German History since 1945
Feb. 10, 2000
Lecture 10: The 1960s: Stagnating Socialism in the East
Proposals due in one week. Note: they must be resubmitted with the final paper!
Film "The Promise:" discussion--What did you learn about life in East Germany?
What did you think of the two stasi watchdogs ("Betreuer" literally 'care-taker')?
Why did Konrad's father go along with the East German state? Prof. Lorenz?
What is the turning point in the father's commitment to the East German state?
What did Sophie miss in the West (besides Konrad)? Prof. Lorenz? Harald?
Can you retrace the ups and downs of the East German state?
What distinguishes Konrad's behavior from his brother-in-law Harald's?
What do Konrad's untied shoelaces represent?
"Freedom is always the freedom to dissent" (Rosa Luxemburg)
"Freedom is the acceptance of the necessary" (official East German aphorism)
EIEIO of the 1960s in East Germany (textbook pp. 202-207)
Economic growth kept pace with the West
population 1950-61: 1817 mio., then stable to 1970. [West 1950-61: 4964 mio.]
collectivization of agriculture (figures for Dec.)
1952: 3%; 1953: 12%; 1957:25%; 1959: 45%; 1960: 85% 1967: 86%
standard of living
% of households
electric washing machines
International situation (Liberman in Soviet Union):
NES (July 1963): less central planning, profits as goal, wage incentives, consumer goods
ESS (1967): recentralization
Elites (think of Konrad's father, an Prof. Lorenz vs. Konrad himself)
bureaucrats, intellectuals: rewards=access to goods and travel
Ideology: Konrad vs. his Stasi watchdogs
"anti-fascist democratic state": Buchenwald 1957, Ravensbrück 1959, Sachsenhausen 1961
Rosa Luxemburg, Berlin airlift, "people's army"
Opposition and support among the populace: people "voting with their feet"
Elites were increasingly discredited