Background: WAS und WIE was the monthly magazine for agitators
(lower level propagandists) in East Germany. It contained nothing confidential,
but summarized the arguments and evidence that agitators were to use in
talking with their neighbors and workmates. They were encouraged to master
a wide range of rather complicated material. I’ve translated a full issue
from 1981 here to provide a cross section of what agitators had to work
The source: WAS und WIE, #2/1981
WAS und WIE
Two Lines in the International Struggle
- Major Accomplishments Facts and Numbers
for the Plan Year 1980
- The XXVI Party Congress of the KPSU
Results of Economic and Social Policies
- Why Do We Always Hear: “Fewer Produce More”?
- Microelectronics: What Should Our Attitude Be?
- Italy: What are the Causes of Terrorist Actions?
- Cambodia: What Is the Situation Two Years after Liberation?
- Accomplices of Mass Murder
- On Transportation, Transfer and Storage
- Brown Coal The GDR’s Most Important
- The State of the Economy in Poland
- Knowledge and Slanders
- The Model Nation
- A Letter of Apology
Two LInes in the International
The documents and statements of our party always give great attention
to the external context of our struggle. As is well known, our foreign
policy aims to create the most favorable and peaceful conditions for further
socialist construction, and at the same time strengthening socialism
is the most important condition for peace. How do things stand at the
moment in this regard?
In general, there are both positive and negative aspects. Primarily things
are positive as the result of continuing developments of the countries
in the socialist community. Successful economic results such as shown
in our statistical report for 1980, or the impressive goals set by the
Soviet Union for 1985 in its 11th Five-Year-Plan, are the foundations
for a successful struggle in the international arena. They are also the
prerequisite to the defensive measures socialism must take to take away
imperialism’s lust for military adventures. In the 1970s, significant
progress was made in realizing a policy of peaceful coexistence between
states of differing social systems.
There was no lack of initiatives in 1980 on the part of the socialist
states, and above all the Soviet Union, to resolve the key problems of
our day: ending the armaments race and encouraging the relaxation of political
tensions through relaxing military ones. Several examples. A proposal
to hold a European conference on disarmament and relaxing tensions; a
proposal for a formal declaration by the nuclear powers not to use nuclear
weapons against states that do not have them, and to not store such weapons
in their territory; initiatives by the Soviet Union to negotiate on intermediate
range nuclear weapons in Europe and advanced American nuclear weapons;
a proposal to declare the Indian Ocean to a zone of peace. There were
also proposals at the Geneva disarmament negotiations and the Vienna negotiations
on troop reductions, which led to the withdrawal of 20,000 Soviet military
personnel and 1000 tanks from the GDR, a significant action by the USSR.
A long chain of such events proves that socialism leaves nothing undone
to preserve peace for the nations.
The external situation was also influenced by the growing national and
social liberation movements, and by resistance against imperialist oppression.
Ninety sovereign states have appeared since the end of the Second World War.
The imperialist colonial system has collapsed and numerous peoples from
Vietnam to Nicaragua have defeated the forces of imperialist aggression
and reaction, and joined the ranks of progressive nations. The Non-Aligned
Movement, which includes nearly two thirds of the 154 members of the United
Nations, is an important factor in world politics. Countries follow various
paths to development, depending on their history, traditions, and religions,
and also dependencies and exploitation by former colonial powers. Counterrevolutionary
intervention and sometimes even direct imperialist aggression are still
the order of the day. But the struggle in each of these lands, as well
as the struggle of the working class against crises, unemployment, and
reducing the citadels of capitalism, prove that liberation from capitalist
society is still history’s order of the day.
Over against this, there are negative tendencies that have recently intensified,
and may not yet have reached their peak. Imperialism has launched a furious
counteroffensive against changes in the international balance of power.
Through rearmament and atomic threats, NATO is conducting a course of
confrontation against peace and progress, attempting to escape its general
crisis and to regain its old positions of power. The long-term NATO strategy,
the Brussels missile decision, and the USA’s new nuclear strategy are
intended to gain military superiority. The US Senate approved $200 billion
for the 1981/82 budget year, and an increase of $324 billion is planned
by 1986. The USA maintains 429 large and 2,297 smaller bases outside the
USA, and a quarter of American soldiers are stationed abroad. The SALT
II treaty, important for the limitation of strategic armaments throughout
the world, was not ratified. The new US Secretary of State Haig, for many
years the NATO commander, said just before taking office: “There
are things more important than peace.” One cannot rule out that the
new administration may use atomic weapons “in the interests of the
The politics of confrontation are conducted by imperialism using adventurous
actions, with military actions in regions of crisis, with weapon sales
to unpopular regimes, and with increasing ideological and political interference,
as for example in the direct support of counterrevolutionary forces in
the People’s Republic of Poland.
Thus the external conditions of the 1980s are also characterized by growing
threat of imperialist military adventures.The interests of the socialist
nations are joined with those of the international worker’s movement and
the national liberation movements. Their united forces can eliminate the
Accomplishment: The Results of the 1980 Plan Year
The statistical report on the fulfillment of the economic plan of the
past year demonstrates that 1980 was a year in which our main course,
with its unity of economic and social policy, continued successfully,
despite increasingly difficult international conditions. The gross national
product was the greatest ever.
