Talk:East Germany

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Former featured article candidateEast Germany is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
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January 19, 2004Refreshing brilliant proseNot kept
On this day...Facts from this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on October 7, 2005, October 7, 2006, and October 7, 2008.

Is East Germany a country?[edit]

I thought it was a country, not just a state? Can you explain here? Thanks. Free Bloc (talk) 11:50, 23 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Answer: Yes, it is a former country, from 1949 until unification with West Germany in 1990. Since then it is just the in-official name for a region, similar to Southern Germany.
But you are probably asking about this revert of an edit of yours. To be honest, both the term "country" and "state" are in my opinion correct (and interchangeable) in this case. "State" can also be used in the sense of Sovereign state, instead of in the sense of Constituent state (like the 16 federal states that make up Germany, or the 50 states that make up the United States). The use of state = country corresponds to the German word "Staat", which also has several meanings depending on context.
So I would not have been so fast to revert you, and perhaps User:Bumbubookworm can enlighten us, why he felt it necessary. One argument for the revert could be, that West Germany never accepted East Germany as a sovereign state; instead considering it to be an illegally constituted puppet state controlled by the Soviet Union. The West German Grundgesetz always contained Reunification as a central aim, therefore West Germany insisted that neither itself, nor East Germany, were a separate country – just temporarily separated parts of one single country.
One snag with this argument though: It didn't reflect the actual realities on the ground. For several decades the two were for all practical purposes separate countries. It is a similar situation to South Korea and North Korea, or to mainland China and Taiwan. As much as the People's Republic of China insists that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China and can never be a sovereign state – for many decades now, that is pretty much what Taiwan has been. Seeing that all these four linked articles employ the word "country" in the introduction, I think a good case can be made for both "country" and "state" being fine in connection with East Germany too. All the best from --Sprachraum (talk) 14:20, 23 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The states of the U.S. are called states because they are sovereign states that united into a federation by delegating part of their sovereignty to a central government. Before that they were called provinces or colonies. In German, German states are refer to as Länder which means countries. The German word for state is Staat. Other countries have appeared to have copied the U.S. term for its constituent territories, even when they were never states in the historical sense.
I prefer referring to the DDR and BRD as states, because it could be seen as one country divided into two states. TFD (talk) 18:43, 23 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
yah it be a country back in the olden times with the whipper snapper gobble fobblers yk what im sayin Bc420bc (talk) 16:24, 21 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ok, I see, thank both you very much, goodbye. Free Bloc (talk) 12:12, 24 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

German Democratic Republic was indeed a country. 2402:800:9B0E:CDC4:DC63:C430:709B:A316 (talk) 08:15, 7 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Richer than West Germany?[edit]

According to the numbers given here, the GDR was considerably richer than West Germany in PPP terms in 1990. The GDR had a GDP of $529bn in 1989 and a population of 16.1m. This works out as a GDP per capita at PPP of $32,600 (despite the article saying $42,000). By contrast West Germany had a GDP of $1tn in 1990 and a population of 63.25m, which gives a GDP per capita at PPP of $15,800. Therefore in PPP terms the GDR was more than twice as rich as West Germany. Can this really be the case? LastDodo (talk) 19:52, 24 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

East German currency was worthless in the real world and had no "international" value, so there was no great way to measure the East Germany economy nor the performance of it's currency, communist economist just made numbers up out of thin air RomanGrandpa (talk) 13:30, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The 1990 CIA Factbook shows a GNP of $9.679, compared with a GDP of %15,300 for West Germany.[1] But determining a GNP or GDP for non-market economies is always problematic.
The Ostmark was not worthless. The purchasing power for necessities was higher than the Deutschmark, but luxury goods usually could only be bought with Deutschmarks, which were traded at 5:1 to 10:1. Furthermore, the quality of goods in East Germany was usually lower, unless imported.
TFD (talk) 18:17, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What westerner would want to be paid in Ostmark's? .....Even the Soviet Union had to trade war ships to buy company would accept the Ruble, because it had no value outside the Soviet Union. RomanGrandpa (talk) 13:29, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
CIA Factbook is a standard source for such info so I would suggest that data replace the existing data which comes from the 'World Inequality Database'. LastDodo (talk) 10:31, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Westerners visiting East Germany would buy Ostmark either through official sources or the black market which they would then use to buy goods and services there. So it wasn't actually worthless in the sense that Confederate money was after the war, just that the market value was far less than the official exchange rate and the currency was not trade in FX markets.
Since the actual method of calculating the value of the Ostmark and the GNP of a non-market economy is disputed, I would like to see a source that explains how it derives its figures.
TFD (talk) 16:12, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's reasonable but since the World Inequality Database doesn't offer any such explanation either, I would still suggest replacing that number with the CIA one for now. LastDodo (talk) 08:51, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All these values are heavily dependent on estimates and assumptions which don't stand up too well to scrutiny, but they continue to be important because there are too many occasions when the need to discuss their implications cannot be circumvented. Something is better than nothing. For many purposes "nominal GDP" is more appropriate than "PPP GDP". Your discussion would be more complete if someone were to add and populate the following fields to the infobox:
"| GDP_nominal = $00,000 billion | GDP_nominal_rank = xxst | GDP_nominal_year = 1989 | GDP_nominal_per_capita = $000| GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = xxst"
That has already been done for most countries. For the infoboxes on East Germany and West Germany in wiki-en those fields are missing, presumably because the data needed to populate them are not so accessible. But if you do have relatively easy access to an appropriate source, how about it? Regards Charles01 (talk) 09:05, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't I'm afraid. When I google it it comes up with the Wikisource page and a site called '' that I'm not familiar with. LastDodo (talk) 13:36, 11 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Per capital income and HDI looks bogus[edit]

Communist East Germany with a per capital income of 42,000$ by 1989 slightly smaller than it is today for all Germany???😂😂😂😂 Nlivataye (talk) 18:01, 7 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is what I've been thinking. Absolutely no chance the GDP PC and especially HDI were even nearly that high. 0.953 would make it nearly the most developed country on Earth if it were today. The source it cites has loads of inflated HDI numbers... Oligarchs0 (talk) 00:30, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What's the de jure capital of East Germany?[edit]

Just wondering. Patriciogetsongettingridofhiswiki (talk) 21:15, 18 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

it doesn't have one. It no longer exists as a separate state. See German reunification. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:45, 18 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I meant to say "What was East Germany's de jure capital when it existed" Patriciogetsongettingridofhiswiki (talk) 19:09, 19 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion[edit]

The following Wikimedia Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion:

Participate in the deletion discussion at the nomination page. —Community Tech bot (talk) 21:52, 8 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]