Version classiqueVersion mobile

Socialismes en Afrique

 | 
Françoise Blum
, 
Héloïse Kiriakou
, 
Martin Mourre
, 
et al.

Troisième partie : socialismes transnationaux : coopération et circulation

Socialisms Between Cooperation and Competition: Ideology, Aid and Cold War Politics in Tanzania’s relations with East Germany1

Eric Burton

Texte intégral

  • 1 The research on which this contribution is based was funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) with (...)

1Tanzania’s development model, based on the concept of ujamaa (literally “familyhood”), was an exceptionally enduring, and perhaps the most significant, example of “African Socialism,” characterized by a conceptual focus on self-reliance, rural development, and socio-economic egalitarianism (Lal 2015; Schneider 2014). Bolstered by President Julius Nyerere’s reputation as a principled, charismatic, and intellectual leader with influence in the region and in the Non-Aligned Movement, ujamaa became a national hegemonic development project that even served beyond Tanzania’s borders to attract Western donors of leftist and also liberal inclinations (Jennings 2008; Mazrui 1967). The key characteristics of what may be referred to as “actually existing ujamaa” were the nationalization of key sectors of the economy following the Arusha Declaration in 1967, as well as the largely unsuccessful “villagization” and resettlement programs between 1969 and 1975. However, the experiment did not end there, with the ruling party continuing to proclaim socialist goals well into the 1980s in an attempt to weather the economic crisis that had already begun to unfold in the early 1970s.

2The relationship between ujamaa and other socialisms in the world was ambivalent and shaped by changing global and national power constellations. Expressing a wish for cooperation and exchange, Nyerere repeatedly stated that Tanzania could and should learn from “socialist countries”—a flexible notion that not only included China, Romania, and the Soviet Union, but also Sweden and Norway (Nyerere 1974). Yet this was far from a total embrace of all socialist varieties. Nyerere bluntly stated in a 1967 speech at Cairo University that “this idea that there is one ‘pure socialism,’ for which the recipe is already known, is an insult to human intelligence” (Nyerere 1968: 77). This was a discursive act especially pitted against Soviet-style Marxism and its universalist claims in both theoretical and practical spheres. At the same time, it was also directed against the small groups of Marxists in Tanzania who were arguing for the rigorous application of “scientific socialism.” As Nyerere had already pointed out in a 1962 pamphlet that outlined the basic tenets of ujamaa, his vision of socialism was not only “opposed to capitalism” based on “the exploitation of man by man,” but also “equally opposed to doctrinaire socialism which seeks to build its happy society on a philosophy of inevitable conflict between man and man” (Nyerere 1968: 71–72). The prospects for international socialist “solidarity” and “friendship” were thus uncertain.

3This contribution sets out to explore these uncertainties with a focus on Tanzania’s relations with East Germany (or the German Democratic Republic, GDR) from the early 1960s until 1990, the year in which state socialism in Eastern Europe imploded. Investigating not only the aforementioned ideological tensions, but also diplomatic and economic considerations, it sheds light on the potentials and the constraints of cooperation between different socialisms during the global Cold War (Westad 2007). Studying the Cold War and socialisms in Africa through a pericentric framework that pays attention not only to the greater powers but also assigns agency to “junior members in the international system,” allows us to transcend simplistic binaries of East vs. West and capitalism vs. socialism and understand more fully how different actors reacted to and shaped East-West and North-South relations (Smith 2000: 427–447). An analysis of Tanzanian-East German relations reveals that ideological and political competition was also played out between actors from the semi-peripheral and peripheral parts of the world system, in places such as Leipzig, Dar es Salaam, East Berlin, and Zanzibar City in situations influenced by Bonn or Beijing. As a combined analysis of the dynamics of political and economic relations, as well as specific interactions in development cooperation shows, there were both compatibilities and frictions between socialist states. Practices of socialist solidarity and cooperation took on a form of rivalry not only with capitalism, but also with competing models of socialism.

4The first section of this essay covers the relationship between East Germany and post-revolutionary Zanzibar in the years from 1964 to 1970, drawing attention to East Germany’s failures in the competition with China. Although Zanzibar and Tanganyika formed a union (the United Republic of Tanzania) in 1964, ujamaa was not implemented in Zanzibar, which remained semi-autonomous. The second part investigates East German relations with mainland Tanzania between 1970 and 1978, and highlights the fact that the hegemony of ujamaa circumscribed East German objectives of ideological transfers and political rapprochement. The final section deals with the mutual efforts to create closer economic and party relations between 1978 and 1990, efforts that ultimately failed due to structural constraints, particularly the (semi-)peripheral positioning of both countries in the capitalist world economy. The contribution draws on materials from German and Tanzanian archives—both state and party collections—as well as oral history interviews with diplomats, party functionaries, aid workers and students.

Post-revolutionary honeymoon and disillusions in Zanzibar, 1964–1970

5Although students from Tanganyika and Zanzibar were already arriving in East Germany in the late 1950s when both territories were still under British rule, it was only in 1964 that more substantial relations were established. East Germany’s entry point to East Africa was the January 1964 revolution in Zanzibar, which removed the oligarchy favored during British rule and ushered in a period of socialist development as the island’s proclaimed development path (Lofchie 1965; Martin 1978). While Western countries hesitated to provide legitimacy to the new regime, socialist states were quick to establish relations. The GDR was among the first states to recognize the Revolutionary Council, headed by Abeid Amani Karume. In return, in a major blow to West Germany’s foreign policy to isolate East Germany internationally, Zanzibar became the first African state to diplomatically recognize the GDR (Babu 2001).

