East Germany History Reading Recommendations
September 26, 2022 2:40 PM   Subscribe

I'm finishing up Ian Kershaw's "The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945." I realized that I have a limited knowledge of early East Germany. Specifications within....

Looking to read about East Germany in the first 10-15 years of USSR rule. I know how afraid Germans in the east of Germany were afraid of their USSR conquerors and am looking to read about their reactions and the general climate in USSR-controlled East Germany from mid-1945 to 1960.

posted by kuanes to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I really enjoyed Mary Fulbrook's The People's State which does cover the whole lifespan of the DDR. It's a social history, which sounds like what you're looking for. She's written a history of Germany post-WWI which might be of interest as well, but the name escapes me (The Divided Country?)
posted by hoyland at 4:19 PM on September 26, 2022

Best answer: The Lesser Evil: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer 1945-1959
posted by slimeline at 12:00 AM on September 27, 2022

Best answer: It only partly covers East Germany, but "Aftermath: Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich" by Harald Jähner was a fascinating insight into what actually happened after WW2 ended. Germans have their own somewhat rose-tinted myths which skate over some of the ugliness.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 12:57 AM on September 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

East Germany (1944-1956) is one of the countries covered in Anne Applebaum's Iron Curtain, which has long been on my to-read list. It got a lot of praise and awards; there's an interesting review here.
posted by FavourableChicken at 5:23 AM on September 27, 2022

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