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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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8. Entries into the GDR – for purposes of visiting – by West German delegations and individuals whose hostile activities are unmistakable from the outset must be prevented. That applies especially to all official West German student organizations that are consolidated in “East-West Working Groups” and directed by the Kaiser Ministry. In the future, all universities, colleges, and secondary schools can only receive delegations for whom appropriate arrangements have been made on the basis of the most exacting screening process. Individual faculties are to be stripped of the right to invite student organizations.

9. Review of the method of interrogating individuals by the police and security agencies and the keeping of these interrogations to a minimum;

10. Improved expansion of leisure activities, especially through a stronger utilization of stadiums and sports fields for large-scale arts events, for dancing, open-air movie screenings and the like;

11. Changes to the press by creating a larger selection of illustrated press organs, e.g., a special women’s illustrated magazine, and limiting the publication of smaller specialized journals for a narrow circle of individuals. Providing larger amounts of paper to enhance the diversity of the press;

12. Comrade Minister President is requested to change the work of the surveillance organs (surveillance agencies) so that the surveillance by these bodies in enterprises, institutions, etc., is carried out in a way that does not unsettle the workers and members of the intelligentsia during the investigation. The results of the surveillance are to be made public in the enterprise, and the workers themselves are to be more strongly involved in the activities of the surveillance organs.

Additional measures

1. The government of the German Democratic Republic will issue, in the form of a response to questions posed by those who have fled the republic, a statement about immunity from prosecution and the legal status of those who wish to return from West Germany after realizing that leaving the republic was the wrong decision, and after becoming disillusioned by their life prospects in West Germany;

2. The Committee for German Unity will set up a working group that will deal continuously with the enemy’s methods for wooing away individuals and that will create and publish materials that are useful in the struggle against Republikflucht (letters from disappointed individuals, the situation in refugee camps, methods of exploitation, recruitment for the Foreign Legion, etc.);

3. The Presidium of the National Council will engage in a discussion with returnees and new arrivals from the most diverse occupational groups. The results of this discussion will be assessed in a mass brochure;

4. The educational sites of the National Front shall be reorganized and turned into genuine centers for new methods of agitation (meeting places for discussions with various strata of the population, diverse discussion topics – which are above all closely related to special concerns in the respective areas of work, invitations to scientists, scholars, artists, writers, dealing with questions of technology, the question of vocational training, etc.);

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