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Contents Foreword by Wolfgang Strauss Acknowledgments List of Abbreviations Glossary Prologue: Creating Young Comrades Introduction: Ideology as Core Curriculum 1945: Textbooks and German Re-Education From Brown to Red? The (East) German Ideology Part I: Of Politics and Letters; and Numbers 1 German for the East Germans: Language and Literature Reared in the DDR Mother-Tongue Education Socialist Fatherland Education Excursus: Th¿lmann ¿ber alles? Vicissitudes of a Socialist State Icon Living Heroes, or the DDR Cult of Personality Canon Fodder for Young Revolutionaries Excursus: A Bruderland Comparison: Soviet and Post-Soviet Textbooks The Advanced High School Curriculum Books Are Weapons 2 Terra Verde, Terra Rosso: Geography The Expanding Red Earth Excursus: "Our Socialist Fatherland": How Fifth-Graders Learned to Love the Heimat Excursus: "Elementary" Political Geography Excursus: Amerika Through Eastern Eyes The Upper Grades Of Class and Soil 3 My Country, Left or Wrong? Civics Marxed Menschen Excursus: Socialist Morality for Tenth Graders In Lenin's Corner: The Model Socialist Citizen Education for Hatred "Trust Is Good, but Control Is Better" 4 Progressive Lessons of the Past: History The Past is KA History Class / Class History Modern Times Excursus: Marx and Engels as Role Models "Socialism Is Winning!" "Made in East Germany," or the Historical (Re)Invention of the DDR Overtaken by History? 1989 and the Perestroika of DDR Historiography Excursus: The Black Book as Anti-Textbook: History Turns a Corner? Bearing the Double Burden of History 5 Socialist Science: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics Science, Western versus Eastern Biology Biopolitics? Chemistry Chemical Reactions, Progressive Results Of Applied Science and Agitprop Mathematics The Simple Arithmetic of Progressivism Party Figures, or the Higher Calculus of M-L Part II: The Voices Behind the Page: Conversations about Post-Communist Education and Eastern German Life with Faculty and Students 6 Arts and Humanities 1. "History Lessons" for Would-Be Revolutionaries 2. Pedagogy of the Distressed: A German Teacher's Self-Criticism 3. "My Post-Communist Brecht": A Weimar Student's Weltanschauung 4. West Side (Hi)Story I: A Wossi's Postcommunist Critique of Humboldt Historians and Jammerossis 5. The Strains of Silence: A Music Teacher's Brave (New) Career 6. "My Teachers Ignored the Ideological Crap" 7. "French Leave": A Gifted Language Student Goes AWOL 8. West Side (Hi)Story II: A Wossi in Wittenberg 9. Running On, or Training for the (Russian) Olympics 10. Varieties of Academic Experience: A German View 11. "Proud to Be German" 7 Physical and Social Sciences 1. Of Biophysics and Metaphysics: Post-Communism Meets McUniversity 2. Post-Communist Social Studies? A Teacher-Student Conflict of Generations 3. "I Was a True Believer": A Convinced Communist Student Looks Back 4. "My Father Was in the Party": A Daughterly Diptych 8 Education for Tolerance: Of Ideology, Identity, and Intolerance, or Among (German and Jewish) Schoolchildren 1. Border-Crossing after Checkpoint Charlie 2. Forward and Never Forget; Tolerance? A Berlin Teacher's Post-Communist "Class" Struggles 3. Return of the Pink Rabbit? 4. Breaching Walls, Breaching Faith 5. The Strains of Silence II: Hospitality or Hitlerism in Weimar? 6. "Re-Education for Tolerance": A Civic Leader Speaks Out Epilogue: Curriculum Without a Core Notes Bibliography Index Foreword This book is a comprehensive overview of the East German school curriculum that is unequalled for scholarly thoroughness, stylistic verve, and sheer human interest. It is far more than merely a chronological report about the subject matter that was taught in the classrooms of the German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, DDR). The book furnishes keen insight into the true nature of communism and the historical processes that ultimately resulted in the overthrow of this system. I have not read such a brilliantly executed book about the aims and substance of DDR education in years. Textbook Reds exhibits a detailed knowledge of how communist ideology penetrated all school subjects and a firm grasp of the entire cultural and philosophical context of DDR education. Textbook Reds falls into two parts. In Part 1, Rodden explores how a broad cross- section of school subjects, such as German language and literature, geography, civics, history, biology, chemistry, and mathematics, contributed to the pedagogical goals of East German education. "Ideology as Core Curriculum," as the author has titled his introduction, was indeed both the governing principle of textbook production and the prime pedagogical directive from the Ministry of Education to all classroom teachers. Among the specific topics addressed in Part 1 are: socialist patriotism, international proletarianism, socialist morality, the capitalist-imperialist enemy, the duties of socialist citizenship, and the DDR identity. It becomes evident that culture and education were thoroughly based on the dogma of Marxism-Leninism not only in the Stalinist period but also later in the seemingly "liberal" Honecker era. Rodden covers in Part 1 how the manifold twists and turns in DDR ideological indoctrination, dependent on the "weather conditions" in global policy, manifested themselves in the nation's schoolbooks, especially in ideologically sensitive subjects such as German language and literature, history, geography, and civics. Though the Soviets had defeated the Germanic ideology of the Nazis, they immediately imposed an equally authoritarian ideology on eastern Germany, and this ideology rapidly evolved from a Schein-democratization at the beginning to a strict Sovietization and Stalinization by the 1950s. As a result, the DDR became more staunchly authoritarian than, for example, the neighboring states of Poland and Czechoslovakia. Rodden shows meticulously, based on a sophisticated analysis of both elementary and secondary school textbooks, how effectively DDR schoolbooks fulfilled the tasks of shaping the minds and capturing the souls of the younger generation. Part 2 concentrates on teachers and students who experienced the DDR educational system in the 1970s and 1980s. Rodden has interviewed eastern Germans who were influenced in varying degrees by the textbooks used in the communist classroom. His intention is to suggest how the DDR textbooks have continued to exert influence on the minds of eastern Germans long after the DDR's demise; and to provide insight thereby into how the "textbook mentality" exemplified by the rigid indoctrination policies of the DDR endure. Rodden is more concerned with people's lives than with pedagogical materials. In his interviews throughout Part 2, which span a range from former supporters and true believers in the system to resistant or even outspokenly critical individuals, he shows in a most subtle manner the diverse emotions prompted by the collapse of the DDR educational system and its transformation and abrupt "integration" into the West German system: disappointment, frustration, ignorance, self-criticism, expediency, and pragmatic acceptance of the new reality. In these portraits, as well as in his analytical sections, Rodden maintains an unusual stance that is both sympathetic and critical at the same time, which facilitates his explanations of the essential purposes and aspirations of DDR curricular policies. I say all this as a man who himself lived through most of the history of DDR educational and cultural politics, first as an idealistic supporter of the system and then, later, increasingly in opposition to the dictatorship, a man who experienced the events of 1989/90 as a personal and intellectual liberation from an ideological straitjacket. I can, therefore, on the basis of my own intimate knowledge of that history, confirm that this book is an outstanding achievement as a work of scholarship and human empathy. Textbook Reds; and most especially its portraits and interviews; makes absorbing and compelling reading, and it addresses a public far beyond academic specialists. It is accessible to the general reader and deserves the widest possible audience. May it be a source of stimulating reflection for everyone who is interested in this period of the Cold War and in the future of German education. Wolfgang Strauss Acknowledgments I began writing this book a decade ago, and in my ten years of work on it I have gained many comrades and acquired many debts. Friends and family suffered my obsessive preoccupation with amiable tolerance, patiently listening to my hard-to-translate jokes and puns as well as my stories and satires of East German life, many of them taken directly from my personal archive of DDR schoolbooks. To Lynn Hayden, I am grateful for the opportunity to acknowledge a considerable personal debt publicly. A true friend, she has opened her home to me and provided me unwavering support, limitless forbearance, and constant encouragement. I am also indebted to Beth Macom, who offered me superb criticism, all of it welcome even when I lacked the wherewithal to implement it. A great many of the nonscholarly lessons that I have learned in the years during which this book has occupied my life have been learned with Beth, and the process of learning them together has proved as fulfilling for me as the knowledge itself attained. My