Socialist City As A Marketplace

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Supplying the East German population with adequate consumer goods was a central organizing principle of the SED for 40 years. However, the ideal of a bountiful socialist society contrasted with shortages, waiting lists and long store lines. Even though the reality of continuous shortages was a common feature of everyday life, it also fueled inventiveness and personal initiative. Despite these shortcomings, East Germany did establish its own consumer culture, which helped to shape a unique East German identity around retail goods.

The Volkseigene Betriebe (VEB) were state-owned enterprises that served as the building blocks of the state controlled economy. State planners combined individual conglomerates that manufactured related products into large state-owned enterprises (VEBs) to centralize production and to improve economic productivity. Standardized production guidelines at the VEB ensured that items, such as mixers, toys and radios, among others, had similar design and features regardless of where they were made.

Look at the mixer, children's toys and radios.

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