Conflict and Compromise in East Germany, 1971-1989: A by Jeannette Z. Madarasz

By Jeannette Z. Madarasz

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Additional info for Conflict and Compromise in East Germany, 1971-1989: A Precarious Stability

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The ruled had learned to be content with modest circumstances, and even the rulers began to resign themselves to the people. […] Security became the most useful propaganda term. 94 Günter de Bruyn’s description of the mood in the 1970s and 1980s emphasises the unique features of that period. A large proportion of the population had no direct experience of another political system. In the 1960s, this situation was quite different, especially as people were still coming to terms with the building of the Wall in 1961.

The numerous petitions that were sent to all institutions and parties played a crucial part within the dialogue, reassuring both sides of continued stability. Opposition happened on the fringes of society, and only in the last months of 1989 did it take centre stage. 24 Conflict and Compromise in East Germany, 1971–1989 Structure The structure of the book is characterised by a move away, chapter by chapter, from the crude categories of the state. Chapters 2 and 3 will focus on the state’s policies and institutional framework that catered for the four groups.

In spite of the efforts of the MfS, parts of the population continuously circumvented the ideological demands of the state and were able to establish complex structures of interaction. This subversive behaviour developed partly in response to increased politicisation under Honecker at the beginning of the 1970s. Its presence acknowledged the general expectation that the GDR would continue to exist for a long time, perhaps forever. The population was getting increasingly used to this prospect and searched for ways to live with the dictatorship.

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