brother Paul has also been indispensable to my work on this project, as he listened carefully to my unfolding argument, astutely edited my infelicitous phrasing, and offered sage advice. I am again grateful to other family members; to my parents, John and Rose Rodden, and my brothers, Edward and Thomas Rodden; who have welcomed another book into their lives and recognized the labor and value of such a birth. Like its predecessor, Repainting the Little Red Schoolhouse (2001), this study is a tribute to German largesse. It was written without the aid of any fellowships, foundations, or university affiliations. It owes its existence to more direct and personal forms of human interaction; long-established friendships, chance encounters with strangers on trains, and midnight conversations with students who offered me floor space on which to rest before departing the next morning. In the course of several research trips totaling twenty-seven months, I rarely spent more than a single night in an eastern German hotel or rented room. In other words, this book was assisted by countless random acts of generosity committed by individual Germans. In western Germany, Ilse Kathinka Robaschik introduced me to eastern friends, opened her home to me, and catered to my vegetarian peccadilloes. Gisela and Hubert Stuchly fed me and chauffeured me, repeatedly extending me more hospitality than I could ever hope to repay. Tine Traute and Karolin Wyneken adopted me as their "Black Forest Philosopher"; they are young western Germans of such intelligence and character that I feel glad for Germany's future. Rudi and Karin Walter, my editors at Verlag Herder in Freiburg, challenged my mind with their stimulating conversation and warmed my stomach with their delicious vegan meals. In Berlin, Karin Hasselblatt and Ulrike Henderson remain valued friends whose support fortifies and uplifts. As in the past, I am once again grateful to the staff members at the following archives in Berlin: the Stiftung Archiv der Parteien und Massenorganisationen der DDR (SAPMO), the Deutsches Institut f¿r Internationale P¿dagogische Forschung, the Kinder- und Jugendbuchabteilung at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin-Preussischer Kulturbesitz, and the Deutsches Historisches Museum. My sincere thanks also go to the many eastern Germans who corresponded with me, granted me interviews, and donated their old schoolbooks to their odd American visitor so absorbed in their rapidly receding and oft-forgotten past. They did more than any interviewer or foreign guest could ever expect, and many of them have since become cherished friends as a direct consequence of this work. Above all, five eastern German friends have been of invaluable help by listening to my ideas about East Germany as they were forming. Stefan Schwarzkopf, critic and comrade, inspired me in our many conversations about DDR history and culture and helped me immensely in the late stages of the manuscript, reading it closely and spotting numerous errors of fact and interpretation. Christine L¿sch in Apolda and Annaliese Saupe in Plauen hosted me on several trips, and their cogent observations led me to compose my ideas more sharply and boldly than I otherwise might have done. Matthias Pietzonka and his family in Meissen displayed extraordinary hospitality during numerous visits, showing me how the spirit of true socialism lives in the east, even if the corrupt DDR system does no more. I am particularly grateful to Professor Wolfgang Strauss of the University of Jena, who contributed this book's foreword, was unfailingly ready with reminiscences from his extraordinary memory, devoted many hours to conversation with me about this project, and made shrewd suggestions about translation. (Junge Sozialisten vom Reissbrett, he suggested as the German translation of my title; I countered with Kommunisten wie im Buche.) As both a linguist and a scholar of DDR educational history, Professor Strauss was keenly interested in my research findings, read the first draft of this manuscript meticulously, and was both searching and specific in the extended criticism that he provided these pages. Several other American friends and colleagues also graced me with immediate and open-handed generosity. Jay Alejandre worked with steady diligence and laser-beam concentration to prepare the manuscript for submission to the press. Tanya O'Neil, Jean Harrison, Michael Haydel, Sara Enright, Megan Giller, and Pablo Ormachea saw the book through its seemingly endless revisions. I am also grateful to Randy Bytwerk, the late Sterling Fishman, Vince Kling, Jim McAdams, Kathleen O'Connor, George Panichas, Craig Pepin, David Pike, Gerhild Rogers, James B. M. Schick, Christian S¿e, and Denise Weeks, all of whom read portions of the manuscript and furnished me perceptive criticism. Peter Potter remained an exemplary editor throughout; available, insightful, and forever patient. Still other friends and colleagues in the United States also assisted me, either via correspondence or in conversation, with their kind words of encouragement and knowledgeable observations about European history, German culture, and/or comparative education: Mitch Baranowski, Rafe and Jack Bemporad, Benita Blessing, Erica Carson, Thomas Cushman, Peter Dougherty, Catherine Plum, Jonathan Rose, Mary Triece, Claire Van Ens, and Greg Wegner. I dedicate this book to my long-time Kameradin, Cristen Carson Reat, who contributed to the excursus in Chapter 1 on Soviet and post-Soviet textbooks. She was my first research assistant on this book and has had much to do with sustaining my commitment to this project and shaping its outcome, with helping me keep faith with it and with myself. Throughout my decade of work on Textbook Reds, Cristen not only drew on her years in Germany and the former Soviet Union to provide me with perceptive criticism, but uplifted me with her sparkling wit and joyful wisdom. I am blessed to know her. J. G. R. November 2004 Austin, Texas List of Abbreviations Although I have sought to minimize the use of acronyms in the main text, the following list includes abbreviations used in selected chapters of the book and throughout the notes, either for purposes of illustration or economy. German-language acronyms, included here for ease of reference, are translated on first citation in the text. APW Akademie der P¿dagogischen Wissenschaften. Academy of Pedagogical Sciences. BRD Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Federal Republic of Germany. Used by communist officials to refer to West Germany, in order to place West Germany on an equal level with the DDR; avoided by West German officials for this same reason. CDU Christlich-Demokratische Union. Christian Democratic Union party or Christian Democrats. CPSU Communist Party of the Soviet Union DDR Deutsche Demokratische Republik. German Democratic Republic, 1945/89. DEFA Deutsche Film Aktiengesellschaft. DDR state film production agency. DFD Demokratischer Frauenbund Deutschlands. Democratic Women's League of Germany, the major government-sponsored mass organization for women in the DDR. DIAMAT Dialectical Materialism. Shorthand term, along with M-L, for required university courses in Marxism, as well as for Marxist philosophy itself. DKP Deutsche Kommunistische Partei. German Communist Party of West Germany and, since 1990, of reunited Germany. Its current membership has shrunken to fewer than 5,000. DSF Gesellschaft f¿r Deutsch; Sowjetische Freundschaft. German-Soviet Friendship Society. EOS Erweiterte Oberschule. The advanced high school of the DDR (eleventh and twelfth grades). FDGB Freien Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund. Federation of Free German Trade Unions. The unique government-sponsored, national trade union of the DDR that negotiated labor contracts for the state, administered the pension system, and represented workers' interests in labor-management disputes. The FDGB was the larges mass organization in the DDR. FDJ Freie Deutsche Jugend. Free German Youth. The DDR's mass youth organization for fourteen- to twenty-five-year-olds. GST Gesellschaft f¿r Sport und Technik. Society for Sports and Technology. The main DDR athletic association, paramilitary in orientation. HJ Hitler Jugend. Hitler Youth. The mass youth organization of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, the National Socialist German Workers' Party. JP Junge Pioniere. Young Pioneers. The DDR youth organization for first through third grades. The acronym was not in use orally in the DDR, but is frequently found in official DDR publications. KA Kapitalistisches Ausland. Capitalist foreign country. KPD Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands. Communist Party of Germany. The pre/World War II party founded in 1919. . KJVD Kommunistischer Jugendverband Deutschlands. Communist Youth League of Germany or Young Sparticists. The pre-war youth organization of the KPD. LDPD Liberaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands. The Liberal Democratic Party of Germany. A DDR "bloc" party. LPG Landwirtschaftliche Produktionsgenossenschaft. Agricultural cooperative. M-L Marxismus-Leninismus. Marxism-Leninism. See also DIAMAT. MFS Ministerium f¿r Staatssicherheit. Ministry of State Security of the DDR Also known by the shorthand term "Stasi." NVA Nationale Volksarmee. National People's Army. PDS Partei des Demokratischen Sozialismus. Party