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Popular opinion and the Berlin Wall

SED Central Committee (Party Organs Dept.), 13 Aug. 1961 (6 a.m.)

Party Organs Dept. Berlin, 13.8.1961

I n f o r m a t i o n i n B r i e f

on the first measures and opinions on the implementation of the Council of Ministers resolution of 12.8.1961

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1. According to previous available reports all blockading measures were essentially complete by 6 a.m. At Friedrichstraße station there were still starting problems with the S-Bahn towards 6 a.m. Com.[rade] Kramer personally took over control and undertook the appropriate measures.

There were further problems at Pankow S-Bahn station and Warschauerstraße U-Bahn station. At Pankow S-Bahn station there were quite large gatherings of passengers, since the reswitching of the power supply had not yet been completed by 6 a.m.

The majority of the BVG's [Berlin Transport] leading functionaries were at a party, which delayed the necessary measures. The director of the BVG, Com.[rade] Paschau, stated, "you've gone and picked a very inconvenient time for it".

Despite repeated requests the first operational units of the Transport Police only arrived towards 6 a.m.

2. Contingency measures were taken by the Kreisleitungen. At all stations barred to public transport, as well as sector crossing-points, agitation groups were sent into action, distributing leaflets with the Council of Ministers resolution. By 5.30 a.m. agitation groups of 4 to 5 comrades were in action at a total of 28 stations. For the crucial S-Bahn stations, incl. Friedrichstraße, Alexanderplatz, Ostbahnhof, reinforcements for the agitation groups are envisaged.

The Prenzlauer Berg Kreisleitung immediately informed associates in the Party apparatus as well as Party secretaries in the residential organisations and factories, requesting them to report to Kreis headquarters. At 9.30 a.m. an activist meeting is taking place in the Dimitroffstraße gasworks.

Prenzlauer Berg Borough Council assembled all leading functionaries and agreed the following measures:

All works leaderships will be convened in order to prepare measures for the employment of former Grenzgänger.

Introduction of security measures for public utilities and the securing of food supplies for the population.

The KL Oranienburg implemented all party activists in all communes adjacent to West Berlin and at all border railway stations. At both the LEW plant and the Hennigsdorf Steel and Rolling Mill discussions on the measures were held with the night shift.

3. Overall there is calm at the crossing-points and stations and the majority of the population, especially older citizens, attentively read the leaflets and show understanding for the measures.

At the Glienicke checkpoint in Kreis Oranienburg, 50 citizens wanted to travel to West Berlin in the early morning hours. When the comrades from the Border Police explained the new government measures to them, they said:

"we see why the measures are right"

and went home.

Part of the population find these measures too hard.

In isolated cases there are opinions such as these:

"Now we can no longer visit our relatives."

"The measures are directed against the West Berliners, but most West Berliners are peaceable people."

"Now we've lost our pension and everything. How is that going to be sorted out?"

There are negative discussions and provocations mainly among youths and Grenzgänger.

"Leave me out of all this mess. Do you still call yourselves Germans?" (Französiche Straße U-Bahn station)

"You don't even need to give me the things (meaning leaflets), we're living in a prison anyway." (Baumschulenweg S-Bahn station)

"The DDR is escalating the situation. No-one can stand it any longer." (Ostbahnhof)

There were about 300 people at Friedrichstraße S-Bahn station towards 5.45 a.m. One group of youths tried provocation and said:

"Now I've got my few reddies over there and can't get at them anymore. So that's democracy - it's really coming out in its true colours today."

The majority of the population present behaved calmly and did not allow themselves to be provoked.

Similar provocations by youths occurred at Treptow and Schönhauser-Allee S-Bahn stations and at "Walter Ulbricht Stadium" U-Bahn station.

[...]

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SED Central Cttee (Party Organs Dept.), 13 Aug. 1961 (9.30-11.30 a.m.)

Party Organs Dept. Berlin, 13.8.1961

2nd Information in Brief

on the situation in the period from 9.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m.

