AHC: DDR surpasses BRD economically

So in the late 40s and early 50s, West Germany experienced the Wirtschaftswunder, or the Miracle on the Rhine, which saw the rapid economic recovery and subsequent growth. This, alongside a slew of Soviet quotas and military enforcement that essentially forced East Germany's hand in economic and political decisions, led its economy into the ground. The forced merger of the KPD and SPD which played a role in the Republikflucht . However, is it possible for this economic phenomenon to not happen? Or, rather happen in East Germany instead? What kind of changes would be required for the East to surpass the West, I'd prefer if the East remained Communist and/or Socialist.

Looking at a similar couple, North and South Korea, the North slightly surpassed the South for a very very short period of time, though this was attributed with the fact that South Korea as politically worse and that the two were on even playing fields upon their independence.
 
So in the late 40s and early 50s, West Germany experienced the Wirtschaftswunder, or the Miracle on the Rhine, which saw the rapid economic recovery and subsequent growth. This, alongside a slew of Soviet quotas and military enforcement that essentially forced East Germany's hand in economic and political decisions, led its economy into the ground. The forced merger of the KPD and SPD which played a role in the Republikflucht . However, is it possible for this economic phenomenon to not happen? Or, rather happen in East Germany instead? What kind of changes would be required for the East to surpass the West, I'd prefer if the East remained Communist and/or Socialist.
The West had more than thrice the population of the east,and was richer even before the war. It was also occupied by much richer nations than east germany, followed a massivly better economic system, and had much better connections to the rest of the world. To change this East Germany cannot be a communist,east alligned nation...which was the very foundation of its existence.

This isn't to say East germany couldn't have done better, but better then the west? not happening.
 
So in the late 40s and early 50s, West Germany experienced the Wirtschaftswunder, or the Miracle on the Rhine, which saw the rapid economic recovery and subsequent growth. This, alongside a slew of Soviet quotas and military enforcement that essentially forced East Germany's hand in economic and political decisions, led its economy into the ground. The forced merger of the KPD and SPD which played a role in the Republikflucht . However, is it possible for this economic phenomenon to not happen? Or, rather happen in East Germany instead? What kind of changes would be required for the East to surpass the West, I'd prefer if the East remained Communist and/or Socialist.

Looking at a similar couple, North and South Korea, the North slightly surpassed the South for a very very short period of time, though this was attributed with the fact that South Korea as politically worse and that the two were on even playing fields upon their independence.
The West had more than thrice the population of the east,and was richer even before the war. It was also occupied by much richer nations than east germany, followed a massivly better economic system, and had much better connections to the rest of the world. To change this East Germany cannot be a communist,east alligned nation...which was the very foundation of its existence.

This isn't to say East germany couldn't have done better, but better then the west? not happening.
Agreed with Veiovis.

Heck, wasn't East Germany already doing better than it should have? Compared to many other Eastern Bloc nations, it was a (relatively speaking) success story agriculturally and in consumer goods despite disproportionate spending on the military, heavy industry etc. Could they have done better than that operating as part of the Warsaw Pact?
 
The West had more than thrice the population of the east,and was richer even before the war. It was also occupied by much richer nations than east germany, followed a massivly better economic system, and had much better connections to the rest of the world. To change this East Germany cannot be a communist,east alligned nation...which was the very foundation of its existence.

This isn't to say East germany couldn't have done better, but better then the west? not happening.
Well in that case, what could they have done better, implying theyre still under the Eastern bloc? Would a refusal to Sovietization and formation of an independent branch of Communism sort of like Maoism be plausible? Or maybe a Prague Spring'esk event happening?
 
Heck, wasn't East Germany already doing better than it should have? Compared to many other Eastern Bloc nations, it was a (relatively speaking) success story agriculturally and in consumer goods despite disproportionate spending on the military, heavy industry etc. Could they have done better than that operating as part of the Warsaw Pact?
Nah, East Germany was relativly rich compared to say Romania, and inherited a extremly well educated population, a vast experience in modern administration and economy, etc etc. Really the same kind of advantages the west had. They were always destined to be among the top of the warsaw pact,unless really hilarious mismanagment would hit. And it did suffer some quite poor governance on occassion (apart from the systematically inherent msmanagent),so there is definitly room for improvement.
 
