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How accurate is it to say that the economic achievements of the GDR were limited?

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Introduction

´╗┐Lewis Cheesman How accurate is it to say that the economic achievements of the GDR were limited? There has been much discussion over the economic achievements of the GDR. The GDR were extremely successful with how they managed the economy, however, they could only be successful to a certain extent. It was evident that the GDR would never be able to compete economically compared to the likes of the USA, USSR and the FRG. Although, this does not mean their economic achievements weren?t successful with minor limitations and the smaller economic potential. The major success within the GDR was the agricultural production success that they had after collectivisation. Collectivisation caused many problems in the GDR because the vast amount of people that were emigrating to the west. This is evident when 15,000 East German farmers left to go to the West as they?d rather go to the FRG rather than be forced into collectivisation. ...read more.

Middle

The economic downturn that followed the oil crisis of the mid 1970s produced a clear sign of stagnation in the GDR. The debt significantly increased and although the GDR had improved by a large amount as they had a basis of basically noting to begin with. The amount of debt that had arose was quite a substantial amount which they would struggle a great deal with to eliminate. In addition, when it came to consumer goods and the world market they were less competitive than most due to the inferior quality of goods that they were able to offer. This was not helped by the fact that the production costs were increasing because of the rising costs of essential imports that were needed by manufacturing industries. This situation led to historians such as Holzweissig to describe the GDR?s economy as ?moribund?, which lead to poor living standards which could result in a poor reflection on the consumer economy. ...read more.

Conclusion

This highlights the success of the extensive welfare provision compared to other countries around the world but this did not hide the fact that the GDR were still some way behind other countries when it came to living standards which is a significant reason why a lot of people in East Germany wanted to move to the West. Conclusively, it is not that accurate to say that the economic achievements of the GDR were limited. The GDR had huge success in the agricultural production through the use of collectivisation which had a positive effect on the economy. Similarly, the GDR?s GDP helped the GDR economy out perform all other Eastern Bloc countries as well as countries like Britain. Despite, limitations with the lack of a range of consumer goods which resulted in poor living standards, overall, the progress made from the beginning where they had no infrastructure and were stripped for soviet reparations, to becoming the 10th largest economy in the world was a huge success. Thus, proving it is inaccurate to say the GDR?s economic achievements were limited. ...read more.

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