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Images - Economy and Politics in the Soviet Zone and GDR
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1.   Propaganda Photo: Land Reform in the Soviet Occupation Zone (September 1945)
Between September 1945 and December 1948, a sweeping land reform program was carried out in the Soviet occupation zone. Under the motto "Junker land into farmers' hands," agricultural operations....
Propaganda Photo: Land Reform in the Soviet Occupation Zone (September 1945)
2.   "Activist" Adolf Hennecke (1948)
Starting in 1947, the SED and the economic authorities of the Soviet occupation zone attempted to raise economic productivity. Outdated machinery and the concentration of scarce resources in a few....
3.   Propaganda Poster: "Farms for 'New Farmers' from Materials from Demolished Barracks and Manor Houses" (May 1948)
The pointed and politically motivated demolition of manor houses and farm buildings on estates was not only inefficient, but also senseless and counterproductive: about half of all buildings on estates....
Propaganda Poster:
4.   The Barn and Storehouse of the Hesserode Estate are Torn Down (May 1948)
Land reform drastically worsened the existing shortage of residences in the countryside; at first, there were only about 16,000 housing units available for the 210,000 "new farmers" to whom land....
The Barn and Storehouse of the Hesserode Estate are Torn Down (May 1948)
5.   "Nationally-Owned Enterprises – The Backbone of the Economic Plan": Representatives of Nationally-Owned Enterprises Meet in Leipzig to Prepare for the Two-Year Plan for 1949/50 (July 4, 1948)
Shortly after the establishment of the Economic Council of the Bizone, the Soviet Military Administration (SMAD) issued Order No. 138 of June 4, 1947, which established the German Economic Commission....
"Nationally-Owned Enterprises – The Backbone of the Economic Plan": Representatives of Nationally-Owned Enterprises Meet in Leipzig to Prepare for the Two-Year Plan for 1949/50 (July 4, 1948)
6.   Farmer’s Family from Bruchstedt (Sondershausen District) (July 1950)
In the postwar period, the primary goal of GDR economic policy was to bring the supply of foodstuffs and consumer goods back up to pre-war levels. This remained the goal until well into the 1950s.....
Farmer’s Family from Bruchstedt (Sondershausen District) (July 1950)
7.   May Day Demonstrations (1951)
The tradition of workers' demonstrations on May 1st, which had existed in Germany since the first strikes of the German Kaiserreich in 1890, was also preserved in the GDR. But with the adoption of....
May Day Demonstrations (1951)
8.   Eisenhüttenkombinat Ost [Steelworks Combine East] (October 1951)
To safeguard GDR steel production and build up heavy industry (a central objective of the first....
<I>Eisenhüttenkombinat Ost</i> [Steelworks Combine East] (October 1951)
9.   Stalin's Death: Sea of Flowers on Stalinallee in East Berlin (March 9, 1953)
The Stalinization of the GDR was made manifest by party purges. One such purge was directed against Communists who had spent time living in exile in the West, such as Paul Merker, and led to many....
Stalin's Death: Sea of Flowers on Stalinallee in East Berlin (March 9, 1953)
10.   Fleeing to the British Sector under Fire from the Barracked People’s Police (June 17, 1953)
On June 16, 1953, East Berlin construction workers abandoned their work sites on Stalinallee and at Friedrichshain Hospital to protest....
Fleeing to the British Sector under Fire from the Barracked People’s Police (June 17, 1953)
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