Constructing socialism: technology and change in East by Professor Raymond G. Stokes PhD

By Professor Raymond G. Stokes PhD

With a cloud of blue smoke and a high-pitched whine, Trabant vehicles carried many East Germans westward after the Berlin Wall got here down in November 1989. The car's Fifties layout, noticeable environmental incorrectness, and all-plastic physique grew to become an emblem of the technological boundaries of East German communism. notwithstanding unfair and oversimplified, the recognized photograph from the early Nineties of the rear of a Trabi sticking out from a dumpster looked as if it would suggest that the automobile, just like the method which had produced it, have been consigned to the dustbin of background. yet as Raymond G. Stokes issues out in developing Socialism, japanese Germany in 1945 was once some of the most hugely constructed, technologically subtle business components on the planet. regardless of the obtrusive failings of its expertise through the past due Nineteen Eighties, the German Democratic Republic maintained complicated technological power in chosen components. If the method itself used to be essentially incorrect, what explains successes below the exact same approach? Why may perhaps the successes no longer be repeated in different components? And if examples of luck are so remoted, how did East Germany last up to it did?To solution those questions, developing Socialism examines the method of innovation that introduced a few minimum point of technological excellence into the East German economic climate and undefined. concentrating on good fortune instead of failure, Stokes bargains a basic background of East German know-how among 1945 and 1990. He combines an summary and synthesis of rising scholarly literature with an exam of newly opened archival fabric with a view to discover matters that come with automation, standardization, expertise move and technological tourism, and espionage. developing Socialism investigates particular applied sciences and machines but in addition emphasizes the folk who designed and carried out them and the cultural context and meanings of technological structures.

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Extra resources for Constructing socialism: technology and change in East Germany 1945-1990

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Essentially, in this situation, East Germans were told to work harder and faster in order to produce more, and the efforts were personified by a coal miner, Adolf Hennecke, leading to the so-called Hennecke movement. On ∞≥ October ∞Ω∂∫ the forty-three-year-old Hennecke mined nearly four times his normal quota of coal in a single shift. Little different from the Stakhanovite movement of the ∞Ω≥≠s in the USSR, the Hennecke movement was based on an artificial ‘‘accomplishment’’ achieved Technology in the Soviet Zone, 1945–1949 | 33 Image not available.

Probably the most important factor shaping technological development in the future GDR, however, was the presence of the Soviet occupiers, whose actions changed fundamentally the material basis of their section of Germany. ∞≤ First, the Soviets had a critical impact on the hardware available in their zone. They dismantled substantial amounts of machinery and plant, either as reparations or as part of programs to demilitarize the German economy. Second, they adopted policies that affected the technological software (people and ideas) available in their area of occupation.

The GDR’s first attempts to create a new, socialist national system of innovation during the ∞Ω∑≠s entailed dependence upon people, organizations, and technologies from the German past. But by ∞Ω∑π–∑∫ a very different set of institutions and practices had been created—one more centralized, planned, and regimented than at any time before in German history. To be sure, the efforts ended in severe disappointment, as the new system of innovation failed to deliver on its promises, at least as compared to the performance of the rival and thrusting West German system of innovation.

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