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 were being used exclusively by "new farmers" who had received land through the land reform program in the Soviet occupation zone. In addition, refugees and families expelled from their homelands were just beginning to move into former manor houses; at the end of April 1947, more than 28,000 refugees and expellees were living in former manor houses in the state of Brandenburg alone. For these people, demolition essentially meant homelessness, since there was already a housing shortage. Consequently, the demolitions carried out in Thuringia led to a rise in the number of expellees and refugees in emergency shelters.
This propaganda poster boasts that farms for 'new farmers' would be built from materials from demolished barracks and manor houses. It should be noted, however, that some of these demolitions were carried out so haphazardly that the building materials were practically no longer usable. Photo by Herbert Hensky.