6Zanzibar’s quick and radical turn towards the socialist world, cutting most of its ties to Great Britain and the Western world, was a consequence of ideological affinities, personal biographies and power frictions. Leftist Zanzibari politicians such as Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu, Abdulaziz Twala, and Ali Sultan Issa had espoused Marxism during their travels through the Cold War world and on educational journeys to socialist countries. They had established contacts with communists in Cuba, London, Moscow, East Berlin, and Beijing. These networks facilitated the speedy build-up of diplomatic relations and the inflow of resources (Burgess 2007: 263–291). The GDR, together with the Soviet Union and China, readily provided aid and manpower to fill the gaps left by the exodus of British expatriates and educated Zanzibaris, most of whom belonged to those sections of the cosmopolitan population that had Arab and Indian origins and faced massive repression and discrimination after the revolution (Burgess 2009).

7Zanzibar’s strategy to exploit Cold War rivalries and attract aid exclusively from the socialist camp to attain sovereignty was a risky gamble. Tanganyika’s President Nyerere was well aware that Western powers feared an “African Cuba” and were considering military intervention (Speller 2007). To avoid the looming escalation of Cold War politics in the region, he convinced Karume to forge a union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, creating the United Republic of Tanzania (Bjerk 2015; Sanders 2014; Shivji 2008; Wilson 2013). While the union successfully fended off superpower rivalries, it gave new impetus to the intra-German Cold War that was also being played out in East Africa.

8When Tanzania allowed East Germany to open a consulate in Dar es Salaam, West Germany tried to punish Tanzania by cutting off military aid in 1965 from one day to the next. To Bonn’s surprise, Nyerere responded with a self-confident display of postcolonial national sovereignty by declaring that he would refuse any aid that came with strings attached, and he bluntly requested the withdrawal of all West German aid to prevent Tanzania from becoming a “puppet state of Germany in return for any charity she shared to give us,” as he stated retrospectively (Nyerere 1968). Whilst existing development aid contracts were eventually fulfilled, Bonn refused to enter into any new aid agreements for the next four years. As further diplomatic fallouts with the United Kingdom and the United States in 1965 also led to a reduction in aid, Nyerere intensified efforts to implement the two-pronged strategy of diversifying foreign relations on the one hand and fostering the country’s economic self-reliance on the other (Pratt 1976: 156–171).

  • 2 Wilson Center Digital Archive, Stasi Report on Meetings with the KGB, 30 November–1 December 1964, (...)

9For East Germany, the union proved to be a diplomatic backlash, not only because Nyerere—hoping to restore amicable relations with West Germany—remained distant, but also because other postcolonial governments became aware of the risks associated with identifying too closely with the GDR (van der Heyden, Benger 2009: 9–30). At the same time, the GDR still hoped for full diplomatic recognition and believed even more firmly (backed by Soviet opinions), that the revolutionary spark would jump from the Zanzibari bridgehead to mainland Tanzania and East Africa at large.2 This was exactly what moderate politicians on the mainland wanted to avoid. Nyerere felt compelled to remind the GDR in a newspaper editorial that the “revolution in Zanzibar was not a revolution kindly undertaken by Africa for the sake of East Germany,” proclaiming that “[w]e have evidence that the East Germans are attempting to destroy our Union in the interests of their own desires.” (Editorial, The Nationalist, 19 March 1965; Shivji 2008: 103). The GDR continued to concentrate its efforts on Zanzibar, ushering in a short but remarkably intense period of cooperation.

10Embarking upon the project of making the small archipelago off the East African coast, with around 300,000 inhabitants, a showcase of socialist modernity, East Germany entered a contest with China to become Zanzibar’s most important donor. Over 100 East Germans were dispatched to serve as financial and security advisors, teachers, doctors, nurses, builders and architects. In competition with a West German housing project in Dar es Salaam, “modern” houses and multistory buildings were erected and plans made to eventually build flats for 30,000 people (van der Heyden, Benger 2009: 341–389; Wimmelbücker 2012: 407–432). Karume was far from being a socialist, but in a bid to make Zanzibar both modern and self-reliant (with self-reliance being understood in a far more autarchic sense than on the mainland), he welcomed the East German import of industrial equipment and machinery for fishing, agriculture, the processing of rice, milk, fish, and copra, as well as other basic industries.

11East German support of the regime and assistance in the fight against “counterrevolutionary forces” had immediate political repercussions, as it facilitated the consolidation of Abeid Amani Karume’s increasingly personalized and dictatorial rule. Making use of the security forces trained and equipped by the East Germany Ministry of State Security, better known as the Stasi,3 Karume established a regime of fear and skillfully exploited Zanzibar’s semi-autonomous state in relation to mainland Tanzania. While Zanzibaris more or less fondly remember the services of East German teachers4 and doctors, and the massive apartment blocks in Michenzani can hardly be overlooked as a testimony of socialist solidarity, terrifying consequences of knowledge and technology transfers in the security sector—including the introduction of new methods of torture and the establishment of a surveillance apparatus—figure just as prominently in oral history narratives (Burgess 2009: 204; Martin 1978: 12–13; Shivji 2008: 112).5 Social control, drill, and capricious authorities transformed Zanzibar into a space of “nidhamu ya woga, or discipline emanating from fear,” as the former teacher and current opposition leader Seif Sharif Hamad recalled (Burgess 2009: 209). Those that may have posed a political threat to Karume, including proponents of Marxism-Leninism and Sinophiles of the former Umma party (which was absorbed by Karume’s Afro-Shirazi Party after the revolution), were sidelined, exiled, arrested, or executed.

