University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of the US High Commissioner for Germany. Information Services Division / RIAS, Berlin
([195-])

The world youth festival, 1951,   pp. 22-23 PDF (804.3 KB)


Page 22

- 21
year and.-in the end had to be forced throuigh against the open resistance
of the workers.
The station began its campaign against the contracts early in March,
1951. The Communists- expected to push through all contracts by June 30.
When that date came, 25,000 contracts were still unsigned, and some of them
were barely completed before Christmas. Meantime, the Soviet Zone regime
was
forced to change its tactics again and again, and to engage in open debate
with the American radio station in Free Berlin.
RIAS first analyzed the contracts factually, in early morning broad-
casts for workers and in evening broadcas ts for the general population,
pointing out all the specific disadvantages incorporated into them. Then
it
asked over and over who and what would benefit from the increased exploita-
tion of the individual Soviet German worker. Then the answer was hammered
home: ultimately and primarily, the Soviet Union and its armament effort.
At
this point the station was in close contact with Soviet Zone workers and
could begin giving practical, detailed advice on ways to combat the con-
tracts without serious danger.
As res-istance appeared, RIAS publicized all examples of it heavily, to
encourage factory staffs which had not yet been- presented with contracts
for their plants. The SED was forced to disown the methods of its own
"trade union," the FDGB_, and the terminal date for conclusion
of the con-
tracts was postponed from month to month.
A tQtalitarian regime is always able, in the end., to impose its will.
The collective contracts were eventually imposed. But the important point
is: they were imposed. upon, not adopted by, the workers, as the Communists
had hoped and planned.- When the contracts for 1952 were drafted. the Com-
munists issued a detailed guide to local functionaries charged with secur-
ing acceptance of the contracts. It offered specific instruction on how to
prevent a second RIAS success in this field.          -
The World Youth Festival, 1951
During the month of August, 1951, the Communists staged the so-called
World Youth Festival in Last Berlin, with more than two million members of
the Communist "Free German Youth" (FDJ) from all parts of the Soviet
Zone
- 22


Go up to Top of Page