Analysis of the link between the Soviet occupation of East Germany and internal resistance within the German Democratic Republic reveals that ongoing payment of reparations by East Germans out of local production—via the Soviet’s ownership of prominent local companies—affected both the incidence and the intensity of unrest at the precinct level during the uprising of June 17, 1953. This result is robust when controlling for variation in the presence of Soviet military bases and deaths in Soviet nkvd Special Camps, as well as a host of regional factors potentially correlated with differences in unrest.

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