  • 6 There are different explanations as to why Twala was arrested, but they share the assumption that r (...)
  • 7 This is particularly evident in reactions to the MP Joseph Kasella-Bantu, who demanded that TANU be (...)
  • 8 SAPMO [Stiftung Archiv der Parteien und Massenorganisationen der DDR im Bundesarchiv] BArch Berlin, (...)

12These power shifts in Zanzibar’s political landscape contributed to an erosion of the “friendship” between East Germany and Zanzibar. A key moment in these shifts was the detention and later execution of a group of politicians accused of attempting a coup d’état in 1967. Among them were many Marxists, including the Moscow-trained Minister of Finance Abdulaziz Twala, who had been a close ally of East Germany (Wilson 2013: 80; Burgess 2009: 131; Shivji 2008: 114).6 On the mainland, several of the exiled Marxists did have some impact—notably, Babu facilitated relations with China—but in general, calls from the left for a more radical strategy than the Arusha Declaration and demands to transform the mass-based ruling party, the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), into a Leninist-style vanguard party were suppressed by Nyerere (Roberts 2016: 53–57).7 While ujamaa gained traction on the mainland, Zanzibar followed its own path—one that did not conform to any other socialist model either. East German efforts to promote Marxist-Leninist ideology in cultural activities or secondary education were increasingly curtailed by Zanzibari authorities after 1967 and had already been largely ineffective earlier.8

  • 9 BArch Berlin, DC 20/11615, Vermerk über die abschließende Unterredung des Leiters der Regierungsdel (...)

13The major cause for rising bilateral tensions was, however, not due to political or ideological debates, but rather East Germany’s failure in the area of economic cooperation. Unlike the fairly effective cooperation in sectors such as health, housing, and education (and also security), economic projects were hampered by East German mismanagement, leading to an array of delays and malfunctions. Karume deemed tractors and other East German equipment outdated and even had it sent back, claiming to be “heartbroken” because East Germans did not deliver the state-of-the-art machines he expected, but rather obsolete and sometimes second-hand technology not fit to make Zanzibar self-reliant.9

  • 10 Ali Sultan Issa served as Minister of Education and Minister of Health under Karume.

14The rising tensions were exacerbated further by the Sino-Soviet split (Friedman 2015; Lüthi 2008), which was also played out in East Africa. GDR development workers and the secret service raised eyebrows when they noted rhetorical echoes of China and encountered visual representations of Maoism (for instance, the Stasi counted the number of Mao portraits in officials’ offices) (Bjerk 2015: 211). Zanzibari officials for their part had to ensure that the Chinese and East Europeans worked in separate areas to prevent conflicts between the competing donors (Hong 2015: 311). In terms of prestige, China quickly won the upper hand by stepping up their support (e.g., the construction of a shoe factory and a national stadium) in ways that were often more favorable than those of East Germany and other East European states. Zanzibaris came to praise the Chinese for their altruism, sincerity, and generosity as opposed to the penny-pinching behavior of the Soviets. As the former minister (and Marxist) Ali Sultan Issa recalled, “here the Chinese were backward; they wanted to develop their country first, but they still helped. Here the Russians were advanced with Sputnik and everything, yet they were stingy” (Burgess 2009: 107).10

15This matched the opinion Tanganyikan representatives formed during a trip across Eastern Europe in 1964 to source aid. Although the delegates made strategic use of discursive devices—emphasizing that socialist aid to explore raw material deposits, establish state farms and construct power plants would be needed in order to overcome neocolonial relations—all that Prague, Moscow, and Warsaw offered were unfavorable loans that primarily served export interests (Pratt 1976: 159). In 1964, as in the years to come, “the negotiating teams from these countries appeared to the Tanzanians primarily as salesmen for the capital goods produced in their country” (ibid.: 161). Even East European personnel were offered on commercial rather than concessionary terms comparable to Western aid standards, although similar living conditions were to be guaranteed (ibid.: 160–161).

  • 11 BArch Berlin, DC 20/11525, Büttner (GDR Consulate Zanzibar), Abschlussbericht Juli 1967 – Juni 1970 (...)
  • 12 Interview #112, former East German teacher.
  • 13 BArch Berlin, DC 20/11525, Büttner (GDR Consulate Zanzibar), Abschlussbericht Juli 1967 – Juni 1970 (...)

