The German Democratic Republic (GDR), or simply East Germany
as it was commonly known, was a communist state that
existed from 1949 to 1990 in the eastern
regions of Germany
. It was formed following
World War II in the Soviet occupation zone.
Although the richest
country in the former Eastern
bloc, many East
Germans tried to escape to West Germany
, which enjoyed far greater freedoms
and economic conditions. The GDR was known for its effective intelligence service, the Stasi. The Stasi monitored every aspect of life in the GDR with
one in fifty East
Germans being an informer.
the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of all border restrictions, the GDR was officially
abolished in 1990.