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Started by Tinymcsmithy on Dec 7, 2021 10:30:02 PM
Post-war West Germany employment blacklists against left wingers?

According to a couple of older german lefties I’ve chatted to, in 1970s West Germany there there were apparently anti-communist/leftist employment blacklists for (I think predominately public sector and government) jobs.

They put this down to the number of ex nazis that were left within government institutions. I’m not sure if this was supposed to be official policy or not. Either way, I’ve not found anything much about it.

Anyone know anything about this?

AlanII - 07 Dec 2021 22:32:18 (#1 of 38)

I don’t, but academia was full of old Nazis. It wouldn’t surprise me

Tinymcsmithy - 07 Dec 2021 22:32:24 (#2 of 38)

I mean, there’s plenty written about ex-nazis within powerful positions in post-war West Germany. But the blacklist thing is less clear.

“Germany’s post-World War II government was riddled with former Nazis”

“Up to 76 per cent of officials in the post-1945 West German justice ministry were former Nazis, according to an official history published on Monday that highlights how party members protected each other long after the second world war.”

Atticus - 07 Dec 2021 22:51:13 (#3 of 38)

No idea on the veracity but presumably Communists would be viewed as actual or potential traitors and thus there would be a view that they should be kept out of state business.

A view I'd guess shared by the Centre Right to Centre Left. Not just team Sieg Heil.

FGBFGB - 07 Dec 2021 22:53:33 (#4 of 38)

It was called the berufsferbot in the 70s, if memory serves. A ban on communists in public service. Not a secret.

Tinymcsmithy - 07 Dec 2021 22:55:28 (#5 of 38)

Thanks FGBFGB, that’s helpful.

Tinymcsmithy - 07 Dec 2021 22:58:01 (#6 of 38)

This was posted on the Trump thread, which I presume was meant for here:

Zimtkuchen - 07 Dec 2021 22:48:50 ( #7718 of 7719)

You couldn't be a Beamte (public sector official, schoolteacher, etc.) if you were a member of the KPD (Communist Party of Germany), which was banned in 1956. Not sure if membership of the DKP (German Communist Party, founded in 1968) carried a similar restriction.

Atticus - 07 Dec 2021 23:12:22 (#7 of 38)

Perfectly reasonable.

What state would willingly employ people committed to overthrowing it?

Tinymcsmithy - 07 Dec 2021 23:20:44 (#8 of 38)

The reason this is in the history folder is that I’d hoped people who know something about the topic might be able to give some perspective to it.

FGBFGB - 07 Dec 2021 23:41:22 (#9 of 38)

I assume that I heard about the berufsverbot while doing German O Level (1975-77). Our teacher, we found out later, was a supporter of the DDR. There was also a teacher of French who was an open Trot (SWP), so coffee time in the staff room may have been quite interesting at times.

I got a B.

cozzer - 07 Dec 2021 23:44:20 (#10 of 38)

if you were a member of the KPD (Communist Party of Germany), which was banned in 1956. Not sure if membership of the DKP (German Communist Party, founded in 1968)


Atticus - 07 Dec 2021 23:51:16 (#11 of 38)

The DKP was the KDP reformed.

FGBFGB - 07 Dec 2021 23:52:04 (#12 of 38)


Atticus - 07 Dec 2021 23:56:56 (#13 of 38)

OMG. Might be revisionists! Get them.

I think the point that people should be blacklisted for treason against the state need not be seen as a Nazi outlook as suggested is perfectly relevant.

One need not agree with that position but advocating it doesn't make one a Nazi either.

Tinymcsmithy - 08 Dec 2021 00:09:22 (#14 of 38)

Interesting to support the blacklisting of political opponents in a democracy. Especially when that blacklisting is being apparently driven to a large degree by ex-nazis.

Tinymcsmithy - 08 Dec 2021 00:13:07 (#15 of 38)

The lack of German denazification after WW2 doesn’t appear to have been completely acknowledged within the country until the latter part of the 20th century.

As the reports linked to upthread show, even second generation civil servants covered up the extent that nazis were absorbed into government positions.

patmcgatt - 08 Dec 2021 00:13:29 (#16 of 38)

Heh. So it is ok for people to be blacklisted for "treason against the state" (being a member of a legal political party) while employing thousands of actual Nazis in state positions?

Tinymcsmithy - 08 Dec 2021 00:15:26 (#17 of 38)


Especially as the World’s communist parties had been democratic for decades by that point.

Atticus - 08 Dec 2021 00:16:40 (#18 of 38)


No. Not at all. Indeed it would be particularly bizarre to let Nazis in (given the state was explicitly formed to prevent them reforming).

But the idea blocking Communists loyal to the GDR/USSR is somehow a Nazi outlook is ridiculous.

Zimtkuchen - 08 Dec 2021 00:17:17 (#19 of 38)

Thanks for the C&P, Tiny. Saved me the trouble.

Tinymcsmithy - 08 Dec 2021 00:17:57 (#20 of 38)

All good Zim. Thanks for the post.

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