the domination of communism in the world
In 1971, Walter Ulbricht resigned as President of the SED. He was succeeded by Erich
Honecker around whom the creation of the so-called cult of the individual began. Although
the economic situation in the GDR was much better than in other Eastern Bloc countries, it
significantly differed from the standard of living in the FRG. Despite this, the intimidated
society did abstain from opposition similar to that in Poland, Hungary or Czechoslovakia.
Cases of anti-communist demonstrations were scarce. These include two events in 1976: the
self-immolation of Pastor Oskar Brüsewitz and the protests by intellectuals against the return
of the famous bard Wolf Biermann to the GDR. The main symbol of the contestation of the
communist system was still the escape to the West.