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Statute of the Free German Youth (May 12-15, 1959)

Whereas the Free German Youth [Freie Deutsche Jugend or FDJ], the central mass organization for youth in the GDR, at least formally embraced independence and non-partisanship in its early years, this statute from 1959 was completely focused on the political program of the SED and on building up the Socialist state in East Germany. The FDJ now conceived of itself as the party’s unofficial organization for the next generation, and its practical work focused on educating East German youth and shaping their leisure activities in the service of Socialism. That work also included the active defense of Socialism, since the statue explicitly called for the readiness of FDJ members to participate in paramilitary training and later to serve in the National People’s Army, the military forces of the GDR.

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The Free German Youth is the Socialist mass organization of the youth.

It unites in its ranks, on a voluntary basis, the working-class and rural youth, the young intelligentsia, pupils and students, and the youth of the middle class.

As a uniform mass organization of the youth, it continuously embodies and solidifies the political and organizational unity of the young generation that has been forged in the German Democratic Republic. The Free German Youth represents the political, economic, and cultural interests of all young people in the German Democratic Republic.

As the friendship league of all boys and girls, it wages the battle for peace and Socialism. It leads the entire youth on the path of the struggle for peace, for the completion of the building up of Socialism in the GDR, against militarism and nuclear armament in West Germany, and for the national rebirth of Germany as a peace-loving, democratic state on the road to a confederation of the two German states.

The Free German Youth carries on the progressive traditions of the German young workers’ movement. If fulfills the legacy of the young heroes who, boldly and daringly, following the example of Karl Liebknecht and Ernst Thälmann, fought against militarism, Fascism, and imperialist war, for a happy future for the German youth, and who gave their lives for this. The members of the Free German Youth strive to fight, work, and live like the honorary president of the FDJ, Wilhelm Pieck, who is a shining example for every young citizen.

In its work, the Free German Youth is directed by the guiding decrees and council of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, because its policy, based on the teachings of Marx, Engels, and Lenin, is in line with the life interests of the nation and the youth, because the party of the working class shows the youth the right way into a brightly shining future.

The Free German Youth educates the youth to love the working class and its party. It is guided by scientific Socialism and raises the young generation on this basis. The circle of young Socialists is a permanent institution of the GDR, especially for the class-appropriate education of young workers.

The Free German Youth helps all young people to become young patriots who are educated all-around, full of life, cultured, and healthy.

Through cultivation of the body and sports, it aims to educate the youth to become healthy persons, to develop in it qualities such as courage, strength, and endurance, and to promote agility and grace.

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