of Democratic Socialism. The reconstituted, successor party of the SED. Originally known as the SED-PDS, the PDS has since moved toward the center and become a left-wing social democratic party with a current membership of approximately 65,000. POS Polytechnische Oberschule. The ten-year uniform, general education DDR school. RGW Rat f¿r gegenseitige Wirtschaftshilfe. Council for Mutual Economic Aid, generally known as COMECON in English. The East bloc equivalent of the Common Market. SBZ Sowjetische Besatzungszone. Soviet Occupation Zone. SED Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands. Socialist Unity Party of Germany. The Communist Party of the DDR. SMAD Sowjetische Milit¿radministration Deutschlands. Soviet Military Administration of Germany. The occupation-era government of the SBZ. SPD Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands. Social Democratic Party of Germany or Social Democrats. TP Th¿lmann Pioniere. Th¿lmann Pioneers. The DDR youth organization for fourth through seventh grades, the equivalent of Boy and Girl Scouts. The abbreviation was used only in West German publications, never in the DDR. VEB Volkseigener Betrieb. People's Own Enterprise, official DDR term for state- owned and -run enterprises. Glossary The following list includes German-language terms appearing in the main text, except those items already noted in the List of Abbreviations, along with a number of terms not appearing in the book. I have included the latter for interest's sake and because they are germane to the topic at hand. Abitur. German school-leaving examination, which qualifies a student for university admission. Abwicklung. Wrapping up or winding down. Euphemism used for the dismantling of DDR institutions and the laying off of thousands of eastern German employees. antifaschistischer Schutzwall. Anti-fascist Wall of Protection. Official DDR government term for the Berlin Wall. Asylanten. Asylum seekers. Ausl¿nderfeindlichkeit. Xenophobia. Besserwessi. A smart-aleck or know-it-all Wessi. Blueshirts. Nickname for Free German Youth. Bruderl¿nder. Brotherlands. A communist term for the international fraternity of socialist nations. Bundestag. The lower house of the (West) German legislature. COMECON. Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. The mutual economic aid organization of the communist world. das bessere Deutschland. "The better Germany." Term often applied both to the German socialist tradition and to the DDR. Demo. Short for demonstration or protest march. Demospr¿che. Protest slogans. DIAMAT. Dialectical Materialism. Shorthand term, along with M-L, for required university courses in Marxism, as well as for Marxist philosophy itself. dr¿ben. Over there. Used both in West Germany and the DDR to refer to "the other Germany." Erbe. Heritage. DDR term for that part of the German past admissible to progressive DDR historiography. Erdkunde. Geography. Erziehung zum Hass. Education for Hatred. DDR school program in military training. Generally used to describe the proper attitude of socialist patriots toward imperialists and warmongers. Erziehung zur Toleranz. Education for Tolerance. Administered by UNESCO and endorsed by most EU nations, this worldwide program seeks to foster interracial respect and international cooperation through teacher and student exchange programs, professional courses in "diversity appreciation," and numerous intercultural projects. Germany is a strong supporter of such initiatives. Feindbild. Enemy image. Freundschaft! Friendship! A Communist greeting. Freiraum. Free space, freedom. Geschichte. History. Grenzg¿nger. Border crossers. Grepos. Short for Grenzpolizei, the DDR border police. Chiefly used by West German media. Gymnasium. German high school. Heimat. Homeland. A German term with patriotic overtones. Heimatkunde. Local and regional studies. A DDR school subject (known in the early postwar era as Deutschkunde). Historikerstreit. Historians' debate. The 1986/87 controversy among West German historians about the status and uniqueness of the Holocaust. Hort. After-school child care center. Jammerossi. A complaining Ossi, or eastern German. Jugendweihe. Youth consecration ceremony. A communist confirmation rite administered to youth at the age of fourteen. Inaugurated in pre-war Germany under the auspices of the SDP, it had been voluntary until the 1950s. Komsomol. The Soviet mass youth organization. Land, L¿nder. State(s). Mensch. Human being. die neue schule. The new school. The uniform, democratic school of the DDR, a term chiefly employed by early post-war DDR educators. Neues Deutschland. New Germany. Formerly the official SED newspaper; associated since 1990 with the PDS. Neulehrer, Neulehrerin. New teacher. Mainly used to refer to teachers of anti-fascist convictions hired in the early post-war era of the DDR. Oberschule. Generic name for DDR and pre-war German high school. Ossis. Eastern Germans. Term used since 1989/90. Planmensch. Planned human being, the "new socialist man." Chiefly used by West German media. Realschule. Technically oriented German school. Republikflucht. Flight from the Republic. Escape from the DDR; an official term of reprobation. Stab¿, Staatsb¿rgerkunde. Citizenship studies, or civics. DDR school subject. Staatssicherheitsdienst. State Security Service. Also known as Stasi, MFS, or SSD. ¿berpr¿fung. Audit, investigation. Term for formal screening conducted of all DDR teachers. Umerziehung. Re-education. German-language term (used more frequently in the SBZ than western Germany) for Allied program of anti-fascist, democratic renewal. Unterrichtshilfen. Lesson aids. Term used by Volk und Wissen for its teaching guides. Vergangenheitsbew¿ltigung. Coping with the past. German short-hand term for the national challenge of coming to terms with the legacy of the Holocaust. Volk. People, nation. Volk und Wissen Volkseigner Verlag. The official name of the DDR state publishing house for educational and pedagogical materials, including textbooks and teachers' handbooks. It was typically referred to by its shorter name, Volk und Wissen Verlag. Volkskammer. People's Chamber. The DDR parliament. Wehrerziehung, Wehrkunde. Defense education, military studies. DDR school subject. weltanschauliche Erziehung. Education for a world outlook. The Marxist-Leninist philosophy of education. Weltanschauung. Worldview. Wende. The "turn." Used in the DDR and eastern Germany to refer to the change from SED rule to parliamentary democracy during 1989/90. Wessis. Western Germans. Term used since 1989/90. Wossis. Western Germans living or working in eastern Germany. Prologue Creating Young Comrades I Books have long been weapons in cultural wars; it's no secret that education is one way of transmitting culture. American parents and school district administrators have wrestled for decades over what kinds of lessons those novels and plays assigned for classroom use should teach. In recent years, the fiercest struggles among educators, parents, and religious authorities have centered on what textbooks to adopt. The textbook campaigns have introduced new rules and expectations into the age-old book wars. In these battles American educators have banned many a classic; from Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four to The Grapes of Wrath, Huckleberry Finn, and Catcher in the Rye; that failed to satisfy cultural vigilantes on the lookout for four-letter words, sex scenes, evolutionary theory, or Commies between the covers. Traditionally, in the case of a novel or play, schools either use it or ban it, but they don't change it. That's not the case with textbooks, in which the content is insidiously malleable. As the twenty-first century unfolds, the textbook wars rage on, with small watchdog groups disproportionately influencing textbook adoption policy. In the state of Texas, where I live, the state board of education, which purchases K/12 textbooks for the entire state, holds public hearings that witness no-holds-barred matches among family planning, pro-life, gay advocacy, fundamentalist Christian, and other lobbying groups on the merits of proposed textbooks; and those hearings often result in one or more textbooks being withdrawn from consideration for adoption or even in the reconsideration of previously approved texts. Though textbooks undeniably fulfill important tasks in the school systems of all states and nations; capitalist as well as communist, democratic as wells as authoritarian; nowhere were textbooks more consciously and completely turned to propagandist purposes than in the DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republic, German Democratic Republic). Throughout the forty-four-year existence of the DDR (1945/89), the Ministry of Education controlled textbook content tightly, and, in turn, the textbooks and teachers' guidebooks kept a tight rein on DDR teachers. The task of writing textbooks was entrusted by the Ministry of Education to scholarly "collectives" (groups of academics, each headed by an elite Party member) who could be trusted to adhere to the communist line on all questions. The most important of these were the editorial collectives at Verlag Volk und Wissen, the central state publishing house in East Berlin. To guarantee that there would be no ideological deviations among members of the collective, recalls Helmut Roske, formerly an editor at Volk und Wissen, his superior