Soviet Military Administration in Germany - Politics

Politics

A decree of 10 June 1945 allowed for the formation of antifascist democratic political parties and called for elections in October 1946. A coalition of four parties was formed in July, consisting of the Communist (KPD), Social Democratic (SPD), Christian Democratic (CDU), and Liberal Democratic parties. This coalition was known as the National Front. In April 1946 the KPD and SPD merged under Soviet pressure into the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands--SED). In the October 1946 elections, the SED won in the East German states, but lost in Greater Berlin to the local SPD, which had not merged with the KPD there.

In May 1949, when a West German government began to be formed, a German People's Congress (Deutscher VolkskongreƟ) was elected for the Soviet occupation zone. However, the only options voters had were to approve or reject "unity lists" of pre-picked candidates from the various parties, largely made up of communists. About two-thirds of East Germans approved the list for the new Congress.

In November 1948, the German Economic Commission (Deutsche Wirtschaftskommission--DWK) assumed administrative authority in East Germany under Soviet supervision. On 7 October 1949, the German People's Congress formed a provisional government and established the German Democratic Republic with Wilhelm Pieck as its first president. On 5 November 1949, the SMAD was abolished and replaced by the Soviet Control Commission (Sowjetische Kontrolkommission--SKK). However, the SKK did not formally turn over administrative responsibilities to the GDR government until 11 November 1949.

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