16Chinese leaders were well aware of the complaints from African countries, including Guinea and Mali, about the conditions that had to be met to recruit Soviet and East European personnel. In contrast, Chinese principles stipulated that Chinese experts were to work and live under conditions comparable to those of their local counterparts (Friedman 2015: 117–118). Both Karume and Nyerere contrasted the frugality and basic conditions under which Chinese development workers fulfilled their assignments with the pleasure-seeking mindset and luxurious lifestyle of experts from industrialized countries, who resided in spacious houses, routinely employed domestic staff and enjoyed a living standard far above that of their local counterparts (Altorfer-Ong 2014: 261–262).11 The significance of these debates went beyond economic considerations; in fact, they were at the core of contesting visions of progress. As G. Thomas Burgess pointed out, nationalists in Zanzibar (and, one might add, Tanzania at large) saw work regimes as a crucial variable in development processes and believed that the Chinese style of strict discipline, efficient productivity and modest consumption was “a usable future,” dovetailing their own visions of modernity (Burgess 2010: 198). A former East German secondary school teacher reported how his Zanzibari students openly challenged him, repeating the criticism: “Sir, if we had taken Chinese instead of you, then we could have paid five teachers from your salary.”12 However, the GDR was not prepared to have their citizens work under what they dismissively called “Chinese dumping conditions,” and the teacher recalled that his reply was that as he was sacrificing his time to assist Zanzibar, he deserved to live in a proper house with his family, rather than be “punished” for his act of solidarity (i.e., going to Zanzibar to work under challenging conditions).13

  • 14 BArch Berlin, DC 20/11525, Zusammengefaßter Aktenvermerk über die Gespräche mit SU-Konsul Genossen (...)
  • 15 BArch Berlin, D 20/11525, GDR Consulate Zanzibar, Zusammenfassende Nachschrift der Rede des 1. Vize (...)
  • 16 BArch Berlin, DC 20/11525, Büttner (GDR Consulate Zanzibar), Abschlussbericht Juli 1967 – Juni 1970 (...)
  • 17 The insight that Zanzibar’s political weight was insufficient to influence the mainland was already (...)

17The harmony of the post-revolutionary honeymoon continued to decline. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, East German advisors, experts, and volunteers (friendship brigades) had their contracts terminated and were replaced by Zanzibari and Chinese staff. The last high-level advisor left in 1969. Additionally, all Zanzibari doctors with Soviet degrees had to resign from their positions.14 In June 1970, Karume publicly claimed that expatriate economic advisors (meaning East Germans who had served in that capacity) had ruined Zanzibar’s economy.15 In the same month, he asked the East German consul to leave.16 The disillusionment was mutual. In 1970, GDR officials finally buried their already tattered hopes that a revolution on the small archipelago of Zanzibar could generate enough energy to shift the whole of East Africa towards the kind of socialism they desired and they stated that any future agreements with Zanzibar would be concluded on a commercial rather than a political basis.17 Given the failures of East German projects, Zanzibar showed little interest in maintaining close commercial ties. In contrast, although Chinese economic schemes—including the establishment of a shoe factory, a state rice farm and tractor repair services—were also troubled by a myriad of problems, they had at least been offered on favorable terms. As a result, the “Chinese eventually succeeded in establishing themselves as Zanzibar’s chief patron power” (Burgess 2010: 197), while the GDR withdrew almost entirely from the islands and concentrated its efforts on mainland Tanzania where ujamaa was experiencing its heyday. Similar to the lessons the Soviet Union drew in the early 1960s from failing cooperation with West Africa’s socialist countries, Ghana, Guinea and Mali (Iandolo 2012: 683–704; Mazov 2010), experiences in Zanzibar made East German political elites more cautious and taught them to pay more attention to the ruling party’s organization, ideological outlook, and capacities to mobilize and discipline the population.

Ideological tensions and contested fields of cooperation, 1970–1978

18By 1970, Tanzania was receiving aid from a variety of sources. Material and political relations with China were very intense for a time and they emerged as Tanzania’s most important donor in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a result of a number of large-scale projects, including the construction of a railway line from the port of Dar es Salaam to the Zambian copper belt, which both Western and Soviet decision-makers had refused to finance (Altorfer-Ong 2014; Monson 2009; Lal 2014). Additionally, the World Bank and countries ruled by social democratic or left-leaning liberal governments, including Scandinavian countries, West Germany and Canada, also provided large amounts of financial and technical aid—which the GDR did not.

  • 18 PAAA, MfAA, C 772/74, Gesprächsnotiz DDR-Handelsrat Felber und DDR-Generalkonsul Butzke mit VRT-Fin (...)

19East German achievements in the sphere of industrial production bolstered the impression of the GDR as a member of the industrialized center, the powerful global North. Despite often-repeated claims of being the tenth largest industrial power in the world, the GDR was financially weak, especially in the “dollar zone,” to which, from the East German perspective, Tanzania belonged. As a “developed country,” Tanzanian politicians claimed that East Germany should be prepared to invest in large-scale projects and considered it reluctant when it did not.18 Loans, investments and export markets for Tanzania’s primary goods were still mostly to be found in the capitalist world market. East Germany was neither willing nor able to compete in the economic realm, especially as far as convertible loans were concerned. To avoid an outflow of scarce hard currency, loans were usually tied to the purchase of East German machinery and services. However, even that came to appear too risky in the eyes of East German policy makers. Instead of continuing to invest heavily in the economic and social infrastructure, as had been the case in Zanzibar, the GDR now mostly provided experts and scholarships (Burton 2016: 101–134). These less costly transfers (as far as convertible currency was concerned) were expected to ensure at least some degree of influence by making an impact on the ideological disposition of Tanzanians with regards to scientific socialism and by instilling a positive image of East Germany.

  • 19 There was an important, though sometimes blurred distinction between countries of a “socialist orie (...)