To several main outcomes of 1980:
National income produced rose 4.2 percent over against 1979.
Industrial production rose by 4.7 percent; in the areas of the
industrial ministries, it was 5.4%
Workers in the Kombinate [Large GDR industrial
conglomerates] achieved additional industrial production in
excess of 2.5 days of production, mostly with material saved.
Worker productivity increased by 5.1 percent over against the
previous year, the figure was 5.6 percent in terms of hourly productivity.
Nine-tenths of the higher productivity in industry is the result of innovations
in science and technology.
Qualitative factors in economic growth have had great influence on meeting
and surpassing the goals. The use of economically important raw materials
sank by 5 percent. In 1976, it sank by 2.9 percent, and in 1978 we reached
Stable and dynamic economic growth continued in 1980, and could even
be speeded up in several areas. On this foundation, our socio-political
program is developing according to plan.
169,223 apartments were either built or modernized in 1980 (120,206
new, 49,017 modernized). In comparison, the 1970 figure was 76.088 (65,786
new, 10,302 modernized).
Real income per person rose by 3 percent. The expenditures of the
state from societal funds was 52.7 billion marks. The figure in 1971
was 26.3 billion marks.
The birthrate rose as a result of our social policies. 245,090 children
were born in 1980, 9,857 more than in the previous year. That is an increase
of 63,292 children over against 1975,
The “Süddeutsche Zeitung,” FRG [Federal
Republic of Germany]: “All western industrial nations
have a sinking economic growth rate. The German “workers’ and farmers’
state,” on the other hand, achieved considerable economic growth.”
Even a newspaper from the FRG, not at all friendly to the GDR, cannot
ignore the stabile, secure developments in the socialist German state!
XXVI Party Congress of the KPSU: Important Results in Economic and Social
At the end of February 1981, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
[CPSU] will meet for its XXVI Party
Congress in Moscow. It will hear that the Tenth 5-Year Plan 1976-1980
has been successful. The October Plenary Session and the Party Congresses
of the republics of the USSR have already made it clear that important
economic and social goals have been met in the USSR in recent years,
In comparison to the Ninth 5-Year-Plan, national income rose by 400 billion
rubles, industrial production by 717 billion rubles, and agricultural
production by 50 billion rubles.
There were significant advances in science and technology as well. New
technologies were introduced to a large extent. With increased financial
expenditures, the tempo of regional production complexes, particularly
in Siberia, was increased. The production of oil, gas, coal, and metals
increased significantly. In the agricultural sector, production of grain
and cotton increased.
The increased economic production allowed for significant improvements
in work conditions and the standard of living. The real income of the
population increased by 17 percent. The quality of education, medical
care, recreation and the care of the aged, which are available without
cost, increased as well.
How do things look in particular areas?
- In the last 5-year-plan alone, more resources were put into the development
of the economy than in the first 40 years of Soviet power combined.
- The growth in resources for industry was greater in the past five
years than in the whole period 1961-1970.
- In the past five years, 1,200 large industrial complexes were completed,
including the first stage of the “Kamas” truck plant, the
plant for nuclear energy equipment, “Atommash,” etc.
- Three-quarters of the industrial growth resulted from new technology.
25,000 departments and factory sections were partially or fully automated.
- The production of consumer goods increased by 21 percent.
- Natural gas production increased from almost 300 billion cubic meters
to far over 400 billion cubic meters, including a 4.3-fold increase
- Oil production in western Siberia more than doubled.
- More than half of the BAM (1,900 kilometers), the largest building
project in the USSR, was completed. Through it, the rich resources of
coal, oil, copper, and iron of western Siberia will be made available.
- For the first time in a five year period, an average of more than
200 million tons of grain per year were harvested, 27 million tons more
- The production of meat, milk, eggs, cotton, tea, and other products
- The complex program to increase harvests in the non-black earth regions
continued. 35 million hectares are being prepared.
- 1.8 million tractors, 1.3 million trucks, 450,000 harvesters and 400
million tons of artificial fertilizers were provided to agriculture.
Labor and Social Conditions:
- Over the past 5-year-plan, nearly 90 billion rubles were spent to
improve the housing conditions of more than 50 million people. (During
the 1970s, a third of all current housing was constructed.)
- The average wage of workers and employees increased by over 15 percent,
the income of collective farmers by 26 percent. In all, the wages of
31 million workers and employees were increased, including those in
metallurgy, coal mining, the textile industry, and the building and
- Consumer trade increased by 24 percent, services by 43 percent.
- Per capita social expenses rose from 354 rubles in 1975 to
438 rubles in 1980.
These accomplishments are even more impressive when one considers that
raw material costs increased, that three of the last five years had bad
weather conditions for agriculture, and enormous expenditures were necessary
to keep up the military balance with imperialism.
The economic and social accomplishments will enable the XXVI Party Congress
of the CPSU to make even greater plans for the future.
Why do we always hear: “Fewer Produce
1980 has proven that the call for increased production is achievable.
One of the most important characteristics of 1980, our most successful
year ever, is the increase in industrial productivity of 5.1 percent,
and 5.6 percent per hour worked, in comparison to 1979. According to the
plan, 18 Kombinate are to increase their labor productivity faster
than their industrial production. 48 Kombinate have achieved this
goal, freeing workers for other purposes. This proves (and not only in
a few places!) that our party’s goal for many years is feasible.
