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A thoughtful examination of how communism was instituted, debated, and “lived” in the workplaces and in state enterprises of East Germany

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First published in France in 2001 by Éditions Belin under the title Le communisme au quotidien, Sandrine Kott’s book examines how East German businesses and government carried out communist practices on a daily basis and how citizens and workers experienced the conditions created by the totalitarian state in their daily lives. Kott undertakes a social analysis of the Communist Party’s grasp on state enterprises and the limits of its power. She then analyzes the enterprises themselves and the social, generational, and gender tensions that had a profound impact on the lived experience of socialism. Finally, she considers the development and acceptance of a complex set of rituals and gift exchanges that masked latent conflicts while providing meaning to socialism’s role in ordinary life.

Sandrine Kott is Professor of European Contemporary History at the University of Geneva.

"Remarkable originality and depth of the archival research."
--H-Net H-German

- H-Net