What if Germany was still split?

Austria was her own empire and then her own nation, she could say she had a history separated from the rest of Germany, an example is baveria since they have a culture that in case of separation could be pointed out to avoid unification.
East Germany does not have a basis for saying that they are not Germans, only if they decide to change their name and call themselves Republic of Prussia.
 
Austria was her own empire and then her own nation, she could say she had a history separated from the rest of Germany, an example is baveria since they have a culture that in case of separation could be pointed out to avoid unification.
East Germany does not have a basis for saying that they are not Germans, only if they decide to change their name and call themselves Republic of Prussia.
But didn’t the allies blame Prussian militarism as the reason Germans were so receptive to Nazism in the first place? In that context it would only make sense to distance itself from Prussia
 
Norway isn't the English Channel. The Brits didn't throw everything plus the kitchen sink at Norway, they would in the English Channel. The RN>>>>>KM! No one considered the German Army "vastly inferior" in 1940, they didn't think it could win in six weeks but they didn't think it was "vastly inferior" otherwise France would have invaded Germany when Germany invaded Poland, they wouldn't have just sat on their butt doing nothing. The last is more difficult, French and British leaders clearly lacked a spine in the mid-late 1930's.
The point is there are some things that are very improbable and others so improbable as to be nearly indistinguishable from impossible.
Among them are a successful Sealion, a successful Barbarossa and the Japanese succeeding in the Pacific.
Nope, you're still missing the point. The point is that in ATL where those things failed, posters such as yourself would say that those "things" (that happened IOTL) would be basically impossible, or ASB. It's a critique of plausibility in general.
 
In a timeline where the west abandons West Berlin, it's possible that the entire collapse of the Eastern Bloc may not have come to pass.

You'd see much less agitation for German unification with the West not having that foothold in the East, less military build-up in Germany which would help prevent the Soviets from spending themselves into collapse, and the authoritarianism of the communists would never have a human face in the west without pictures of the Berlin Wall while the prosperity of the West would be seem genuinely distant rather than denied to them without that island of wealth in their midst.
 
In a timeline where the west abandons West Berlin, it's possible that the entire collapse of the Eastern Bloc may not have come to pass.

You'd see much less agitation for German unification with the West not having that foothold in the East, less military build-up in Germany which would help prevent the Soviets from spending themselves into collapse, and the authoritarianism of the communists would never have a human face in the west without pictures of the Berlin Wall while the prosperity of the West would be seem genuinely distant rather than denied to them without that island of wealth in their midst.
My choosen hometown was in 1990 in a really run down condition like you cant imagine. This lead to the rather laconic saying of the locals: "Potsdam in 90 looked like Dresden 45." The rather funny thing is: Leipzig, Rostock, Greifswald, Dresden (yes even Dresden) had the same saying in one way or another. Much later I had coworkers from Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Moldovia & guess what? They had the same kind of saying. Only the cities changed. Exp: "Wroclaw in 90 looked like Warsaw 45." Its like the whole system was sclerotic, corrput & in no way able to provide its citizens even the most basic lving conditions. So why do I tell you this story? Here is why: Try to imagine a world in which the SovietUnion doesnt spent so much on its military? Would the systemic failures of communism somehow not exist? Would "Potsdam in 90 looked like Dresden 45." still exist?
Of course it would! Perhaps a little bit latter down the line. But the people would still rebel against the system which cant even provide shoes or shower curtains. And thats not because the money is spent on Ak47s but because the central planing comitee decided 500.000 shower curtains are enough. Even though the know the number is to low & the local VEB cant even produce so much because they dont have the resources to do so anyway because the resources went to project Druschba & some local party chieftains snatched some away for themself. Thats the failure of communism. Not a missmangement of priorities, but a whole systemic stroke.
The people dont need West Berlin to see the shortcomings (Not that they ever saw West Berlin...just saying.), they know it better than everybody else could. The dont need agitation for reunification, because the real exisiting communism was agitation enough.

Sorry the be that blunt: But your whole point has no merit. Its the typical anglo saxon world view which makes the people of Easten Europe mere objects of geopolitics rather than the real revolutionaries that they where. Thanks to Solidarnosc and Gorbatschow.
 