Why is it necessary in coming years to increase this trend, and to have
labor productivity rise faster than production in still more Kombinate?
First, as has often been proved, there is a close objective relationship
between increasing labor productivity and raising the standard of living.
The corresponds to the party’s goal of furthering intensification though
rationalization, modernization, and reconstruction to get more from the
available raw materials and resources. It is not a conflict with intensification,
but rather a prerequisite, that new capacity be developed from the energy
and resources saved, and that in branches where the tempo of change is
decisive, never plants and production facilities be built. These include
microelectronics, electronic data processing, the production of industrial
robots, noble metals, coal refinement, crude oil processing, etc. These
are strategic directions which are better uses for the energy and raw
materials at the disposal of our republic.
This is only possible through the Swedt Initiative “Fewer produce
more.” We can put new facilities in operation only when, through
a long-term plan of rationalization, we can reduce the number of workers
in existing industries and free them for new ones. Only in that way will
it be possible to secure the high production growth needed in both the
old and new industries.
This is also the only possible way, since during the 1980’s the number
of young people who complete their training and begin their working careers
will decrease each year, as a result of the long-term drop in birth rates
between 1963 and 1974. Furthermore, the diminishing growth in workers
must also provide for the further development of the main task
outside of industry to meet the many other needs of the population.
The only way therefore is the way that the workers in Schewdt put in
the simple words “Fewer produce more,” for we have to achieve
a higher level of labor productivity. (Günther Bobach)
Microelectronics What Is Our
Attitude Toward It?
The fastest possible development and application of microelectronics
concerns each of us, since it can and must make a major contribution to
overcoming the economic challenges of the 1980s. The use of microelectronics
in new products and technologies means: saving labor time and jobs, increasing
labor productivity, increasing quality and reliability, reducing energy
and material costs, increasing the supply of high quality technical consumer
goods, and increasing the competitiveness of our exports.
Microelectronics can do all of that. Granted, it is no miracle cure that
solves problems by itself. But it is an effective instrument of intensification
that is usable in every branch of the economy, from industry to agriculture,
from transport and communication to services, from construction to energy.
And microelectronics is also helpful in research and development.
In recent years, major and successful efforts were undertaken to reduce
the gap to the top international level in microelectronics. The GDR today
is one of the few industrial nations with the resources in important areas
and the technological equipment necessary for the production of microelectronic
components and also selected types of chips.
Highest Quality Components Needed
The rapid progress that we are striving for in this area in the coming
years puts new demands on every branch of the economy. The development
of microelectronics cannot be done only by the electronics and electronic
technology branches. It also needs chemistry, metallurgy, and glass and
ceramics above all to supply material of the best quality and greatest
purity. These are largely new products, including some chemicals and metals
of which only a few tons or even a few kilos are needed annually. Party
organizations in the supplying factories, in the interests of the whole
economy, have the responsibility of helping to solve these production
problems for this key industry, even if the amounts required are tiny.
Application Requires Activity
As far as using microelectronics goes, each branch of the economy is
obliged to work out ways in which this new technology can be used to best
advantage. The general directors of the Kombinate have the primary
responsibility here. But the thinking, decisions, and attitudes of millions
of workers are also necessary, and that is no exaggeration.
Already today, watchmakers in Ruhla and camera makers in Dresden have
learned new methods and now manufacture, assemble, and test microelectronics.
Technologists in the VEB Kombinat Umformen “Herbert Warnke”
in Erfurt have exchanged the drawing board for the computer screen. Ticket
sellers at various railway stations no longer work with ticket printers,
but with electronic typewriters and computer screens. Before long, many thousands
of workers will face new and different tasks. And wherever microelectronics
is used, there will be a need for installers and experts for maintenance
and repairs who will need additional qualifications.
But knowledge is not sufficient to use microelectronics. Even the best
electronic solution cannot make up for defective organization of the workplace,
nor can it correct imprecise figures and data or straighten out economically
inefficient technical ideas, in order to permit the most efficient use
of microelectronic technology. This is where supervisors at every level,
along with their collectives, in particular innovators, must be at work.
Not least of all, party organizations need to carry out focused ideological
work to remove all subjective difficulties and objections that stand in
the way of rapid adaption of microelectronics. Some supervisors, for example,
believe that they can begin only when the latest equipment being tested
in the world is sufficiently available in the GDR. Such opinions delay
the process of learning and gathering experiences in microelectronics
and waste its economic effects. The same is true of those who want to
wait to see which problems electronics can solve. They think that only
when they have proposals on the table can they develop their own plans
and train the staff. Both “conditions” for delaying the use
must decisively resisted and that is part of the fighting program
of a party organization. As Erich Honecker said in his speech in Gera:
“Application is anything but passivity.”
It is wrong to wait until the Kombinat has gotten specialists
in microelectronics from the universities and technical institutes. Previous
experience proves that it is above all a matter of a firm assigning the
task to its own experienced employees who are the ones most familiar with
the firm’s technology.
It is a matter of step-by-step perfecting the use of microelectronics
and putting it to use without delay to support the growing strength of
our entire economy.
