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East Germany
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Location
    (October 7, 1949-October 3, 1990)
    Formally known as the German Democratic Republic (GDR)
    Formed from the Soviet occupation zone of Germany
    Area: 41,748 square miles (slightly larger than Ohio)
    Capital was East Berlin
    Despite its official name, it was nowhere near democratic.
    A workers' uprising was suppressed by Soviet troops (June 17, 1953).
    Its population steadily declined throughout its existence.
    It had to put up a wall to stop people from fleeing to the West.
    Its Olympic success had a lot to do with a massive state-run doping program.
    Two decades after the Berlin Wall came down, eastern Germany's standard of living and per capita income remain well below the rest of Germany.
    It was German and a republic, so the name got two out of three right.
    It had one of the strongest economies among Soviet-bloc nations.
    It achieved this relative success despite the Red Army shipping a third of the country's industrial equipment to Russia as war reparations.
    It reunited peacefully with West Germany.

Credit: C. Fishel


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