20Although dwarfed in material terms by Western financial resource transfers to Tanzania, the moral and material support for African liberation movements earned East Germany substantial credit. This implied significant anti-imperial prestige at a time when Western powers were profiting economically from links with South Africa, were closely allied with Portugal through NATO and considered liberation movements as terrorist organizations. Generally, Soviet (and by extension East German) orthodoxy held anticolonial liberation movements and “young nation states” such as Tanzania to be natural allies of the socialist world in the global revolutionary process and capable of following the “path of non-capitalist development” (Spanger, Brock 1987: 15).19

  • 20 SAPMO BArch Berlin, DY 30/IV 2/20/53, Plan für die Entwicklung der Beziehungen der DDR zu afrikanis (...)
  • 21 Interview with Adam Shafi, Dar es Salaam, 27 March 2014; Interview with Muhammed Khatib, 9 October (...)
  • 22 Email from a former attaché to the East German embassy sent to the author, 1 October 2015.

21Tanganyika’s significance as a gate to the liberation movements was the main reason the East German ruling party called for the establishment of relations in 1961, when Tanganyika emerged as the first independent state in East Africa.20 The East German attitude resembled the stand of Czechoslovakian and Soviet observers who had also viewed the “bourgeois” Nyerere and TANU as dubious partners given their “collaboration” with the Western camp, but all acknowledged that amicable relations with Dar es Salaam were essential if they wanted to have an impact on African decolonization (Dvorácek, Piknerová, Záhorík 2014: 91; Lüders 1978; Muehlenbeck 2016). Even after 1972, the year in which East Germany finally secured diplomatic recognition in Tanzania and in many other countries as a result of Bonn’s new Ostpolitik, the GDR had a strong incentive to maintain close relations with Tanzania to ensure access to liberation movements in exile. The Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), Namibia’s South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO), South Africa’s Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) and African National Congress (ANC), the Angolan People’s Mouvement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and other organizations had set up their headquarters (or branches) in Dar es Salaam and ran refugee camps and military training bases in rural areas. The GDR dispatched aid shipments and sent development workers to these outposts of the liberation movements, a commitment that some Tanzanians appreciated,21 whilst others viewed it with suspicion, assuming that it was closely tied to ideological paternalism and Cold War power politics.22

  • 23 SAPMO BArch Berlin, DY 30/IV A 2/20/964, MfAA Africa Division, 5 January 1968: 1–17; cited in Rober (...)
  • 24 BArch Berlin, DE 1/58694, Länderinformation Vereinigte Republik Tansania, no date [c. 1980]: 5; SAP (...)

22From the 1960s to the 1980s, tropes of anti-imperialism, anti-racism, and anti-apartheid were routinely conjured up in diplomatic exchanges between Dar es Salaam and East Germany. Nevertheless, in contrast to the good relations the GDR enjoyed with many leaders of liberation movements (and future rulers in Mozambique, Angola and Ethiopia), common foreign policy goals such as the eradication of exploitation, colonialism and apartheid were ideological overlaps rather than a common base for action with Tanzania. Opinions on how to achieve socialism and what it should entail in a national framework differed markedly. According to East German interpretations, the Arusha Declaration of 1967 greatly increased Tanzania’s chances of following this path, but still did “not comply with modern science” and consequently could “not lead to the construction of a socialist society.”23 This judgement remained basically unaltered for the following two decades. In internal East German documents, ujamaa continued to be described rather disparagingly as a blend of Catholic social doctrines and social reformism merely embellished with African traits and discredited as “non-proletarian” socialism that neglected the central role of the working class; a view that persisted well into the 1980s.24

  • 25 BArch Berlin, DR 2/25494, Baier to MfVoBi [Ministry of Primary Education], Dar es Salaam, 13 August (...)
  • 26 This is the retrospective judgement of the former ambassador Helmut Matthes, “Zur Entwicklung der a (...)

23Tanzanians who worked with East Germans would laud the GDR’s commitment to supporting the African liberation struggle and show interest in how issues of education, planning and agricultural collectivization were dealt with in East Germany. At the same time, many also condemned that as a communist country, the GDR curtailed the freedom of religion, which in Tanzania was guaranteed.25 In direct conversations with the GDR ambassador, Nyerere did not hesitate to point out the advantages of his concept of socialism (van der Heyden, Benger 2009: 76).26 Similar to leaders of other African states, he held that each country would have to adapt socialism to its particular conditions and draw on (idealized) African traditions of communitarianism and social equity rather than embrace a rigid form of proletarian-based “scientific socialism” promoted by COMECON (the Soviet-dominated Council for Mutual Economic Assistance) countries and communists in the West.

24China may have also been an adherent and promoter of class struggle and conflict, but in South-South conversations, they relegated Marxism to the background, emphasizing instead a shared “non-white” identity marked by the common history of struggle against Western imperialism (Friedman 2015). This focus on anti-imperialism (rather than anti-capitalism) resonated with attitudes in Tanzania, as Emma Hunter has shown. Nyerere’s mental map of the world was “framed by anti-imperialism and the imperative of liberation,” meaning that “solidarity against colonialism always trumped Cold War divisions” (Hunter 2015: 82). This helps to explain the close relations of China with both mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar under Karume. China was not seen primarily as a member of the socialist camp, but rather as a partner in South-South relations, providing inspiration and aid for both self-reliant national economic development and the African liberation struggle.

  • 27 United Republic of Tanzania (URT), Manpower Planning Division, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Dev (...)
  • 28 CCMA [Chama cha Mapinduzi Archives Dodoma], 1003, Report of the Staffing Sub-Committee of the Kivuk (...)

