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The Peasants Mutual Aid Association (German: Vereinigung der gegenseitigen Bauernhilfe, VdgB)


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Gentlemen,

Some new pieces for my collection. The first issue Ehrennadel for the VdgB and a cased metal non portable medal celebrating 40 years of the VdgB.
The Ehrennadel is Bartel #4667 a) that has the text in small letters. Bartell does not indicate any date for the institution of this Ehrennadel although the organization traces its roots back to 1945/46. #4667 b) is identical in design but has larger text and was discontinued in 1960. #4667 c is different in design and has the state seal in the centre and the VdgB emblem at the bottom of the badge. There were d, e, and f pins that had slight variations not worth mentioning.

Peasants Mutual Aid Association

The Peasants Mutual Aid Association (German: Vereinigung der gegenseitigen Bauernhilfe, VdgB) was an East German mass organization for peasants and farmers (later also gardeners.) It was founded in the 1945-1946 period and was a participant in the National Front. From 1950 to 1963 and again in 1986 it had representation in the Volkskammer.
In 1989 a GDR publication put the membership of the VdgB at 632,000 persons. During the Peaceful Revolution the VdgB suffered due to its extensive connections with the ruling Socialist Unity Party. In February 1990 it changed its name to the Farmers Association of the GDR, but was unable to make the transition from East German society to that of a reunified Germany.

Peasants Mutual Aid Association

Flag of VdgB
The Peasants Mutual Aid Association ( VdgB ) was a mass organization of rural population in the German Democratic Republic , which like all the mass organizations was dominated and led by the SED. Before the peaceful revolution in the GDR , the Association was organized in 8000 local groups with 640,000 members. Joining happened less voluntarily but because you were promised social or economic benefits by doing so. During the Peaceful Revolution the VdgB suffered due to its extensive connections with the ruling Socialist Unity Party. In February 1990 it changed its name to the Farmers Association of the GDR, but was unable to make the transition from East German society to that of a reunified Germany.

It was formed in the fall of 1945 as commissions for land reform and committees of mutual farmer assistance On the First German Farmers' Day in Berlin (East) in November 1947 the Central Peasants Mutual Aid Association ( "ZVdgB") was established. This organization combined, under pressure from the party, in November 1950 with the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Germany for Peasants Mutual Aid Association / Peasant trading cooperatives and became the (VdgB / BHG) as a joint unit. The SED wanted the VdgB to dominate the Rural Cooperatives. The disempowerment of former Raiffeisengenossenschaften in the villages was the prelude to the collectivization of farms. The highest organs of Peasants Mutual Aid Association met on "German Farmers' Day", later there were "central delegates conferences". The aim of the organization was initially the land reform to support and later the building of socialist agriculture. From that beginning in 1952, the collectivization of East German agriculture - formation of agricultural production cooperatives (LPG) - operated by the SED and modelled after the "Leninist cooperative plan" began. The VdgB / BHG had the incumbent functions on the issue of seed, fertilizers and animal feed and in the control of agricultural products.
A press organ appeared in 1946, the weekly newspaper The Free Farm , and from 1985 it became VdgB Gazette - Our village . In 1957, by Order of the V. German Farmers' Day, the organizations name was shortened to "Peasants Mutual Aid Association" ("VdgB"). 
It consisted of the local organizations of VdgB whose work of area boards, county boards and the Central Board of VdgB it guided and controlled. The district boards and the Central Board of VdgB were also the economic conducting and "balanceing" -organs and Auditing Association of Cooperatives of VdgB, especially the Bäuerlichen trade cooperatives (BHG) (1989: 272 legally independent businesses with 26,000 employees), the two wine cooperatives in the GDR Freyburg and Meissen and the 86 dairy cooperatives (for this only audit services), which were in turn means the local organizations VdgB. The VdgB was a member of the National Front of the GDR and was in municipal councils, and from 1950 to 1963 and from 1986 to 1990 in the People's Chamber represented.
Since the seventies their tasks increased to cover other areas- besides substantive technical supply of agricultural enterprises - to improve the working and living conditions in the villages, the maintenance of rural traditions, culture and sports as well as for recreational activities of cooperative farmers ( "Self Service" - including "VdgB-Erholungsheim Ringberghaus " in Suhl with over 180,000 travelers since opening in 1979, "guest and holiday home of VdgB" in Ziegenrück ). The GDR international relations supported the VdgB with the exchange of farmers' delegations and the qualifications of officials of other countries at the Agricultural Engineering School of VdgB "Friedrich Wehmer" in Teutschenthal . A special area in the Central Board of VdgB strove for relations with the Federal Republic of Germany, especially the German Farmers' Association (DBV). This work financed for VdgB from profit transfers from VdgB cooperatives, especially the BHG.
Much work was done to maintain the VdgB as a separate farmers organization in the late 80s and especially as union with West Germany loomed in 1990. Some local organizations remained in effect in the early 1990s but eventually farmers from the former East German states had to join West German farmers organizations if they wished to have their rights represented by a larger unified farmers organization.

 

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$_57.GIF

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