=======================================================================

According to reports from our associates there are gatherings of approx. 500 to 600 people, mainly youths, at the Wollankstraße and Warschauer Straße crossings.

At the Wollankstraße crossing-point a crossing to West Berlin was provocatively demanded by youths and women. Thus one women shouted:

"Let's go into the middle of the road and charge through. We are all Germans, we want to go across to our brothers."

Youths yelled:

"It's a scandal that you allow yourselves to guard the border and not to let us across. You're not Germans."

The discussions with the populace are being undertaken almost exclusively by the Volkspolizei. No Party agitators have made an open appearance.

The Bezirk leadership was notified of this state of affairs and has immediately dispatched 70 agitators to Wollankstraße crossing-point.

Near the Brandenburg Gate approx. 100 curious passers-by are currently gathered, without the agitators speaking to these people.

In the opinion of our in-house associates the Army and Volkspolizei cordon in this sector is too weak to guarantee full security.

The People's Police are being distracted from their actual security measures since the number of agitators in action is insufficient.

Further provocations occurred at Bornholmerstraße station, in Drisenstraße (Prenzlauer Berg), and Schönhauser Alle and Französische Straße stations, in which it is still predominantly youths who are involved.

On the eastbound platform of Friedrichstraße station the group of travellers is increasing considerably. Towards 10.30 a.m. there were about 1,000 or more persons, some of whom are debating violently, so that traffic in the direction of Ostbahnhof is only getting underway very slowly. At this moment in time sidings are being added to the S-Bahn tracks at Friedrichstraße station in order to guarantee a better flow of traffic. This work will only be complete by about 1 p.m..

One West Berlin engine-driver and one S-Bahn service-vehicle driver refused to transfer their trains to the democratic sector.

The latest reports of the Berlin Bezirk leadership indicate that negative and sometimes very aggressive views are on the increase.

"We really are the ones who are doing the dividing."

"That's not freedom or democracy when you can't even visit your relatives."

"It gets better all the time. Now we are putting up borders inside the city."

"With tanks how can you be for peace?"

"These measures are the scummiest thing ever. We are all Germans and being German means being loyal."

"We'll soon be having "free" elections, then we'll take our revenge. They'll have to drive us into the voting-booths with truncheons." Pointing at the wire obstacles, another said: "Socialism victorious, striding irresistibly forwards!"

[...]

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SED Central Cttee (Party Organs Dept.), 13 Aug. 1961 (11.30 a.m.-3.30 p.m.)

Party Organs Dept. Berlin, 13.8.1961

13-5

3rd Report in Brief

on the situation in the period from 11.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.

=======================================================================

The gatherings of people at the border crossings were pushed back by the comrades of the Volkspolizei and the agitators, so that there is no longer any contact with the groups on the other side.

The most recent hot spot was the Brunnenstraße border crossing.

Approx. 400 people, predominantly youths, provoked the members of the Volkspolizei with whistles and insults.

"Act like Germans - We demand free elections - Berlin has always been united" etc.

There was also a border breakthrough by a youth there, another was caught.

The intervention of the VP largely dispersed the crowds of people.

Obviously the action of the agitators in Brunnenstraße is inadequate.

At Eberswalderstraße border crossing approx. 500 people on the West Berlin side tried a provocation by whistling and howling. On the territory of democratic Berlin groups of youths keep trying to regroup after being broken up repeatedly. Security measures were stepped up.

Discussion and Unusual Occurrences

At Malsdorf station there was a confrontation with an SPD member who even showed his party book. He said among other things:

"What, you're distributing this filth?"

When the comrades began a discussion with him, he walked away.

On the 69 E tramroute an off-duty BVG worker was engaging in provocation near the Tierpark:

"They must be afraid. 300 tanks are in action and they have welded up the tramlines."

When a comrade accosted him he whined about bananas for his children. The conductor supported our comrade.

A colleague at Stalinallee station was attacked by 8 hooligans in Fruchtstraße while collecting posters. The VP has intervened and made arrests.