25East Germany, however, saw proletarian ideology and a vigorous party-state apparatus as the prerequisite of all socialist development—and did not have much confidence in the penetration power of Tanzanian mass organizations, despite the fact that the streamlined trade union, the party and its youth and women’s wings had significantly strengthened their position in Tanzanian society. After ujamaa became state doctrine in 1967, Nyerere gradually moved away from his earlier belief that Africans were “naturally socialistic” (Bjerk 2017: 33). Perceiving a need to produce socialist citizens, ideological apparatuses—most notably media and education—were aligned with the objectives of the one-party state. In 1969, Nyerere also oversaw the conversion of an adult training institution established in 1960, the Kivukoni College, into an ideological training ground for party cadres, with the aim of manufacturing a cohort of ujamaa stalwarts.27 As this was the high tide of nationalism in Tanzania, teaching positions were nationalized and applications from both East and West German trade union experts were rejected.28

  • 29 BArch Berlin, DE 1/58694, Vertrauliche Dienstsache – Länderinformation Vereinigte Republik Tansania (...)
  • 30 CCMA, THQ/C/E.20/7, Ibrahim Kaduma, Report from journey to Vietnam, 18 September 1975: 5.

26Despite these efforts in the area of ideological and cadre development, as far as the role and structure of the party were concerned, TANU kept much of its character as a mass-based movement from the times of nationalist agitation against British rule. This was a trait that in the eyes of GDR officials, reduced TANU (and its successor, the Chama cha Mapinduzi, CCM) to an “assembled movement” (Sammlungsbewegung), unable to implement party supremacy as enshrined in the 1977 constitution.29 East German observers found that the party, union and youth organization were too chaotic and weak to mobilize, discipline or even modernize the population. As TANU kept sending delegations to socialist countries around the world to observe (and learn from) other disciplinary regimes, it is safe to say this impression was widely shared. Party functionary Ibrahim Kaduma, for instance, returning from a visit to Vietnam in 1975, hailed the way the local communist party managed to incorporate all parts of the population despite following a Marxist-Leninist vanguard approach, as he underlined.30

27Another constraint on relations between Tanzania and East Germany, intertwined with the question of ideology, was Cold War politics, with the emphasis on the particular position of Tanzania under ujamaa in a third space between East and West, as “neither a camouflaged variant of capitalism nor a crude derivative of socialism” (Lal 2015: 21). Emerging as a leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, Nyerere had strong foreign policy motives to keep a distance from the Soviet Union. He repeatedly underscored the need for an alliance of “the poor South” against “the rich North,” to which the GDR belonged in this dichotomy—an understanding of international class struggle that corresponded to Maoist interpretations but was at odds with the Soviet view of a bipolar world divided between capitalism and socialism (Lal 2015:22). Soviet theorists argued that “developing countries should refute the false Maoist notion of world partition into North and South, into rich and poor countries; this has to be replaced by the scientifically grounded notion of the partition of the world into two social systems” (Lorenzini 2014: 190). East Germany followed this tenet.

  • 31 BArch Berlin, DR 2/25493, W.S.M. Migembe, Director of National Education, Orientation Course for So (...)

28These ideological and political aspects had an impact on relations on the ground. Smaller groups of GDR experts—trade unionists, veterinaries, and agricultural experts—were dispatched to improve relations with the mainland in the mid-1960s. In the early 1970s, around thirty East Germans held mid-level and advisory positions in Tanzanian institutions, including secondary school teachers and even university lecturers, all of whom were charged with promoting the experiences and positions of the socialist (read: Soviet) camp. Most East German cadres, many of whom had been sent abroad for the first time, arrived in Tanzania with little knowledge of “African Socialism.” After 1967, some Tanzanian institutions offered orientation programs so that newly arriving expatriates could become attuned to the core principles and objectives of ujamaa, though it seems that these introductory seminars were only offered sporadically and just for a few years.31

  • 32 BArch Berlin, DR 2/25494, Baier to MfVoBi, Dar es Salaam, 13 August 1971.
  • 33 BArch Berlin, DR 2/25493, J.B., Informationsbericht, Dar es Salaam, 25 April 1970.

29A difficult balancing act for East German development workers was that they were expected to support Tanzania in every possible way but were also expected to promote Marxism-Leninism as a worldview, and East European socialism as a model. Propaganda activities (Auslandsinformation) of development workers were mostly confined to the display of wall newspapers and the screening of movies, often followed by discussions, which could have unintended consequences. In such open discussions, as well as in personal conversations, Tanzanian superiors and colleagues occasionally demanded that the GDR increase material aid, using China or Western countries as benchmarks, and resorted to the particularity of Tanzania’s “African Socialism” to reject Marxist-Leninist claims of universal applicability.32 For some of them, the governments of Tanzania, East Germany or Scandinavia, and sometimes even of West Germany, were seen to be implementing different yet non-exclusive shades of socialism. Other Tanzanian colleagues and students also openly challenged GDR citizens about the lack of political and religious freedom in Eastern Europe. Trying to legitimize the presence of the wall that separated East from West Germany, an East German teacher argued that its erection was part of “our struggle for independence,” thus couching German history in terms associated with decolonization in Africa.33

  • 34 BArch Berlin, DR 2/25493, J.B., Informationsbericht, Dar es Salaam, 25 April 1970.

