Association of state-owned companies

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The Association of People's Own Enterprises ( VVB ) was a legal form in the economy of the GDR . VVBs emerged with the introduction and gradual development of the socialist planned economy in the Soviet occupation zone and later GDR from 1948.

A VVB united several state- owned companies in one branch and thus formed a middle level of control in the planned economy. The aim of the SED economic policy was to integrate economic processes vertically and horizontally by bundling and coordinating various VEBs. Associated with this was, on the one hand, the hope of obtaining a more effective management structure with which decisions that were important for economic policy could be better implemented. On the other hand, they wanted to achieve rationalization effects, i.e. to organize the division of labor and the distribution of raw materials between the companies more effectively. The technical management of the VVB was in the hands of a general director (initially the main director) and other specialist directors. The economic and political control of the VVB operations was secured through various superordinate state and party structures. At the level of the VVB and in the individual companies there were company party organizations of the SED, which co-decided on all essential questions of operational management, especially questions of personnel policy ("management policy").

In the different phases of the GDR economy, the VVB had different competencies. They were first introduced as part of the state economy with the founding resolution No. 76 of SMAD . Under the structures of the DWK , around 1,800 VEBs were initially founded and merged into 75 VVBs. These numbers changed dramatically over the years and decades of the GDR. In the founding years of the GDR, the VVB structures worked largely unsuccessfully and inefficiently. For this reason, they were integrated into the head offices of the emerging industrial ministries of the GDR government in the early 1950s. After several restructuring of the economic management levels, the main administrative offices were again outsourced as independent VVB structures in 1958. Especially in the reform years of the New Economic System of the 1960s, the VVB experienced a strengthening of their competencies. In the Honecker era, from the beginning of the 1970s, new combine structures increasingly took their place.

Various studies are now available on the management staff of the GDR economy and thus also on the VVBs. Especially in the early years of the Soviet occupation zone / GDR, the GDR government found it very difficult to find suitable management personnel for VEBs and VVBs. In many cases, she therefore resorted to specialist staff from the companies and industry associations themselves, and in some cases to lateral and lateral entrants. The search for such directors turned out to be difficult, however, as illustrated by anecdotes such as that of the trained bookseller Hasso Grabner , who was made chief director of the Association for the Production and Processing of Pig Iron, Steel and Rolling Mills in June 1948, although he said he had previously said so had never seen the inside of a steel mill. It was not until the late 1950s and 1960s that the personnel situation stabilized with the appearance of a new generation of managers in the GDR economy.

List of VVBs in the GDR

VVB existed in all important branches of industry, for example:

In 1978, the VVB BuV became the combined Microelectronics Erfurt and Electronic Components Teltow.
  • VVB non-ferrous metal, later VVB non-ferrous metal industry
  • VVB chemical fiber and photo chemistry
  • VVB Deutsche Spedition
  • VVB printing and paper processing machines (POLYGRAPH)
  • VVB iron sheet metal goods (EBM)
In 1951, VVB EBM gave rise to the Household Appliances Combine Karl-Marx-Stadt .


  • Jörg Roesler: The Development of the Socialist Planned Economy in the GDR: Tasks, Methods and Results of Economic Planning in Centrally Managed State-Owned Industry during the Transition Period from Capitalism to Socialism , Berlin 1978
  • André Steiner: From plan to plan. An economic history of the GDR , DVA Verlag, Munich 2004

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Armin Müller: Competitive networks: SED and old intelligence in companies of the GDR industry, in: Historical Social Research 35 (2010), no. 3, pp. 134-162.
  2. ^ Francis Nenik: Journey through a tragicomic century. Hasso Grabner's crazy life . Voland & Quist, Dresden 2018, ISBN 978-3-86391-198-0 , pp. 105-106 .
  3. Müller, Armin, Institutional Breaks and Personal Bridge. Plant manager in state-owned enterprises of the GDR in the Ulbricht era, Böhlau Verlag: Köln and Weimar 2006, pp. 335–342
  4. Institute for Electronic Components Dr. Schneider (Hrsg.): In the archive of the Schöneweide industrial salon - conception for the formation of the scientific organization in the research and development directorate - 1971 . Berlin 1971.
  5. Deutrans. international freight forwarding. (No longer available online.) Pro Boden Wilm Schroer GmbH, formerly in the original ; Retrieved December 6, 2010 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  6. DEWAG Werbung Dresden (ed.): Glass is the best recommendation - innovations 1968 . Print: III-9-157 Ag 41-75-68, 1968.
  7. Inventory 30953 VEB Fettchemie Karl-Marx-Stadt and predecessor. Retrieved July 23, 2019 .
  8. ^ Sächsisches Industriemuseum Chemnitz: The trade in machine tools and the foreign trade monopoly in the GDR. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on November 23, 2013 ; Retrieved March 26, 2011 .