As Honecker The social program at the beginning of the 1980s was throttled in view of the continuing economic weakness, repression (“decomposition” and “extensive” surveillance) and the ubiquity of the oppressive apparatus came to the fore again. The SED’s monopoly of power in state and society, however, could no longer compensate for the party’s lack of legitimacy. The contradiction between ideological guidelines (design of the »developed socialist society« as a prerequisite for the »gradual transition to communism«) and social reality (increase in officially tabooed social inequality, dissatisfaction of many citizens with social living conditions) grew and undermined the claim to leadership the SED in state and society. With the increase in housing construction, concentrated on the prefabricated housing estates in the cities, or expanded opportunities to visit the Federal Republic of Germany, the GDR leadership tried to reduce dissatisfaction. However, the economic prerequisites for a continuation of social policy were lacking. The technical basis of the industry could no longer keep pace with international standards. Honecker’s calculation, ignoring the scientific-technical revolution, to realize an excessive social policy and in this way to stabilize the system of rule, could not work out in the long run. Learn more about Germany and Europe, please click ethnicityology.com.
After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (December 1979) and in connection with the development around the free trade unions in Poland since August 1980, the climate in German-German relations deteriorated, although the GDR leadership tried to limit the negative effects (11.– December 13, 1981 visit by Chancellor H. Schmidt in the DDR). Even after the change of government in Bonn in October 1982, meetings at the intergovernmental level were continued – in some cases intensified. In the East-West dispute over medium-range missiles in Europe in connection with the NATO double resolution of December 12, 1979, the GDR’s efforts to assert its own interests vis-à-vis the Soviet Union and to protect the relationship with the Federal Republic of Germany as little as possible through this dispute became clear burden. Internally, the international arms discussion resulted in the further emergence of autonomous peace groups, which – in conflict with the official state doctrine – advocated disarmament in East and West. Despite increasing east-west tensions, both German states continued their treaty diplomacy with occasional setbacks (e.g. Cultural agreement of 6.5.1986, September 1987 agreement on scientific-technical cooperation, environmental protection and radiation protection). Numerous framework and individual agreements also showed the further development of relations within Germany (high loans from the Federal Republic of Germany for the GDR, sale of the S-Bahn to the Senate of Berlin [West], expansion of the Berlin-Hamburg road connection, etc.). The state visit Honeckers, with all diplomatic honors, from 7th to 11th September 1987 in the Federal Republic of Germany was v. a. seen in the GDR as the final recognition of statehood.
GDR citizens’ requests to leave the country repeatedly led to conflicts with the authorities; In some cases, the Protestant church took on those willing to leave the country and thus attracted increased opposition from the state. The churches were the only major social institutions to offer freedom for alternative political currents and were therefore subject to the state’s suspicious observation (especially by the State Security Service). In the Soviet Union under the slogans ” glasnost ” and ” perestroika ” by the head of state and party leader M. Gorbachev The SED leadership strictly rejected the social and cultural reform processes that had been initiated, despite the hopes that would arise in the population, and allowed those who think differently to continue to be systematically monitored and prosecuted. However, it could not prevent the opposition movement from growing in breadth at the end of the 1980s and the end of the “custodial state” (Rolf Henrich [* 1944]) as well as the actual participation of citizens in shaping the state and society demanded a truly democratic basis. In 1986 the citizens’ movement came into being “Initiative Peace and Human Rights”, which was consciously formed outside the protection of the Church, but with her social support. The political pressure of a rapidly growing number of citizens wishing to leave the country on the government to officially allow them to leave the country (forever), as well as the increasing networking of the various civil rights and peace groups, prompted the security organs of the state (state security service and public prosecutor’s office) to undertake this development counteract with summonses, house searches or arrests. In November 1987 members of the »environmental library« of the Zion community in Berlin (East) were arrested, but released in January 1988 due to growing protests in other cities in the GDR. On January 17th R. Luxemburg and K. Liebknecht ), citing R. Luxemburg, called ontheir government to respect civil rights, arrested and sentenced, but later – partly under deception – deported to the Federal Republic of Germany (inter alia B. Bohley , Vera Wollenberger [* 1952, today’s name: Lengsfeld]; civil rights movement).