East Germany: Going Badly

Things are so bad in Communist East Germany that even the Communists are talking publicly about it. Fortnight ago, submitting East Germany's 1961 economic goals to the party's Central Committee, top Politburo Planner Bruno Leuschner asked rhetorically: "Do we have difficulties?" Dourly, he answered himself: "Ja-wohl, we do." He ticked them off: "Unsatisfactory raw material supplies." "no more labor reserves," "failure to achieve a continuous supply of consumer goods."

Gone was East Germany's boast that it could overtake West Germany in consumer-goods output this year. Goals were being set lower. The target of the East German economic growth rate...

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