always took special precautions. Roske's department chief, Heinz Frankewicz, would regularly summon collective members to his office and remind them of the educators' ideological mission. In his memoir titled "The Textbook Factory," published in the December 1963 Atlantic Monthly, Roske recounts one such meeting, during which the political lessons that DDR textbooks sought to indoctrinate became painfully clear: The editors would listen in silence while he [Frankewicz] read out a perfectly correct sentence from the text[book] and then proceeded to smother it beneath a mountain of objections. For instance, he would read: "Because the German Democratic Republic is poor in hard coal resources, soft coal is used here in great quantities." "This is what you have written," he would say, "and let me quote further": "Soft coal contains a high water content, very little hydrogen, and its heat potential is limited." "This kind of thing could be found in any book, even in a capitalistic one." According to Roske, Frankewicz proceeded to ask: And what is the student supposed to infer? That the German Democratic Republic is weak? That we are unable to build up any industry, or what? Teaching material must serve to instill patriotic feelings and political conviction. A textbook like this might just as well be published in West Germany. It is false and useless. We are political beings and are educating young communists. Where is there anything here about the Ruhr barons? Where is there anything about the warmongering monopolies in West Germany? Why are the tables for water content in soft and hard coal placed right next to each other? So that the student can instantly compare them? Use the tables in which water doesn't appear and which build up a more favorable picture. It all sounds different when you say, "The German Democratic Republic has the greatest soft coal output in the world." Then list the collectivized industries we have treating soft coal. Show pictures of the [coal] plants. Quote from the plan, describe the activities in these various [firms]! Roske goes on to recount the futile attempts of the editorial collective to preserve the textbook's scientific integrity: "But this is a book on chemistry," the editors protested. "No," said Frankewicz. "This is a textbook whose job it is to work up student enthusiasm over the Party's output. It must show the teacher how and with what methods to instill this enthusiasm. Take a look at Neues Deutschland, our Party's paper." "But a newspaper," objected the editors, "is no source for a scientific textbook!" "Not a newspaper; this newspaper! It's the organ of the Party," said Frankewicz. "In it, Party Chief Walter Ulbricht outlines the prospects for our chemical industries, which today live off coal but which tomorrow will be fed by petroleum supplied from our Soviet friends. That's what we mean by science. "At least two socialist examples must be introduced on every page, deliberately, you understand. I'll see you in three weeks' time." With that he dismisses the team. This exchange serves as ironic evidence of the single-minded intention of the Ministry of Education's policymakers. As the DDR Pedagogical Encyclopedia confidently pronounced: "The textbook is one of the most important lesson materials É and it effectively fulfills the cultural and educational tasks of the socialist school." II Textbooks did indeed form a cornerstone of the DDR school curriculum; though, as East Germany's defunct status doubtless suggests, their effectiveness was disputable. But the lessons that they sought to impart are indisputable. DDR primers and school readers told schoolchildren who and what to admire and abhor. Civics textbooks exalted a model of German socialist youth and instructed DDR pupils what to think about the West, especially the United States, and what to think about the Soviet Union. History textbooks shaped pupils' views about the major events of DDR and world history. Even textbooks in the sciences and mathematics reflected the doctrine of so-called DIAMAT (dialectical materialism). Textbook Reds examines how; and how effectively; DDR textbooks fulfilled these tasks, as it explores how a broad cross-section of school subjects contributed to the pedagogical goals of East German education. My title is intended to be thought-provoking rather than politically provocative: I do not mean to suggest that all DDR citizens were lock- step, ideologically benighted, card-carrying communist functionaries; or even to imply that lifelong Party supporters rigidly conformed to official DDR views. Rather, my title is meant to convey that what we can term a "textbook mentality"; which equated citizens' critiques of the Party and DDR government with disloyalty and such bourgeois sins as individualism, negativism, and cosmopolitanism; imprinted itself deeply on generations of DDR pupils. Those DDR citizens who broke free of such indoctrination still bore marks of its influence, even, as we shall see, long after their leaving school; and long after the DDR's collapse. No book-length English-language study has discussed how the East German textbook sought to shape the Weltanschauung of DDR youth and form the young citizen's mind. But if one wants to know what DDR students were told to think about their nation, their governing Party, and its leaders, their so-called Soviet friends, and their class enemy, no better source than textbooks exists. For here we have the dogmas of the SED (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, Socialist Unity Party) communicated in their most simplified form and manufactured in the millions for mass consumption. It is perhaps impossible to reconstruct at this date what DDR citizens actually thought about their state and its place in the world. Few reliable records and no public opinion polls existed in the former DDR (at least none that were ever published in the West). Some demographic information and research data were available from the Zentralinstitut f¿r Jugendforschung (Central Institute for Youth Research), but for the most part Western scholars could only estimate or speculate about what DDR citizens actually thought. Specifically because of this scarcity of survey data the DDR textbook is invaluable, for it reveals in detail what citizens were supposed to think. In light of these facts, Textbook Reds draws extensively on teachers' manuals and handbooks in order to illuminate how the Ministry of Education directed teachers to present classroom material. Yet my main concern is not with classroom teaching methods or with an empirical analysis linking student attitudes and curricular content. Nor does this work seek to establish the dense post-war historical context in which the textbooks were produced and received, let alone to present a full-scale history of the DDR educational system, a story that I have recently told in Repainting the Little Red Schoolhouse: A History of Eastern German Education, 1945/1995 (Oxford University Press, 2002). Rather, this book scrutinizes the imprint of communist ideology in curricular materials and suggests how the thinking of eastern Germans has evolved beyond the worldview inscribed in the DDR textbook. Part 1 is a detailed textual and thematic study of the role of ideology in making "textbook Reds" and how the promotion of that ideology served the purpose of state legitimation for the DDR. It concentrates on DDR educational materials and on how the state philosophy of M-L (Marxism-Leninism) permeated every school subject. Chapter 1 addresses the schoolbooks used in German language and literature classes, ranging from the primary school readers found in the POS (Polytechnische Oberschule ) elementary school to the EOS (Erweiterte Oberschule)secondary school anthologies. Given the centrality of German class in the DDR curriculum; the DDR devoted up to 30 percent more class hours to German than did some West German L¿nder; its presentation in DDR textbooks receives the most extensive attention. Chapters 2 through 5, respectively, treat curricular materials in geography, Staatsb¿rgerkunde (civics), history, and the physical sciences and mathematics. Among the specific topics addressed are: socialist patriotism, international proletarianism, socialist morality, the capitalist-imperialist enemy, the duties of socialist citizenship, and the DDR identity. Drawing on a rich and varied collection of materials; a total of more than two hundred textbooks, teaching guides, school songbooks, educators' professional journals, and school examinations; Textbook Reds engages in close sociological and cultural readings of these materials and spotlights the role of M-L in East German pedagogy. For reasons of both space and the availability of primary materials, I have chosen to concentrate chiefly on the elementary (POS) curriculum and the post-Wall era (1961/89). Periodic attention is also given to secondary school (EOS) schoolbooks and other educational resources from the early post-war years. My focus in Part 1 is, therefore, on the DDR era, especially the 1970s and 1980s, and on DDR textbooks, with occasional attention directed to textbooks published since 1990. Each chapter in Part 1 features numerous examples and other data from the textbooks, whereby I mean to show the ubiquity of the ideological contents. Certainly the textbooks of every nation reflect its political culture and values. But the sheer volume