Last edited:
My choosen hometown was in 1990 in a really run down condition like you cant imagine. This lead to the rather laconic saying of the locals: "Potsdam in 90 looked like Dresden 45." The rather funny thing is: Leipzig, Rostock, Greifswald, Dresden (yes even Dresden) had the same saying in one way or another. Much later I had coworkers from Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Moldovia & guess what? They had the same kind of saying. Only the cities changed. Exp: "Wroclaw in 90 looked like Warsaw 45." Its like the whole system was sclerotic, corrput & in no way able to provide its citizens even the most basic lving conditions. So why do I tell you this story? Here is why: Try to imagine a world in which the SovietUnion doesnt spent so much on its military? Would the systemic failures of communism somehow not exist? Would "Potsdam in 90 looked like Dresden 45." still exist?
Of course it would! Perhaps a little bit latter down the line. But the people would still rebel against the system which cant even provide shoes or shower curtains. And thats not because the money is spent on Ak47s but because the central planing comitee decided 500.000 shower curtains are enough. Even though the know the number is to low & the local VEB can even produce so much because they dont have the resources to do so anyway because the resources went to project Druschba & some local party chieftains snatched some away for themself. Thats the failure of communism. Not a missmangement of priorities, but a whole systemic stroke.
The people dont need West Berlin to see the shortcomings (Not that they ever saw West Berlin...just saying.), they know it better than everybody else could. The dont need agitation for reunification, because the real exisiting communism was agitation enough.

Sorry the be that blunt: But your whole point has no merit. Its the typical anglo saxon world view which makes the people of Easten Europe mere objects of geopolitics rather than the real revolutionaries that they where. Thanks to Solidarnosc and Gorbatschow.
True enough, the problem is that centrally planned economies can't work in advanced countries. There are far too many products and services to plan. It would be like having to consciously control every cell in your body. There are way too many connections and redundant calculations for you to have a modern centrally planned economy.
 
But didn’t the allies blame Prussian militarism as the reason Germans were so receptive to Nazism in the first place? In that context it would only make sense to distance itself from Prussia
Yeah, the last thing East Germany would want to rename itself is Prussia!
 

Roosevelt

Donor
I wonder if East Germany would change its name to Prussia following the end of communist rule and the rise of conservatism as seen in OTL?
 
True enough, the problem is that centrally planned economies can't work in advanced countries. There are far too many products and services to plan. It would be like having to consciously control every cell in your body. There are way too many connections and redundant calculations for you to have a modern centrally planned economy.
100% this. Although it does not work in developing countries either, it's just less obvious since there are fewer expectations. People were always forced to improvise around the official economy, which kind of worked for a 1950s living standard but most certainly failed to provide the consumer goods you'd expect for the 1980s.

I know I often think about communist systems in an abstract way and have to actively remind myself just how badly the centrally planned economy was really working out in practice. The combination of an oppressive regime and rigid production quotas was always an unholy catastrophe throughout the history of the Soviet Union and its satellite states. Some leaders were merely able to hide the failure of the system better than others.

The decisive problem was not necessarily that the central planning committe was setting the production numbers for shower curtains too low, or fucked up the complex interplay of production chains - although there certainly was enough of that, too. The problem was that the planning committes received and filed reports from their factories that told them that they had overproduced shower curtains every year for the last decade, and had in fact constantly overproduced every single component in the production chain.
Therefore the regrettable lack of any actual shower curtains in the shops clearly could only be the result of reactionary saboteurs who were somehow making them disappear on their way to the customers. The state is chronically short on funds, so shoveling even more resources into the shower curtain factories only for them to be stolen is obviously suboptimal. The only solution is a crack down on saboteurs! And funnily enough, everywhere the secret service is sent to investigate, it soon discovers lots of saboteurs...

Good luck on fixing the hypothethical shower curtain shortage with that as the starting point.
 
Last edited:
I wonder if East Germany would change its name to Prussia following the end of communist rule and the rise of conservatism as seen in OTL?
That name could me a lot of people very nervous especially in Poland and Russia.
People in Saxony and Mecklenburg in East Germany might not be happy with the name Prussia.
 
Last edited:
The major problems the GDR faced were indeed economic. They permanently had to rob Peter to pay Paul. And most, possibly even all of the solutions they came up with only excerberated the situation instead of improving it. When from the second half of the 1960s on the government tried to placate the population by investing more into consumer goods production and home construction to curb the acute housing shortage by building officially 3, in reality only 2 million new LPS flats and raise the general standard of living to not fall too far behind West Germany they could only do so by cutting edges elsewhere. One of those edges was the maintenance of existing housing in the cities (with predictible outcomes), another, at least as, if not even more problematic ones was industry.

