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The Politburo of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany: Report by the Commission on Questions Concerning Republikflucht (June 25, 1956)

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11. The incorrect, that is, contradictory handling of the granting of travel permits to West Germany, the inadequate education regarding certain measures that we have been forced to take to protect the GDR (controls and the like), as well as the excesses that sometimes occur in the process.

12. The bureaucratic and soulless behavior that is frequently found among the functionaries of the state and social organizations; the often exaggerated regulations in the granting of certificates or permits, regulations that interfere with people’s personal circumstances.

13. The inadequate vigilance of various state agencies and social organizations vis-à-vis the enticement methods associated with West German student delegations, pan-German conferences of scientists, and the establishment of business relationships.

14. The often excessive reliance on members of the intelligentsia – especially teachers – in the fulfillment of socio-political tasks, which they consequently regard as coercive.

15. The inadequate utilization of conscious, working people from the GDR who travel to West Germany, as well as the inadequate exertion of influence by the National Front, the unions, and other mass organizations on citizens of the Federal Republic who are in the GDR as visitors.

16. The completely inadequate utilization of returnees and new arrivals from West Germany in the fight against Republikflucht.

Conclusions regarding political measures

It is important to expound, in connection with a broad explanation of the results of the XXth Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the 3rd Party Conference, the great reality of the 2nd Five Year Plan, and, in the process, to show the prospects of growing prosperity for ever broader strata of the population, and to convince them that everyone has the opportunity to live here in security and without fear.

In the process, the population must be made to understand the different development of civic life in West Germany and the GDR, [and] why the building of Socialism in the GDR goes hand in hand with an ever broader unfolding of democracy through the active participation of all strata of the population in the entirety of the state’s political life and – with it – the necessary broadening of the democratic rights of the citizens.

The expanded participation of the population in securing adherence to democratic lawfulness simultaneously demands the utmost vigilance and the greatest public involvement in the struggle against those who break the laws of the republic.

The Office of the Presidium of the National Council shall cultivate a broad discussion among the entire population in connection with the new election of the committees of the National Front. The discussion must reverberate throughout the press and on the radio. In cultivating the popular debate on further democratization, the Office of the Presidium of the National Council shall publish varied materials in keeping with the situation and the attitudes of various strata of the population.

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