The SED in the Province

Party Presence and Regional Practices of Domination (1961–1989)

Ende des Projektes: December 2015

Completed PhD project
Funded by the Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur (2009-2012)

The PhD project focuses on the SED-Kreisleitungen – the local party leaders and the local party apparatuses of the former socialist state party (SED). These local power structures were located between the population on the one hand and the central and regional party apparatuses on the other hand. From this position, they implemented not only directives from above but also enforced SED domination in their own way. The local party apparatuses responded to perceived failures and successes and were therefore of crucial importance to the stability of the SED regime. However, they acted under certain constraints and often contrary requirements. The population made demands on the local party functionaries, as did the party leadership, which expected the execution of its decisions.

The project addresses the functioning of the local party apparatuses and the question of how the SED’s claim to power was implemented in everyday life in the cities and districts of the GDR. Furthermore, it analyses the practices of the local party functionaries, their socio-demographic backgrounds and their mindset.

Andrea Bahr defended her thesis on 2 December 2015.

Andrea Bahr, Parteiherrschaft vor Ort. Die SED-Kreisleitung Brandenburg 1961-1989, Berlin 2016.

Dr. Andrea Bahr

Centre for Contemporary History
Am Neuen Markt 1
14467 Potsdam

Email: bahr [at]