Alexander Friedman. Chinese sneakers for workers of the Minsk refrigerators plant: a lecturer of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany about Soviet Belarus (March — April, 1989)

The lecturer of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany E. K. had a working trip to the Minsk area from March 28 till April 3, 1989. He met some local Communist Party leaders as well as workers, students and other citizens. He visited industrial enterprises and educational institutions. Returned back to the GDR, К. composed a detailed report on his trip to Belarus.

Despite the respective ideological colouring, K.’s report is an interesting source of Belarusian history at the end of the 1980th years. The report allows making an impression about the development of the local industry, agriculture, political life in the republic and situation over the Communist Party of Belarus (CPB) and moods of people who have shown a great interest to events outside the USSR. It should be pointed out that the author from the GDR declined to make his personal assessment of the political transformations in the USSR and he kept his eyes shut to bright displays of the economic crisis in the Soviet Union. For the Belarusian industry K. predicted a socialistic future, standing up for strengthening the economic cooperation between the GDR and the BSSR and hoping for strengthening the hegemony of the CPB in the Belarusian society.