Italy: What are the Causes of Terrorist
The new year began in Italy as the old one had ended: with terrorist
actions. On 31 December, Police General Enrico Calvaligi was shot at the
front door of his home. In January, the kidnapping of Judge Giovanni D’Urso
occupied public attention until he was a released. These were only the
latest in a long chain of events that began on 12 December 1969 with a
bomb at the Agricultural Bank in Milan and reached its high point so far
on Bologna on 2 August 1980 when 85 people were killed and more than 200
injured. What are the causes of these terrorist actions, which have affected
Italy in particular, but also other capitalist countries?
Bourgeois and social reformist ideologists and politicians generally,
reject the claim that the roots are in the capitalist system. Explaining
the causes, however, requires considering the whole interrelated complex
of objective and subjective of economic, social, political, and ideological
factors, and they develop from the nature of the capitalist system!
In the socio-economic area, terrorism is broad complex of factors,
of new and old contradictions, in the backwardness of the south, and particularly
the sharpness of the economic crisis and its results. The inflation rate
in 1980 was above 20 percent throughout the year, at the top of the leading
capitalist states, and unemployment according to official figures remained
at about 1.7 million, about 50 percent of whom are young people. In a
situation of general uncertainty, extremist and anarchist ideas spread
among dissatisfied and politically immature young people who want revenge
on the bourgeois state. In this milieu, adventurers find an audience for
their calls for “direct action” and terrorist acts, which they
claim are the quickest path to social change. The crisis is also hard
on the middle class, and produces not only anti-monopolistic views, but
also radical views to the right and the “left.” Demagogic appeals
to national sentiments, or to economic and social difficulties and social
problems, allow neo-fascist and “leftist” extremist groups to
win supporters in various social levels from the poorest farmers
in the south to some tradesmen, businessmen, civil servants, and students.
From the political standpoint, the deep crisis of the political
system, the inability of the governments and state apparatus to solve
the most acute social problems of the society, the corruption and nepotism
in the ruling Christian Democratic Party (DC) and the ongoing series of
corruption affairs and government crises have provided fertile ground
for terrorist attitudes and actions of the most varied sorts. For reactionary
circles, they are a welcomes occasion for their calls for more “state
power” to “preserve order.” The struggle of the Italian
working class with its significant influence from the communists allows
the most reactionary domestic and foreign forces to use terrorism as a
tool to reach their political goals. The neofascist “strategy of
tension” beginning in December 1989 was their answer to the accomplishments
of the working class in 1969’s “hot fall.” The dramatic rise
in terrorist acts (from 482 in 1974 to 2,128 in 1977) was also a reaction
to the electoral success of the Italian Communist Party on 20 June 1976,
as it achieved over 34 percent of the vote. The murder of Aldo Moros in
1978 was a reaction against that leading figure of the Christian Democrats,
who realistically evaluated the balance of power and was ready to take
some steps toward cooperating with the communists.
Ideologically, terrorism is rooted in the crisis of bourgeois
ideology, in the collapse of its ideas, in the glorification of violence
in bourgeois mass media, in the contradictions between promises and reality.
This particularly attracts young people who are looking for a new socio-political
alternative. The pseudo-revolutionary slogans of anarchistic “leftist”
forces resonate with dissatisfied students as well as with middle class
circles who know little about class struggle, who find themselves in a
situation that seems to have no way out, and who feel forgotten by their
society. They do not see that that terrorist acts work to the benefit
of the most reactionary circles of monopoly bourgeois, which they believe
they are fighting.
The number and activities of neofascist groups have been growing significantly
recently not only in Italy, but also in the Federal Republic of Germany,
the USA, England, and other capitalist states. Influential circles see
them as a reserve force for the capitalist power. Terrorism’s roots are
ultimately to be found in the general crisis of capitalism, in the economic
crisis, and in the political and intellectual crisis of imperialism.
Cambodia: What is the Situation Two Years
Two years ago, Pol Pot was deposed in Cambodia and the People’s Republic
of Cambodia proclaimed. What is the current situation in this southeast
The organs of state power of been established at every level. Revolutionary
people’s committees are operating in nearly all communities. The armed
forces are developing, and together with the Vietnamese troops stationed
by agreement, are providing reliable protection for the country. Cambodia
has been almost entirely cleared of the remaining Pol Pot forces. Opposing
forces of 10,000 to 15,000 men still operate along the Thai-Cambodian
border. Despite massive support from the imperialist powers and the Chinese
government, the plans of the Pol Pot clique and other reactionary forces
to occupy territory along the Thai border and foment counterrevolutionary
unrest in Cambodia have collapsed. The number of those encouraged by the
National Salvation Front of Camobia’s policy of forgiveness to desert
the side of Cambodia’s enemies and join the government is increasing.
A sign of the stability of the revolutinary government’s strength is its
decision to hold general elections in 1981. The elected National Assembly
will write a new constitution for Cambodia.
Economic and Social Situation
Normalization is clearly visible in the economic and social spheres.
