Social Movements and the Change of Industrial Elites in East Germany
The objective of this article is to examine the effect that social movements had on the change of personnel at managerial level in larger industrial companies during the post-war years. It will pay particular attention to the formation process of these movements in the Soviet Occupation Zone (SOZ) by examining their social basis and their longevity. Literature describes a spontaneous formation of movements during the phase after German capitulation which in the SOZ was, however, soon affected by the regained sovereignty of the first approved political parties and the reorganisation of public administrations at local and district level. The Communist Party, which became the Socialist Unity Party (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, SED) in April 1946 after merging with the Social Democrats, endeavoured to influence the development of social movements by focusing on dialogue and debate with the Soviet occupying power.