World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Soviet Military Administration in Germany

Article Id: WHEBN0000380440
Reproduction Date:

Title: Soviet Military Administration in Germany  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: East Germany, Merger of the KPD and SPD into the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, Democratic Bloc (East Germany), Operation Osoaviakhim, State Secretary for Church Affairs
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Soviet Military Administration in Germany

The Soviet Military Administration in Germany (Russian: Советская военная администрация в Германии, СВАГ; Sovetskaia Voennaia Administratsia v Germanii, SVAG; German: Sowjetische Militäradministration in Deutschland, SMAD) was the Soviet military government, headquartered in Berlin-Karlshorst, that directly ruled the Soviet occupation zone of Germany from the German surrender in May 1945 until after the establishment of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in October 1949.

According to the Potsdam Agreement in 1945, the SMAD was assigned the eastern portion of present-day Germany, consisting mostly of central Prussia. Prussia was dissolved by the Allies in 1947 and this area was divided between several German states (Länder). German lands east of the Oder-Neisse line were annexed by Soviet Union or granted to Poland, and Germans living in these areas were resettled, retaining almost all their belongings, to the American, British, and Soviet zones.

Notable SVAG officials

Actions of the SMAD

The main purpose of the SMAD was to maintain the unity of Germany. It also had to deal with refugees, such as those resettled from Poland, the homeless, and former German soldiers. Resources were short, and the economy needed to be shifted from wartime production to peacetime. However, the Soviets were also concerned with their own well-being, and dismantled entire factories and railroads to be reassembled in the USSR.

In late 1945 a land reform confiscated the land of German nobles (Junker), to be given to cottagers and landless farmhands. Banks were also nationalized that year. In 1946 an education reform established separation of church and state in elementary schools, and heavy industries were nationalized under the guise of confiscation of the property of Nazi war criminals.

The SMAD set up ten "special camps" for the detention of Germans, some of them former Nazi concentration camps.

Politics

Wilhelm Pieck and the military administration members

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 Volkskongreß) 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.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ Keiderling, Gerhard. "Die Vier Mächte in Berlin – Zur Rechtslage der Stadt von 1949 bis 1961". Berlinische Monatsschrift (in German) ( 

External links

  • World History at KMLA: History of East Germany
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.