A Glimpse of Freedom: Allied Occupation and Political Resistance in East Germany
71 Pages Posted: 4 May 2020 Last revised: 31 Aug 2020
Date Written: March 28, 2020
This paper exploits the idiosyncratic line of contact separating Allied and Soviet troops within East Germany at the end of WWII to study political resistance in a non-democracy. When Nazi Germany surrendered, 40% of what would become the authoritarian German Democratic Republic was initially under Allied control but was ceded to Soviet control less than two months later. Brief Allied exposure increased protests during the major 1953 uprising and reduced Communist support during the last free elections of 1946. We use novel survey data to argue that even a "glimpse of freedom" can foster civilian opposition to dictatorship.
Keywords: Dictatorship, Protests, Elections, World War II, East Germany
JEL Classification: D72, D74, N44, P51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation