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Political Organisations 1949-1990 (East Germany)

Last modified: 2006-02-18 by
Keywords: east germany | german democratic republic | politics |
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Introduction

In October-November 2000, during a visit to my old home town in (East) Germany, I did some research on flags of former East German political organizations. It took some digging deep in the past but especially thanks to the East Germany Museum in Brandenburg I came up with some new findings.

Almost every part of daily life in the German Democratic Republic was organized following some kind of organization. A television show tried once to find what single person was member in more organizations they found one who was in more than 30 of them. I myself remember having been member of at least nine organizations. All of these organizations had one plan in common: to avoid spontaneity and to ensure that everybody from sports fishermen to marching bands followed the party line.

There were two major kinds of organizations: parties and so-called mass organizations. A person could be only a member of one party, but membership in mass organizations had no such restrictions. Thus, the leading positions in all of the mass organizations were held by members of the Socialist Unity Party (mostly simply called The Party) and therefore the broad spectrum of different organizations boiled down to one party line.

In elections, all five parties and the four leading mass organizations ran together on one list, called National Front, there was no opposition and all parties and organizations were committed to support the party line. As a matter of fact, during its 40 years of existence, the East German Parliament passed all but one bill with 100% of the votes.

Volker Moerbitz Keith, 23 January 2001

I very much appreciate the effort of Volker Keith but there is a publication on this topic showing some differences to his images. The reference is Günther 2000 (Günther E., 2000, Politische Symbole in der DDR 1989/90 (Fortsetzung), in Der Flaggenkurier no. 11, pp. 18-35).

Marcus Schmöger, 26 January 2001


Political Parties

  • Socialist Unity Party of Germany (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands / SED)
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