Wickendorf, Schwerin: Betriebsberufsschule des Sozialistischen Handels, 1969. First edition. Hardcover. Small Folio. 78 cardboard plates. Original bolted beige half cloth over decorative orange paper-covered boards with white lettering and circular montage glued to front cover. Unique diary, spanning the years 1966 to 1969, kept by the "Brigade" (smallest organized working group in a firm, factory, production cooperative or administration) in the field office Schwerin-Wickendorf of the socialistic trade school Schwerin, today's capitol of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Extraordinary collection of lithographs, paintings, drawings, photography, montages, calligraphy and handwritten, respectively typed reports and testimonies, beautifully designed by the apprentices of a commercial art Brigade under the direction of comrade Wieschendorf.
The conduct within a Brigade was strictly organized and competitive in order to accomplish the goal of winning the first prize and honorary title of "Collective of Socialist Work" on the national stage. The competition among Brigades was organized within the so-called Kombinat, a conglomerate of companies and/or production cooperatives (VEBs / companies owned by the people) with similar production profiles.
This work of the Wickendorf Brigade was started in 1966 in honor of the 20th anniversary of the founding of the SED (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands), the Socialist Party of Germany pledging to work, learn and live in a socialistic fashion within the collective of apprentices of commercial art. The Mission Statement describes in detail the course projected to improve the training to become a competent commercial artist. Pasted to the next heavy card stock plate is a color lithograph of the trade school itself followed by two typed pages of "New Educational Methods." Five original works of the drawing class, depicting travel advertising for Wickendorf, are featured then, all receiving an A (1) from the instructors, handwritten into the margins with teacher's initials. The works graded A are a mixed media drawing by Winkler, watercolor and oil, an elaborate two page (folded) heavy card stock ad with beautiful handwritten text intricate pen drawings slipped into a cut envelope pasted to the page, a watercolor drawing by Günter Schneider, an extraordinary watercolor depicting the Wickendorf city scape with a beautifully executed "prism sky" by G. Thiem, and a color crayon drawing by Cornelia Strauss. Reports on the restoration of the school, community work, field trips and the cooperation with the Red Cross are described and beautifully illustrated with b/w photographs and professional designs. Noteworthy here a photomontage utilizing a West-Germany wine advertisement. "Hands off Cuba" and a protest against the US Vietnam politics follow and are described and illustrated. Contains a special section in honor of the VII. SED Convention including official documents of recognition by party officials. The is followed by a diary describing the noteworthy events and activities in the course of the three years illustrated with color and b/w photomontages, including references to events and exams prior to 1966. The diary closed with a section of collages of works "not suitable for the diary" which include surprising borderline works considering the strictly socialistic environment.
The descriptive text in this Brigade Diary provides an extraordinarily accurate impression of everyday life in the GDR on one hand and the latitude extended by party officials to this particular, special Brigade. Text in German. Light wear along edges of covers with light sunning and a small hole at the bottom of cloth binding at front cover. Some remnants of external newsprint glued to lower margin of back cover. Binding in overall good+, interior in very good condition. vg. Item #39231