In Kaulsdorf two youths tried to tear down the proclamations but were arrested.

In the Lichtenberg gasworks there was a threatened strike by a colleague employed there. He was arrested.

Whispering propaganda is being spread in the Weißensee district that no-one will go to work on Monday.

Far and wide the argument crops up:

"We are the ones who are suffering. The West Berliners are allowed across, but not us."

Or:

"Will they start shooting now?"

In the morning Party action meetings took place in all Berlin districts and were extraordinarily well-attended and filled with an excellent fighting spirit.

The Prenzlauer Berg Kreisleitung even had to hold two action meetings with 700 to 800 comrades each.

All comrades displayed great willingness and were ready to go to the crisis points and agitate there.

At the action meetings the comrades were informed at the same time about the measures in the coming days, especially concerning the securing of production, organisation of declarations of assent through the Socialist Brigades and occupation of important production and supply sectors.

Addendum:

According to reports from our associates the police at Puschkinallee are not sufficient to secure the border. Here there were two border breakthroughs one of which occurred across the canal. Furthermore, it is reported that at various points the entry of western vehicles has increased. Except for Oderbergstraße, where several hundred passers-by are standing around, the situation at the other border crossing-points has normalised. Towards 5 p.m., according to information from associates of the Central Committee Women's Department, the police had to engage the group of persons in Oderbergstraße with tear gas.

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SED Central Committee (Party Organs Dept.), 22 Sept. 1961

Party Organs Dept. Berlin, 22.9.1961

13-5Kn/Kie

I n f o r m a t i o n

on the Politico-Ideological Condition of the Working Class and Individual Strata of the Population before and after the 13.8.1961 and on the Leadership Activity of the Party Organs

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I. The Ideological Condition of the Working Class and of Individual Strata of the Population before 13.8.1961:

Among the majority of the population before the 13.8 there was clarity on the necessity of the signing of a peace treaty with both German states. The emphasis was upon the fact that 16 years after the war the German people had a right to receive a peace treaty.

Among sections of the population, especially among the working class, on account of intensified armament in West Germany, the constant revanchist provocations, and the intensified slave trade (Menschenhandel), there was the view that such a condition can no longer be tolerated in the long term. Many working people demanded effective measures against these developments from the government. A demand was made, especially by large sections of the Berlin population, to introduce hard measures against Grenzgängertum.

With the aid of the resolutions of the 13th Plenum of the Central Committee the Party began to intensify its mass political work and attained greater clarity among members of the Party and sections of the population on such questions as the

Achievement of Higher Economic Successes for the Strengthening of the DDR as an important contribution to securing peace and the solution of the national question and the intensification of the struggle against Bonn's slave trade.

A large section of the workers as well as other strata of the population welcomed the demand of the Soviet Union and our government to sign the peace treaty by the end of 1961, and supported this with declarations of assent and extraordinary feats of production.

A section of the working people of all strata, however, did not yet recognise that the peace treaty is an effective means to check the militarists in West Germany and secure peace. These people in particular had no real idea that a peace treaty which is signed with only the DDR is an improvement and an effective measure against preparations for war.

Often the question was asked of how we intend to check West German militarism, dissolve the espionage centres in West Berlin, and turn West Berlin into a demilitarised Free City, if the peace treaty is only signed with the DDR.

The constant proposals and offers of negotiations to West Germany and the West Berlin Senate were seen as pointless by sections of the working class, because they were rejected by the Adenauer government and the West Berlin administration, and sometimes our patience in a series of questions was interpreted as a sign of weakness. Our strength to undertake effective steps against West German militarism was underestimated.

By the non-recognition of the real balance of power in the world, the dangerousness of West German militarism, and the different character of the two German states, there were waverings and reservations among a section of the population. They entertained illusions about the path to the reunification of Germany which manifested themselves in their belief that reunification could be achieved by "Free Elections" in all Germany. In this connection discussions on "Free Elections" are on the increase.

