Conventional wisdom has held that the German Democratic Republic (GDR) is the most loyal ally and obedient satellite of the Soviet Union. The GDR skillfully managed to expand its visible presence in quite a few countries of the Third World, Westpolitik proper remained unimportant. The "Group of Soviet Armed Forces in Germany" is deployed in the GDR. The fact that its official denomination carries the notion of Germany and not that of GDR reminds the East German leaders of their inferior status. The technological change diminishes the strategic importance of Germany and Central Europe in global politics. The evolving crisis in Poland confronted the GDR with a new situation. The sequence of deaths of political leaders in Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union produced a new kind of funeral diplomacy. Never before in the history of the Soviet Union were non-communist state and government officials invited as official guests for funerals.