Historical Social Research

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Jürgen W. Falter & Cornelia Weins: Die Wahlen in der Sowjetisch Besetzten Zone von 1946. Eine wahlhistorische Analyse [1999]

»An historical analysis of the 1946 elections in the Soviet Occupation Zone«. In the fall of 1946 the Soviet Occupation Zone held its first – and until 1990 – its last elections that granted other parties besides the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) the right to run for election. Nevertheless, in this context it would go too far to speak of free elections. In many communities of the Soviet Occupation Zone, the Soviet Military Administration (SMAD) systematically prevented the candidacy of middle-class parties like the CDUD (Christian Democratic Union of Germany) and LDP (Liberal Democratic Party of Germany) in order to strengthen the claim for the government of the SED. Analyzing these communities’ results of the county council elections, this article shows that the practice of hindering middle-class party involvement in the elections lead to an increase of voters for the remaining middle-class parties or in voting abstention. In the end, the result was the absolute majority of votes for the SED.