By Corey Ross
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Extra resources for Constructing Socialism at the Grass-Roots: The Transformation of East Germany, 1945–65
36 Although a particularly bad case, Löwenbruch was not a spectacular exception in terms of the immense personnel problems the SED faced in building up its grass-roots organization in the countryside during the years following the war. As late as 1949 the SED Kreisvorstand in Oberbarnim complained that: ‘The greatest weaknesses are presented by the insufﬁcient ideological clarity of the functionaries. This is the case in general in the entire party The Land Reform and its Effects 29 organization .
In other words, it was no longer just a matter of managing workers, but also managing managers. But this, too, proved more easily said than done, mostly because of the difﬁculty in ﬁnding appropriate personnel to do it. As the Economic Commission lamented one year after Order 234 was launched, ‘For the necessary inspection of the enterprises in this regard, only a completely insufﬁcient total of 65 revisers . . 31 Although the initial plan was for production to rise twice as fast as wages, workers’ opposition to increasing regimentation in the factories and the willingness of local functionaries and managers to succumb to it ensured that just the opposite was the case.
23 Against the backdrop of removals and reparations, the upshot of the increasing regimentation on the shopﬂoor was widespread grumbling and shirking in factories across the Soviet Zone. This placed factory directors, many of whom felt a greater obligation towards their workers than towards the occupying powers, in an impossible position. 24 There was widespread foot-dragging, most clearly manifested in the fact that by April 1948, six months after Order 234 was announced, there had been only a 3 per cent rise in piecework and performance-related pay.