Well in that case, what could they have done better, implying theyre still under the Eastern bloc? Would a refusal to Sovietization and formation of an independent branch of Communism sort of like Maoism be plausible? Or maybe a Prague Spring'esk event happening?
The Russians aren't going to let that happen. As long as they are able to keep East Germany in line, they will.
 
Given how boosting East Germany is very difficult, much easier to tear down West Germany

Something happens during WWII that really gets the average American on the street pissed off at Germans, mass executing American POWs, pulling off some sort of crazy hail mary WMD attack against the CONUS, etc., so Morgenthau is implemented enthusiastically , the UK and France are arm twisted into complying, and Marshall Plan aid is specifically excluded from Germany, the Korean war is avoided so the US is still in nukes for everything mode and doesn't think they need a strong Germany as a bulwark against communism until much later, hence the US continually doing what it can to kneecap West Germany well into the 50's when anti communist pragmatism finally wins out over leftover hatreds from WWII, and even that is less than enthusiastic. Ideally that is long enough that West Germany essentially missed it's shot, with other nations exploiting the niche it grabbed OTL, combine that with some wrong headed policies and the East can probably stay ahead for some time
 
The Russians aren't going to let that happen. As long as they are able to keep East Germany in line, they will.
I've wondered from time to time that what if Enver Hoxha had gone for Deng style economic reforms in 1950, even while being Stalin's biggest booster in Eastern Europe. the Split with Khrushchev happens as OTL, and Soviets are out of the country, and they lose aid.

But that's enough time to have built up the economy, and to keep growing it, all while getting new aid from China, and Albania is more trade focused, with respect to Marxism to both East and West: Enver is doing things 'His Way'
 
Notoriously, the 1987 CIA World Factbook reported that the GDR's per capita GDP was greater than that of the FRG!

Here is the CIA's embarrassed explanation at https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/cia-assessments-of-the-soviet-union-the-record-versus-the-charges/tyran.html

***
Why did the CIA report East German GDP as greater than West German GDP in The World Factbook 1987?
One of the most frequently cited examples of grossly flawed analysis by CIA concerns an erroneous entry in The World Factbook 1987 that stated that in 1986 West German GDP per capita was $100 lower than that of East Germany. This is cited by critics as demonstrating the extent to which CIA overestimated the strength of the Communist economies and failed to see the deterioration that led to the collapse of the Communist regimes.

While the process that led to this is deserving of criticism and has since been corrected, the published figures were not a reflection of CIA's analytical judgment of the relative performance and strength of the West German and East German economies. The discrepancy occurred as a consequence of separate analytic divisions using different methodologies to convert GDP into a dollar figure for inclusion in its
World Factbook.

  • The East German analyst, working with an outside contractor hired to devise ways of compensating for the inaccuracies of East German data, used ``purchasing power parity ratios'' (PPPRs) based on UN data to estimate GDP in dollars.
  • The West German analyst applied the dollar-deutsche mark market exchange rate from 1985 to convert the 1986 West German GDP figure (used also by the OECD) into dollars.
  • The problem from using two different conversion rates was compounded by the fact that in 1985 the dollar was booming compared to the deutsche mark. Thus, using the market exchange rate between the currencies resulted in a significant underestimation of the West German GDP.
The isolated nature of the error is demonstrated by the fact that, in that same year, the Handbook of Economic Statistics published by the Directorate of Intelligence used a common methodology for converting GDP into dollars, reported 1986 West German per capita GDP as being 32 percent greater than the East German figure:

  • While claims have been made that the gap was even wider, such arguments are completely different from allegations that the Agency was blind to the enormous gap between the economic performance of the two Germanys.
  • Moreover, arguments that an even greater gap should have been reported in the Handbook often are based on confusing GDP per capita with per capita income. GDP calculations include the production of unsold goods and spending on defense and other government projects and services that may not directly benefit households. Government spending, wasteful construction projects, and unsold inventories were especially high in Communist countries.
 
