Glossary -- Germany (East)

Abgrenzung
Demarcation or separation. Policy adopted by the East German regime in the early 1970s to emphasize differences in culture, language, history, and world view between East Germany and West Germany.
Abitur
End-of-school examination. Taken by individuals who complete a three-year program following the compulsory ten-year course of study. Passing this examination permits the student to apply to a technical institute or university.
army
In Soviet military usage, an army has at least two divisions. A Soviet or NSWP motorized rifle division has between 10,000 and 14,000 men.
Cominform
The Communist Information Bureau, made up of the communist parties of the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia, France, and Italy. (Yugoslavia was expelled in 1948.) It was formed on Soviet initiative in 1947 and dissolved on Soviet initiative in 1956. The Cominform's primary function was to publish propaganda touting international communist solidarity. It was regarded primarily as a tool of Soviet foreign policy.
D-mark or Deutsche mark (DM)
Basic unit of currency in West Germany. Hard currency, highly sought after in East Germany. In December 1986 its value was approximately DM1.99 to US$1.
extensive economic development
Expanding production by adding resources rather than by improving the efficiency by which these resources are exploited.
front
In Soviet military usage, a front consists of at least two armies and usually more than that number. Two or more fronts comprise a theater of military operations.
GDP
Gross domestic product. The total value of goods and services produced within a country's borders during a fixed period of time, usually one year. Obtained by adding the value contributed by each sector of the economy in the form of profits, compensation to employees, and depreciation (consumption of capital).
GDR mark
Mark der DDR. Basic unit of currency. The East German regime has set an artificial rate that equates the GDR mark to the West German D-mark, making its value in December 1986 about 1.99 GDR marks per US$1. GDR marks are not exchanged on world markets for hard currencies.
GNP
Gross national product. Obtained by adding GDP (q.v.) and the income received from abroad by residents less payments remitted abroad to nonresidents.
liquidity shortage
The lack of assets that can be readily converted to cash.
Main Political Administration
The organ of communist party control over the armed forces of the Soviet Union and the other Warsaw Pact countries. An agency of both the communist party and ministry of defense, it is responsible for conducting ideological indoctrination and propaganda activities to prepare the armed forces of war.
Marshall Plan
A plan announced in June 1947 by the United States Secretary of State G.C. Marshall for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. The plan involved a considerable amount of United States aid.
1955 Warsaw Treaty
Established the Warsaw Pact (see Appendix C).
1957 Treaty of Rome
Established the European Economic Community or "Common Market."
Nomenklatur
From the Latin nomenclatura. Concept derives from the Russian word nomenklatura, which denotes an enumeration of important positions and the candidates who are examined, recommended, and assigned to fill them by communist party committees at various levels.
opportunity cost
The value of a good or service in terms of what had to be sacrificed in order to obtain that item.
Ostpolitik
Eastern Policy. The West German foreign policy introduced by Chancellor Willy Brandt that resulted in treaties with the Soviet Union, Poland, and East Germany recognizing de facto post-World War II borders. Ostpolitik brought closer relations between the two Germanies.
Spetsnaz
Soviet special forces. From Russian voiska spetsial'nogo naznacheniia, "special-purpose forces."
valuta mark
Statistical accounting unit used by East Germans in foreign trade transactions. Rate of exchange depends on value of transfer ruble used by Soviet Union. Statistical deviations cause difficulties in determining value of valuta mark vis--vis United States dollar and West German D-mark.