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Excerpt from an Explanation of the Two-Year Plan for 1949/50 (June 30, 1948)
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Enterprises grouped according
to hectares of land

Number of enterprises

Their land ownership

1939

1946

1939

1946

in %

in %

in %

in %

from  0.5  to  5.0

56

44.5

10

11.7

from  5   to  20

33

47.5

30

49

from  20  to  50

8.5

6.8

21

22.2

from  50  to  100

1.4

1

9

8.1

over 100

1.1

0.2

30

9

 

Total

100

100

100

100



In 1939, small and medium-sized enterprises owned only 40.2% of all land compared with 60.7% in 1946. The importance of large enterprises has declined significantly, particularly in terms of land ownership. In 1939, there were 6,300 large enterprises with over 100 hectares of land, meaning that 1.1% of all enterprises owned 29.8 percent of all available land. In contrast, since the end of land reform, large private enterprises have ceased to exist.

Land ownership by farmers remains unaffected

The liquidation of the dominance of Junkers and large landowners in the countryside has strengthened the position of the working classes in the rural population. Owners of small and medium-sized farms have assumed the most important position.

In keeping with their position in villages, small- and medium-sized farmers should fill leading posts in the Association for Mutual Farmers’ Assistance, in the agricultural cooperatives, and in other agricultural bodies. Though few in number, owners of large farms still continue to play an influential role in the countryside. The small- and medium-sized farmers, together with new farmers, must produce leaders from their own ranks and fight to preserve the democratic character of their organizations. Through the Association for Mutual Farmers’ Assistance, efforts must be made to prevent small, medium-sized, and new farms from selling land, cattle, and inventory, and a vigorous fight must be waged to strengthen these farms economically.

The Junkers, large landowners, and their supporters have spread rumors that a new land reform will be launched that could affect farmers’ holdings. These rumors are a deliberate lie and are tantamount to libel. Land ownership by farmers was and remains intact, but the power of the Junkers and large landowners in rural areas has been destroyed forever.



Source: Excerpt from an Explanation of the Two-Year Plan for 1949/50 (June 30, 1948), in Dokumente der Sozialistischen Einheitspartei Deutschlands [Documents of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany], vol. II, Berlin, 1951, pp. 22-25; reprinted in Ernst Deuerlein, ed., DDR [GDR]. Munich, 1966, pp. 76-79.

Translation: Adam Blauhut

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