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The New Youth Program of the Communist Party (September 21, 1963)

With its new youth program, the SED appealed to the idealism of young people who had been born in the GDR. The program plays with the promise of allowing youths more freedom in choosing their own lifestyles, as long as they were committed to the general goal of building a socialist society.

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What is the Meaning of our Lives?

Sooner or later every young person asks himself the question: “What is the meaning of my life?” Every young person wants to live happily. Most young people wish to assume a respected position among their fellow men. They dream of accomplishing something great. But whether these wishes come true depends not only on the young person himself but also on the era into which he was born, the social order in which he lives and works, the people with whom he lives, as well as the character of the country of which he is a citizen.

Today’s youth is living in an era that is itself very young. In the age of the transition from capitalism to socialism and to communism throughout the entire world. Everything in these days, weeks, months, years, and decades is in a state of upheaval. The world of war, exploitation, competition, and corruptibility is continually losing ground, whereas the new world of peace, social justice, freedom, mutual assistance, and comradely cooperation is growing ever stronger. It is constantly gaining ground and overcoming its own growing pains with ever greater success. In the world of socialism and communism, the individual is becoming more and more the master of his own circumstances and is increasingly putting the forces of nature to work for him.

Right before the eyes of today’s young generation, and with their active participation, the transition of humanity from the realm of blind necessity into the realm of freedom – as predicted by Marx and Engels – is taking place!

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To be the Anvil or the Hammer?

Today’s youth was born not only into a time of upheaval but also one of decision. For peace, social security, social justice, humanity, and true freedom do not create themselves, even in our times; rather they must be achieved anew each and every day. Of course, the world is developing naturally and inevitably towards socialism and communism. But this development will take place all the faster if each young person in the GDR does his work better and quicker today than yesterday, thus helping to force peaceful coexistence and to accelerate the great developments of our times.

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