GHDI logo

"Ten Years of Social Policy in the Two German States": Article by the Former Director of Social Security of the GDR, Paul Peschke (October 1959)

page 2 of 4    print version    return to list previous document      next document

Spending 10 to 15 billion for nuclear armament simply rules out the promised prosperity. A state of emergency has already arrived in the Ruhr region. Still, this policy of social insecurity represents not merely tactical, but primarily fundamental efforts. Social welfare policy is to be depressed to a level even lower than in Bismarck’s time. The social insecurity of workers in the early capitalist period is the wishful dream of clerical notables and employers’ associations. The emancipation of workers into a ruling class that will carry the future is to be turned back to the estates-based society. The fourth – the last –, the serving estate, that is the place within society that the Christian social doctrine of political Catholicism assigns to the working class, so that the estate of lords will be forever preserved. Hitler was not able to do so. Still, the CDU is trying, for it has become the heir to Hitler. That is its mission. Without a working class that has been clapped into the chains of estate, that has turned away from class consciousness and the will to political power, the German imperialists who are lusting for revenge through military conquests cannot proceed to realize their great power plans.

The destruction of the state social security, achieved by German workers through struggles in the [18]80s and based on equalization out of shared solidarity, is therefore an important component of the reactionary domestic policy of the CDU. This has already been achieved to a considerable degree with pension insurance in 1957 though the use of a broad and costly social demagoguery.

The following state obligations, expanded since the Bismarck period, were done away with:

1. The basic allowance of 40 DM that was added to every pension and was paid by the state.

2. The minimum pension regulations, which, together with the basic allowance, prevented pensions from dropping below the minimum level. (Since then, mini-pensions of less than 50 DM have been appearing with growing frequency. Beginning in 1962, they will be the rule again for a large segment of pension recipients.)

3. Guaranteed provision of pensions granted. The stated reason is to adjust pensions to the movement in production (dynamic rent). That allows the CDU, if it so desires, to lower the level of the pension nominally. Since 1957, the reserves are being dipped into, and the annual reserves of the workers’ pension insurance are declining.

4. The work-disabled were removed from their insurance rights and turned over to the “welfare” of the state bureaucracy.

5. Old age insurance was stripped of its social character. The social insurance relationship, which is based on equalization, has been largely adapted to that of an individual private insurance, in the process of which the old age pension was changed into a pure contribution pension without any state subsidy. Every insured person is to receive his account statement annually.

first page < previous   |   next > last page