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Submission to the Secretariat of the Central Council of the Free German Youth: Gang Activity among Young People in Berlin (December 4, 1959)

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The leadership of the FDJ is responding very inadequately to manifestations of this kind. It would appear that they are content because this is, after all, only a relatively small segment of the youth in the GDR. This attitude reflects a serious negligence toward these issues. They clearly have not yet recognized that the enemy is trying, precisely by way of manifestations of rowdiness in the GDR, to defame and slander our Socialist system. Only rarely does the leadership of the organization provide information about such incidents. In many cases, the leaders of the FDJ know nothing at all about them. Collaboration with the relevant local organs is inadequate and is not infrequently seen as an annoyance with it comes to these questions.

The strength of the youth itself must be mustered against such manifestations in the GDR in order to combat them effectively and to incorporate these young people into the building up of Socialism.

The following conclusions must be drawn from the current situation:

1. The Secretariat of the Central Council refers emphatically to the recommendation of July 1, 1959, on the formation of order groups, which was sent to all district and county authorities.

Where there are manifestations of cliques and gang formations, order groups must be immediately set up.

The Section Organizational-Instructors will conduct an exchange of experiences in the order groups in the first quarter of 1960.

2. The decision by the Secretariat of the Central Council of August 12, 1959, about the work with returnees and recent arrivals must be made the topic of one of the upcoming meetings of the Secretariat in the districts and counties.

3. The district leadership of the Free German Youth will report on the situation in their districts in a brief report by January 10, 1960. To that end, they shall draw especially on help from the Volkspolizei [People’s Police], the prosecutor, and the sections Interior and National Education of the councils.

4. Arrangements should be made with the central state offices for the film “You are not Alone” to be screened in the GDR once again. A broad discussion about this film should be laid out in the organization’s press.

Responsible: Section Organizational Instructors.

5. All administrations will inspect the youth clubs and other youth installations to determine which circles of the youth are coming and going.

The film “You are not Alone” is to be screened and discussed in all youth club houses.

6. In January 1960, the Section Organizational-Instructors will present the Secretariat a detailed plan of measures extending over a longer period of time. Prior to that, the plan is to be deliberated with the relevant state agencies.

7. The Secretariat of the Central Council recommends especially to the prosecutor general, the HVdVP [Central Administration of the Volkspolizei], the Ministry of National Education, and the Ministry of the Interior, to take measures that will make it possible to quickly recognize and intervene in such manifestations.

Source: SAPMO-BArch, DY 30/IV 2/16/230, vol. 8, III 10 (Familien-, Jugend- und Altenpolitik) [Policies on Family, Youth, and the Elderly]; reprinted in Dierk Hoffmann and Michael Schwartz, eds., Geschichte der Sozialpolitik in Deutschland seit 1945. Bd. 8: 1949-1961: Deutsche Demokratische Republik. Im Zeichen des Aufbaus des Sozialismus [History of Social Policy in Germany since 1945, Vol. 8: 1949-1961: German Democratic Republic. Under the Sign of the Build up of Socialism]. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2004, no. 8/208.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

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