and variety of ideologically conditioned material is the most striking feature of East German textbooks, and thus I deem it essential to offer an ample demonstration of both its pervasiveness and its significance. Moreover, in order to show what role textbooks played in ideological indoctrination and national self-legitimation, the book not only investigates their contents, but analyzes how those contents evolved across the history of the DDR. In select instances, I have compared the textbooks of the DDR with those of West Germany or the Third Reich; and also with American, Soviet, and recent Russian textbooks. These cross-cultural comparisons serve to highlight the distinctive character of DDR schoolbooks. My hope is that these diverse approaches to understanding the DDR educational system will prove valuable not only to educators, but also to cultural historians, political scientists, sociologists, and communication theorists. Although I discuss periodically why certain school subjects were more vulnerable to ideologically motivated material, I am not concerned to specify what proportions of the texts are ideological in nature, or to pinpoint the relative level of propaganda to which East German students were subjected. Instead my emphasis is on comparative historical analysis and interpretative methodology, whereby I also aim to render Textbook Reds accessible to a wide audience via the aid of the excursus sections, which are designed to shed light on the reception and impact of the textbooks. These excursus sections in Part 1 warrant additional comment. Each chapter therein includes one or more such sections that highlight and further explore the topics pursued in the main narrative of the chapter. Each excursus broadly illustrates how eastern Germans were influenced by ideology in the schools or inspects some dimension of post-communist educational life. More specifically, each excursus examines a particular issue or theme in the curricular subject under discussion in its respective chapter, or devotes extended attention to how a single grade or class year was handled by the textbooks, or engages a topic in comparative education. III Part 2 of this book takes the story of the making of East German "textbook Reds" up to the year 2002. It discloses how cultural and educational policies enter the lives of real people even after the regime that promoted this ideology and issued its textbooks has passed from the scene. For the fact is that textbooks are often too narrowly analyzed according to their texts alone; rather than in the context of real readers; and therefore these analyses fail to capture any sense of the impact and imprint of the textbooks on people's lives. This study attempts to redress that imbalance by devoting Part 2 to a series of portraits and interviews of eastern Germans influenced by the textbooks already discussed. Some of my interlocutors were, by their own admission, "convinced communists" (a.k.a. "textbook Reds"), while others were resistant to or even outspokenly critical of the DDR regime. Nonetheless, all of my interviewees grew up with the worldview of the textbooks as the official horizon of their thinking. The three chapters of Part 2 thus feature both "school portraits" and interviews with teachers or students, each of whom reflects on his or her educational experience in the DDR. My aspiration is to illustrate suggestively how the Weltanschauung of DDR textbooks has been renegotiated in easterners' lives; rather than, once again, to argue whether or how DDR schoolbooks continue to exert influence on the minds of eastern Germans long after the DDR's demise and German reunification. That is also the reason I have limited my formal analysis of textbooks to the DDR era. For I am more interested to trace into the post-communist era the developments in people's minds than in pedagogical materials; i.e., I am more concerned to disclose the ongoing imprint of the "textbook mentality" on the citizens who grew up in the DDR than to identify alterations in schoolbooks since reunification. In short: I am more concerned with people's lives than with propagandists' lessons. Part 2 concentrates on teachers and students who experienced the DDR educational system in the 1970s and 1980s; this focus suggests the mode of thinking of a generation, and it suggests the persisting; if quite indefinite; influence of the DDR textbooks in the process. Among the questions that the portraits and the interviews raise are the following: How do the communist past and the post-communist present fit together in eastern Germany? How have education and teaching in the region evolved since 1989? What influence does "Ostalgie" exert on memory of the communist past and the direction of eastern German education? How did eastern Germans adapt in the classroom? How did they respond to the orthodoxies embodied in the textbooks? How much continuity existed between the idealistic era of the 1940s and early 1950s and the backlash that occurred toward the Soviets in the late 1950s and 1960s? And what remains in eastern Germans' attitudes of the DDR's determined campaign "to win the minds of men," its ceaseless struggle to form the East German identity? Most of the portraits and interviews in Part 2 concern an eastern German who passed through the DDR school system. I have not attempted to analyze closely how a particular textbook left its imprint on any of the minds of my conversation partners. (Who, indeed, remembers school that well?!) Rather, I have sought to present snapshots of eastern Germans coming to terms with their textbook learning during the decade following German reunification. Because the majority of my interviews were conducted during 1990/97, the first seven years after German reunification, they also have a particular documentary value as oral history of a vanished past. Indeed, this special documentary aspect of the conversations in Part 2; which function as "eyewitness testimony" of a gut-wrenching transitional moment in eastern Germany's history; was stressed to me by several early readers of this book in manuscript, who found the transcripts of my interviews invaluable as a historical record and urged me to edit them for this study. (All of the interviews were conducted in German.) The enthusiastic responses of these readers reminded me of my original motivations for arranging these interviews: to serve as a witness to witnesses. For I was a visitor during a fleeting, evanescent moment in German history, when East German socialism had not yet disappeared and Western-style capitalism had not yet established itself. In hindsight, many of my conversations and experiences in the early 1990s could only have happened at that precise historical moment. Before 1990, it was impossible for a Westerner, or indeed practically any non/East German, to travel freely in the DDR; and near-impossible to have conversations with East Germans who possessed the temerity and transparency to express themselves freely and openly. After the early 1990s, the old DDR way of life receded so quickly that older adults wanted to move beyond that past and young eastern Germans had no memory of it. Moreover, as numerous eastern Germans told me, I was distinctive because I am an American; they felt antagonism toward western Germans (the so-called Besserwessis, or western German know-it-alls), and they felt either hatred or incuriosity toward Russians and Eastern Europeans from the old Soviet bloc; but most of them had never spoken to an American, and now that it was safe to do so, they were passionately curious to share their stories with me; and almost equally so to hear about my impressions of their country and themselves. So I was uniquely positioned both temporally and culturally to witness an extraordinary and defining instant in world history that has left very few traces in eastern German society today. Part 2 of this book represents an attempt to capture than unique experience. Furthermore, the portraits and interviews in Part 2 represent an attempt not just to include the responses of readers but to bring alive how the textbooks reflected their worldview; even more than a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall. For I am not simply analyzing the sober contents of now-moribund communist schoolbooks but suggesting how these books functioned in DDR education; and, in many cases, how they continue to influence their readers' lives. Thus the larger aspiration behind my examining "the textbook in the classroom" is to capture the human implications of East German curricular policy and spot the amplitude and register of political tones in the symphony of unsung citizens' lives. In this way, I have sought to establish a context in personal histories for better understanding the curricular materials. The study thereby becomes not only an investigation of DIAMAT pedagogy as communicated via DDR textbooks, but also a motley chorus of voices that discloses how the DDR Weltanschauung manifested itself in the outlooks of its ordinary citizens. By inviting DDR teachers and students to tell their stories; to share the high and low notes of their experiences in the educational system; I have striven to make available the drama of DDR history from below, of erlebte Geschichte (lived/experienced history). Rather than interview top school administration officials, I sought out rank-and-file teachers and students whom