Members of the Worin Agricultural Cooperative in Oderbruch Discuss their Work (1955)
In 1952, the Second Party Conference of the SED passed a resolution to “build up Socialism” and issued an accompanying appeal to establish agricultural cooperatives [Landwirtschaftliche Produktionsgenossenschaften or LPG]. In 1959-60, greater pressure was put on farmers to join the cooperatives as the country pressed ahead with (forced) collectivization. The number of members of agricultural cooperatives increased sharply from 435,365 in 1959 to 945,020 in 1960. In that same period, the number of female members rose from 191,866 to 425,147; this meant that half of the workers in agricultural cooperatives were women. In 1960, approximately 19,300 agricultural cooperatives in the GDR controlled 84 percent of the country’s farmland. Photo by Gerhard Kiesling.