1955 - 1960

Within these years, both states drift apart even further, politically. Especially with regard to economic growth, West Germany outpaces East Germany. Because the borders are open, people are witnessing the diverging developments in the two different systems.

Collection Campaigns

The pioneer organization Free German Youth (German: FDJ) is the central, officially recognized and promoted youth organization in East Germany. Parallel to schooling and studies, it is part of the education system. The ideological goal of this organization is to introduce the youth to Marxism and Leninism, and to raise them to become ‘class-conscious socialists. As in everyday school life, there’re communal collection campaigns for scrap paper and bottles – a symbol for trained willingness to help and of the organization, as well as the conveyance of virtues like diligence, honesty, and equity.


Because more and more people are leaving East Germany, the sector boundaries are being interdicted with provisional barriers.

Student Organizations

Discussions about the re-establishment of the Federal Republic and the founding of the Federal Armed Forces
(May 1955) initiate continuous student demonstration in West Germany and in West Berlin.

Jazz Clubs

Jazz music, under the National Socialistic regime prohibited and referred to as "Negro Music", experiences a comeback, especially in the cities, and gains a large audience in jazz clubs.


Between 1949 and 1961, 2.7 million people defect to West Germany – many of them are academics. Due to a high emigration of physicians, there’re shortages in the East German health system.

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