Which meant not investing (nearly enough) into the modernisation and sometimes even maintenance of existing industries. Which in turn meant that productivity remained low and fell ever more behind the one in the west. Which proved problematic when it came to exports. To gain western currency to be able to buy on global markets what couldn't be obtained from other COMECON countries the GDR started exporting a constantly growing portion of its industrial output to the west and to find customers there for their not quite competitive products, they sold them at bargain prices. In the 1980s e.g. a surprisingly high proportion of cheaper furniture in IKEA stores was "made in GDR". Which, at least theoretically, wouldn't have been a problem if the production had been efficient and thus cheap enough to make a profit as well as big enough to meet domestic demand. But since, due to delayed or skipped modernisation as well as central planning of its industries, productivity remained low, it meant that not only was domestic demand never met, but that, more often than not, GDR combinates made a net loss with every item they were forced to export.

By the late 1980s the economic situation had become so dire that, to raise valuta income, the GDR would imprison art collectors and confiscate their collections to sell them in the West, then release those and other political prisoners in exchange for payments from the FRG, accept toxic waste from the West at bargain prices, act as intermediary for western arms producers to sell to countries deemed to obnoxious in western countries to get exports permits and many more questionable practices. And still, in 1989, they had no idea how to put together a halfway viable budget for 1990.
 
Last edited:
The major problems the GDR faced were indeed economic. They permanently had to rob Peter to pay Paul. And most, possibly even all of the solutions they came up with only excerberated the situation instead of improving it. When from the second half of the 1960s on the government tried to placate the population by investing more into consumer goods production and home construction to curb the acute housing shortage by building officially 3, in reality only 2 million new LPS flats and raise the general standard of living to not fall too far behind West Germany they could only do so by cutting edges elsewhere. One of those edges was the maintenance of existing housing in the cities (with predictible outcomes), another, at least as, if not even more problematic ones was industry.

Which meant not investing (nearly enough) into the modernisation and sometimes even maintenance of existing industries. Which in turn meant that productivity remained low and fell ever more behind the one in the west. Which proved problematic when it came to exports. To gain western currency to be able to buy on global markets what couldn't be obtained from other COMECON countries the GDR started exporting a constantly growing portion of its industrial output to the west and to find customers there for their not quite competitive products, they sold them at bargain prices. In the 1980s e.g. a surprisingly high proportion of cheaper furniture in IKEA stores was "made in GDR". Which, at least theoretically, wouldn't have been a problem if the production had been efficient and thus cheap enough to make a profit as well as big enough to meet domestic demand. But since, due to delayed or skipped modernisation as well as central planning of its industries, productivity remained low, it meant that not only was domestic demand never met, but that, more often than not, GDR combinates made a net loss with every item they were forced to export.

By the late 1980s the economic situation had become so dire that, to raise valuta income, the GDR would imprison art collectors and confiscate their collections to sell them in the West, then release those and other political prisoners in exchange for payments from the FRG, accept toxic waste from the West at bargain prices, act as intermediary for western arms producers to sell to countries deemed to obnoxious in western countries to get exports permits and many more questionable practices. And still, in 1989, they had no idea how to put together a halfway viable budget for 1990.

Indeed.
Even buying coffee was a problem.
East German coffee crisis
The East German coffee crisis refers to shortages of coffee in the late 1970s in East Germany caused by a poor harvest and unstable commodity prices, severely limiting the government's ability to buy coffee on the world markets. As a consequence, the East German government increased its engagement in Africa and Asia, exporting weapons and equipment to coffee-producing nations.[1]
Coffee crisis of 1977
The coffee crisis began in 1976. The price of coffee rose dramatically after a failed harvest in Brazil, forcing the East German government to spend approximately 700 million West German marks on coffee (approximately US$300 million, equivalent to $1.24 billion today), nearly five times the expected DM 150 million per year.[8] The Socialist Unity Party (SED) leadership restricted the importation of food and luxury goods, while trying to gather sufficient foreign currency reserves to import petroleum.[9] This occurred against the backdrop of the 1970s energy crisis, as the effects of the 1973 oil shock only began to affect East Germany in the mid-1970s.[10]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_German_coffee_crisis
 
Top