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Heck, wasn't East Germany already doing better than it should have? Compared to many other Eastern Bloc nations, it was a (relatively speaking) success story agriculturally and in consumer goods despite disproportionate spending on the military, heavy industry etc. Could they have done better than that operating as part of the Warsaw Pact?
IIRC Hungary had a higher standard of living, though I doubt the Soviets would ever allow Germany to play as fast and loose with socialism as they let Kadar.
 
A ideal I have had for gears is that USSR Finlandize Berlin, they make a deal for a unified Free City of Berlin, and Berlin becomes a Hong Kong on the Elbe, a important manufacturing hub, which in the 60ties begins to outsource productions to factories in the surrounding Brandenburg. This mean that East Germany get access to foreign capital, which can fuel a more complex East German industry and greater production of consumer products, but also keep USSR from forcing the disastrous economic reforms of the 70ties on East Germany.
 
I've wondered from time to time that what if Enver Hoxha had gone for Deng style economic reforms in 1950, even while being Stalin's biggest booster in Eastern Europe. the Split with Khrushchev happens as OTL, and Soviets are out of the country, and they lose aid.

But that's enough time to have built up the economy, and to keep growing it, all while getting new aid from China, and Albania is more trade focused, with respect to Marxism to both East and West: Enver is doing things 'His Way'
Even if we accept that "deng style reforms" would meaningfully work in the 1950s, and that Albania as a country was at a state where they were suited to it (Personaly sceptical on the first and lol nope on the second) any kind of such reforms will see Albania branded as the most disgusting of heretics on the freaking planet by china, and not any aid.
 
Even if we accept that "deng style reforms" would meaningfully work in the 1950s, and that Albania as a country was at a state where they were suited to it
"It matters not whether the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice." Deng Xiaoping

Deng was a rarity, a practical Leninist.

His reforms were simple.

Allow the individual to grow their own food, at home or at a collective. And then Trade or sell the excess.

Foreign export trade to be encouraged. for that, you needed true pricing inputs, for what things cost to produce, and then sell on the World Market
Profit for the State Industries was to be encouraged, and the Managers that accomplished that would be given more opportunities. Productive Workers could get higher wages.

Private Industry could co-exist along with State Industry, and both encouraged to do foreign trade

Foreign Relations need to be encouraged, rather than isolation. Students, at State expense to be sent to many countries to learn, then return and teach themselves.

China was in terrible shape after the Cultural Revolution, and was able to do these reforms, while everyone still thinking they were good Communists.

by 1950 Hoxha had purged everyone that had been a threat, and could do whatever he liked. If he wanted to do the above, he could have, and Albania, wrecked from WWII and in just as poor shape after the CR in China, could have done the same, looking outward rather than inward, as OTL

Also in OTL, Mao made no demands on Hoxha for the Aid recieved. He got what he wanted, being against Khrushchev, very loudly.
 
Perhaps one way to boost the East would be different borders of Germany. Allow the East to keep Silesia and maybe other parts of formerly East Prussia (at least those most economically valuable). The added population and industry would be a boost.
 
Perhaps one way to boost the East would be different borders of Germany. Allow the East to keep Silesia and maybe other parts of formerly East Prussia (at least those most economically valuable). The added population and industry would be a boost.
Ah yes, heavy industry, just what east Germany was missing.
 
Given how boosting East Germany is very difficult, much easier to tear down West Germany
An ardent National Socialist instead of Dietrich von Choltitz is in control of Paris in August of 1944 and follows Hitler's orders to destroy the city, just like the SS were doing in Warsaw contemporary to this. As a result of this atrocity, France is able to implement the Monnet Plan in full, which strips the future West Germany of the Rhineland and possibly even the Ruhr:


457px-French_Proposal_4_April_1946.jpg


The early French plans were concerned with keeping Germany weak and strengthening the French economy at the expense of that of Germany. French foreign policy aimed to dismantle German heavy industry, place the coal rich Ruhr area and Rhineland under French control or at a minimum internationalize them, and also to join the coal-rich Saarland with the iron-rich province of Lorraine (which had been handed over from Germany to France again in 1944).[1] When American diplomats reminded the French of what a devastating effect this would have on the German economy, France's response was to suggest the Germans would just have to "make [the] necessary adjustments" to deal with the inevitable foreign exchange deficit.
 
