Walter Ulbricht

Walter Ulbricht (30 June 18931 August 1973) was an communist East German statesman. He ruled the country from 1950 until 1971 when he was ousted from the powerful position of the general secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and stayed at the ceremonial position of chairman of the State Council.


  • The builders of our capital are fully engaged in residential construction, and its labor force is deployed for that. Nobody has the intention to erect a wall." - 15 June 1961 at a press conference in East Berlin. Less than two months later construction began. ("Die Bauarbeiter unserer Hauptstadt beschäftigen sich hauptsächlich mit Wohnungsbau, und ihre Arbeitskraft wird dafür voll eingesetzt. Niemand hat die Absicht, eine Mauer zu errichten.")
  • Is it truely the case that we have to copy every dirt that comes from the west? I think, comrades, with the monotonism of the yeah yeah yeah and how that all is called should we make a stop. - In 1965 at the 11. congress of the central comitee of the SED refering to the "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" of the Beatles and against the Rockmusic from the west in general ("Ist es denn wirklich so, dass wir jeden Dreck, der vom Westen kommt, nu kopieren müssen? Ich denke, Genossen, mit der Monotonie des Je-Je-Je, und wie das alles heißt, ja, sollte man doch Schluss machen.") [1]


  • Any sensible family has a budget that lays out how much will be spent for household and other purposes. Without such planning, things would quickly go awry.
  • Because we have eliminated the anarchy of monopoly capitalism, we could develop this plan and take the first steps to fulfilling it.
  • By 1955 we will have more meat, sugar, milk, etc., per capita than we did in 1936. The same will be true of many other important goods.
  • By next year, 1953, rationing will be abolished and all foodstuffs and industrial goods will be available at fixed and affordable prices.
  • Dear fellow citizens, this plan is not only a shining beacon for us, but also stands against the lying fog that McCoy and Adenauer wish to spread between us and our fellow German citizens in the West.
  • Gifts fall from heaven only in fairy tales.
  • I ask you to let the government know immediately when you see serious problems or mistakes that stand in the way of our great community endeavor.
  • If we want to live in the way the Five Year Plan 1951-1955 proposes - and we will! - each of us must help.
  • In many other nations, including the Western part of our Fatherland, the economy does not take heed of the people's needs.
  • In the past, people worked together only when some great disaster threatened.
  • It is the most important contribution we can make to speeding up reunification.
  • Let there be great enthusiasm for the plan throughout the entire republic that will overcome all obstacles. Let us join together to realize the Five Year Plan and bring our economy and our own living standards to previously unknown heights.
  • Let us get to work, in full knowledge that the plan will awaken the great creative forces in each German and help them to blossom!
  • Let us show our fellow countrymen and the entire world what the Germans can do when they work for peace.
  • Let us together build a happy and prosperous life, free from debts and oppression, built on firm foundations that will guarantee peace in Europe.
  • Long live the united front of the fighting proletariat and all workers against exploitation, Young Plan enslavement, and Fascism!
  • Look to the Soviet Union, which has freed itself from every enemy!
  • May we soon enjoy the fruits of our labor in a peaceful and united Germany.
  • Something new has happened: For the first time in German history our fatherland is guided by a plan that considers only the needs of the people, and aims at building prosperity and reconstructing of our fatherland.
  • Still we can see an improvement in our living standard from year to year. We owe that to the early fulfillment of the Two Year Plan of 1949-1950, and the economic successes of 1951.
  • The armaments manufacturers in France and England are doing well, but constant inflation is devouring the purchasing power of working people.
  • The Five Year Plan proposes even faster growth. Industrial production will more than double by 1955 when compared to 1936.
  • The government of the German Democratic Republic rejects secret policies. It works for the people, and only the people, so it does not need to keep secrets like the warmongers.
  • The guiding principle is not to manufacture the goods everyone needs, rather to earn profits for a few capitalists.
  • The more you participate in our common endeavors, the more successful your work in the factory, mine, wharf or village, in an economic institute or in the arts, in commerce or administration, the sooner we will be where we all want to be.
  • The nature of a democracy consists to an important degree in the right of the people to criticize problems and mistakes.
  • The plan shows that the twenty million people in the German democratic Republic and in the democratic sector of Berlin think only of peace, and that they are working for freedom and peaceful prosperity.
  • The success of each of us benefits us all, and the success of us all benefits each of us individually.
  • The victory of the working people over the exploiters and slave holders is at the same time the victorious struggle for liberation by the German people.
  • The West German population would protest passionately if it knew what secret meetings between the federal chancellor, McCoy, and foreign and Nazi generals are planning.
  • This hunger for profits causes great misery for the people.
  • Today we are in the midst of a vast project that will bring happiness to us all, and will prevent new disasters from befalling our suffering people.
  • We see in West Germany that the number of millionaires is growing even as workers' real wages and incomes are sinking.
  • When has there ever been a government in German history that came to the people and revealed its detailed plans for the coming years? That could not happen before, since German governments planned war and conquest.

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Walter Ulbricht
Last modified on 24 November 2008, at 07:30