a former country in central Europe: created in 1949 from the Soviet zone of occupied Germany established in 1945: reunited with West Germany in 1990. 41,827 sq. mi. (108,333 sq. km). Capital: East Berlin.
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Official name German Democratic Republic.
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German Democratic Republic
a former republic in N central Europe: established in 1949 and declared a sovereign state by the Soviet Union in 1954; Communist regime replaced by a multiparty democracy in 1989; reunited with West Germany in 1990Official name: German Democratic Republic, (Abbreviation) DDR, (Abbreviation) GDR See also Germany
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Although high for a communist nation, the East German living standard lagged far behind that of western Europe. Popular protests for democracy forced the communist government to open the Berlin Wall in 1989 and allow its citizens to migrate to West Germany. Unable to resist the tide of reform sweeping across communist states, the East German government agreed in 1990 to the reunification of Germany under the leadership of West Germany.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.