German Propaganda Archive Calvin University


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 Democratic Republic

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 socialism.

That is also the goal toward which West German workers are striving, for which all patriotic forces in all of Germany are fighting.

The powers that be in Bonn do not like that at all. — Why not?

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 Republic?

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 and depravity.

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 that.

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 for peace.

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 convenient.

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.

Last edited 10 April 2024

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