Sönke FriedreichIra Spieker

Segregate and recognize. Resettled families in the rural society of the Soviet Occupation Zone (SOZ) and the early German Democratic Republic (GDR)

Umsiedlerfamilien in der ländlichen Gesellschaft der SBZ und frühen DDR

Shortlink: https://www.waxmann.com/artikelART101344

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Abstract

The rural post-war society in the SOZ/GDR was characterized by the transformation to a socialist society – a drastic process which was dynamized especially by the land reform and the influx of more than four million refugees and displaced persons. The tension between state-imposed inclusion and practiced exclusion resp. deliberate self-exclusion was particularly high concerning the competition for economic resources and the struggle for recognition. The analysis of archival sources and narrative interviews shows that the adaptation strategies of different actors to cope with the upheaval are very complex, far reaching beyond the state-imposed “integration from above“. Depending on the context, multidimensional affiliations of actors beyond the attributions “established“ and “outsider“ can be observed. They emphasize the constitution of “identity“ as a dynamic development process.

Keywords
inclusion/exclusion, flight and displacement, SOZ/GDR, identity construction, rural societies