The German Democratic Republic (GDR; German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik [ˈdɔʏtʃə demoˈkʀaːtɪʃə ʀepuˈbliːk] or DDR), informally known in English as East Germany, was a state within the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War period. From 1949 to 1990 it governed a region of Germany which was occupied by Soviet forces at the end of the Second World War — the Soviet Occupation Zone of the Potsdam Agreement, bounded on the east by the Oder-Neisse line. The Soviet zone surrounded West Berlin, but did not include it; as a result, West Berlin remained outside the control of the GDR.
East Germany has often described as one of the satellite states of the Soviet Union. Soviet occupation authorities began transferring administrative responsibility to German communist leaders in 1948, and the GDR began to function as a state on 7 October 1949. Soviet forces however remained in East Germany throughout the Cold War, and in 1953 they helped the GDR police to suppress a popular uprising. Until 1989, political power in the GDR was monopolized by the Soviet-backed communist party, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED). Other parties could only function within the SED-dominated National Front of Democratic Germany. The Stasi security force was used to repress dissent.
The Fernsehturm (English: television tower) is a television tower in the city centre of Berlin, Germany. Close to Alexanderplatz, the tower was constructed between 1965 and 1969 by the administration of the German Democratic Republic. It was intended as a symbol of Berlin, which it remains today, as it is easily visible throughout the central and some suburban districts of Berlin. With its height of 368 meters, it is the tallest structure in Germany.