39. East Germany was officially known as the German Democratic Republic
In 1949, the Soviet Union named its part of Germany Deutsche Demokratische Republik (‘German Democratic Republic’, or GDR). The GDR was ruled by the Socialist Union Party of Germany (SED). This came from a merger of the German Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party of Germany. The SED had a difficult task: to marry German traditions to Soviet Communism. They also had to eliminate the relics of the Prussian aristocracy, and forge a new identity for 19 million citizens. Thus the SED tore down certain statues, monuments, and mansions, creating a strange new world.