Background: This is an outline of arguments for East German agitators
on how to deal with those who left the GDR for West Germany. It was published
in 1955, six years before the Berlin Wall was built, at a time when thousands
of citizens were leaving East Germany. Another problem was that many East
Berliners worked in West Berlin. Not only did this put them in regular
contact with the West, it removed people from the labor force that the
GDR badly needed.
The source: “Wer die Deutsche Demokratische Republik verläßt,
stellt sich auf die Seite der Kriegstreiber,” Notizbuch
des Agitators (Agitator’s Notebook), published by the Socialist Unity
Party’s Agitation Department, Berlin District, November 1955.
He Who Leaves the German Democatic
Joins the Warmongers
The German Democratic Republic, the only legal German state, to which
the future of Germany belongs, is the fatherland of the German people.
Why is this knowledge of all peace-loving citizens of the
GDR and its capital Berlin right, and why is it accepted by more
and more of the millions of workers in the west of our homeland?
Because this state is being built by workers, farmers, and
the creative intelligentsia, and because it corresponds to Germany’s
historic development. Under the leadership of the party of the
working class, it began a fundamental democratic transformation
of life and is today successfully building the foundations of
That is also the goal toward which West German workers are
striving, for which all patriotic forces in all of Germany are
The powers that be in Bonn do not like that at all. Why
They represent the interests of the big banks, the corporations,
and landowners who have both economic and political power
in their hands. They represent the war interests. They dream
of it, and with the help of NATO and the Treaty of Paris work
to extend their power to the territory of the GDR to hinder the
further progress of the GDR’s material and cultural development.
One of the methods of this cold war is to recruit and organize
flight from the GDR.
How should one evaluate those who leave the German Democratic
There can be only one answer. Both from the moral standpoint
as well as in terms of the interests of the whole German nation,
leaving the GDR is an act of political and moral backwardness
Those who let themselves be recruited objectively serve West
German Reaction and militarism, whether they know it or not.
Is it not despicable when for the sake of a few alluring job
offers or other false promises about a “guaranteed future”
one leaves a country in which the seed for a new and more beautiful
life is sprouting, and is already showing the first fruits, for
the place that favors a new war and destruction?
Is it not an act of political depravity when citizens, whether
young people, workers, or members of the intelligentsia, leave
and betray what our people have created through common labor
in our republic to offer themselves to the American or British
secret services or work for the West German factory owners, Junkers,
or militarists? Does not leaving the land of progress for the
morass of an historically outdated social order demonstrate political
backwardness and blindness?
Anyone who has eyes can see that the new is developing with us.
Every clear-thinking person knows that all nations today are striving
toward socialism. It is a historical necessity.
The German people, too, in particular the working class, have seized the
banner of peace, democracy, and socialism firmly in their hands and will
not rest until democratic conditions also prevail in West Germany. There
is no doubt but that the working peoples would freely choose to take over
the factories and mills of the Krupps, Abs, and Pferdemenges, those who
even today dream of new wars.
When that day comes, workers throughout Germany will demand
punishment for those who today leave the German Democratic Republic,
the strong bastion of the fight for peace, to serve the deadly
enemy of the German people, the imperialists and militarists.
We who live in and near Berlin know a particular kind of
recruitment. That is the recruitment of citizens who live
here and work in West Berlin. It is time to speak openly about
Our republic has jobs for everyone. He who works well here
lives well. He who steadily improves his work will live better
and help ensure that everyone else lives better too. He works
Our democratic government can be proud of its successes. In
cooperation with the population of the democratic sector, it
has made it possible for every citizen to find a secure job.
Youth has a future it never had before. New social institutions
offer broad cultural opportunities.
The government of West Berlin, on the other hand, marches under the flag
of the so-called “social coalition” along with the powers that
be in Bonn. It serves the same rulers and the same goals. Citizens of
the GDR who join their ranks help the rich to become richer and the poorer
poorer. They go the way of exploitation, of tears and sorrow, the path
to a new war and catastrophe.
There is nonetheless a part of our population that thinks
it can ignore all the warnings, even historical realities. There
are people who, given the division of Berlin and the resulting
currency swindles, seek material advantages.
They speculate with the so-called “favorable conditions.”
Take, for example, construction workers. During the building
season they go to West Berlin to work. They work as cheap laborers
or strike breakers, stabbing those fighting for a better life
in the back, as the recent janitors’ strike shows. In the fall
and winter, they work in our factories again, since by us it
is possible to be a construction worker throughout the year.
They get their vacation here and enjoy the social and cultural
benefits of socialism, then return to work in West Berlin when
However, the workers and farmers in the GDR know how to use
their power. They will no longer tolerate those who speculate
at their cost, and demand that they be punished. Others are reluctant
to leave jobs they have held for a long time, which may even
provide so-called “pensions,” “old age care,”
“profit sharing” and other such things, since they
think “Things might change...”
Comrade Walter Ulbricht answered this question clearly at
the last session of the Volkskammer:
After the signing of the Moscow Treaty, no one in the German
Democratic Republic can say any longer that things may change.
It must become clear to every last citizen of our democratic
sector that West Berlin is viewed by the forces in Bonn as a
part of the Federal Republic under the laws of Bonn and the provisions
of the Treaty of Paris. This was stated clearly in the “Globalgesetz”
of the Front City Senate.
Thus, a citizen of the German Democratic Republic who works
in West Berlin serves the warmongers, serves the system of which
the labor leader August Bebel urged every patriotic German: “Give
this system no labor, not a penny.”
He who loves the peace and unity of a democratic Germany must hate the
monopolists, militarists, and Junker landlords. He may not sell his labor
to them to support them.
[Page copyright © 2001 by Randall Bytwerk.
No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ
the East German Propaganda Page.
the German Propaganda Archive Home Page.