ n. geg See under Berlin 2) …   From formal English to slang

    • East Berlin — see BERLIN2 …   English World dictionary

    • East Berlin — Original name in latin East Berlin Name in other language State code US Continent/City America/New York longitude 39.9376 latitude 76.97859 altitude 129 Population 1521 Date 2011 05 14 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

    • East Berlin, Pennsylvania — Infobox Settlement official name = Pagename other name = native name = nickname = settlement type = Borough motto = imagesize = image caption = flag size = image seal size = image shield = shield size = image blank emblem = blank emblem size =… …   Wikipedia

    • East Berlin — /ist bɜˈlɪn/ (say eest ber lin) noun (until 1990) the capital of East Germany, in the eastern central part, forming the eastern part of Berlin (the former Soviet sector). See Berlin2 …  

    • East Berlin. — See under Berlin (def. 2). * * * …   Universalium

    • East Berlin — noun the Soviet sector of Berlin between 1949 and 1990 …   Wiktionary

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