30Only a minority of East Germans were inclined to politicize through confrontational discussions (a strategy that some superiors and guidelines demanded, while others discouraged it). However, those that were committed to the task of politicization admitted that they had a hard time convincing colleagues and feared that more intense efforts would bring them into conflict with policies of Tanzania to which they had subscribed.34 Therefore, in order to maintain cordial relations with Tanzanian and international colleagues, political discussions were often avoided. The “politics machine,” as Toni Weis characterized the GDR’s “solidarity” (in an inversion of James Ferguson’s famous phrase referring to development as an “anti-politics machine”), never kicked into full gear (Weis 2011; Ferguson 1994).

  • 35 See the reports and correspondence in SAPMO BArch Berlin, DY 34/7296.

31In another area of activity, the GDR’s state-controlled trade union (FDGB) sent several advisors to the National Union of Tanganyika Workers (NUTA), which was established in 1964 as the only trade union on the mainland. Marxism was more acclaimed in the trade union than in party circles, meaning that relations in this realm were generally more synergetic. Many NUTA officials had attended courses in East Germany, Poland or Czechoslovakia and were sympathetic towards East European countries, strongly condemning Western imperialism. West Germans suspected that the GDR significantly influenced NUTA functionaries—up to the point that they rejected assistance from West German political foundations and unions (Vinnai 2010: 112–158). In contrast, reports from GDR advisors suggest that Tanzanians determined the extent of cooperation. One advisor was withdrawn by East Germany after NUTA leaders had wanted him to give advice on economic matters instead of conducting political seminars for workers. Another advisor reported that he readily gave advice and even agitated in public discussions, yet only when he was required to do so. He also admitted that at times, his Tanzanian superiors would tell him to keep quiet. According to his reports, his greatest rival was a Tanzanian NUTA employee who had studied in Denmark and often challenged the GDR advisor’s propositions.35

  • 36 BArch Berlin, DR 2/25496, O.B., Bericht über den Einsatz als Berater und Lehrer bei der FRELIMO, Da (...)

32In reports from other East German development workers, Western “ultra-leftists” and “social democrats” routinely appear among the main rivals for influence in Tanzania. While expectations in East Berlin must have caused many East Germans to exaggerate the degree of ideological confrontation in their reports, these sources still offer valuable insights into the diverse ideological currents that flowed beneath the surface of ujamaa’s hegemony. A GDR teacher/advisor at a FRELIMO secondary school for Mozambican refugees and freedom fighters took particular pride in his achievements. He reported that not only had he managed to win the trust of FRELIMO officials through his teaching and planning activities, but he had also been able to convince young Dutch volunteers of the truth of Marxist-Leninist theory, up to the point that they used his teaching materials, An Introduction to Dialectic and Historical Materialism, in their lessons. However, this was only possible after a more experienced (and politically “anti-authoritarian”) Swedish couple that had opposed the East German’s ideas had left.36 Whatever the substance of these reports, they draw attention to the globality, complexity and multipolarity of ideological struggles. On the left political spectrum alone, Cuban, Chinese, Soviet, Scandinavian, and other socialist models coexisted and, at times, competed with each other, separated by the importance they attached to the state, parliamentary democracy, armed liberation struggle, central planning and the working class. Tanzania, as a hub for liberation movements and a hotbed of intellectual and political exchanges regarding socialism, was at the center of this competition in the 1970s.

  • 37 TNA [Tanzania National Archives], FA/E 160/11 Part C, Comment in a letter from the GDR embassy in D (...)

33In short, Tanzania valued East Germans for the work they provided (their contracts were usually extended or replacements requested), but the ideological transfers that were expected from East Berlin depended on Tanzanian interests. These interests were, in turn, closely tied to ujamaa hegemony in the country and shaped by the scarcity of economic resources. The double constraint of ideology and specific material aspects is perhaps best captured in the internal note of a Tanzanian official from the Foreign Ministry. Assessing an invitation for a summer course on “communication with the masses” in the GDR (not including flight costs, which had to be covered by Tanzania), the official argued against taking the invitation: “There is nothing to learn. Culture must be original and authentic. This is only a pleasure trip [matembezi]; and if we have to pay transport it is a double waste [of] money and time.”37

Economic incompatibilities and foreign exchange shortages, 1978–1990

  • 38 BArch Berlin, DE 1/58694, Länderinformation Vereinigte Republik Tansania, no date [c. 1980]: 15.

34Against Tanzanian dreams of “self-reliance” and East European projections of a “socialist world system,” by the late 1970s, both Tanzania and East Germany faced economic constraints as a result of unfavorable trade relations, economic inefficiencies, the oil crisis and problems in the production of consumer goods. The combined nature of these problems made the earning and saving of hard currency the most pressing task (Kotkin 2010: 80–94). When a coffee crisis hit the GDR in 1977, a proposal to barter East German produce for coffee was made to Tanzania but never ratified.38 Such barter trade arrangements—which COMECON countries favored to circumvent foreign exchange spheres of trade (Dietrich 2014; Unfried 2016)—were unattractive to a country such as Tanzania that depended on cash earnings from exports to service mounting debts and pay imports. Bilateral trade remained of miniscule importance for both countries, the only exception being an isolated industrial undertaking on commercial (i.e., not aid) terms. In 1978, the GDR and Tanzania embarked on an overambitious project of establishing a large textile mill in the southern region of Mbeya. The project fit with both East Germany’s new export strategy of selling technology to the developing world, as well as Tanzania’s emphasis on the creation of basic industries to substitute imports after the rural-led development strategy had failed (Döring 1999; Barker et al. 1986). Again, the East-South cooperation to increase industrial capacities resulted in disappointment. Myriads of logistical, personal and organizational problems occurred on both sides, recalling disasters witnessed a decade earlier in Zanzibar, and paralyzed the construction works. Parts of the factory remained unfinished or defective into the late 1980s and full production capacity was never reached. However, due to the fact that the GDR was expecting the repayment of the loan (first in foreign exchange, then when it became clear that this was not going to happen, in semi-processed cotton), the outstanding debt became the GDR’s main motive for maintaining at least lukewarm relations with Tanzania.

