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Comments on the Resettler Problem: The Organization Department of the Central Secretariat of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (February 24, 1949)

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We propose:

1. Greater clarification of our position on the Oder-Neisse line as the peace border.

2. The Implementation of Living Space Law No. 18
a) through new directives to all communal and housing offices
b) through the adoption of resolutions on concrete measures by our party units

3. Solidarity days in support of Order 209 (construction of new farmhouses) and stepped-up housing construction in all of the zone’s cities. All parties, mass organizations, and the administration should participate.

4. Construction of workers’ settlements by all nationally-owned enterprises a) through construction enterprises,
b) through the deployment of activists.

5. New construction of residential houses through the initiative of the communal administration. The task of the housing office is not only to distribute available living space, but also to promote housing construction.

6. Direction of all skilled and other workers through the labor office in cooperation with the housing office.

7. No further discussion of the “resettler problem;” instead, only a discussion of our work and social policy.

The term “resettler” must disappear as soon as possible. It must be brought to the attention of all comrades that henceforth everything will be done and said only from the social point of view.

Behind the term resettler or refugee often lurk concealed class enemies who are seeking to win back old positions of power under this guise.

signed Schäfer

Source: SAPMO-Barch, DY 30/IV, 2/5/243; reprinted in Udo Wengst, Geschichte der Sozialpolitik in Deutschland. Bd. 2/2: 1945-1949: Die Zeit der Besatzungszonen. Sozialpolitik zwischen Kriegsende und der Gründung zweier deutscher Staaten. Dokumente [The History of Social Policy in Germany, Vol. 2/2: 1945-1949. The Era of the Occupation Zones. Social Policy between the End of the War and the Founding of Two German States. Documents]. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2001, no. 250, pp. 566-67.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

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