I met through friends and acquaintances. The fact is that most well-known people tend to be somewhat removed from ordinary life; this book aspires precisely to draw American readers to re-experience a near-universal experience in the industrial world; school life; and thereby draw them into lives apparently dissimilar yet ultimately not so unlike their own. Indeed, a special comparative feature of the portrait and interviews; which should be of compelling interest to American readers; is the periodic commentary on American education and American values. In many cases my interviewees were drawn to make extended comparisons between Germany and the United States, especially between the values of eastern Germany and the socialist heritage and their counterparts. This reflects both the new orientation of capitalist Americans and that of eastern Germans toward the West and, quite often, these easterners' recent experiences of studying and or visiting the United States. In many cases, eastern German students preferred to compare their socialist values not with western German values but with American values, because they considered the latter most representative of capitalism; and because American capitalism seems to them an extreme version of the capitalist ethos that they have encountered in western Germany. Because these interviews and portraits function as an informal social history of DDR education and tell its story from below, they may be considered a "school supplement" to Lutz Niethammer's revealing 1991 anthropology of everyday life in the DDR, Die volkseigene Erfahrung (The People's Own Experience) that showed the gap between claims of the Party (which professed to speak always for the Volk) and the lived reality of East Germans' lives. The conversations in the present volume expose a similar gulf, thus giving belated voice to onetime teachers and students from the former DDR. These "school portraits" might be titled: Die volkseigene Schule; "The People's Own School." IV Textbook Reds thus presents not just an interpretive analysis of communist textbooks, but also offers a glimpse of post-communism with a German face, indeed what might be called "the textbook with a human face," thereby to see how the ideology of the textbooks was variously concretized in the consciousness of the teachers and students who read them. "Post-communism" is a charged, indeed loaded and over-determined phrase in contemporary Europe. Is communism "post-"? Or can it be revived? Will it become just another school or movement of thought? Or can it serve as the basis for a reconstituted political and economic system? These are questions with which both thinkers and policymakers are still grappling, and they have particular relevance to citizens of former communist nations such as the DDR. At minimum, as the portraits and interviews in Part 2 evince, the past lives on in the present: the DDR communist regime exists no longer, but elements of the communist ideology remain alive in the minds and hearts of millions of eastern Germans. Post-communist education is also, in a very real sense, post-German education. That fact is vividly illustrated in the final chapter of Part 2, about which an extended comment is appropriate here. Chapter 8 devotes consideration to a topic not found in the DDR textbooks and never explicitly advanced by DDR educators. Indeed, it is a topic that may be seen as a post-reunification counterpart to the old DDR program of "Education for Hate." The new program is broadly known as "Education for Tolerance" and it has received attention throughout Germany, yet most especially in the east. An entirely new dimension of education is raised with the introduction of tolerance as a leitmotif in the curriculum. For tolerance is not simply a matter of pedagogical approach or course content. Among those most concerned with education for tolerance are Germany's Jewish citizens and residents. And arguably, the setting in which the success or failure of the program will prove most crucially apparent is the German-Jewish school. Thus a special feature of this book is its attention in Chapter 8 to Jewish themes and to the rebirth of Jewish education in Germany in the shadow of the Holocaust. Finally, in a brief epilogue, I shift back from the school portraits to the DDR system, offering a final meditation on the high toll that its ideological core curriculum exacted. Introduction Ideology as Core Curriculum 1945: Textbooks and German Re-Education Nazi rule placed the entire course of German education, from nursery through university, in the service of fascist ideology, racial hatred, spiritual and physical preparation for war, chauvinistic baiting, and military drilling. . . . ; KPD-SPD Joint Declaration on Education, 11 June 1945 Even before the Russians occupied eastern Germany in May 1945, the topic of German schoolbooks was already one that occupied Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and the Kremlin. Like the western Allies, the Soviets wanted to avoid giving Germans the impression that their children would be stuffed with Allied propaganda. Above all, the Soviets sought not to repeat the fiasco that the British and Americans had unwittingly created during the early months of the Italian occupation in 1944: After the successful Anglo-American invasion of Italy in late 1943, schools had been reopened in 1944 under Allied administration. London and Washington had decided, on a temporary basis, to continue using the fascist schoolbooks and simply excise those pages that glorified fascism. But some families had retained old; and intact; copies of the books at home, and predictably, the excised pages had become the object of intense interest among Italian schoolchildren. Allied policy thus had achieved exactly the opposite of its main goal, the political "re-education" of the vanquished fascist enemy. Plans to implement German re-education with non-Nazi textbooks hit an immediate roadblock: The Nazis had burned all German schoolbooks printed before 1935. And so the Allies were forced to search outside Germany for old German textbooks. The biggest source was Teachers College, Columbia University, which sent microfilms of twenty textbooks to London shortly before the war's close. These books were republished in Germany, with some alterations made for political content, and remained in use until 1947. But these textbooks were circulated only in Germany's western zones. By the war's end, political tensions between the western Allies and the Soviet Union had become so exacerbated that the two sides could not agree on how German re-education should be conducted. Both the western Allies and the Soviets concurred that re-education was a program of moral reconstruction that would entail a complete revamping of Germans' tradition (i.e., not just pro-Nazi) values. The aspiration was to foster a new Fatherland: Whereas the West sought a Germany committed to popular democracy and to the freedoms of speech, press, and religion, the Soviets wanted a Germany committed to Marxism- Leninism under the guidance of the Communist Party and the Kremlin. Thus the Allies' fight about re-education policy eventually became a battle over which "un-lessons"; the democratic or the Bolshevist; would be taught in German schools. Of course, disagreement over textbook content was just one aspect of a larger battle; extending far beyond education policy; between the western Allies and the Soviets. The conflicts would ultimately lead to the complete end of cooperation between occupation authorities of the West and the Soviets; and, after the 1946/47 Berlin airlift and a series of other small crises, to the formation of separate Germanies: the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland [West Germany]) in May 1949 and the DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, German Democratic Republic [East Germany]) in October 1949. Although textbooks that had been in use during the Weimar Republic were easily available, Soviet educators considered them insufficiently progressive, just as the western Allies regarded them as insufficiently democratic. (Both the USSR and the western Allies also judged them to be proto-fascist.) Unwilling to use the textbooks from the Weimar era; especially after they were revised by the western Allies to show strong sympathy to capitalism and hostility to socialism; the SMAD (Sowjetische Milit¿radministration Deutschlands, Soviet Military Administration of Germany) decided to issue its own textbooks. Having located a few Weimar-era textbooks that could serve as models, Soviet educators worked with returning German socialist ¿migr¿s to write several textbooks for grades one through four. Volk und Wissen Volkseigener Verlag, the newly founded educational publishing house, rushed out these temporarily usable books in late 1945 for the 1945/46 school year. (Given paper shortages, fiscal crises, and the quickly changing political lines in the Kremlin, the Ministry of Education issued no non-science textbooks until 1951. Even in the sciences and mathematics, teachers in the upper elementary school and secondary school grades had no textbooks until the founding of the DDR in 1949.) From Brown to Red? The old Party slogan trumpeted "St¿rmt die Festung Wissenschaft!" ("Storm the citadel of learning!"). Marshal Stalin himself had issued the call to arms, declaring educational institutions "the