state, that is, by the Communist party. There were a few exceptions to the rule, such as the small publishing houses of the Lutheran church, but even here communist censors checked their prepublication plans. The Aufbau Verlag was ostensibly owned by the so-called Kulturbund or Culture League; in reality, it was but a state-owned enterprise. This publisher issued some interesting works indeed. These included books written by Heinrich Mann and plays and novels of Bertold Brecht. However, the bulk of the firm's publishing efforts were in the various editions of Karl Marx Das Kapital, and V. I. Lenin's and Joseph Stalin's "scientific" works. The publisher was heavily subsidized by the East German state, since this was the only way that the flood of propaganda works could be financed.
Dennis Mike, German Democratic Republic: Politics, Economics, Society ( London, 1988).
Baueinheiten (Construction Brigades). The brigades, set up early in the history of the East German state, served as an alternative to military service. Although the state would not recognize conscientious objectors to military service, it did introduce this concept in September 1964. Conscientious objectors were placed in quasi-military formations and were required to perform manual labor for the state. They were not required to swear military allegiance to the state. Nevertheless, they were required to state in writing that they were willing to defend the East German state if it were attacked, and they were to obey the orders of their military superiors. Their uniforms did not differ from those of ordinary soldiers. However, admission to the Construction Brigades was not automatic. If an applicant was rejected, he was required to serve in the regular army. If he refused, he faced a mandatory five-year jail term.
Larrabee F. Stephen, ed. The Two German States and European Security ( New York, 1989).
Berlin Blockade of 1948-1949. On June 11, 1948, a joint proclamation of the Western occupying powers in Berlin ushered in currency reform in their three zones. On March 20, previously Marshal Nikolai Sokolovsky walked out of a meeting of the Allied Control Commission and refused to participate in any further discussions on currency reform. Sir Bryan Robertson, the British military governor, wrote to Sokolovsky, informing the Soviet general of the decision about the new currency: The economy of the British zone is suffering acutely from the evils of inflation and of economic stagnation which our quadripartite proposals for financial reform were designed long ago to eliminate, and I feel that I am not justified in waiting any longer before taking remedial measures." Sir Robertson added that he hoped that it will soon be possible for the four occupying powers to agree to an early date to introduce currency reform for the whole of Germany. Similar letters were sent to Sokolovsky by Generals Clay and Koenig, the American and French commanders.
The city of Berlin was to exist as one according to the Allied agreements signed at Yalta and Potsdam (see Potsdam Declaration). However, already in April 1948 the