GHDI logo

Excerpt from an Explanation of the Two-Year Plan for 1949/50 (June 30, 1948)

page 2 of 3    print version    return to list previous document      next document

This shows that the people have important holdings in the economy of the Soviet occupation zone. Large, monopolistic industrial and financial conglomerates were dealt a crippling blow when they were dispossessed in one part of Germany. The people were given ownership of thirty-eight brown coal mines, smelting works, and other companies in the Flick group; a total of fifty-nine companies belonging to the electronics groups Siemens and AEG; thirty-eight factories of Continentale Gas-AG; nine Mannesmann factories; fourteen enterprises in the Rütgers group; eleven factories in the Christian Dierig-AG textiles group; seven Henkel-AG chemical factories; eight factories of the Reemtsma group; as well as further key production facilities owned by a number of major German concerns.

Key companies in the transportation industry are also in the hands of the people. A total of 3,328 kilometers of railway lines once belonging to private companies were nationalized, including Pommern, Mühlhausen, Lüben, Graf von Arnim, and Bachstein. Currently, 98.6% of all railways are nationally owned, while 1.4% are owned by private companies.

By contrast, motor transport and inland shipping are primarily in private hands. Eighty-five percent of vehicle fleets and tugboats are owned privately and only 15% are owned by the public. Only 12% of the inland fleet is nationally owned. [ . . . ]

Junkers and large landowners, as the most important pillars of German imperialism and fascism, once played a leading role in agriculture, but even that sector has radically altered its features. As a result of land reform, the Junkers, large landowners, and other Nazi and war criminals have lost all their land and other means of production. Their reign over the countryside has been broken. A total of 6,837 farming enterprises run by Junkers and large landowners in the Soviet occupation zone have been dispossessed of 2,472,000 hectares of land. Together with the holdings of war criminals and active Nazi party members, and a few state and city holdings, some 3,147,000 hectares of land have been transferred to farmers. This land was distributed to 204,530 families – primarily to landless farmers and resettlers [Umsiedler] – as well as to 79,700 enterprises operated by farmers with little land, and to 191,700 enterprises operated by small-scale leaseholders and industrial workers. The number of recipients of land thus stands at 475,930, and if we add the 38,800 farming enterprises that were given forested land, the total figure amounts to 514,730. Furthermore, villages and national administrative bodies were given land and forests once belonging to large landowners. Land reform has changed social relations in the rural areas of the Soviet occupation zone, as the following table shows:

first page < previous   |   next > last page