Perestroika and East Germany

An examination of the effects of reforms in Russian on East Germany.

This paper examines how East and West Germany were two very different places for people coming from the same ethnic background. The Cold War created two different societies. It explains how, when Gorbachev came along, he attempted to reform the USSR and provide “New Thinking” that would give the crumbling regime a new lease on life. The policies were very slow to take hold, but when they did, events moved at a dizzying pace. It discusses how Perestroika and Glasnost effectively gave the East German people the ability to rise up against their Communist leaders and end the Cold War.
“When Gorbachev took control of the Soviet Union on March 11, 1985, he inherited an institution filled with corruption and cynicism. The Soviet Union’s industrial equipment and transportation was obsolete and the rate of economic growth had declined. For a global super power, the living conditions were deplorable. Employees were often drunk or neglected to show up for work, which resulted in low productivity, and lower quality consumer goods. Consumer goods were as well, in very short supply. With the Soviets computer technology lacking in comparison to that of the Americans, it seemed as though the USSR was loosing its grip as a global superpower.”

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