Voluntariness On Tour – What Was it Like to Be a “Neuerer”?

On Friday, September 30, 2022, Elena and Christiane from the subproject “Voluntariness and Dictatorship: Voluntary Participation in the Neuererwesen of the German Democratic Republic” invite former “Neuerer” in the GDR to talk about their personal experiences. Together with the Oral History Research Center, the reserach network “Diktatur und Transformation”, both at the University of Erfurt, and the foundation “Automobile Welt Eisenach” we are hosting an event called “Bürgerforum” and looking forward meeting you at the Museum Automobile Welt Eisenach!

Under the slogan “Mach Dir einen Kopf, Kollege!” the GDR government called on all citizens to participate in the so-called “Neuererwesen”, a workplace inventor and suggestion scheme. As part of this political mass organization, workers were supposed to submit suggestions for improvements in the state-owned enterprises and received remuneration and honors in return.

What was your experience with the “Neuererwesen”? Were you a committed “Neuerer” or did you decide not to participate?

If you would like to share your experiences and memories with us or are interested in talking to contemporary witnesses, you are cordially invited to our “Bürgerforum” on September 30, 2022, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Museum Automobile Welt in Eisenach, Ehrhardt-Saal, Friedrich-Naumann-Straße 10. At our event, you will have the opportunity to talk with former colleagues and contribute to historical research on the GDR by sharing your personal experiences. In addition to a pleasant atmosphere, we will also provide a snack. We are looking forward to exciting conversations and interesting life stories.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to write us!

Previous Post
Voluntariness On Tour – Our Project on the “Neuererwesen” in Jena
Next Post
Voluntariness and Participation – Talk at the Department of History in Erfurt

What Else Is New?

Programm Konferenz in Graz

Conference on Solidarity and Volutnariness in Graz

On September 12 and 13, 2023, two co-investigators from the research unit will be speaking at the conference “Solidarity and Voluntarism in State-Socialist Societies” at the University of Graz, Austria. For a panel on Friday Carolyn Taratko and Elena M. E. Kiesel will be presenting aspects of their research projects on voluntariness in Ghana and the GDR.

Workshop – Reflect Yourself!?

On July 13 and 14, 2023, the workshop titled “Reflect yourself!?” will take place at the University of Erfurt. Exploring the research field of public history and its potential for (self)reflection in historical scholarship, both established scholars, junior researchers and students come together to discuss the topic in regard to their daily work and historical research.

We Welcome Mitchell Dean as Mercator Fellow 2023!

In summer 2023, we welcome Professor Mitchell Dean as Mercator Fellow of the Research Unit on Voluntariness. The political sociologist will support the projects of the research unit from April to July 2023 as a renowned expert in the field of governmentality studies.