Ulrike Breitsprecher: »Prepared for the Communist tomorrow«. Future thinking in the GDR using the example of youth initiation.


In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2012. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, pp. 187-201.

At the beginning of the 1960s and in the context of the „wissenschaftlich-technische Revolution“ the SED leadership promoted the future socialism with nuclear-powered icebreakers and automatic department stores. In the 80s, however, there were few attempts to mobilize towards a better future because GDR society had officially arrived at socialism. This paper investigates the changes in representations of the future in the GDR, based on books that were given to fourteen-year-olds upon their secular confirmation („Jugendweihe“) and which were supposed to be prepared for life in the GDR. Ideas of the future developed over time from being utopian and mobilizing to being ideologically legitimating. The reasons for this change can be found within the SED policy and in GDR society as well.

Über die Autorin

Ulrike Breitsprecher, M. A. phil., geb. 1982, 2002–2008 Studium der Mittleren und Neueren Geschichte, der Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte und der Geschlechterforschung an der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. Seit 2009 wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Global and European Studies Institute der Universität Leipzig und für die Stiftung »Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft« sowie seit 2011 Doktorandin der Reseach Academy Leipzig.