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Erich Honecker on the "Unity of Economic and Social Policy" (June 15-19, 1971)

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How much drive, how much dogged effort, how much creative energy on the part of the workforce stands behind this declaration! We are aware of the greatness of the demands and the sometimes difficult circumstances under which this accomplishment was achieved. But five years of diligent work have made our socialist Fatherland stronger and more beautiful. The working class, the cooperative farmers, members of the intelligentsia, all segments of our population, all classes and social strata, the most diverse occupational groups, the numerous production collectives, women and men, young and old – all have made their contribution to this.

As you know, Lenin characterized the task of economic buildup as extraordinarily significant, because the global struggle is fought primarily on this field. “If we accomplish this task,” Lenin said, “then on the international level we will have clearly won, once and for all.” We have always let ourselves be guided by this insight and have focused the party’s efforts on it in particular.

Our national income rose during the past five years by more than 25 percent; in 1970 it already amounted to 108 billion marks. Once again, a great contribution was made by the working class, which, together with the socialist intelligentsia and other members of the workforce, increased the production of industrial goods by 37 percent. Today it takes our factories less than nine months to produce as much as they did in all of 1965.

[ . . . ]

As we now embark on the new Five-Year Plan, we not only have the good material results of our work in the last reporting period to lean on. We are also richer in knowledge and experience when it comes to taking full advantage of the economic laws of socialism.

[ . . . ]

The draft version of the directive says: “The main task of the Five-Year Plan is to further increase the material and cultural standard of living of our people on the basis of the rapid development of socialist production, increased effectiveness, scientific-technological progress, and higher work productivity.”

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