a conference of writers of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) organized by the publishing house Mitteldeutscher Verlag (Halle), held Apr. 24, 1959, in the city of Bitterfeld. Participants in it were the leaders of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SUPG) and of the GDR government and representatives of the intelligentsia and the working class. The Bitterfeld Conference charted the tasks and prospects for the development of socialist culture in the GDR—that is, the drawing of workers and peasants into the process of artistic creativity and the assimilation of the achievements of the national traditions and of the method of socialist realism. After the Bitterfeld Conference numerous amateur performing groups, workers’ theaters, and musical and literary circles of writing workers sprang up in the GDR; the genre of the so-called brigade diary acquired popularity, and amateur arts festivals were held. Many writers of the GDR went to industrial enterprises and agricultural cooperatives to establish direct contacts with the toilers. This movement was given the name “The Bitterfeld Way.” The leaders of the SUPG and the GDR government have repeatedly taken note of the fruitful cultural significance of the Bitterfeld Conference.
A. V. KAREL’SKII