The Socialist Unity Party of Germany (German: Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, SED), often known in English as the East German Communist Party, was the governing Marxist–Leninist political party of the German Democratic Republic (GDR; East Germany) from the country's foundation in October 1949 until its dissolution after the Peaceful Revolution in 1989. The party was established in April 1946.

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  • The Socialist Unity Party of Germany (German: Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, SED), often known in English as the East German Communist Party, was the governing Marxist–Leninist political party of the German Democratic Republic (GDR; East Germany) from the country's foundation in October 1949 until its dissolution after the Peaceful Revolution in 1989. The party was established in April 1946. The GDR was a one-party state but other institutional popular front parties were permitted to exist in alliance with the SED, these parties being the Christian Democratic Union, the Liberal Democratic Party, the Democratic Farmers' Party, and the National Democratic Party. The SED made the teaching of Marxism-Leninism and the Russian language compulsory in schools. In the 1980s, the SED rejected the liberalisation policies of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, such as perestroika and glasnost, which would lead to the GDR's isolation from the restructuring USSR and the party's downfall in the autumn of 1989. Walter Ulbricht was the party's dominant figure and effective leader of East Germany from 1950 to 1971. In 1953, an uprising against the Party was met with violent suppression by the Ministry of State Security and the Soviet Army. In 1971, Ulbricht was succeeded by Erich Honecker who presided over a stable period in the development of the GDR until he was forced to step down during the 1989 revolution. The party's last leader, Egon Krenz, was unsuccessful in his attempt to retain the SED's hold on political governance of the GDR and was imprisoned after German reunification. The SED's long-suppressed reform wing took over the party in the autumn of 1989. In hopes of changing its image, on 16 December it renamed itself the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), abandoning Marxism–Leninism and declaring itself a democratic socialist party. It received 16.4% of the vote in the 1990 parliamentary elections. In 2007, the PDS merged with Labour and Social Justice (WASG) into The Left (Die Linke), the fifth largest party in the German parliament following the 2017 federal election. (en)
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  • The Socialist Unity Party of Germany (German: Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, SED), often known in English as the East German Communist Party, was the governing Marxist–Leninist political party of the German Democratic Republic (GDR; East Germany) from the country's foundation in October 1949 until its dissolution after the Peaceful Revolution in 1989. The party was established in April 1946. (en)
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  • Socialist Unity Party of Germany (en)
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  • Socialist Unity Party of Germany (en)
  • Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands (en)
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