Eingaben

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  • Popular participation: Eingaben
    • How did the government respond to them?
      • the productive, politically committed, need, or combination, took priority over those who presumes needs and contributions to socialist society
      • Authorities would make enquiries about individual, to see what level of "deserving customer" they were dealing with.
      • Any decision made at the appropriate level was considered to be final
        • No possibility of  independent legal appeal, or complaint against decision.
      • Noteable how often authorities agreed with complaints
        • Complaints and petitions from certain areas of industrial production were often seen as a means of improving relations between workers and managers, and ensuring a more effective channel of communication
      • Despite progress, often promises were given lightly and citizens dealt with in a heartless and bureaucratic manner.
    • How did their content change over time?
      • 50s/60s
        • More modest and deferential, and respectful
        • Letter writers would state their pre-1949 communist activity and military service, social position, SED loyalty etc to weight their claim
      • 60s/70s
        • letters directly to Honecker
        • Asked for new apartments
        • by 60s people threatening to go public with their problems
        • By 70s threats to file for emigration of their demands were not met.
      • 70s/80s
        • more and more frustrated
        • sarcasm, impatience and rudeness
        • Could be seen as change in idea of citizenship: ;people addressed the state less as supplicants than as equal and deserving citizens.
        • More demanding of socialist rights
        • Mostly about unavaliable goods and services
        • 80s: collective petitions
        • Little belief problems could be solved
    • What do Fulbrook and Betts think about Eingaben?
      • Prompted some scholars to argue that  the GDR was fundamentally new-absolutist in tone and outlook, and that its citizen complaint system drew on 'pre-democratic legal traditions' in constructing a 'private dialogue between individuals and the ruling elite'
      • Provided SED with a rich source of information about popular opinion, and the SED could then filter out critical signals and pleas for help from the population.
    • What did they contain?
      • Complaints
        • No state in history ever recorded as many citizen complaints as East Germany did.
        • Estimated at least every household had submitted one complaint letter over the course of the regimes forty year reign
        • Off-limit themes
          • State repression
          • Wall
          • west
          • travel restrictions
        • Consumer issues
          • Sanitary conditions
          • Inadequate housing
          • Wage levels
          • Working hours
          • Holiday entitlement
          • Public transportation
          • Health facilities
          • Air pollution
          • Noise
          • childcare facilities
          • Food Queues
    • How did the  system work?
      • Citizens turned to the state or representing bodies with Eingaben
      • "Work together, Plan together, Govern together"
      • Available to public, organisations and communities
      • speedy processing of all citizens complaiints
  • How did the  system work?
    • Citizens turned to the state or representing bodies with Eingaben
    • "Work together, Plan together, Govern together"
    • Available to public, organisations and communities
    • speedy processing of all citizens complaiints

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