The Wendish Research Exchange

Elle, Ludwig: Ideology and the Domowina in the GDR

mersiowsky - 10-2-2016 at 01:46 PM

Lětopis Abstract 2010 1: Elle, Ludwig: Ideology and the Domowina in the GDR

This article investigates how an ideological orientation, determined by Marxism-Leninism and the notion of the class struggle, got the upper hand in the Domowina, which functioned as a satellite organisation of the SED in the GDR, and how opposing views were denounced and attacked. In addition, the creation of a view of Sorbian history, which accorded with the ideology of the SED, is described. A highly problematic area right up to the political change of direction in 1989 was the relationship of the Domowina to the Churches and to the Sorbian clergy. This was dominated by the notion of separateness, although there were attempts in the 1950s and the 1980s at establishing a closer and more cooperative relationship. A continual ideological strain on the relationship between the Domowina and sections of its Sorbian religious members was its support for the Jugendweihe (a secular form of confirmation), in which participants were required to take a vow to the GDR state, to the leading role of the SED and to a socialist (atheist) ideology. Perestroika in the Soviet Union and developments in Poland and Hungary in the 1980s left their mark on the Sorbs and the Domowina. This article sums up the discussions, which ensued reflecting the particular Sorbian point of view of the situation and how the leadership of the Domowina reacted to them.