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The 11th Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the SED in December 1965

Research field:Dictatorship Research
Research focus: Culture and Media History
Period: 01.2013–12.2015 (Project completed)
Coordination: Dr. Andreas Kötzing


The 11th Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the SED has gone down in the history of the GDR for its ‘scorched earth’ policy in tightlyrestricting cultural activities. Andreas Kötzing’s project investigates the history of the 11th plenary session as an example of how the SED dictatorship operated. He examined the cultural and economic developments of the 1960s as well as the actual impact of the plenary session on the regional level in the GDR. An important aspect is how the measures ordered by the party were implemented at the district level and what reactions they provoked. In co-operation with the DEFA Foundation (Berlin) and on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its festival in December 2015, a comprehensive publication appeared presenting the research results as well as many documents pertaining to the history of the plenary session. Accompanying the publication was a CD with original sound recordings from individual speeches at the plenary session. The project also included a film series entitled Decadent.Harmful to Minors.Subversive held in Leipzig and Dresden. Many of the films shown to the public had been banned in 1965-1966 as a result of the 11th Plenary Session.