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1. Why was housing seen as so important to the building of a socialist society?
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about why housing was seen as so important to the building of a socialist society in East Germany, focusing in particular on: (i) the practical need for new housing in the aftermath of the Second World War; (ii) the role in housing in the political aims of the ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED); (iii) the construction of the Stalinallee in East Berlin and socialist model towns such as Stalinstadt (later renamed Eisenhüttenstadt); (iv) the lack of progress on housing between 1945-71, and the renewed efforts under Erich Honecker between 1971-89; (v) the nature of some of the housing developments that were built in this period, in particular the Berlin-Marzahn development built from 1977 onwards; and (vi) the extent to which the housing policy of East Germany was a success, both practically and politically.
In this course, Dr Marcel Thomas (University of Manchester) explores life in East Germany between 1945-89 via six key questions: (1) Why was housing seen as so important to the building of a socialist society?; (2) Were women more emancipated in East Germany than in the West?; (3) To what extent did Stasi surveillance shape life in East Germany?; (4) How important was repression for the stability of the GDR?; (5) What was the role of the Protestant church in East Germany?; and (6) How did Ostpolitik change relations between West and East Germany?
Dr Marcel Thomas is a historian of modern Germany with a particular interest in rural and urban life, oral history, memory and sensory methodologies. His monograph Local Lives, Parallel Histories: Villagers and Everyday Life in the Divided Germany (2020) is the first comparative study of how East and West German villagers experienced and navigated social change in their localities in the postwar era.
Cite this Lecture
Thomas, M. (2021, February 09). Germany – Life in East Germany, 1949-89 - Why was housing seen as so important to the building of a socialist society? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/germany-life-in-east-germany-1949-89/why-was-housing-seen-as-so-important-to-the-building-of-a-socialist-society
Thomas, M. "Germany – Life in East Germany, 1949-89 – Why was housing seen as so important to the building of a socialist society?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 09 Feb 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/germany-life-in-east-germany-1949-89/why-was-housing-seen-as-so-important-to-the-building-of-a-socialist-society