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German History in Documents and Images
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Grocery Display in a Factory-to-Consumer Store in East Berlin (October 10, 1953)
After the shock of the June 17th uprising, the scheduled "building up of Socialism” [planmäßiger Aufbau des Sozialismus] proclaimed back in 1952 proceeded at a slower pace. Through a series of measures introduced within the framework of the "New Course," the SED regime tried to stabilize its rule once again: the work quota increases that had sparked the uprising were rescinded; production in heavy industry was scaled back to the benefit of consumer goods manufacturing and foodstuffs production, and prices in the government's HO [Handelsorganisation] shops were reduced by as much as 25 percent. The Soviet Union strongly supported the "New Course" by forfeiting reparations payments, decreasing occupation costs, and sending large shipments of food. Displays like the one shown here were supposed to win the population over to the SED leadership's "New Course." Photo by Hildegard Dreyer.