The population of Phnom Penh, almost depopulated two years ago, has already
reached about 300,000. Hundreds of thousands of Cambodians have returned
from Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos. The starvation that threatened many
Cambodians in the months immediately after liberation has been largely
alleviated. That is the result of major supplies from the USSR and other
fraternal socialist countries, the humanitarian assistance of several
international organizations, and the great efforts of the Cambodian people
to reorganize agricultural production. Cambodian farmers cultivated 1.2
million hectares in 1980, double the amount of 1979. Currently about 100,000
groups of 10-15 families have join together for mutual assistance. The
state up until now has leveled no taxes on farmers and buys their products
at the market rate. Factories for agricultural equipment and fertilizer
are operating. 27 large irrigation systems are functioning again. There
are good chances for Cambodia to be self-sufficient once again in foodstuffs
within the next few years.
100 industrial operations are functioning again. Although shortages of
workers, raw materials and erergy have hampered steady production, they
are still making a growing contribution to economic development. The railway
lines from Phnom Penh to Battambang and to the harbor at Kompongsom are
operating again. Transportation within Pnomh Penh as well as bus lines
to neighboring provinces are functioning again. The introduction of a
currency has had a clear influence on the reorganization of the economy
and the stabilization of basic goods.
The health and educational systems, which had been liquidated by Pol
Pot, have changed greatly. About 900,000 pupils are again in elementary
schools. 18,000 teachers are available. Several hundred students are attending
The reestablishment of the health care system is making rapid progress.
There are three major hospitals in Pnomh Penh. Each province has one or
two hospitals, sometimes with 300 to 400 beds. Each county and 80 percent
of the communities have a medical facility.
Progress in organizing state power and normalizing social life is particularly
due to the international solidarity of the USSR, Vietnam and other socialist
states. Their support in training cadres in every area and their comprehensive
material assistance have made essential contributions to Cambodia’s rebirth.
The International Situation
Cambodia’s domestic stability is reflected in its growing international
standing. More than 30 states and national liberation movements have extended
diplomatic recognition. The establishment of diplomatic relations with
India in 1980 was a significant foreign policy success. The United Nations
still refuses the People’s Republic of Cambodia its legitimate right to
represent the Cambodian People. Its enemies are exerting pressure on world
public opinion for calling “an international conference for the settlement
of the Cambodian problem.” But all attempts to question the revolutionary
accomplishments of the Cambodian people are condemed to fail. The People’s
Republic of Cambodia is a reality and with increasing persuasiveness is
proving its strength.
of Mass Murder
One of the clearest and ugliest examples of how anticommunism and class
hatred influence the “information” of the bourgeois mass media
is their “reporting” on the events in Cambodia and the assistance
Vietnam has given the Khmer people, who were threatened with extinction.
The facts are clear. A genocidal regime controlled Cambodia until January
1979 that attempted to exterminate its own people. Three million of the
seven million Khmers were murdered by Pol Pot in less than four years
while he was waging with China an undeclared war against Vietnam that
was steadily growing in intensity. Cambodian revolutionaries under Heng
Somrin, with the assistance of Vietnam, deposed Pol Pot at the beginning
of 1979. Were the “human rights activists” in the West relieved?
The opposite! They took the side of the mass murder, whose crimes even
they could not deny, and attacked Vietnam that same Vietnam without
which there would no longer be a Khmer people, and without whose help
and that of the other socialist nations would have starved.
Examples of big lies from the media of the Federal Republic of Germany
over the past two years:
- West German Radio, 9 September 1979: “At the beginning this year,
Vietnam attacked its communist neighbor. Several hundred thousand Cambodians
died in the first weeks of the socialist civil war. A Vietnamese government
was established in Phomn Penh which did not object as the occupiers
began systematically plundering Cambodia.”
- “Deutschlandfunk,” 12 September 1979: “The new communist
lords Heng Somrin’s puppet government not only butchered
the armed forces, but all who were suspected of sympathizing with the
deposed government.... Hanoi settled Vietnamese in Cambodia, already
200,000 people according to Chinese claims.”
- SFB, 11 July 1979: “Vietnam’s aggression against Cambodia and
its inhumane policies have revealed the regime’s ice-cold brutality.”
The campaign of hatred is directed against any kind of assistance for
Cambodia. Die Welt, 15 October 1979: “Western assistance
will certainly end up in the hands of the Vietnamese occupation troops...
The West is of course too cowardly to send armed aid convoys.”
This is how the accomplices of mass murder write. They cannot forgive
Vietnam for its major defeat of the USA, imperialism’s main power. That
is how bourgeois media “inform.” Their hatred of socialism literally
stands on top of corpses!
Some time has passed, and occasionally Western media cannot avoid reporting
a piece of truth. The First Program of FRG reported on 23 November 1979:
“It is becoming clearer that it was the Vietnamese who prevented
the complete annihilation of Cambodia by Pol Pot.”
It may take a long time, but truth eventually shines through even the
On Transportation, Transfer and Storage:
A Primary Concern, Not a Secondary One!
