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Konkurrierende Netzwerke: SED und alte Intelligenz in Unternehmen der DDR-Industrie

Competing networks: the SED and the old intelligentsia in the industry of the GDR
[journal article]

Müller, Armin

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Abstract "The fate of former Nazis in the economy of the GDR is closely linked to the question about the transformation of private-state enterprises in the socialist planned economy and the course of the elite change in there. To answer these questions, this article evaluates nine companies. Their directors ('Werkleiter') are characterized and compared for the period between the end of the Second World War and the 1960s. Two relevant generations of managers can be analyzed: Managers of the first generation are described as 'transformation leaders' and were mostly part of the old intelligentsia. They dominated many companies until the late 1950s and, in some cases, until the mid-1960s. Then they were replaced by representatives of the 'Aufbaugeneration', young GDR-socialized managers. In the article this process is characterized as a long drawn-out elite change paralleled by a long phase of transformation towards planned economy. The article divides this transformation into four periods. In the first phase, many former Nazis, together with other owners and managers, were ousted from their top positions in the companies. A central concern of the Communist Party (SED) leadership was the change of industrial power, not a systematic denazification. In later years, an indifferent and inclusive policy towards former Nazis prevailed. The training of a new intelligentsia, a generation that was both politically loyal and professionally qualified, became more important. In the transition phases, in-house networks were dominated by the old intelligentsia and determined the company's developments." (author's abstract)
Keywords historical analysis; model; elite; enterprise; chemical industry; management; German Democratic Republic (GDR); GDR research; planned economy; Socialist Unity Party of Germany (GDR); economic elite; denazification; economic history; transformation; membership; optical industry; mechanical engineering; network analysis; National Socialist German Workers' Party; state-owned firm (GDR); Soviet-occupied territory
Classification General History
Method empirical; qualitative empirical; historical
Document language German
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 134-162
Journal Historical Social Research, 35 (2010) 3
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works