Among the middle strata, sections of the youth, intelligentsia, especially medics, and in part among workers in smaller factories, as well as collective farmers, the following views were evident:

a) Why are we suddenly in such a hurry to sign a peace treaty? The rapid signing of a peace treaty with just the DDR will be followed by economic reprisals by the West which will bring us to our knees.

b) The signing of a peace treaty with just the DDR can lead to war.

c) Quite large sections of the collective farmers, especially Type I, did not believe in the socialist long term, hoping that there would be another change, and avoided collective work. Overall there was a strong wait-and-see attitude in many LPGs, which the enemy exploited by trying in all Bezirke to organise a broad movement of resignations.

d) There were many discussions that upon the signing of a peace treaty all contacts with relatives and travel to West Germany would be interrupted. Particularly the academic and medical intelligentsia were of the opinion that the peace treaty will lead to the cessation of travel to the capitalist exterior and leave no more scope for visiting congresses and conferences for the purpose of the exchange of scientific expertise.

e) In the southern Bezirke, especially in Erfurt and Suhl, the argument cropped up again that Thüringen will be traded for West Berlin. There were also formal legal discussions on the application of the Potsdam Agreement and Four-Power Status.

Among the larger section of youth, especially students, there was a wait-and-see attitude and some allowed themselves to be misused by the class enemy for provocations.

Travel to West Germany as well as the recruitment of working people from the Republic by the Bonn slave-traders increased.

The difficulties with materials and food supplies occurring temporarily in a few Kreise took up a lot of space in popular discussion. These difficulties clouded many working people's vision of our perspective, called the reality of our policy into doubt and, often in connection with the solution of the Main Economic Task, were used as evidence that we were not in a position to beat West Germany in peaceful competition. Many working people inferred from this that we were also not strong enough to secure peace in Germany.

The discussion whipped up by the opponent on material and food difficulties also led to a section of the progressive forces, even Party members, no longer discussing the basic questions of our policy offensively and retreating from confrontations with enemy forces. Thereby for a time the discussions on difficulties stood in the foreground and overshadowed the problems of the struggle for a peace treaty. This retreat enabled the opponent to exploit smaller sections of the working class in several factories to make unjustified demands.

II. The Ideologicial Condition of the Working Class and Individual Strata of the Population after 13.8.1961:

The measures of 13.8 have led great sections of our population to think through carefully the basic questions of our policy. The activity of a substantial part of the population has heightened.

Among large sections of the population the standing of the Workers' and Peasants' State and our Party has grown. The consistent and smooth implementation of the measures, which the class enemy was powerless to resist, brought out more clearly for many citizens the true balance of power and the superiority of the socialist camp. Among all strata of the population it has become clearer that nothing will change in the social order of the DDR.

The measures of 13.8 have thrown the basic questions into sharper relief and shifted them into the centre of debate, and the questions of food supply, and to some extent of western travel, have receded into the background more.

Many working people said: "Finally an open atmosphere reigns and people know what to do next. The air is purer and we have been relieved of a nightmare."

Some of our people were forced by this measure carefully to think through questions which they had previously avoided, and to make up their minds. Many who have previously wavered could be consolidated and a number of enemies of the Workers' and Peasants' State isolated.

A further high-point was the visit by Comrade Titov [the second Soviet cosmonaut] to the DDR. Especially in the Bezirke of Berlin, Magdeburg, Halle, and Leipzig he evoked great enthusiasm. This visit contributed substantially to clarifying perspectives and consolidating German-Soviet friendship. Many working people, especially youths, saw in Major Titov the new Communist man and promised to emulate his example.

The Situation in the Working Class:

The majority of the working class stands behind the measures of the Council of Ministers of 13.8.61 and underscores its agreement by concrete obligations and higher performance in production. Many workers say that we are finally speaking an open and clear language, and that these measures should have come earlier.

