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Political Guidelines for Party Organizations on Preparing and Implementing the Jugendweihe (1957)

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In preparing for and implementing the Jugendweihe, the leadership bodies of the party must pay special attention to the collaboration of the mass organizations. The party organizations in the central leadership bodies of the mass organizations shall deliberate on how they can best support the preparation for and implementation of the Jugendweihe. The problems of the Jugendweihe are to be carried into the membership of the mass organizations through the comrades in charge. Through them, systematic educational and persuasive work is to be ensured. That applies especially to the unions and the Free German Youth. It should be recommended to the comrades on the executive boards of the industrial unions and the unions that they provide, through appropriate measures, more effective help than so far in the work of persuasion and promotion for the Jugendweihe. The problems of the Jugendweihe shall be the subject of discussions and debates within the framework of dealing with political-ideological questions. The union leadership in all enterprises shall offer help and support to the activist groups for the Jugendweihe. Through the Teachers’ Union [Gewerkschaft für Unterricht und Erziehung], teachers and educators shall be acquainted more thoroughly than before with the questions of the Jugendweihe and be persuaded to participate actively in the committees for the Jugendweihe. The teachers at the general-education schools and the institutions for teacher-training, the organs for national education, must contribute to the success of the Jugendweihe. It is their task to get students interested in participating in the Jugendweihe and, above all, to be active as youth lecture leaders. In the process, the work of persuasion and promotion on behalf of the Jugendweihe must extend over the entire year; it should be systematically begun among the children of the lower classes and their parents. Through the comrades in the organs for national education it is to be ensured that the Jugendweihe as a tool of Socialist education is dealt with in the pedagogical councils of the school, in the teacher conferences, and in the curriculum of the institutions for teacher-training. The work of persuasion and promotion for the Jugendweihe is to be intensified in the institutions for teacher-training. The comrades and the party groups in the parents’ councils should use their influence to convince the parents’ council at our schools that their children’s participation in the Jugendweihe is necessary and that they themselves should become active in planning and carrying it out. The task of the youth league, especially the pioneer organization “Ernst Thälmann,” is to familiarize the students in the lower classes with the goals and tasks of the Jugendweihe. The vacation period, especially, is to be used for this. The leadership of the youth league shall proceed to have FDJ members who have already participated in the Jugendweihe speak about their outcomes and experiences in pioneer friendships and groups. This will help to strengthen the work of persuasion and promotion among our young pioneers. The Free German Youth, together with the committees for the Jugendweihe and the activist groups, shall hold meetings for the participants in the Jugendweihe after the Jugendweihe as well. These meetings shall be organized in a youth-appropriate way, in the form of hikes, camp fire evenings, sporting events, and the like.

The comrades in the Society for the Spread of Scientific Knowledge shall support the work of persuasion and promotion on behalf of the Jugendweihe through suitable lectures and lessons, chiefly also through the use of films, especially in rural areas.

If attention is paid to the suggestions provided and to the personal experiences that exist everywhere, we will be able to make the Jugendweihe 1958 into a complete success, as well.

Source: SAPMO-BA ZPA IV 2/14/28; reprinted in Frederic Hartweg, SED und Kirche. Eine Dokumentation ihrer Beziehungen [SED and Church. A Documentation of their Relations]. Neukirchen-Vluyn, 1995, pp. 255-59.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

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