citadel of learning" that "we must capture at any price. This citadel must be taken by our youth, if they wish to take the place of the old guard." The youth could be persuaded of the superiority of communism, even if their elders were a lost cause. The Soviets called their agitprop educational campaign vospitanie (moral-social development); the East Germans termed it weltanschauliche Erziehung (education for a world outlook). Whatever the name, the intent was the same: creating the new socialist human being. From the earliest days of the SMAD, textbooks were the foundation in eastern Germany that undergirded the "citadel of learning." As we shall see, no subject; not even spelling, penmanship, inorganic chemistry, or linear algebra; escaped the Red paintbrush. Marxist-Leninist (Marxismus-Leninismus, M-L) indoctrination thus "replaced" fascist propaganda in eastern German textbooks: "the Red replaced the Brown." Of course, that formulation is a vulgar and misleading oversimplification. The word "replace" suggests a simple historic transfer from the Nazi regime to East German communism. There was no such easy transfer. The totalitarianism theory behind this oversimplification, first propounded by Hannah Arendt in The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), is too reductionist to grasp the historical intricacies of the transition in German society between 1945 and the official founding of the two German states in 1949. Those four intervening years were crucial in the formation of two entirely new societies, whose complex development defies the simplistic "from Brown to Red" theories of the East German society. That new starting point in German history after 1945 in both German societies does not accommodate for a simple "replacement theory" of "Red = Brown." The theory of a mere replacement of the Nazis by the communists overlooks the liberties that the communist regime offered. It underplays the gravity of the racial hatred that the Nazis stamped in the minds of many Germans; including committed communists and political liberals. Moreover, generational change that was taking place within East German society in the late 1950s and 1960s, which reoriented DDR youth toward atheistic, progressive beliefs, also goes unnoticed. Thus, the "Red = Brown" concept only serves to obscure the complexities of the East German society. DDR society was founded upon the belief in the equality of all human beings (black, white, Jewish, Muslims, men and women); and it upheld that creed in the main (despite a degree of anti-Semitism and sexism). Here again, I do not say that social and political reality ever matched these beliefs: in numerous cases I think they turned out to be vain beliefs. Nevertheless, as mental and social constructs, these beliefs were part of DDR reality. A "Red = Brown" approach thus ignores the many layers of East German social and political reality. Quoting from school textbooks and pressing the citations into an artificial framework of "Nazi-era _ DDR transition" promotes a myth rather than illuminating history. So the "Red" did not simply "replace" the "Brown"; the historical transition to the DDR was complex and partly discontinuous with the immediate past. Moreover, at least in1945 and 1946, it was not evident that M-L would come to dominate eastern German education. Largely to satisfy the western Allies; and to preserve the possibility that a reunited Germany would one day stand in the socialist camp; the policy of the SMAD was anti-fascist rather than explicitly pro-communist: anti-Brown rather than overtly pro-Red. A directive on syllabus revision published by the Ministry of Education in October 1945 makes it clear that SMAD re-education policy sought merely to assure that eastern Germans would learn to scorn Nazis and fascist Brownshirts and to appreciate socialist and Soviet culture: In Biology, Nazi racial ideology and the teaching on which it is based; the supposed superiority of the German people over other peoples; is to be removed. Likewise to be removed is the application to human society of the teaching about the struggle for existence in the animal world. Students are only to learn about the lawfulness of nature and the development of plants and creatures, and to see how human beings learn to master nature through the recognition of these laws. <one line space> In German, selection and interpretation of materials must consist not only of aesthetic and literary viewpoints, but also correspond to the introduction of the comprehensive educational goal [i.e., anti-fascism]. This requires that the youth be introduced to our classics, our current democratic [i.e., socialist] literature, and the great works of world [including Russian] literature. German communists began to speak of "the new school" (die neue schule); the anti-fascist, democratic school; that they were building in the SBZ (Sowjetische Besatzungszone, Soviet Occupation Zone). The phrase was deliberately lower-cased to trumpet the DDR's democratic intentions. To staff their schools, the Ministry of Education fired almost all teachers who had been members of the Nazi Party (almost two-thirds of the teaching profession), leaving the median age of SBZ teachers at fifty-two and one-half (fifty- nine in Berlin). (Roughly 70 percent of teachers had been Nazi Party members during the Third Reich.) These teachers were replaced by "new teachers" (Neulehrer), some of whom were as young as sixteen years old, and some of whom had not even completed elementary school. But the SMAD ordained that educational attainment was not a decisive criterion for selection as a new teacher. Political reliability; an anti-fascist and, preferably, pro-socialist or pro-communist orientation; was the key. For the new teachers were to be the cornerstone of the SMAD's re-education efforts to transform the German character and eradicate German militarism. As part of this re-education, the SMAD banned all kinds of military games and ordered that the production of war toys be halted. These measures, along with the progressive ideological perspective provided by the new teachers, revolutionized the eastern German classroom. And by "spread[ing] the truth about the Soviet Union," the new teachers revolutionized the classroom in a pro-Soviet, M-L direction, as the words of one DDR historian make clear: Many young people began to understand [in1945/46] that participation in democratic reconstruction which stamped out the roots of war; and not death on a battlefield in an imperialistic war; was meaningful and honorable. Concepts such as "love of the Fatherland," "heroism," and "courage" received new, humanistic content, completely opposed to imperialistic conceptions. Insofar as the new school told schoolchildren of the genuine heroism and real patriotism of the anti- fascist resistance fighters, insofar as it spread the truth about the Soviet Union, it helped to make the poison of anti-communism ineffective for the first time in German educational history. But Nazi, or at least anti-Soviet, attitudes could not be changed overnight: Most students had belonged to the HJ (Hitler Jugend, Hitler Youth) organizations and most families harbored anti-communist sentiments. It was not easy for the Soviets to overcome years of propaganda against the "Bolsheviks" and the "Slavs"; and German hostilities were exacerbated by the widespread raping of German women by Soviet troops, by the shame of the Nuremberg Trials of 1945/46, and by the dismantling of eastern German industry by the SMAD. Some local school districts were hard to bring under control: A 1946 report in the state of Saxony on fascist tendencies in the schools noted that "military propaganda is still to be found" and even that teachers were teaching from "schoolbooks . . . that were published after 1933 and are considered fascist books." Indeed, defiance toward the SMAD even went further: "In various schools, there are still pictures of Hitler and other so-called Nazi Ôleaders'; even Nazi placards and mottoes haven't been entirely removed." But resistance to the SMAD and the German communist educational authorities did not last long. By 1948, the citadel; at least at the elementary and secondary levels; had been successfully stormed (the university would take almost another decade of struggle). And by the early 1950s, it had been taken over and transformed completely. At least some of the credit for the victorious campaign after 1951 must go to the schoolbooks and teaching guides (which gave explicit instructions on how to conduct every single class hour), because it was through these materials that the Party controlled the teachers themselves. Since individual teachers, especially non-Party members, could not be trusted to support (or even grasp) subtle changes in the Party line, every teacher was told to "teach the textbook to the letter"; the textbook and syllabus thus functioned like military orders issued from a rigidly centralized, hierarchical command structure; and SED (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, Socialist Unity Party of Germany) educational authorities permitted no deviations; at least not officially. Indeed, until the mid-1980s and the glasnost initiatives under Mikhail Gorbachev, it is fair to say that; long after the SMAD was gone; the USSR continued to control the East German educational apparatus, though of course not directly, since hard-line SED