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Oppression And Scarcity: The History And Institutional Structure of the Marxist-Leninist Government of East Germany And Some Perspectives on Life in a Socialist System [Copertina rigida]

Peter W. Sperlich


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Descrizione del libro

30 gennaio 2006
Imagine being forced to adopt an ideology that strips you of your political rights and plunges you into a life of despair and unending shortages. After the Second World War, the people of East Germany endured just such an appalling fate when socialism was forced upon them. Examining the effects of an oppressive and economically incompetent system, Sperlich presents a systematic review of post-war German history, with an emphasis on the founding of a communist state on German soil: the German Democratic Republic. He traces the imposition of communist rule, discussing the suppression of free elections and opposition to the infliction of a dictatorial one-party regime. Sperlich demonstrates how East Germans suffered under the restraints of socialism, and recounts the peaceful revolution of 1989, which led to the reunification of the two German states.

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Amazon.com: 3.5 su 5 stelle  2 recensioni
5.0 su 5 stelle Oppression and Scarcity Review 18 novembre 2007
Di D. Jolly - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina rigida
This is the second volume of Professor Sperlich's well-written East German trilogy. First, it provides a systematic review of post-WWII German history, with special attention given to the Soviet-induced founding of a communist state on German soil. It also traces the various stages of the imposition of communist rule, including importantly the suppression of free elections, the banishing of any form of opposition, and the establishment of a one-party dictatorship.

Next, Sperlich provides illuminating details of life in East Germany after the communist party had gained full control. This includes discussions of the nature of party control of the various aspects of state and society, the functioning of the East German police state, the citizens' mandatory participation in public rituals, the pretense of citizen influence, the manipulation of public opinion (including the manipulative use of "letters to the editor"), the extensive personality cults, the role of the communist youth organization and of the quasi-religious youth ritual (Jugendweihe), the regime's relationship to the churches, the immense importance accorded to sports (with the widespread doping of children), and the strange commerce culture in which the customer was always wrong.

The book also contains a detailed analysis of the East German economy, a matter frequently misunderstood in the West, where it was regarded as stunningly successful. It was not. At no time was the East German "planned economy" able to satisfy even the most basic needs of it citizen. The regime could maintain itself only because of the heavy subsidies it received from West Germany -- which was to make the life more tolerable for the fellow-Germans in the East.

Finally, the book includes a review of the many attempts of East German citizens to escape their imprisonment, often ending with death at the border. At the end, the desire for freedom could no longer be contained. Demonstration became a daily factor of East German life, leading to the breaching of the Wall and reunification. Once the Soviet tanks were no longer available to bail out the regime (as had been the case in 1953), its demise became inescapable. At no time in its history did the regime receive the consent and allegiance of its people. Without Soviet military support, it had to crumble.
2.0 su 5 stelle If you grew up in the East, dont bother! 25 gennaio 2010
Di Pen - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina rigida|Acquisto verificato
I purchased the book in relation to a research project involving East German consumer behavior. After reading through most of the book I decided to not waste anymore time reading the author's personal view about the GDR. Sperlich's portrayal of the East Germans' everyday experience shows signs of partisanship and resentment toward the past. Topics are biased and often reminded me of Fox news reports. While facts are delivered accurately the reader will notice a negative connotation attached to the writing. As I grew up in the former GDR, I expected a more precise analysis with well sough arguments. Instead, the reader will find sarcasm and numerous statements of some sort of personal aggravation with the former system. I attached 2 stars for the citable facts and correct timeline of events in the book.

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