Currently there is greater open-mindedness and readiness among workers to discuss the basic political questions with our comrades. Whereas before the 13.8.61 parts of the working class behaved passively towards enemy arguments and provocations, it is now evident that class consciousness is consolidated and they are standing up offensively to enemies as well as actively supporting state measures. Through the greater clarity on the balance of power there is more insight that the continual strenthening of our Republic is the decisive factor in securing peace in Germany. Many factories in the Republic achieved record production performances precisely in the days following the 13.8.61, even though many comrades and colleagues were in action in the Kampfgruppen.

The raising of responsible consciousness is also expressed in the growing number of obligations on the basis of the letter from the "Otto Krahmann" brigade and the appeal by the workers of VEB Electrocoal for a production drive. Thus, 2,485 brigades in Bezirk Karl-Marx-Stadt and 1,650 in Berlin participated in these movements.

In the Bezirke and Kreise occurrences of excesses in the form of production commands, performance of special shifts, and overtime for plan-fulfilment are being corrected and a genuine mass initiative developed.

In many factories, especially in Berlin, there is a visible upturn in the raising of work discipline and there are numerous examples where the workers appear less tolerant of shortcomings in the organisation of work.

Especially after the exposition of Comrade Walter Ulbricht (television address and election rally) a large part of the working class became aware of the dangerousness of West German militarism, which led to many workers becoming clear that the measures of 13.8.61 secured peace and the way to the unity of Germany leads only through the checking of West German militarism.

The workers, especially in Berlin and its surrounding districts, see the measures too narrowly and only as a blow against the Grenzgänger.

Neither does one section of the workers understand that this measure was necessary in the interests of securing peace and had to be implemented using military forces.

This is shown in arguments such as:

"I am for the government measures, but were tanks and barbed wire really necessary?"

"You don't build trust with barbed wire barriers."

Among sections of the workers there is also a great lack of clarity on the path to the solution of the national question. They are not yet clear that the way to the unity of Germany will only be solved under the leadership of the working class and through checking West German militarism, and that they bear the chief responsibility, especially through the constant consolidation of our socialist means of production. This is shown in the demands for "Free Elections" and in arguments such as:

"Our Fatherland is not the DDR, but all of Germany."

"Barbed wire deepens the division of Germany."

"Let us go to West Germany, then we can act for the unity of Germany." Etc.

In a section of the working class personal material interests predominate. Their main question is: "As long as the money's right". For them things are developing too slowly and they would like to live today the way we have envisaged in the Plan for 1965. It is not clear to these workers that the victory of socialism must be fought for in a hard class battle by means of all-round plan-fulfilment. They have not yet grasped that the securing of peace and the reorientation of our national economy in the struggle for Störfreimachung requires personal sacrifices from everyone.

Furthermore, it must be noted that even among sections of the working class there are discussions that the resumption of nuclear testing by the Soviet Union is an expression of the heightening of the danger of war.

Furthest behind as ever in the clarification of the basic questions are the small VEBs as well as the semi-state and private factories. In these factories there are still many instances of discussions on the cessation of travel to the West, on food and material supplies, and in this connection doubts on the correctness of our policy.

Not all provocateurs have been unmasked yet. Known negative elements are now behaving calmly, no longer say anything on political issues and sometimes try to camouflage themselves by progressive behaviour.

The Situation among the Farmers:

Upon the implementation of the measures of 13.8.61 among a large section of the collective farmers readiness increased to discuss basic political questions and to participate actively in economic tasks.

A large part of the collective farmers who were previously wavering and reticent has actively joined in the harvest, taken up collective work and pooled plots of land, and declarations of resignation have gone down.

Many wavering individuals had their illusions about a change in the social order of the DDR removed and it was made clear to them that their perspective lies in the development of collectives.

In some border Kreise in particular, as well as Bezirk Suhl and Bad Salzungen, there is an upturn in collective work. In these Kreise there are no more villages where there is no collective working. Influential farmers who had hitherto behaved negatively are sometimes at the head of collective work. In the entire Bezirk of Suhl of 409 Type I LPGs 328 have joined in the "Albinshof Competition" and 334 keep cattle collectively. All LPGs now regularly conduct members' and executive meetings and have expanded the executives with new cadres. Of decisive importance in this clarification process was the offensive unmasking of negative and enemy forces in the countryside with the help of the working class.

