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Report by the SED Factory Party Organization at the VEB Bergmann-Borsig (1955)

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There are colleagues who believe that these goods should be distributed free of charge to old-age homes and kindergartens. In Toolmaking, the issuing of the Christmas bonus was welcomed. There is unhappiness about the fact that a limit has been set since the Christmas bonus is a matter of tradition. In the basic organization Plant Management, in the section Work Standardization, there is talk that the supply of textiles and food in the GDR is inadequate. In the section Workforce Guidance the colleagues likewise maintain that the confiscated goods are too expensive. They think that the range of goods in the GDR is too small. In particular, there is a lack of finished woolens. There are also not enough onions. In the other sections, as well, colleagues are saying: our ‘East Mark’ has greater purchasing power than the West Mark, and now we are charging 4.50 Dm [!] for a confiscated chocolate bar.

Brief assessment:
Our agitators report that our colleagues have been more open to our arguments recently. Apart from the unclear and negative statements recorded here, the larger [part] of our colleagues are open-minded; they criticize the ongoing workflow inadequacies in production, and express their opinions openly. One shortcoming in our agitation work is that our agitators are not constantly discussing political and economic questions with their colleagues. A grave lack of clarity, which must be eliminated by our agitation work, can be seen in our colleagues’ failure to understand the role of the power of our workers and farmers and, especially, the character of our nationally-owned enterprises. Discussions persistently reveal ignorance when it comes to the power of the class of workers. Some of the misapprehensions identified here were cleared up through the effort of the qualified agitators. Discussions about free elections are now few in number in our enterprise. The sort of conditions under which free elections will be held has been made clear to the colleagues.

[Signature C.]

Source: LAB, SED-BPA. IV-7/109, No. 30; reprinted in Peter Becker and Alfred Lüdtke, Akten, Eingaben und Schaufenster. Die DDR und ihre Texte. Erkundungen zu Herrschaft und Alltag. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1997, pp. 211-14.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

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