The rule of thumb is that 50 tons (of form sand, raw materials, etc.)
must be transported to produce a ton of metal. In general, smooth production
is impossible without efficient transportation, transfer, and precise
These costs average 40 percent of the total cost of production. Two fifths
of industrial costs go for these purposes. While the production process
is about 70 percent mechanized, it is only about 40 percent mechanized
in transportation, transfer and storage. That means there are good prospects
in this area for saving workers, freeing them for other areas and reducing
Although significant progress has been made in this area in recent years,
the present pace of progress is inadequate. Numerous economic functionaries
believe that the core of the problem would be solved if there were more
fork lifts, cranes, etc., available. There is no doubt that this is a
very important problem. In the previous five-year-plan, the various branches
of the economy received significantly more such equipment than in past
years, but the great need was still not met. That will also be true in
the future. The limited capacities of foreign partners, capacity limitations
in our own production and the economically necessary important restrictions
are one reason that the needs for this equipment cannot be met
in coming years. Another and no less important reason is that, even with
the best will, the extremely specialized wishes for this equipment cannot
be centrally met. There are needs for complete solutions, for example,
in transport or storage in particular cases requiring exact measurements
for a particular locale. It is not the case that central supply and rationalization
are the only factors in this area.
The real core of the problem is to significantly reduce the cost of transportation
which is far more expensive than transfer or storage through
optimization calculations, through robots, through better use of modern
production principles which can eliminate the need for transportation
or include it in the production process, and much more. The cheapest transportation
is no transportation. Wherever the production process is considered, transportation,
transfer, and supply should also be considered. They are not side issues
that have to be considered only which they do not function smoothly and
interfere with production. Here, too, there are many ways to reduce heavy
physical labor. And there is another reason why rationalization of labor
in the transportation, transfer and storage areas is necessary. It is
50 to 60 percent cheaper to free up a worker in these areas than on the
Some supervisors have to give up the false hope that some day someone
will come along to solve these problems. A permanent solutions depends
first of all on better work by the Kombinate and factories. The
mid-levels in the Kombinate, working with innovators, must develop
better equipment suited for their conditions that does not depend on higher
levels or that requires significantly greater costs to develop and manufacture.
Of course and the relevant industry branches are aware of this
there is still a need for motors, linkages and hydraulic systems,
as well as cranes and other equipment.
The central warehouse for piece goods at the VEB electrical machinery
“Sachsenwerk” in Dresden was modernized in this way. With the
guidance of the “Saxonwerk,” employees of the TAKRAF Kombinat
and specialists from the University for Communal Work were trained. The
Dresden electrical machine workers made some equipment themselves, and
ordered cranes and other equipment from the TAKRAF Kombinat. TAKRAF
offers those interested every manner of help, including manuals, exchanges
of experience, publications, model solutions, and more.
All in all: Kombinate can achieve rationalization across the board,
with the purpose of freeing significant numbers of workers, only through
consistent modernization and improvements in the areas of transportation,
transfer and storage.
Figures: Brown Coal The GDR’s Most Important Raw Material
All of our economic plans for the present and future are tied directly
or indirectly to one raw material brown coal. Some facts and figures.
Brown Coal the Basis of our Economy
About 262 million tons of brown coal were produced in the GDR in 1981.
That allows us to cover nearly 60 percent of our primary energy needs
ourselves. Four out of five kilowatt hours of electricity come from brown
coal. 60% of raw coal in 1981 went directly to power and heating plants.
40 percent was turned into briquettes [to use
in furnaces]. 49 briquette factories turned out about 50 millions
tons of brown coal briquettes, about 30 percent of which went to the public.
The amount produced for public needs has increased significantly in recent
Brown coal is important not only for energy production, but also as a
raw material for the chemical industry. Currently, carbon-based chemicals
are produced that would require about 7 million tons of crude oil. A quarter
of the GDR’s organic chemical production is produced in this way. By 1990,
coal use is expected to reach a level sufficient to replace the use of
11 million tons of crude oil. 80 percent of the increase in coal mining
will by 1990 will be used in refinement. The goal is to cover the increasing
need for refined chemicals and energy sources. Comprehensive research
on refining chemicals and raw materials from coal liquification is beginning.
Rising Production Costs But Greater Effectiveness
The costs of brown coal mining have been rising for years. In 1981, 4.3
cubic meters of material must be mined per ton of coal produced (it was
2 cubic meters in 1949). That will rise to 5.2:1 by 1990. A ton of coal
requires pumping 6 cubic meters of water, and the transport distance from
mine to user is increasing significantly. The production cost of a ton
of coal rose from 6.70 marks in 1971 to 11.02 marks in 1979. Because old
mines are being exhausted and 300 million tons have to be assured by the
end of 1990, 19 new mines will be necessary. New housing developments,
schools, and roads have to be built to replace those that must give way
to coal mining. Water courses must be redirected. These costs run into
the billions. Then there are the costs to restore former mines for agricultural,
forest, or recreational purposes. 50 million marks are spent annually
for this purpose alone. And that is only part of the cost for environmental
protection. A multiple of this figure is necessary for water treatment,
for scrubbing equipment for the power plants, and briquette factories,
and for the reduction of sulfur dioxide emissions.
Despite all these rising costs and expenses, brown coal remains for us
the cheapest and most effective raw material when compared to crude oil
and black coal, whose price on the world market have risen greatly, and
for which our supply at present has great difficulties and uncertainties.
This will remain true past the year 2000.
More Economical Use of Brown Coal Is Necessary
In order to allow more more chemical products from crude oil, the use
of crude oil in energy production must be reduced step by step. That means
that we cannot build new power and heating plants that use oil, and must
convert existing ones to brown coal. This process is in full motion.