In spite of this positive development there is in many Bezirke, among a considerable number of collective farmers, still confusion and wavering about the long term. Under the pretext of having no time because of the harvest or work, they evade political discussion and refuse societal collaboration. For example in the commune of Röpsen in Kreis Gera-Land collective farmers refused to stand as candidates for the People's assemblies because of "overwork".

A considerable section of collective farmers still orientate themselves strongly towards the individual smallholding.

A series of collective farmers who have withdrawn their declarations of resignation, remain formal members of the LPG, but do not want to work collectively.

In Kreis Potsdam-Land there are for example still 987 smallholders (including fruit farmers).

Because of the insufficient collective production there are in a series of Bezirke such as Rostock, Frankfurt, Cottbus, Schwerin etc., considerable difficulties in the fulfilment of the Plan in animal production.

In a series of collectives it is evident that elements who acted provocatively before 13.8 are now behaving calmly. In a series of hamlets, especially in the border Kreise, former Hamlet Farmer Leaders and other Nazi functionaries are acting very positively in order to deceive and escape a change of residence.

The Situation among the Intelligentsia:

Sections of the intelligentsia, especially the leading cadres, demonstrated a firm attitude to the government measures after 13.8.61 and sometimes identified themselves with its resolutions in open declarations.

After the television address of Comrade Walter Ulbricht the majority of the technical intelligentsia in industry is assessing the situation more realistically and sometimes expresses its assent openly.

The majority of the pedagogical intelligentsia supports the measures of our Republic of 13.8.61. Many teachers and educators recognise that on 13.8 the West German ultras were dealt a defeat and the peace was saved. In numerous statements teachers drew the conclusion of decisively improving the patriotic education of the pupils.

Academics employed at universities and high-schools for the greater part welcome the government measures and took a positive stand on them.

In general one can say that a large part of the older intelligentsia in particular stands positively to the measures of our government. Among the young intelligentsia, especially in human medicine, there is much confusion and sometimes provocative statements. They still possess no clarity on the character of the two German states. Discussions such as "they want peace over there as well" or that we might be exaggerating our estimates of the role of West German militarism, show that western ideology is still widespread. Some seek the causes of the gravity of the situation in the measures of our government of 13.8.61. The great significance of the measures of our government for peace is still not acknowledged by many members of the intelligentsia. They see in the measures of 13.8 only a bolt against Republikflucht. They describe the measures as too hard, as an infringement of personal liberty, and say barbed wire and tanks are not an expression of humanity etc.

A considerable section of the medical intelligentsia fears that with the measures of 13.8.61 the content of the Politbüro communiqué on the medical intelligentsia has been superseded. This is shown in arguments such as:

"The top salaries of the intelligentsia are now being lowered to the level of the People's Democracies."

"The closure of the borders brings with it new implications for intelligentsia policy."

"Now we will get a real taste of the dictatorship of the proletariat." etc.

The typical attitude of most medics is currently that of "first of all wait and see until the whole thing has settled down." At the moment things are too stirred up. Everything will have to become clearer before they might take a position on things.

The ideology of a so-called third way is the main cause of their rejection of our Marxist-Leninist science and thereby of the leading role of the working class in our society. They consider both capitalism and socialism as anti-humane, but see the lesser evil in capitalism. As members of the intelligentsia they consider themselves to be above classes.

The Situation among the Middle Classes:

Whereas a section of the members of the Mittelstand is open-minded towards our measures, identifies with them openly and supports them with economic measures, the greater part is still waiting and seeing.

The discussions are very varied and refer in the majority to economic questions.

For example Berlin artisans declared:

"We're better off for workers, and calm and order are returning to business."

A large section of the Mittelstand is still subject to waverings and is still not yet clear about the real balance of power.

Sometimes there is uncertainty towards our Mittelstand policy. That comes out in views such as:

"Will an intensified course towards the socialisation of the artisanate be introduced after 13.8?"

