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German History in Documents and Images
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The "New Course" Fills Shelves (July 25, 1953)
The “New Course” [Neuer Kurs] – a new GDR government economic policy – was supposed to raise the standard of living by increasing the availability of consumer goods. It was announced in March 1953 and adopted in June 1953. Together with food deliveries from the Soviet Union, the reforms of the “New Course" resulted in well-stocked shelves in East German grocery shelves. The photograph below, for example, shows the HO [Handelsorganisation] delicatessen on Dimitroffstraße in East Berlin on July 25, 1953. Although the “New Course” led to certain material improvements, it did not address the work quotas increases that had been approved in May of that year. Photo by Gerhard Kiesling.