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Practices of vigilance in the establishment of a pensioner’s index in the GDR

Referentin: Dr. Maren Hachmeister
28/10/2022 - 10:00
Carl Friedrich von Siemens Stiftung, Munich

Description of the event

Dr. Maren Hachmeister will give a talk on “Practices of vigilance in the establishment of a pensioner’s index in the GDR” at the Annual Conference of the Collaborative Research Centre “Cultures of Vigilance” at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.


A central index of care for persons of pensionable age (pensioner’s index for short) was a project of the Ministry for Health of the GDR. Its goal was to centrally register pensioners with their individual care needs and to allocate specific care services to them. Taking this project as an example, practices of vigilance from the 1960s to German Unification can be traced. The Ministry for Health (as primarily responsible actor) compiled a questionnaire to query care needs directly from the pensioners. It commissioned the city councils with conducting this survey, who sent either their own members or volunteers from mass organisations (e.g. Volkssolidarität, DfD) to the local flats. Which support was necessary or available in which situation, however, was still decided locally. Which overarching interests, then, did the Ministry pursue with the pensioner’s index? What expanded expectation of attention was addressed to the (supposedly secondarily responsible) local actors with the pensioner’s index, and were follow-up actions connected with it? The contribution illuminates how practices of vigilance in establishing the pensioner’s index changed over time and shows how state and non-state observation regimes in GDR worked together.

The full conference programme can be found here:

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