The advantage of brown coal is clear from this fact: Aside from the coast
of the heating plant, natural gas costs four times as much and heating
oil eight times as much as brown coal per heat unit produced.
Numerous Kombinate and factories have set as a primary goal for
1981 reducing their use of valuable energy sources, among them brown coal
briquettes. There are important initiatives, which must become common
practice, in boiler plants for the direct use of coal or sifted brown
coal to replace briquettes. That is cheaper and gives us the opportunity
to use the briquettes saved to reduce the need for other imported energy
of the Economy in Poland
The economic situation in Poland has worsened as a result of the events
of recent months. The Polish Communist Party summarized the situation
at the beginning of the year in this way: “A difficult situation
in supply, a worsening balance of payments, investments that are too high,
drastic deficiencies in the material-technical area, structural disproportions
and broad neglect of production factors, a decline in agricultural and
industrial production, low labor productivity, rising pay demands, and
many unsolved basic social problems.”
This review is based on 1980. With a 1.3 percent decline in industrial
production and an 11.7 percent decease in agricultural production, Poland’s
national income declined for the third consecutive year.
The agricultural situation is particularly noticeable for the population.
The livestock census at the end of 1980 found that the holdings of private
farmers had declined in cattle by 7.5 percent, in hogs by 14.3 percent,
and in sheep by 4.6 percent. This resulted in serious shortages of meat,
sausage, milk and milk products. The decline in meat production in 1980
was 6.1 percent (400,000 tons), and 32 percent in sugar (600,000 tons).
International assistance from the USSR, the GDR and other socialist countries
helped to alleviate some shortages. About 100,000 tons of meat and 40,000
tons of butter, among others, will be imported from capitalist countries
on credit. To assure at least basic supplies, the government plans to
introduce rationing for meat, fat and sugar. The situation is further
sharpened, according to Polish data, by the fact that the 1980 potato
harvest was 40 percent less than 1979 and the target for grain production
was not met. As a result, 9 to 10 million tons of grain and feed material
will have to be imported, further worsening the balance of payments.
Intensification because of Strikes
Prime Minister Pinkowski reported at the beginning of December: “The
situation was further complicated by the fact that the production of many
basic goods that affect the overall functioning of the economy... will
be significantly less than planned.” In the last half of 1980, constant
strikes by “Solidarity” resulted in the loss of millions of
tons of coal, 650,000 tons of rolling mill products, 3 billion kilowatt
hours of electricity, 2.5 million tons of cement, 92,000 tons of nitrogen
fertilizer and 33,000 tons of cellulose. Stanislaw Kania, First Secretary
of the Polish Communist Party, estimated that strikes have so far cost
the economy 70 billion Zloty of industrial production.
The shortages in energy production have had particularly serious consequences.
According to Polish sources, the disproportions of recent years have resulted
in an average daily energy deficit of 800 to 1,000 MW, which must be made
up for by reductions in industrial usage. The Polish news agency reported
on 13 January 1981 that the situation had worsened, and that cutting off
industry and homes might be necessary. These cut-offs, which have already
occurred, will mean still greater production reductions.
The fuel situation is also tight. Trybuna Ludu reported on
12 January 1981 that the railroad had to take 100 diesel locomotives out
of service in 1980, and the government trucking concern had to take 3,200
trucks out of service. For this reason alone, the transportation system
was unable to deliver 7.7 million tons of urgently needed goods.
The proposed plan for 1981 proposes “to preserve the living standard
of the whole population, with particular regard for those with the lowest
income.” The focus is to be on agriculture, housing construction,
and goods for the domestic and export markets. Expenditures for new facilities
will fall by 16 percent (about 100 billion zloty). A large number of plants
will be moth balled or canceled, with a ban on new projects, including
the expansion of the Katowice steel plant and the Lublin coal mine.
The major problems of excess cash in circulation and the inadequate supply
of goods cannot be solved in 1981, in the view of the Polish Communist
Party. The increased wages as the result of strikes resulted in an increase
in income of 18 percent (around 290 billion zloty). “The shortage
in goods resulting from the imbalance between income and expenditure by
the population will be at least 165 billion zloty this year,” declared
Tadeusz Grabski, member of the Politburo and secretary of the Polish Communist
Party. The reduced working hours and changes in work rules will result
in still more declines in production of raw materials and energy sources,
iron, steel and cement, which will presumably cause the Polish national
income to sink even further in 1981. The strikes called by counterrevolutionary
forces in January demanding further reductions in working hours will bring
with it a further sharpening of the economic situation.
The United States will spend over $160 billion on armaments in the current
fiscal year, which began in October. According to current plans, it will
be a trillion dollars over the period 1981 to 1985. The USA is demanding
similar insane expenditures from its NATO allies. Some of them seem quite
happy with this situation. The relevant FRG Minister Apel recently described
the Bundeswehr as “exemplary” for other West European
NATO states in following this dangerous program of armaments build up.
Since the loudspeakers of imperialism are always speaking of a “danger
from the East,” an alleged Soviet drive for military superiority,
the comments of some of NATO’s leading politicians and military figures
is enlightening, even if they have not received all that much attention
in the West.
