East Germany

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East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was a statelet that existed from 1949 to 1990 in middle Germany as part of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.


  • The example of East Germany exerts a far greater cautionary effect on the North Koreans than Qaddafi’s fate does. The Honecker regime took what Americans and South Koreans keep recommending to North Korea as the “pragmatic” way out of its problems: It began opening up to the West, quasi-formally recognized the rival coethnic state’s right to exist, and focused on improving its own citizens’ standard of living. We all know how that ended.
  • East Germany ranked higher among the world’s economies than South Korea does today, and was able to make some claim to superiority over the Federal Republic on socialist grounds. The Wall came down anyway.

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