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The Five-Year Plan for 1951-1955 (1950)

With its first Five-Year Plan, which provided detailed numerical goals for all sectors of the economy and labor for the years 1951-1955, the GDR aligned itself with the Soviet rhythm of the planned economy. At its core was the massive expansion of heavy industry. Industrial production overall was to be nearly doubled, while agricultural production would be boosted by 25 percent. This was to be made possible through stepped-up efforts to provide training to the necessary skilled personnel and through technical progress in manufacturing.

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[ . . . ] These are the main objectives of the first Five-Year Plan to develop the national economy of the German Democratic Republic between 1951 and 1955:

[ . . . ]

I. Industry

1. Reflecting efforts to double prewar levels of industrial production between 1951 and 1955, gross production will be set at DM 43.8 billion for 1955 for all industry, starting from a base of DM 23 billion in 1950.

To provide a secure foundation for general industrial recovery, it is of foremost importance that the existing imbalances in industry be eliminated as follows:

a) Completion of the restoration of the power and fuel industries initiated in the Two-Year Plan and guarantee of their further growth. b) Reconstruction and development of metallurgy in the area of pig iron, steel, and milled materials on a scale that ensures that a maximum supply of metals from our country’s own resources will be available to machine producers. c) Restoration and utilization of the full capacity of the most important and leading machine producers as well as construction of new enterprises producing equipment for the power, coal, and metallurgical industries. d) Restoration and utilization of the full capacity of enterprises that manufacture goods for foreign markets in line with the targets of the import-export plan and the republic’s obligations.

2. Using the 1950 plan as a point of comparison, production levels in the individual industrial sectors are set as follows for 1955 (in percentages):

Power industry






Machine building




Precision engineering and optics




Non-metallic minerals


Wood processing


Textile industry


Light industry


Cellulose and paper


Food industry


[ . . . ]

The output of the power industry must be increased to 1.4 billion DM in 1955, an increase of 77% compared to 1950. Electrical energy generation must expand to 31.6 billion kilowatt hours in 1955. To achieve these goals, all existing electric power capacity must be fully utilized and new capacities of 2.160 megawatts must be launched. In the course of the Five-Year Plan, the disproportionate relationship between boiler and turbine plants must be eliminated by the reconstruction of boiler units and the assembly of new boiler plants. Furthermore, hydroelectric plants and power storage stations must be completely rebuilt. Strict energy conservation by consumers and electrical power producers is the most important criterion for ensuring an uninterrupted supply of electrical energy to the national economy, which requires ever increasing amounts. [ . . . ]

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