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United States. Office of the US High Commissioner for Germany. Information Services Division / RIAS, Berlin

Sample commentary by Martin Koch,   pp. 25-28 PDF (1.6 MB)

Page 26

- 25 -
on, or concrete examples from daily life are used as a peg on which to
hang admonitions, or sometimes threats, addressed to all those who flall
into a similar category.
"A story of that type appeared in yesterday' s "Neues Deutschland,"
based on events which had happened in the village of Friedrichsaue in the
county of Seelow. There a producers' co-operative was to have been founded.
Farmers Te ike, Langner, Kratsch and Streit were ready to found such an
organization. These four ttnew farmers" (Neubauern - farmers recently
settled on land from expropriated estates) scheduled the meeting for
August 7. It was well attended because the farmers of Priedrichsaue who
wanted to maintain their independence said to themselves that it would. be
useful to attend and to have a look at the people who wanted to give up
their independence. Just as everywhere else opponents of the producers'
co-operative were by far in the majority. The advocates of the co-oper-
ative thereupon preferred to withdraw to a private dwelling to found their
organizsation. Subsequently they returned to the local inn with the inten-
tion of advertising their foundation and recruiting additional members.
This led. to a fist-fight between the adherents of the producers' co-oper-
ative and those farmers who wanted to maintain their independence.
"These are the facts. How did the Central Organ of the Socialist
Uniity Party play up these facts? It developed a whole chain of consequences
which allegedly stemmed from this fist-fight. There is talk of the oppor-
tunistic attitude of the leading party functionaries vis-a-vis hostile
elements of the village, and then of course there is talk of the "Gross-
batlern" (farmers with relatively large land holdings) having dared
to lift
a hand against progress, as the paper literally stated. The paper refers
to progress as represented in Friedrichsaue by such people as the musician
Kratch, as opposed. to the Grossbauern, who do not take proper care of the
harvest, who set fire--to their barns, who sabotage the delivery quotas,
etc, etc. The Politburo concerns itself with the question; so does the
Central Control Commission. Tfhe Peoples' Police interrogates almost two
dozen people and arrests some.
"What does all this add up to? Well, it is a-fact that a fist-fight
took place in Friedrichsaue, but no Grossbauern participated. The only two
who live in Friedrichsaue did not even attend the meeting and therefore
were not present at the fight. They stayed away from this meeting and
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