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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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This neglect of political-ideological work among youth, as a whole, has resulted in many unclear ideas and negative arguments by young people themselves.

Such arguments are:

“Building up Socialism means deepening the rift,
My fatherland is Germany,
As far as the development of Germany is concerned, the Russians and Americans will work that out between themselves,
The capitalists must be better after all; otherwise we wouldn’t want to catch up with them,
Given the difficulties that exist, we’ll never make it,
The development of West Germany really isn’t as bad as you make it out to be,
The establishment of the Council of State means that now Water Ulbricht has seized all the power for himself,
What’s the point of proposals for disarmament, a peace treaty etc., the Americans will do whatever they want anyway,
Freedom and democracy really do reign in West Germany; at least you can do whatever you want there.”
(this is linked, in particular, with listening to the Luxemburg station, to jazz music, etc.)

The aforementioned examination of the causes of Republikflucht has also made it perfectly clear that the gravity of this situation is being underestimated by parents, older workers in the workplace, but also by the party and the youth leadership.

For example, numerous economic functionaries but also workers in the machine factory in Halle expressed the view that Republikflucht among young people is a passing fad, or that one should let young people sow their wild oats since they would eventually return home one day.

In the assembly plant in Halle, the head of the work division stated: “What can you really do about it? My boy no longer listens to me, and here, too, they already come of age at eighteen, and then parents don’t have a say anymore.”

That an underestimation [of the situation] really does exist can also be seen in the assessment of 33 cases of Republikflucht by young people in the county of Fürstenwalde, where the following was identified as the cause of Republikflucht:

Nine joined relatives [in the West], 7 went because investigative proceedings had been launched against them, 6 out of fear of punishment, 3 joined their parents, 3 joined their spouses, 3 because of plans to get married, and 2 because of family quarrels.

From this, however, it is not apparent that a not insignificant portion of youth is fleeing the republic because they see no prospects for themselves in our republic, and because they believe that the West will offer them all the freedom and opportunity they need to develop in an unimpeded way.

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