Assess the reasons why two German states emerged between 1945 and 1949.

After the World War II, according to Yalta Conference (1945), Germany was divided into zones; Russian, American, British and France (included later). Berlin was also divided correspondingly which was in the middle of Russian zone. No agreement was reached about Germany’s long-term future. The question whether these four zones will be allowed to join together and, if yes, when was not answered. The West wanted to reunite all four zones and be granted self-government but Stalin had other plans. He thought it wiser to keep Russian zone separated with its communist pro-Russian government. In 1948, three zones maintained by the west (Britain, America and France) were merged, known as West Germany and Russian zone remained same hereon known as East Germany.
West Germany under Marshall Plan received considerable aid thus showed incredible development. On the other hand, East Germany didn’t receive any such aid from Western powers or in fact from Russia anywhere equivalent to West Germany, thus remained poor. Since there was no hope of Russian allowing to merge all four zones to re-unite Germany, the west went ahead in August 1949 alone and set up the German Federal Republic (GFR). The Russian reacted by setting up their zone as German Democratic Republic (GDR) in October 1949.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Assess the reasons why two German states emerged between 1945 and 1949.

Published: March 19, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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