German Propaganda Archive Calvin University


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 with.

The source: WAS und WIE, #2/1981


February 1981

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
Accomplices of Mass Murder
On Transportation, Transfer and Storage
Brown Coal — The GDR’s Most Important Raw Material
The State of the Economy in Poland
Knowledge and Slanders
The Model Nation
A Letter of Apology

Two Lines in the International Struggle

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 USA.”

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 imperialist threat.

Major 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 3.4 percent.

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!

The XXVI Party Congress of the KPSU: Important Results in Economic and Social Policy

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.

Raw Materials:

  • Natural gas production increased from almost 300 billion cubic meters to far over 400 billion cubic meters, including a 4.3-fold increase in Siberia.
  • 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 per year.
  • The production of meat, milk, eggs, cotton, tea, and other products increased.
  • 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 transportation industries.
  • Consumer trade increased by 24 percent, services by 43 percent.
  • Per capitasocial 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 More”?

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 KombinatUmformen “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 Kombinathas 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 Actions?

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 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 after Liberation?

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 Asian nation?

Domestic situation

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 universities again.

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.

Accomplices 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 worst manipulation.

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 storage.

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 costs.

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 production line.

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 Kombinatand 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.

Facts and 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 years.

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 Kombinateand 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 sources.


The State 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.

Knowledge and Slanders

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 Bundeswehras “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.

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 Council’).

You were listed as responsible for two pamphlets of “The Marxist Student Federation Spartikus, Education Section” (Publications of 30 April 1973 and 18 June 1973).

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 (witness testimony).

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 1980).

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 Apology

The FRG Defense Minister Apel has apologized. Not for the fact that the FRG spent more than ever before on armaments. Not because the Bundeswehrhas 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 Bundeswehrare probably more than called for!

[Page copyright © 2003 by Randall Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]

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