Soviet occupation zone of Germany

zone of Soviet occupation in postwar Germany

The Soviet Occupation Zone (German: Sowjetische Besatzungszone (SBZ) or Ostzone Russian: Советская зона Германии, Sovetskaya zona Germanii, "Soviet Zone of Germany") was the area of eastern Germany occupied by the Soviet Union from 1945 on, at the end of World War II. It became East Germany.

Allied-Administered Germany
Soviet Occupation Zones of Germany
1945 — 1949
Flag of Germany
Occupation zones in Germany (1945)
Occupation zones in Germany (1945)
StatusMilitary occupation
CapitalBerlin (de jure)
Governors (1945) 
• Soviet zone
Marshal Zhukov
• 1953-55
Georgy Maksimovich Pushkin
Historical eraCold War
• Surrender
May 8, 1945
July 5, 1945 1945
23 May, 1949
7 October, 1949 1949
September 12, 1990
ISO 3166 codeDE
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Third Reich
East Germany
East Berlin
¹ German reunification took place on October 3, 1990.

The four sectors of Allied occupation in Berlin

American forces first occupied some of the area. The Americans withdrew in July 1945 to the agreed occupation zone boundaries.

The Soviet Military Administration in Germany (German initials: SMAD) allowed four political parties to form, but they all had to work in the "All-Party Committee" (the "Nationale Front").

The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the Communist Party of Germany were merged into the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (which became the governing party of East Germany). Finally, the SED created other parties, to weaken the Christian Democratic Union and Liberal Democratic Party of Germany.

Originally, Stalin wanted to Sovietize all of Germany, but when the West resisted this idea, he tried to work for a united Germany which would be neutral, but when the West again said no he decided to build a new country out of the Soviet occupation zone. This became East Germany

The Soviet occupation zone included the central parts of Prussia. After Prussia was dissolved by the allied powers in 1947, the area was divided between the German states of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt und Thuringia.

On October 8, 1949, the part of the Soviet zone west of the Oder-Neisse line became the German Democratic Republic, usually known simply as East Germany. In 1952, the states were dissolved, and changed to 14 districts, plus East Berlin. East Berlin was treated as part of the new East Germany, but technically was part of the Allied-controlled city of Berlin.

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