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!

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Voluntariness and Participation – Talk at the Department of History in Erfurt

What Else Is New?

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On June 3, 2024, we invite fellow researchers to discuss voluntariness as focus of their research and compare goals and challenges of their projects. The research day will start at 10 am with a casual welcome into a full-day program, completed by an evening lecture by philosopher Jule Govrin.

Voluntariness 2.0 – Local and Global Perspectives

April 2024 has been the official kick-off for another three years of voluntariness research, funded by the German Research Foundation. Seven new or continuing projects will shape the new focus of the research unit’s second funding phase.

We are Hiring…Join our Team!

A position as research assistant within the Research Unit on “Voluntariness” is available at the University of Erfurt. Historians specializing in the field of North American History may apply by May 4, 2024, at the latest.