In January 1959, the GDR leadership announced the “Brigade of Socialist Work Competition”  using the slogan, “Work, Learn, and Live as a Socialist.” As a “mass initiative of working people,” this “socialist competition” aimed to increase worker productivity in firms and to motivate people to meet—and surpass—the goals established in the country’s economic plan. Universities were also supposed to participate in a competition for the “Honorary Title of the Socialist Student Collective.” This competition was organized by the Free German Youth and followed the model used in industry. In 1960, the first honorary title was awarded to a medical faculty seminar group and a law faculty seminar at Humboldt University in East Berlin.

Study as a Socialist, Live as a Socialist! Seminar Room at Humboldt University, East Berlin (1961)

  • Bernard Larsson


Source: Competition announcement in a seminar room at Humboldt University in East Berlin. Date: 1961. Location: East Berlin. Photo: Bernard Larsson.
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© bpk / Kunstbibliothek, SMB / Bernard Larsson