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East Germany Table of Contents

East Germany

The Creative Intelligentsia

The creative intelligentsia is broadly defined as those involved in artistic creativity, artistic expression, or teaching and research in the humanities. Since its inception, the East German regime has attempted to form an intelligentsia imbued with socialist values and responsive to regime needs. In return for service to the state, the regime has granted members of the creative intelligentsia many privileges, including the right to travel to the West and access to excellent housing facilities. As a result of these privileges, the creative intelligentsia has become increasingly isolated from the rest of the population.

The East German government does not publish data on the creative intelligentsia. However, it is possible to gauge the growth of this stratum by using statistics that depict increases in the kinds of institutions where these individuals work. For example, in 1951 there were twenty-one universities in East Germany; in 1984 there were fifty-four. In 1951 there were 77 theaters in the country; by 1984 that figure had risen to 188. The number of music teachers increased from 1,427 in 1966 to 2,153 in 1984. Museums devoted to art, literature, the theater, and music rose from 34 in 1965 to 122 in the mid-1980s. These figures suggest that the regime has devoted significant resources to the expansion of the kind of forums where the new "socialist" culture may be seen, heard, or taught. Of necessity the regime has had to staff these new institutions with individuals it has attempted to inculcate with "socialist" values.

Data as of July 1987