In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2014. Berlin: Metropol Verlag, pp. 211–228.
This paper focuses on the comprehensive system of instruction and control under the SED party leadership. The leadership transmitted party resolutions in writing and maintained personal, informal contacts to party functionaries in the districts. But, in the main, ten methods were used to ensure the implementation of the party resolutions in the regional and municipal districts (Bezirke and Kreise). These methods included instructions given during Party Congresses and Central Committee plenums. Furthermore, the General Secretary regularly met with the First Secretaries of the District Committees; and the Secretaries of the Central Committee consulted with the Secretaries of the District Committees. Another method relied on regional party leaders frequently reporting to the Politburo, while at other times members of the party leadership visited the districts directly. Moreover, the Central Committee sent out party functionaries to regional and municipal districts as well as workplaces to organize, instruct, and monitor the political work locally. Sometimes these were entire groups of instructors and teams of party functionaries. Another method of instruction was the transmission of circulars and regular telexes. Cadres too received training at party training centres. Lastly, subordinate party officials were required to report all information upwards to the SED party leadership.