cial Democratic party, a tradition in his family. Between 1928 and 1933, he served as a Social Democratic deputy in the Reichstag, the German parliament. When Adolf Hitler came into power, he had the Social Democratic deputies arrested, Ebert among them. Ebert was sent to a concentration camp where he survived the Hitler era and the war. In 1945, he returned to political life and had himself elected president of the Brandenburg (Prussian) branch of the German Social Democratic party. He also became president of the Landtag (the regional legislative assembly) of Brandenburg. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the All-German Social Democratic party. In 1946, Ebert joined the Socialist Unity party and contributed to the merger of his party with that of the communists. The following year, he was appointed to the secretariat of the party and was then appointed as a member of its Politburo. Between 1948 and 1967, Ebert was the mayor of East Berlin, and, at the same time, he was a state councillor (Staatsrat.). Finally, he served as chairman of the election committee of the communist front organization, the National Front.
Moreton Edwina, ed. Germany Between East and West ( Cambridge, England, 1987); Schneider Eberhard , The GDR: The History, Politics, Economics, and Society of East Germany ( London, 1978).
Educational Policies. In July 1945, the Soviet occupational authorities set up a German administration for education. Its purpose was the complete overhauling of the educational system in the Soviet zone. On October 1, 1945, schools in the Soviet zone were opened. This was a considerable achievement since most of the school buildings and other facilities had been destroyed during the last phase of the war. Problems immediately appeared. First of all, by early 1946, the children of ethnic Germans expelled from Eastern Europe had crowded into the schools. The old textbooks were, of course, Nazi-oriented and had to be replaced. Many teachers of pre- World War IIGermany had died in the war or had left for the West. They had to be replaced by others, usually less qualified. Eventually, 78 percent of the surviving teachers in the Soviet zone were replaced. Fifteen thousand new teachers were employed. During 1946 and 1947, an additional 25,000 teachers were appointed.
In 1946, a law was passed by the new parliament that stipulated that East Germany's children had to be educated in a spirit of service to their community, and they were to be taught independent thinking. The propagation of Nazism and militarism was not permitted in classrooms. The communists began to dismantle the class-based educational system of pre-World War II days, and replaced it with a Marxist-Leninist system In line with the party's ideology, children were to be indoctrinated in "socialist thinking" in order to create a "new socialist man." Another goal of the educational system was to diminish the differences between urban and rural Germany. Last, but not least, the academic quality of education was to be reinforced.
The law of 1946 established an eight-year elementary school system, and completion of elementary education was made compulsory. The next step for children was a