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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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Moreover, some young people evidently leave the republic because they do not regard our accounts of the Fascist, militaristic development of West Germany as credible, and not a few young people say that all we do here is work, and that nothing is being offered otherwise and that nothing is going on.

In addition, it is obvious that not enough attention is being paid to the deliberate, planned wooing away of young people.

An examination of youth crime and hooliganism, particularly in the district of Halle, has shown that a number of the leaders and the most active members of the identified groups, clubs, and gangs were young people who had fled the republic and returned, or young people who had arrived recently.

In addition, it appears that the amount of direct contact that occurs between illegal clubs here in the republic and their counterparts in West Germany through the help of postcard exchanges, contest participation, etc., has been underestimated.

2) The number of young people who returned to the republic and the number of young people who moved here increased in the period from January to September 1960.

There were 10,546 returnees in this period, 6,990 males and 3,556 females. During this time, 3,766 young people moved here, 2,475 males and 1,291 females.

As for returnees, we are looking at 900 to 1,000 every month, with the highest numbers having been reached in April with 1,119, in July with 1,025, and in September with 1,068. As for those moving here, we are looking at 350 to 480 young people per month, with the highest numbers having been reached in April with 476 newly arrived youths, in June with 406, and in August with 424.

In most cases, these young returnees state that their eyes were opened up to the realities in West Germany and that their social situation prompted them to take this necessary step.

Very characteristic among young people who move here is the desire to avoid military service. They are coming to the GDR for this reason, or because social conditions, especially in certain industrial sectors like mining, prompted them to leave West Germany.

A not inconsiderable portion of youth also state unequivocally that their conscience prevented them from remaining in West Germany, since it became obvious to them that the same [old] Fascists and militarists are determining policy in West Germany once again and are preparing a war against the Socialist countries, especially against the GDR.

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