The Middle East was one of the crucial battlefields of the global Cold War between the Soviet Union and the West; it was also a region in which East Germany played a salient role in the Soviet bloc’s antagonism toward Israel. From 1953, when the German Democratic Republic (GDR) signed its first trade agreement with Egypt, until 1989, when the Communist regime in the GDR collapsed, East Germany opposed the state of Israel and supported Israel’s enemies in the Arab world, providing arms, training, and other support to countries and terrorist groups that sought to destroy Israel. From the mid-1960s until 1989, but especially from 1967 to the mid-1980s, both the Soviet Union and the GDR were in an undeclared state of war against Israel.
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© 2014 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology