Problems relating to education and character development assumed a significant place in the discussion as a whole. This was also reflected in the large number of recommendations submitted to the Commission of the State Council on this topic; these recommendations made suggestions for changes, additions, and clarifications in the draft resolution. The students took a particularly keen interest in the tasks outlined in this section. Central to the discussion were questions regarding the political and ideological education of students. Many comments on this topic recommended that the resolution should include comrade Walter Ulbricht’s view of the demands placed on a socialist college or university graduate, as formulated in his speech on the 20th anniversary of the reopening of the Technical University in Dresden. The speech demanded that students acquire a solid socialist class-consciousness on the basis of Marxism-Leninism, that they master the use of science as a weapon in the class struggle and as the main productive force [in society], that they strive for scientific excellence, that they acquire a first-rate intellectual, cultural, and athletic education, and that they become prepared to defend our socialist Fatherland.
These suggestions were taken into account when the draft version of the resolution was revised. The commission regards these additions as important clarifications. By placing high political-ideological demands on students and demanding subject-related expertise, and by stating in the resolution that students bear great responsibility for their own political-ideological and professional education and character development, the commission is meeting a demand frequently voiced by students themselves. The need for intellectual-cultural education and character development, as well as socialist military training, was also given stronger emphasis in the resolution.
The statements in the draft resolution on the responsibility of the faculty for the socialist education of students were welcomed. Many, particularly students, were of the opinion that the resolution should make clear that the responsibility of the scientist lies in uniting highly-specialized subject-related training and the socialist education of the students.
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Source: Abteilung Presse und Information [Press and Information Department], ed., “Die Weiterführung der 3. Hochschulreform und die Entwicklung des Hochschulwesens bis 1975. Materialien der 16. Sitzung des Staatsrates der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik am 3. April 1969“ [“The Continuation of the Third University Reform and the Development of Education Policy up to 1975. Materials from the 16th Session of the State Council of the German Democratic Republic on April 3, 1969”], Schriftenreihe des Staatsrates [Publications of the State Council], 3rd Legislative Period, H. 8, 1969.
Translation: Allison Brown