An ardent National Socialist instead of Dietrich von Choltitz is in control of Paris in August of 1944 and follows Hitler's orders to destroy the city, just like the SS were doing in Warsaw contemporary to this.
That doesn't magic up the men or demolition gear to do so, and unlike Warsaw, with the Jews and AK, the Maquis and Communists were well armed, and the Paris Garrison smaller than the forces in Warsaw

2nd, Don't think Truman would sign on to that Monnet Plan, even with Paris gone
"the United States will not support any encroachment on territory which is indisputably German or any division of Germany which is not genuinely desired by the people concerned. So far as the United States is aware the people of the Ruhr Area and the Rhineland desire to remain united with the rest of Germany. And the United States is not going to oppose their desire."

Truman wanted West Germany to stay with the West, not go begging over to the DDR&USSR

West Germany was just more important than Paris and French feelings thereof.

In hindsight with how France done US&NATO dirty in 1967, should have put the screws to them sooner over the Saar
 
That doesn't magic up the men or demolition gear to do so, and unlike Warsaw, with the Jews and AK, the Maquis and Communists were well armed, and the Paris Garrison smaller than the forces in Warsaw

2nd, Don't think Truman would sign on to that Monnet Plan, even with Paris gone
"the United States will not support any encroachment on territory which is indisputably German or any division of Germany which is not genuinely desired by the people concerned. So far as the United States is aware the people of the Ruhr Area and the Rhineland desire to remain united with the rest of Germany. And the United States is not going to oppose their desire."

Truman wanted West Germany to stay with the West, not go begging over to the DDR&USSR

West Germany was just more important than Paris and French feelings thereof.

In hindsight with how France done US&NATO dirty in 1967, should have put the screws to them sooner over the Saar
You don't have to magic it up because it's OTL; 813th Engineer Company was on site and actually mined all 45 bridges over the Seine for destruction, for one example. As for gear, the Germans had a torpedo factory in Paris that by August of 1944 had a stockpile of 500 torpedos saved up due to Allied airstrikes on the railway network preventing their delivery. Further, due to Free French concerns over the Communists, air drops of weapons for Paris had been halted on June 14th while the Germans had disarmed the local police in early August. The prior mentioned cessation of weapon deliveries was, however, based on a faulty premise as the Communists did not possess the 25,000 troops they were estimated to have but actually half of that.

As for the political side of things, there's only so much Truman can do given most of the territory in question is in the French zone anyway and if there is serious political anger at the Germans over the destruction of Paris, Truman can find his hands tied....
 
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Perhaps one way to boost the East would be different borders of Germany. Allow the East to keep Silesia and maybe other parts of formerly East Prussia (at least those most economically valuable). The added population and industry would be a boost.
The best way to give East Germany the most land would be for Stalin to opt to annex Poland instead of restoring it in order to establish Russia's WW1 borders which serve to restore could also restore the east German frontier to its WW1 borders. If you go nuts with pre German invasion P.O.D's you could have Germany never invade the USSR and instead the Soviets invade Germany on there own sometime after 1943 and becuse the peace deal would not be made under the spirit of revenge (with Russia never experiencing Nazi atrocities on there people in this scenario) and Stalin decided to make post war borders purely on ethnic grounds (with the exception of the annexed Poland) and no population transfers or deindustrialisation, you might get a funky east Germany that is linked via a German sudatenland to a german east Austria which also gets included in the new east Germany.
 
If you imagine an East Germany that, perhaps like Yugoslavia, adopts a more flexible economic model and becomes more open to the West, the question then becomes how you can keep East Germany from becoming fully Western. Why wouldn't East Germans want the same political system as the West Germans if they already have a very similar economic system?
 
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