apparatchiks were available to write the texts and select the illustrations. Or, rather one should say, to translate the texts. For there was seldom much difference between the contents of the DDR and the USSR schoolbook: What H¿nschen learned to read was usually very similar to what little Ivan was learning to read. What East Berlin mandated had already been handed down from Moscow. But the combination of the Nazi past, the lost war, and the Soviet occupation also produced significant differences, often in the direction of a much more orthodox, rigid communism than in the post-Stalinist USSR. H¿nschen's and little Gretel's textbook world was black and white; or better, Red and black; populated by good comrades and evil strangers, by friends of the Fatherland and enemies of the People. This context makes the study of the DDR's schoolbooks especially significant. Virtually every classroom in the nation used the assigned textbook for each subject and grade level. The textbook was the ultimate source of information for many pupils; and even for many Neulehrer. Most DDR citizens had little or no formal education after their ten-year polytechnical school (or, in the early post-war era, their eight-year school). Above all, it was the information that was taught in school, not at the university or in adult education courses, that shaped the average citizen's beliefs. And beliefs implanted in school, especially given DDR travel restrictions and limited access to outside sources of information, took root and grew. So the textbooks taught the young how to perceive their nation and world. For many DDR citizens, the lessons lasted most of a lifetime; and the re- educational "unlessons" were hard won indeed. The (East) German Ideology And what constituted, we may ask, the content of these textbook lessons; or unlessons? The textbooks transmitted a factory myth of the First German Workers' and Peasants' State, a set of doctrines that might in toto be termed "the East German ideology." In The German Ideology (1845), Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels castigated the "illusions" of German Hegelianism, which promoted a system of false ideas, or "ideology," based on dishonest reasoning and the distortion of facts designed to justify the position of the ruling class. In the 1930s, the National Socialists glorified nationalism and perpetuated myths that gave special emphasis to Deutschtum (Germanness), representing the culmination of decades of increasingly aggressive emphasis on German soil and blood, and thereby creating what scholars such as Fritz Stern have termed "the Germanic ideology." Out of the defeat of the Reich in 1945 arose new ideologies, western and eastern, reflecting the opposing Weltanschauungen of the respective Allied occupation powers. In the SBZ, the new German ideology soon emerged to be a wintry version of Soviet ideology transplanted; direct from the Kremlin and with little adjustment for environment or climate; westward. Thus the new Germany on the Elbe became, as it were, Soviet Germany. As we shall soon see in detail, however, though the Soviets had defeated the Germanic ideology of the Nazis, they immediately imposed an equally authoritarian ideology on eastern Germany. And it rapidly evolved, more and more showing its real colors: from Schein-democratization to Sovietization to Stalinization. Ultimately, the DDR of the 1950s and 1960s became more staunchly authoritarian than even the USSR. And so, almost exactly a century after Marx and Engels had deplored the German ideology of their day, East German communists were inculcating their own official ideology, an ideology that turned out to bear striking resemblance to the Teutonic false consciousness that the German forefathers of the socialist Fatherland had excoriated: Stalinism, or M-L. But, as I have suggested, the emphasis in DDR Stalinism was definitely a matter of "L" before "M": Lenin, not Marx; Russian, not German. And Marx's definition of ideology; i.e., a false consciousness that masks from the protagonists themselves the causes, grounds, and motives for their actions; characterized M-L even more than it had the German nationalism and philosophical idealism of his own day. Indeed, for all its denunciations of fascism and Hitlerism, the only close counterpart in German history to the new East German ideology was, ironically, the recently defeated Germanic ideology of the Nazis. Just as Soviet ideals displaced Teutonic ones, Soviet nationalism replaced Deutschtum. Where the Nazi educators had prized German blood as the mark of the Herrenmensch (master race), DDR schools presented workers' children as superior to bourgeois children, and asserted that workers' problems had nothing to do with individuals and everything to do with economic structures. Soviet pedagogues and M-L "science" were treated as omniscient, eerily recalling the Nazi elevation of Aryan pedagogy and vilification of "Jewish" science. And so the new democratic socialist Mensch of East Germany would be reared on a Weltanschauung recognizably similar to that which the USSR had sacrificed 20 million citizens to conquer. The school stories in DDR readers highlighted the East German ideology, taking special pains to lionize the Soviet Union. A common tactic was to portray Stalin's alleged love for German children, partly to counteract the enduring anti-Soviet sentiment among East Germans. One story, which features Stalin's towering presence at the Potsdam conference in 1945, is titled "When Stalin Came [to Germany]": "Whether Stalin is sunk deep in thought at his work table or at the conference table seeking peace, always his mind is on the People. He thinks about every child, especially about German children. No one will ever know war or fascism again; there will only be peace and friendship among the children of the whole wide world." Under the picture of Marshal Stalin runs the caption: "Never, so long as the world turns, will the People forget their great and loving father and teacher." But the lessons of socialism's great march to victory were traceable to and projected upon events occurring long before the twentieth century. Consider, for instance, the introduction to the DDR fifth-grade history text of the 1980s, which covered the period from prehistory to classical Greece and Rome: In fifth through tenth grade you will become acquainted with the important events in the history of humankind. You will learn why working people often did not possess what they created and how the exploiters came by their riches. You will understand how wars came to be and why courageous persons battled for peace. But one thing above all should be investigated and answered: How does it come that human society, from its beginnings to the present, has steadily developed itself, and that this development already in many countries has led to socialism; and in all countries will lead to it? Whether referring to the Stone Age or ancient Mesopotamia or Periclean Greece, DDR textbook historians made it clear that animals and human beings were distinguishable by their different relations to work, that human history was the history of a class struggle between workers and non-workers, and that the glorious past battles of workers and peasants were the heroic antecedents of the First German Workers' and Peasants' State. The SED operated with its Marxist-Whig interpretation of history: History was the story of the rise of socialism, and "real existing socialism" could be found in the DDR and its Bruderl¿nder. Following the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education and Volk und Wissen, DDR textbook writers faithfully followed the Party summons that "authors of textbooks should take as their model the works of Marx and Lenin, which are permeated with boundless faith in the victory of communism and unrelenting hatred for its enemies. A textbook should be written so that not a single fact leaves the student indifferent." As we shall soon see, DDR textbooks did not leave the citizenry indifferent; as the outrage reflected in the popular demonstrations and mass protests that led to the toppling of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 evinced. That the textbook "facts" selected to persuade DDR pupils ultimately failed to do so, despite more than four decades of ceaseless effort, was not, however, for lack of trying. Nor should we Americans remain indifferent about the relentless textbook wars in the United States, when the state assumes ever greater control of education, whether in the name of the "No Child Left Behind" initiatives, or raising performance goals, or establishing uniform and comparative quality standards. For such justifications resemble what DDR educators also claimed, albeit in different language. So let us Americans remain vigilant and self-critical. A politicized curriculum led the DDR school to become an instance of "illiberal education" at its most extreme. We should heed the lesson of that mistake. But what were the particular "facts" chosen to inspire DDR youth? How exactly did DDR schoolbooks help breed the German democratic socialist Mensch? Let us turn to the central subject in the DDR curriculum for our first glimpse at the answers. Part I Of Politics and Letters; and Numbers
Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:
Textbooks -- Germany (East).
Education -- Germany (East) -- Curricula.
Communism and education.