On October 7, the Soviet Union followed suit, establishing the German Democratic Republic, or East Germany.
According to the website Zeitguide Germany, which has an excellent guide to the philosophy and evolution of Soviet-driven East German architecture, communist propagandists were determined to assert the country's "brand-newness" and emphasize its split with "old" West Germany.
East Berlin, as the part of East Germany that Westerners and tourists would see first, became a showcase city -- particularly Karl-Marx-Allee (for a time known as Stalinallee): "Thousands of workers were hired to widen the avenue and then line it with creamy white, Stalinist apartment buildings—hewn in the so-called Wedding Cake style—as well as movie theaters, stores and restaurants."
But the supply of money wasn't inexhaustible, and the economy began to stall: "Low production costs trumped prestige projects and the era of Plattenbauten emerged. These pre-fabricated, cookie-cutter apartment buildings were cheap to produce and easy to assemble. Their primary purpose–most of which were apartment buildings built in the outskirts of historic city centers–was to replace buildings destroyed in the war and deliver the GDR promise of housing for all. Indeed, each high-rise had (and still has) the capacity to house hundreds of families in cramped quarters."
- East Germany
- West Germany