- According to Military Balance, published by the London
International Institute for Strategic Studies, “which enjoys very
high prestige and credibility in NATO circles” (former NATO General
Nino Pasti), the Warsaw Pact states spent only 89% as much as NATO on
armaments. The International Institute for Peace Research in Stockholm
at the same time estimated that the Warsaw Pact spent only 67 percent
as much as NATO.
- FRG Chancellor Schmidt had this to say on 29 May 1978: “I do
not believe that the balance of power has shifted to the Soviets. I
know that the estimates of the U.S. intelligence service suggests that,
but I do not believe that that corresponds to the facts.” U.S.
President Carter made a similar statement that relative military
parity existed between the Soviet Union and the USA, between the Warsaw
Pact and NATO at the signing of the SALT II Treaty in Vienna.
At the same time, however, NATO was hard at work on the Brussels missile
decision and NATO’s long-term plan for increasing its armaments. The
USA and the FRG were in the lead.
- U.S. Defense Minister Brown spoke on 25 April 1979; “We have
reached a point at which the United States and the Soviet Union have
approximate parity in strategic weapons. In the area of conventional
weapons, we and our allies also have approximate parity with the Soviet
Union and its allies.”
- U.S. Secretary of State Vance on 26 October 1979: “We and our
allies together spend about 25 percent more for defense that the Soviet
Union and the Warsaw Pact.”
All of these internal remarks are no longer true? No, it is all still
true, but the circles of imperialism that want to move from reality to
a policy of total confrontation are gaining strength. Therefore they are
waging an unprecedented public campaign that on the one hand slanders
socialism and on the other seeks to justify war hysteria and a massive
armaments buildup. The danger of massive armaments and aggression comes
from the West, from NATO! The socialist states have to adjust their defense
strategies accordingly if realism and reason are to triumph in international
relations and if peace is to be maintained.
The Model Nation
Often there are details that brilliantly illuminate the totality of a
social order and a form of government. Example: FRG, Example employment
bans [the West German government prohibited members
of the West German Communist Party from government jobs]. According
to official government opinion, this is being “liberalized,”
increasingly being done away with. An example is the teacher Fritz Tiemann
from Stade, who has been invited to a “hearing” on his opinions,
and is threatened with losing his job as a result. The Interior Ministry
in Lower Saxony sent him the following list of his “crimes”:
“The Hearing Commission has learned the following which are to
be evaluated by the court:
You ran for the council of the University of Hamburg in 1974 on the
‘ASTA List’ with the ‘MSB” [Marxist Student
Federation] (Council election newspaper ‘ASTA List in the
You were listed as responsible for two pamphlets of “The Marxist
Student Federation Spartikus, Education Section” (Publications
of 30 April 1973 and 18 June 19730.
On 30 April 1977 the German Communist Party set up an approved information
booth in the pedestrian shopping zone in Stade. You delivered the material
that was later distributed in your car, but did not yourself participate
in the distribution (witness testimony).
On 30 July 1977, you were seen at a discussion with the leader of a
Christian Democratic Union information stand. You were carrying 10-15
copies of the newspaper of the German Communist Party under your arm
You wrote an article for the newspaper of the local group of the German
Communist Party (“Ick bün all dor!”) about the soccer
team in Stade (newspaper “Ick bün all dor!”, January
On 3 July 1977, you distributed the German Communist Party leaflet
“No to the Neutron Bomb!” at the corner of Pferdemarkt/Sattelmacherstraße),
On 2 September 1978, also in Stade, you distributed the special issue
of the German Communist Party newspaper on Anti-War Day 1978.
On 8 March 1980, you sold copies of the German Communist Party newspaper
as part of a demonstration against an information stand of the Aid Association
‘Freedom for Rudolf Heß’ in the pedestrian zone in Stade.
On 1 May 1980, you distributed a special edition of the West German
Communist Party newspaper on May Day in Stade on the Hökerstraße
by city hall.”
Even as a student, the teacher was watched around the clock by spies
and informants for years! True, the FRG is a model nation of freedom
and democracy but naturally not for everyone...
A Letter of
The FRG Defense Minister Apel has apologized. Not for the fact that the
FRG spent more than ever before on armaments. Not because the Bundeswehr
has been spending huge amounts for the new and dangerous “Leopard
II” tank and the “Tornado” bombing plane. Not even for
the fact that the FRG has a major role in the life-threatening NATO missile
decision. No, the minister wrote his letter of apology to critics of his
ruling (which incidentally has been reversed) that no military personnel
could appear in uniform at the burial of the old and top Nazi Dönitz.
He based his uniform ban on the claim that “it might raise worldwide
doubts” about the “democratic sentiments” of the Bundeswehr.
He naturally meant no judgment on Dönitz’s military accomplishments,
and he also was aware of Dönitz’s “role in rescuing refugees.”
As it is known, Dönitz was Hitler’s successor. He was primarily
responsible for the merciless Nazi submarine campaign with its tens and
hundreds of thousands of victims. It was he who said that he always “felt
like a little guy in the Führer’s presence.” Dönitz was
one of those tried at Nuremberg. And the relevant FRG minister apologized
that he might have given too little “honor” to this war criminal.
“Worldwide doubts” to use his words about the
“democratic sentiments” of the Bundeswehr are probably
more than called for!
[Page copyright © 2003 by Randall Bytwerk.
No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ
Go to the East German
Go to the German
Propaganda Archive Home Page.