Entrepreneurship, knowledge and employment

"Economic laws are there to be used, not to be ignored": The Stasi and GDR Revisionism

Düppe Till, UQAM

In the first years of the socialist experiment in Eastern Germany, during the early 1950s, and in particular after Khrushchev’s speech breaking with Stalinism, there was the hope among leading economists that new reforms will build up a truly democratic socialist economy. Specifically in the newly founded institute for economics at the Academy of Science of the GDR, under the lead of Friedrich Behrens, ideas that the party system soon labelled “Revisionist” were put forward. This essay reconstructs in detail the forced break down of this group of reformist economists using the detailed documents of the secret service, the Stasi, which controlled these economists in every spoken and written word as well as in their private life.

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Keywords: economists in socialism, revisisionism, Stasi, Academy of Science of the GDR, Arne Benary

Paper file