"Is the victory of socialism by the year 1965 not synonymous with the liquidation of the private artisanate?"

"In preparation for the elections a "soft line" will be adopted, which will change back after the elections."

The Situation among Youth:

Upon the implementation of the measures of 13.8.61 and the Fighting Appeal of the Central Council of the FDJ a good fighting spirit developed among the members of the FDJ and especially among the working youth. In many youth brigades and youth buildings there was higher economic performance, yielding concrete obligations to participate in the production campaign from 2,000 brigades in industry and 190 in agriculture. The activity of the youth organisation has risen substantially and the members of many local units are coming out more strongly in public. 174,287 members of the FDJ publicly declared themselves ready to perform their honorary service in the armed organs of the Republic.

The decisive action on 13.8 as well as the offensive against provocateurs has left a strong impression among large sections of the youth.

In a series of local units, especially in youth brigades in large factories, there were critical confrontations with wavering youths. This was a valuable school for the heightening of the state consciousness of many youths.

Overall efforts are not yet sufficient to create clarity among the whole of the youth. Many youths are still in conflict with the ideal image conveyed in our schools of life in socialism and the difficulties which they will encounter in everyday life.

The clarification of the basic political questions, especially of the national question, still requires much energy among youth. Accordingly, the dangerousness of West German militarism is underestimated by many young people and the antinational character of the western zones state is not recognized, indeed in some cases glorified.

The questions of the trade in humans are joked about and many youths say:

"These people are going from Germany to Germany - where I live and work remains the same."

Among large sections of the youth there is still the most confusion on the measures of 13.8.61, on service in the NVA as well as the military measures on the securing of the border.

Thus arguments crop up such as:

"We won't fire on brothers and sisters."

"We want our freedom and don't want to play at soldiers."

"We are young newly-weds, want to furnish our flat and have to earn money for that."

"Our contribution to the peace treaty is our work in industry."

There are isolated cases of youths taking a direct provocative stand against the National People's Army, e.g.:

"I am not going into an organisation like the NVA. The NATO Pact is right as long as the other side exists."

In particular a section of the student body is acting provocatively and oppositionally. Among this group there is a lack of discipline and sometimes indifference to studies and provocative behaviour towards recruitment for the NVA.

A student at Jena University, an ex-member of the NVA, said:

"For me the NVA is over. I didn't join the armed forces out of conviction but only so as to be able to take up my studies."

The Situation among Women:

For the majority of women, especially working women, the understanding is growing that the measures of 13.8 were right, a fact reflected in numerous production obligations and good working morale.

Thus the "Katja Niederkirchner" women's brigade at the Carl von Ossietsky Works in Potsdam-Land promised not to leave the workplace until the daily plan was fulfilled.

However, considerable sections of women consider the securing of our borders too one-sidedly as a measure against the Grenzgänger and Republikfluchten, and still do not understand the political significance in the struggle to secure peace. Often family ties to West Germany and West Berlin are placed in the foreground, coming out in arguments such as:

"The measures are too hard and are dividing family groups."

"How long is this situation to last for?"

"A Workers' and Peasants' State should be for the interests of the working people and not against them."

Even if after Comrade Walter Ulbricht's explanations a certain calming effect has occurred, women's worst fear as ever is that our security measures will lead to war. Accordingly the opinion is often advanced that the danger of war will be increased by the use of miliary forces.

Often the questions are asked:

"Will it come to a war?"

"What will happen if the western powers don't agree to the peace treaty and insist on their point of view in the West Berlin question?" Etc.

II. The Leadership Activity of the Bezirk and Kreis Leaderships

1. On 13.8 and in the following weeks the Party has proved that it possesses a high fighting force and is in a position to solve complicated tasks at short notice and successfully. The leadership activity of the leading Party organs and the activity of most of the basic organisations were equal to the tasks in hand.

It was demonstrated that within a few hours the Bezirk leaderships can mobilise and put into action the Party and state apparatus as well as the Parteiaktiv in order to solve a new task.

