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Explanations from the Ministry of the Interior of the GDR on the Situation of the Former Resettlers (October 20, 1953)

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Through the purchase of goods by means of the resettlement loans [in the time] before the two large price reductions in 1951, a not inconsiderable part of the credit extended by the state flowed into the budget through household surcharges. For that reason, it seems sensible to us to grant the following relief to improve the economic situation of the former resettlers:

I. All borrowers will be given a debt reduction of 20% on the loans they took out.

For borrowers who have already paid their loans above the reduced amount or entirely through early or on-time repayments, a corresponding credit shall be made to their savings account.

The time at which the borrower can use it shall be determined in accordance with the availability of goods and the financial situation.

II. Borrowers whose income in the first half of 1952 was no more than DM 900 will receive a total debt forgiveness of 50% on the loans they took out. For each additional family member, the income level rises by DM 180 per half year. If the repayment already exceeds 50% of the loan amount taken out, the procedure shall be as described above.

III. If the borrower dies and the heirs have an annual income of no more than DM 1,800, the remaining amount shall be forgiven.

IV. For borrowers who did not take possession of objects they purchased because of fraudulent schemes by sellers (craftsmen, tradesmen), the loan is to be forgiven if 20% of the purchase price was paid to the Savings and Loan.

In addition, consideration should be given as to whether those borrowers whose income is below DM 900 per half year should be given a 75% reduction of their loan debt or complete forgiveness.

Further, additional help in the form of loans to furnish apartments or build single-family homes requires careful examination, for when the Resettler Law was passed, a part of the population, which had also suffered considerable losses (those damaged by bombing), expressed its unhappiness that it was not receiving this aid.

Source: BArch, DO 2/49, folios 140-143; reprinted in Dierk Hoffmann and Michael Schwartz, eds., Geschichte der Sozialpolitik in Deutschland seit 1945. Bd. 8: 1949-1961: Deutsche Demokratische Republik. Im Zeichen des Aufbaus des Sozialismus [History of Social Policy in Germany since 1945, Vol. 8: 1949-1961: German Democratic Republic. Under the Sign of the Build Up of Socialism]. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2004, no. 8/118.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

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