From 1945 until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) endured the hardships of existing as a religious organization under a Communist regime. An evaluation of the LDS Church within the category of general and minority religions, which serves as a microcosmic evaluation of religion in the GDR, constitutes one part of this study. The uniqueness of the LDS Church and its experience - especially its American ties, ironically earlier a liability and later an asset - make it a candidate for a more independent evaluation, and the second part of this study. The social aspect of religion in the GDR, as it related to those of faith - including the lives of LDS members, constitutes the final aspect of this study. The Leipzig branch of the LDS Church, upon which most of this reserach is based, serves as an example of religious conformity, while proving itself socially, politically, and culturally unique. By placing the LDS Church in the context of religion in general, as well as examinng the atypical experience of the Leipzig branch, a greater understanding can be had of the religious, political and social life within the former German Democratic Republic.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; History



Date Submitted


Document Type





Socialist Unity Party of Germany, SED, East Germany, church history, lds church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Leipzig, branch, GDR, German Democratic Republic