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Republikflucht by Young People, Young Returnees, and New Arrivals in the Period from January to September 1960 (November 10, 1960)

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Although the materials at hand only provide a very incomplete picture of the social situation of these young people, the following overview emerges:

a) Young people employed in industry and agriculture make up the majority of those who fled the republic; a not inconsiderable portion are young skilled workers. It is a grave problem that these young people come from core areas in these districts, areas that are important for the national economy.

In the district of Halle, for example, these core areas are the city of Halle itself, the county of Merseburg (here, the large chemical enterprises, in particular), and counties like Wittenberg, Dessau, Weißenfels, and others.

b) A not insignificant portion of young people who fled the republic are young teachers at general education schools, university students, students at vocational colleges, secondary school students, and Gymnasium graduates.

Of these young people, 2,006 left the republic in the period from July to September 1960. Here, the number of young teachers rose from 39 in July to 292 in September, the number of university students rose from 52 in July to 107 in September, and the number of secondary school students and graduates rose from 176 in July to 345 in September.

It is very characteristic for these secondary school students and Gymnasium graduates to have left the GDR with their parents. For example, in the city of Rostock, 31 out of 42 young people left the republic with their parents.

In assessing the flight of the young intelligentsia, it is very important to consider that there are points of concentration in the various districts. For example, sixteen young intellectuals from the Office for Weights and Measures in Berlin fled the republic; all of them had studied in Jena and Halle.

Furthermore, the Institute for Postal and Telecommunications in Berlin is another point of concentration, for example.

An examination of the causes of Republikflucht mainly points to an underestimation of the [need for] continuous, persistent, political-ideological work among young people.

Many of the leading party organs and the basic party organizations, but especially the leadership of the youth organization, continue to rely solely on the vanguard of the youth, neglect the activation of the entire youth organization, and thereby disregard the most important precondition for getting at young people as a whole.

A manifestation of this neglect can be found in the fact that, for example, the content of the Council of State’s programmatic statement to the Volkskammer is unknown to many young people.

The reason for this, among other things, is that when many functionaries appear before young people, they talk about this programmatic statement without explaining it to young people.

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