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The Politburo of the Central Committee of the SED on the Junge Gemeinde [Young Congregation] (January 27, 1953)

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III. Administrative measures

1) The comrades in the Ministry for Popular Education are instructed to:

a) work together with school inspectors and the directors of general-education schools to establish effective control measures, so that religious instruction does not impede the general curriculum or the children’s participation in the Thälmann Pioneers organization;

b) examine whether instruction in ancient languages – Latin, Greek – which has been offered at secondary schools up to now, could not be carried out, in general, within the framework of the relevant course of study at university;

c) to no longer allow religious instruction in the new 10-grade schools.

2. The comrades in the Ministry for State Security and in the Main Administration of the German People’s Police are instructed to provide the press office of the Minister President with materials on the hostile activity of the Junge Gemeinde for the purpose of making it available to the democratic press.

3. The comrades in the State Secretariat for Higher Education are instructed to take and monitor the necessary measures to immediately stop any and all admission of active members and functionaries of the Junge Gemeinde to universities and colleges.

4. After the trials have been held, the government shall inform the leadership of the Protestant Church that:

a) the GDR government has exposed the so-called Youth Chamber East in West Berlin as an anti-GDR organization in religious guise, and that any activity by this Youth Chamber is strictly prohibited in the territory of the GDR. The state and country youth chambers operating under the West Berlin Youth Chamber are to be immediately dissolved. Any and all further activity is to be stopped.

b) Any activity by the so-called Junge Gemeinde is prohibited. The heads of the so-called youth circles will be removed from their function.

5) The district councils are instructed to strictly prohibit any activity by so-called “itinerant preachers” in the GDR, because they are acting as agents of West German and foreign imperialists. Those who appear despite the ban shall be identified and criminally prosecuted. The comrades in the Ministry of the Interior and the comrade chairmen of the district and county councils shall outlaw any assembly and any activity by young people of any religious congregation on the territory of the GDR and in the democratic sector of Berlin that goes beyond the framework of the exercise of religion guaranteed in the constitution (e.g. youth hikes, tent camp, retreat camps, lay theater, lay choirs, Christian academies, and so on). That also applies to activities within the church. The wearing of so-called confessional insignia [Bekenntniszeichen] is prohibited. The publication and dissemination of church youth magazines will be halted.

6) The leaders of former church youth groups, pastors and so on, who violated the decree of the state organs shall be held criminally accountable on the basis of the Law for the Protection of the Peace and other democratic, statutory stipulations.

7) Comrade Interior Minister Stoph is instructed forthwith to present the presidium of the Council of Ministers with a new ordinance on compulsory event authorization and registration for its approval.

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