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Zeitschrift: Jahrgang 10, 2013, Heft 1

Akteure der Diktatur – Regionale Fallstudien zur NS- und SED-Herrschaft / Actors of Dictatorship – Regional Case Studies on NS and SED Rule

Einführung | Editorial Open Access

Aufsätze / Articles

Stern, Kathrin:
Ländliche Elite und Volksgemeinschaft – Ostfrieslands Volksschullehrkräfte im „Dritten Reich“ (S. 17–36)


The society of the Third Reich was hierarchically structured and opened up new prospects for teachers at elementary schools. After school supervision by the Churches had come to an end, both role and status of teachers on the country were clearly revaluated. However, only after 1933 the teachers were officially recognized as educators of the entire people. In this context, their elite function was less connected to teaching at school but to their voluntary work within the social structure of villages, which speedily made most of all male teachers belong to the local circles of opinion leaders. Particu­larly due to this role, teachers were expected to show intensive National Socialist commitment, which will be analysed by the re­gional example of East Friesian teachers as members of the choirs of Leeran and the local NSV.

Hildebrandt, Anja:
Der Berliner NSDAP-Lokalfunktionär Karl Kasper – Eine exemplarische Karriere (S. 37–59)


Karl Kasper was one out of the total of 102 NSDAP city council members and district leaders. These local NS functionaries had joined the Party long before 1933 and thus counted among the “Alte Kämpfer” (veterans) of the National Socialist movement. By granting them responsible positions in the hierarchies of Party and administration, the NSDAP allowed them to enforce and co-shape the dictatorship in the centre of power, thus improving their social status. These “Alte Kämpfer” served as opinion formers and links of the Party to the populations of the big cities, to local administrations and business. By the example of Karl Kasper’s biography the contribution demonstrates exemplarily the specific social profile, the career paths and networks of Berlin city council members and district leaders. It demonstrates that making careers in a variety of fields as well as the possibility of extensive networking was a privilege of local NS functionaries in Berlin.

Hannemann, Kathy:
Die Leiter der staatlichen Chemiekombinate im mitteldeutschen Raum – Interessenvertreter ihrer Belegschaften im Rahmen der SED-Wohnungspolitik in den 1960er Jahren (S. 61–81)


The following contribution focusses on the directors and managements of big chemical plants in the 1960s, as they belonged to the economic and functional elites of the GDR. Starting out from the significance of the region’s chemical industry, their leading cadres are group-specifically located, their integration into the system of planned economy is characterized, and their tasks in the context of the SED’s housing policy are described. In the 1950s and 1960s, in the GDR the building of new flats was exclusively considered a tool for the promotion of economy, which is demonstrated by the example of the District of Halle. In this context, the plant directors were important actors in the struggle for the scarce commodity of housing space, as they represented the interests of their plants and employees. Their behaviour and negotiation strategies are in the focus of the study.

Siebeneichner, Tilmann:
Proletarische Virtuosen? Widersprüche und Verwerfungen in der Elitenpolitik der SED am Beispiel der Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse (S. 83–107)


The members of the “Combat Groups of the Working Class” were considered as proletarian virtuosos because they voluntarily spent their leisure time for their commitment to the protection of the “Socialist achievements”. This way representing Communist resilience, they were supposed to be particularly honoured and recognized. Already in the 1950s, however, it became obvious that praising violence as a political maxim was widely perceived as contradicting other programmatic aspects of SED rule. Thus, an analysis of the Combat Groups looks promising for uncovering the inner contradictions of State Socialist rule – elite consciousness vs. egalitarianism, pacifism vs. militancy, spontaneity vs. “ruling through” – and for understanding why it finally became a failure.

Pohlmann, Tilman:
Von „Antifaschisten“ und „neuen Kadern“ – Sozialbiografische Betrachtungen zu den Ersten Kreissekretären der SED in der Region Sachsen (1945–1971) (S. 109–134)


Among the ranks of the SED, the First District Secretaries occupied regional key positions. On the one hand, being actors of the lower coordination points of the Party, they acted as essential catalysts of the centralized will of the Party, on the other hand they held the first contact positions for social- and economy-political feedbacks from the Saxonian districts. The following contribution discusses the social-biographic background of this functional elite. In this context, both its general social profile and marked, cohort-specific internal differentiations will be analysed. In each case, formative patterns of experience from the first part of the 20th century left their marks on the collective biographies of these “Heads of the District”, helping much to stabilize the SED regime until the 1970s.

Fritze, Lothar:
Indoktrination und irrationale Überzeugungsbildung – Über eine Herrschaftstechnologie der Weltanschauungsdiktatur (S. 135–163)


Ideological dictatorships not only base their legitimacy on the agreement of those being subject to their rule, also their long-term stability depends on sufficient numbers agreeing with their rule. Agreement may be expected most of all if the members of the respective community have internalised the system’s ideology. The process of shaping the consciousness, which results in internalising the system’s ideology without the individual having rational reasons for developing the respective conviction, is called “indoctrination”. The contribution analyses the means of indoctrination as the crucial and indispensable technology of the rule of ideology-guided dictatorships.

Buchbesprechungen / Book Reviews

„Und sie werden nicht mehr frei sein ihr ganzes Leben“. Funktion und Stellenwert der NSDAP, ihrer Gliederungen und angeschlossenen Verbände im „Dritten Reich“ ( Schriftenreihe der Forschungsgemeinschaft 20. Juli 1944 e.V. Band 16)
Münster (LIT-Verlag) 2012 / Autor: Becker, Stephanie; Studt, Christoph
Rezension: Jan Erik Schulte (S. 167–169)

Zur Geschichte Deutschlands im 20. Jahrhundert. Demokratie, Diktatur, Widerstand
München (Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt) 2010 / Autor: Mommsen, Hans
Rezension: Friedrich Pohlmann (S. 169–172)

Handbuch der völkischen Wissenschaften. Personen – Institutionen – Forschungsprogramme – Stiftungen
München (Saur) 2008 / Autor: Haar, Ingo; Fahlbusch, Michael
Rezension: Uwe Ullrich (S. 173–176)

Verbrannte Erde. Stalins Herrschaft der Gewalt
München (Verlag C. H. Beck) 2012 / Autor: Baberowski, Jörg
Rezension: Manfred Zeidler (S. 176–183)

Die Ökonomik des Terrors. Zur Organisationsgeschichte des Gulag 1939 bis 1960
Hannover (Offizin-Verlag) 2010 / Autor: Hedeler, Wladislaw
Rezension: Manfred Zeidler (S. 184–188)

MfS-Untersuchungshaft. Funktionen und Entwicklung von 1971 bis 1989
Berlin (Lukas Verlag) 2012 / Autor: Passens, Katrin
Rezension: Günther Heydemann (S. 188–190)

DIE LINKE – eine gescheiterte Partei?
München (Olzog) 2012 / Autor: Jesse, Eckhard; Lang, Jürgen P.
Rezension: Harald Bergsdorf (S. 191–193)