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"Common sense is necessary:" East German reactions to the oil crises of the 1970s

'Man muss die Sache mit Vernunft machen.' Reaktionen der DDR auf die Ölkrisen der 1970er Jahre
[journal article]

Steiner, André

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Abstract This article examines the SED leadership’s perception of the global oil price increases at the beginning of the 1970s, as well as the consequences this had for the GDR. On this basis, the article then deals with the economic and political reactions within the GDR. The country waived a reform of the wage payment system and increased the use of brown coal in the production of electricity, heating, and elsewhere, as well as extended opencast mining in consequence. The intention was to also cut costs on heating oil, petrol, and diesel throughout the economy. The article reveals the difficulties of and limitations to the realization of this strategy and the unfortunate consequences. In the short-term, the political and economic survival of the GDR could be secured. In the long run, however, these processes played their part in the GDR’s economic collapse.
Keywords German Democratic Republic (GDR); energy supply; crisis; crude oil; economic impact; energy policy; energy production; coal; economic development (on national level); competitiveness; economic policy
Classification Economic Policy; Social History, Historical Social Research
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Document language English
Publication Year 2014
Page/Pages p. 231-250
Journal Historical Social Research, 39 (2014) 4
Issue topic The energy crises of the 1970s
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works