In fact the Party became politically effective among the masses before the enemy was even aware what was happening, and had the situation firmly under control. At the same time it should be remembered that a large part of the most active comrades are members of the Kampfgruppen and were deployed for protective measures and thus could not work directly in the agitation groups.

For the rapid mobilisation of the Party members, membership meetings, where leading functionaries appeared, explaining the situation and tasks, and where the Party leaderships issued missions, have proved their worth. Clear instruction and concrete task-assignment for every member guaranteed that the Party members began the discussion without delay at their workplaces and in many cases achieved at short notice the assent of working people for our measures as well as concrete obligations.

In general one can say that the readiness of the Party members to work politically among the masses has grown greater in many basic organizations. That became clear at the activist meetings held and the appells of Party members of the BPOs [Factory Party Organizations] and WPOs [Residential Party Organizations]. A fighting spirit and strong involvement reigned as well as great readiness to go straight to crisis points and implement the policy of the Party.

In all Bezirke the Party organs and numerous basic organisations have drawn conclusions from their experiences of 13.8., to the effect that class education in the working class must be systematically intensified. Many basic organisations politically justified the actions of the class-conscious workers in public and evaluated them as examples.

In the Bezirke of Potsdam, Halle, Magdeburg, Berlin, Suhl, Erfurt, Gera and Leipzig the Party organizations quickly linked the political education campaign with new movements for an upswing in production. Using Party activists and progressive unaffiliated workers confrontations were brought about even in shops falling behind or small and medium factories. In workers' meetings, fora and public debates enemy forces were unmasked and brought to account. Some Party organizations caused the results of such confrontations to be fixed in the resolutions of the trade union groups. In many cases these resolutions are linked with concrete obligations. Some trade union groups distanced themselves from the enemy views which individual members had disseminated in the past.

[...]

With the Fighting Campaign of the FDJ the Bezirk and Kreis leaderships were forced to deal more closely with the situation among the youth. A great part of Party missions concern work with youth - to a greater extent than in the past few years. The best results were achieved by Party organizations where they made the winning-over of youths for voluntary entry into the National People's Army into an issue for all workers in the factories, as for example in the Hermsdorf ceramics works in Bezirk Gera. At LEW Hennigsdorf too the number of obligations jumped from two to 170, after the Party organisation went over from exclusive talks with youths to the persuasion and mobilisation of the whole Party and trade union organization. Most Party organizations do not yet, however, consider the fighting campaign of the FDJ as a task of class education.

In the politico-ideological education of the collective farmers great progress was acheived too. Many leading functionaries explained in the collectives, in farmers' fora etc. the basic political questions and are helping to organize the collective work and plan-fulfilment.

The essential qualitative difference in the political mass work in the villages - in comparison with the months before 13.8 - is that the Party organizations in numerous Kreise have mobilized the working class again. In many villages in which there was previously no collective working or where there were great political waverings in the LPGs, groups of workers openly disputed with enemy elements. (Especially in the Bezirke of Leipzig, Potsdam, Gera and Suhl, as well as in the Kreis Plauen-Land.)

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Only a few BLs drew principal conclusions from the labile political situation among the doctors.

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Some Bezirk leaderships held talks with the Party members among the doctors and other groups of the intelligentsia. Many Kreis leaderships tried to make up for their previous neglect of work with the intelligentsia by badly prepared routine meetings (Treptow, Langensalza). The waverings among the doctors indicate that the Bezirk and Kreis leaderships have in the past established a completely inadequate relationship of trust between the leading cadres and the doctors, and have not asserted themselves principally enough in confrontations.

[...]

Nevertheless one still cannot speak of the separation of politics and economics being substantially overcome in Berlin. The clarification of the basic questions is still inadequate, as is the mobilization of the working people for the solution of the economic tasks. By no means all factories battled to combine the political pledge for the preservation of peace with concrete results in production.

The Plan deficits increased in August by a further 32 million DM to 193 million DM.

[...]