Realism and the Classical Cultural Legacy
[ . . . ]
Above all, it is important to recognize the enormous importance of the classical legacy, to study it, and to develop it further under the new conditions, that is, from the standpoint of the struggle for peace and the democratic unity of Germany, from the standpoint of the fulfillment of great tasks within the framework of the Five-Year Plan, whereby a deep and organic connection with the people must be established.
Criticism and Self-Criticism in Art
Of great significance for overcoming the backwardness in art is the intensified continuation of the discussion in all areas of art and literature. This discussion and an open exchange about all mistakes and shortcomings will be the greatest help to our artists and writers themselves. Open discussion, combined with objective criticism, is an important precondition for the further development of art. He who fears criticism of his work will neither advance in his creative endeavor nor overcome his weaknesses.
[ . . . ]
Source: Resolution of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, adopted at the Fifth Session (March 15-17, 1951); reprinted in E. Schubbe, ed., Dokumente zur Kunst-, Literatur- und Kulturpolitik der SED [Documents on the Artistic, Literary, and Cultural Politics of the SED]. Stuttgart: Seewald Verlag, 1972, pp. 178ff.
Translation: Thomas Dunlap