East Germany: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government
About the location, history, size, population, and government of the country East Germany.
Size-41,748 sq. mi. (108,178 sq. km.), somewhat larger than Ohio.
Population-17,900,000: German, 98.5%; Sorb, 1.5%. 81% Protestant, 12% Roman Catholic, 7% other.
Who Rules-The Volkskammer or People's Chamber which is unicameral. It has 434 members elected by universal suffrage for 4-year terms. In addition, there are 66 nonvoting representatives from East Berlin. The Chamber elects the Council of State, the Council of Ministers, the National Defense Council, and the judges of the Supreme Court.
The Council of State consists of a chairman, 6 deputy chairmen, 16 members, and a secretary. It has the authority to issue decrees and decisions which have the force of law and it may interpret laws.
Who REALLY Rules-The East German Communist party, known as the Sozialistische Einheits Partei (the Socialist Unity Party). Behind the scenes, but not very far behind them, is the Government of the Soviet Union. There are "free" elections but generally only one candidate on the ballot. Second parties are not permitted. Occasionally party candidates have competition from same-party candidates and therefore inefficient and ineffectual party functionaries can be removed from office.
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