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1959

For the 10th anniversary of the formation of the GDR, East German leaders primarily wish for sovereignty and recognition. It is therefore hardly surprising that the Soviets reject the four-stage strategy for the reunification of Germany as proposed at the Geneva conference attended by the Foreign Ministers of the four powers. As such a plan would mean the end of socialism in Germany, the GDR calls for a confederation of the two German states. The West, however, declines negotiations on such a confederation.

One of the GDR’s objects of prestige, the jet airliner 152, crashes during an air show. The accident marks the end of East Germany’s aircraft industry.

What else happened?

In West Germany, the first state-owned enterprise is privatised. The Preussag AG’s initial public offering marks the birth of the first “people’s share“.

The Social Democratic Party ratifies the “Godesberg Programme“, demonstrating its commitment to social market economy.

The  German anti-war film “Die Brücke“ (“The Bridge“) is a big success.

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