The Allgemeiner Deutscher Nachrichtendienst (ADN), German for General German News Service, was the state news agency in the German Democratic Republic (GDR). It supplied news content to GDR newspapers and news broadcasters.
The ADN was established in October 1946 as a GmbH (limited liability company) with the support of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany. In 1953, the GDR's ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED) ordered ADN GmbH dissolved and converted into a government agency with a monopoly on national and international news coverage. Although the ADN was officially subordinate to the Council of Ministers, the SED maintained a careful watch over it as the most important means of disseminating news to the public. In 1956, ADN assumed control over formerly independent photographic agencies in Berlin under the name ADN Zentralbild (ADN-ZB – German: Central Picture).
According to the ADN statute of 1966, its task was to report news in light of the ruling party's program, resolutions of the party's Central Committee and regulations issued by the GDR Council of State and Council of Ministers. Until the end of the 1970s, ADN compiled and distributed news via teleprinters. The ADN began converting to electronic text processing and transmission in 1979, using technology purchased from the Kyoto-based Omron Corporation.
Up to 1989, ADN employed approximately 1,400 people. It did not survive for long after German reunification in 1990. In May 1992, reduced to a staff of 254 and unable to compete with West German news services, the firm was sold to the Deutsche Depeschendienst (German Telegraphic Service). The collection of approximately one million historical photos preserved by ADN Zentralbild, some dating back to the earliest years of photography, were acquired by the German Federal Archives in Koblenz.
The ADN exercised a monopoly over the wire-service business in the GDR, supplying news dispatches, reports, articles and photographs to nearly all newspapers and radio and television broadcasters in the GDR. While newspapers and other periodicals also maintained their own staffs of reporters and editors, ADN set the overall standards for media in the GDR.
Coverage was divided into two categories, Inland (domestic) and Ausland (foreign). Ausland coverage included the political and economic situations in other countries, including the Federal Republic of Germany. All other areas, including politics, the economy. culture, education, science and sports, were considered Inland. There was a separate reporting service for news related to the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, the economic community of socialist states.
ADN maintained domestic bureaus in each of the GDR's fifteen governmental districts, or Bezirke, including East Berlin, as well as a network of foreign offices in socialist and capitalist states. The ADN's foreign correspondents not only covered international news but also supplied the GDR government with confidential reports and news analysis from the countries to which they were assigned.
East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic, was a country that existed from 1949 to 1990, the period when the eastern portion of Germany was part of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. Commonly described as a communist state in English usage, it described itself as a socialist "workers' and peasants' state". It consisted of territory that was administered and occupied by Soviet forces following the end of World War II—the Soviet occupation zone of the Potsdam Agreement, bounded on the east by the Oder–Neisse line. The Soviet zone surrounded West Berlin but did not include it and West Berlin remained outside the jurisdiction of the GDR.
The Socialist Unity Party of Germany, often known in English as the East German Communist Party, was the governing Marxist–Leninist political party of the German Democratic Republic from the country's foundation in October 1949 until its dissolution after the Peaceful Revolution in 1989. The party was established in April 1946 by the merging of the Communist Party of Germany and Social Democratic Party of Germany.
Egon Rudi Ernst Krenz is a former East German politician who was the last communist leader of East Germany during the final months of 1989. He succeeded Erich Honecker as the General Secretary of the ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), but was forced to resign only months later when the Berlin Wall fell.
The Free German Youth, also known as the FDJ, is a youth movement in Germany. Formerly it was the official youth movement of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the Socialist Unity Party of Germany.
Günter Schabowski was an official of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, the ruling party during most of the existence of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Schabowski gained worldwide fame in November 1989 when he improvised a slightly mistaken answer to a press conference question, raising popular expectations much more rapidly than the government planned, so that massive crowds gathered the same night at the Berlin Wall, forcing its opening after 28 years; soon after, the entire inner German border was opened.
The German Democratic Republic was founded in 1949 and was absorbed into the Federal Republic of Germany on 3 October 1990. Its original constitution was promulgated on 7 October 1949. It was heavily based on the "Weimarer Reichsverfassung", such that the GDR would be a federal and democratic republic. Because the original version did not accurately reflect the actual political climate of the GDR, it was decided in 1968 to replace the old constitution with a new version.
The East German uprising of 1953 began with a strike action by East Berlin construction workers on 16 June, and turned into a widespread uprising against the government of the German Democratic Republic the next day. It involved more than one million people in about 700 localities.
Otto Grotewohl was a German politician who served as the first prime minister of the German Democratic Republic from 1949 to 1964.
The political leadership of East Germany was in the hands of several offices.
East Germany had a command economy, similar to the economic system in the Soviet Union and other Comecon member states — in contrast to the market economies or mixed economies of capitalist states. The state established production targets, set prices, and also allocated resources, codifying these decisions in comprehensive plans. The means of production were almost entirely state-owned.
The Peaceful Revolution was the process of sociopolitical change that led to the opening of East Germany's borders with the west, the end of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) in the German Democratic Republic and the transition to a parliamentary democracy, which enabled the reunification of Germany in October 1990. This happened through non-violent initiatives and demonstrations. This period of change is also referred to in German as Die Wende.
The Combat Groups of the Working Class was a paramilitary organization in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) from 1953 to 1989.
As with many Soviet-allied countries prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the government of the former German Democratic Republic applied censorship during its existence from 1949 to 1990. The censorship was practised through a hierarchical but unofficial censorship apparatus, ultimately controlled by the ruling party (SED). Through censorship, the socialist point of view on society was ensured in all forms of literature, arts, culture and public communication. Due to the lack of an official censorship apparatus, censorship was applied locally in a highly structured and institutionalized manner under the control of the SED.
The Council of Ministers was the cabinet and chief executive body of the German Democratic Republic from November 1950 until the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Originally formed as a body of 18 members, by 1989 the council consisted of 44 members.
The New Economic System, officially the New Economic System of Planning and Management, was an economic policy that was implemented by the ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED) of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1963. Its purpose was to replace the system of Five-Year Plans which had been used to run the GDR's economy from 1951 onwards. The System was introduced by Walter Ulbricht to try to improve the performance of the existing central planning, so that the economy might be run in as efficient a manner as possible.
The German Democratic Republic (GDR), German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR), often known in English as East Germany, existed from 1949 to 1990. It covered the area of the present-day German states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Berlin, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, and Thüringen. This area was occupied by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II, with the remaining German territory to the west occupied by the British, American, and French armies. Following the economic and political unification of the three western occupation zones under a single administration and the establishment of the German Federal Republic in May 1949, the German Democratic Republic was founded on 7 October 1949 as a sovereign nation.
The Deutsche Post (DP), also Deutsche Post of the GDR was the state-owned postal and telecommunications monopoly of the German Democratic Republic. The DP was placed under the control of the Ministry for Postal and Telecommunication Services of the GDR(Ministerium für Post- und Fernmeldewesen der DDR - ) - a member of the Council of Ministers of the GDR(Ministerrat der DDR) - and was in operation from 1949 until the reunification of Germany on 3 October 1990.
Gerhard Beil was a politician for the SED and the Minister for Foreign Trade of the GDR.
Paul Wessel was a member of the small secretariat of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, the communist party of the former German Democratic Republic.
Hans-Joachim Spremberg was an East German news photographer with the state news agency. His photographs documented high-profile state occasions along with daily life in East Berlin. He died as the result of a helicopter accident while on an assignment in Libya.