35Tanzania also had pragmatic reasons for maintaining contact with the GDR. As was the case in many other African and Latin American countries at the time, Western debtors began to intensify their pressure on the Tanzanian government to service loans and were increasingly reluctant to continue providing aid without macroeconomic reforms. After Nyerere expelled International Monetary Fund (IMF) representatives in 1979, resisting their demand to devaluate the Tanzanian Shilling, Western donors one by one joined the IMF’s rallying call for structural adjustment programs. As they exerted pressure by reducing aid commitments and resource flows dried up, Tanzania tentatively turned eastwards, intensifying the relations that had been entertained throughout the 1970s. This reorientation was driven by politicians who still clung to ujamaa and who were trying to outmaneuver the budding movement of reformers and liberalizers within the country (Tripp 1997; Lofchie 2014; Edwards 2014).

  • 39 URT, Annual Manpower Report 1987, Dar es Salaam, Government Printer, 1990: 48; see also Roberts (20 (...)
  • 40 BstU, MfS, HA I/13548, Ländermappe Tansania, [c. 1986], fol. 105.

36The cautious rapprochement with the Soviet sphere was facilitated by China’s withdrawal from the intra-socialist battle for world leadership after the mid-1970s. As Beijing’s presence in Tanzania gradually faded, Moscow showed a readiness to step up their support. A Technical College was built with Soviet aid and when Tanzanian troops invaded Idi Amin’s Uganda in 1979, they did so using Soviet arms.39 Most of Tanzania’s reformers were bureaucrats and technocratic members of the government rather than central figures in the party. In the shifting sands of the 1980s, scientific socialism and the principle of a cadre-based vanguard party became more attractive to many mid-level party functionaries. In fact, as a result of the new inter-party agreements, many cadres attended seminars or received political and ideological training in East European socialist countries, and their numbers, as far as the GDR was concerned, continued to rise in the 1980s.40

  • 41 Quotation from a speech given by Julius Nyerere in Havanna, September 1979, cited in O. M. Ole-Pars (...)

37However, the improvement of relations vis-à-vis the socialist camp did not mean a departure from Tanzania’s principles of non-alignment. During a visit to Cuba in 1979, Nyerere openly challenged the Soviet position that the socialist camp and the Third World were “natural allies”: Tanzania, he proclaimed, had neither permanent enemies nor permanent friends, and certainly no “natural friends.”41

  • 42 “Tanzania Hails GDR,” Daily News, 5 June 1981.
  • 43 “Tanzania, GDR Cement Ties”, Daily News, 6 June 1981.

38The prospects of friendship were certainly better if they were supported by economic motives and short-term interests to find allies. On 5 May 1981, the Daily News featured an article with the headline “Tanzania Hails GDR,” in which East Germany’s “heroic and selfless contribution to the liberation struggle” was eloquently praised. On the following day, the Daily News reported: “Tanzania, GDR cement ties.”42 For the first time, these ties included an agreement between the ruling parties, a formalization that the Tanzanian side had previously avoided. The political rapprochement was informed by economic aspirations: Minister of Planning, Kighoma Malima, asserted that Tanzania wanted to introduce a planned economy to overcome the economic crisis and requested East German advisors to help in this transformation. These “planning advisors,” who were present until 1989, often felt that they were fighting a losing battle, knowing that Tanzania’s level of debt minimized their scope of action. They had practically no insight into decision-making processes and were often used to evaluate investment projects of other donors and provide arguments for negotiations. More important than this lofty and perhaps merely rhetorical pledge to initiate a planned economy, Malima also hoped to win over the GDR to finance large-scale industrial projects, sponsor the extension of the railway from Arusha to Musoma and provide railway cars.43 The turn to the East may also have been informed by a wish to once again fuel Cold War rivalries and Western donors’ prestige thinking in committing more resources in the aid race—alas, unsuccessfully. While Western audiences were disenchanted, East Germany’s decision-makers had never really been enchanted by ujamaa to begin with.

  • 44 BArch Berlin, DR 2/50566, Bericht über den Besuch des Ministers für Erziehung der VRT, Jackson M. M (...)
  • 45 Interview #110, former GDR diplomat.

39Expecting the repayment of the textile factory loan and being realistic about Tanzania’s balance-of-payment difficulties, the GDR gave Tanzania the cold shoulder. Whenever Tanzania requested aid, in response, the GDR would offer equipment and experts on a commercial basis.44 East Germany shunned any further agreements on a loan basis, seeing Tanzania as a bottomless pit for its scarce resources. By the 1980s, Tanzania was—as remembered by a former East German diplomat—considered “too poor” and “not left-wing enough” by the GDR’s regime to merit more substantial commitments.45 While the GDR continued to provide transfer resources and manpower, as of 1977, they were channeled into new countries of focus, which openly embraced the Soviet camp and adopted Marxism-Leninism as state doctrine following a revolution (Ethiopia) or the disintegration of the Portuguese empire (Angola, Mozambique). This shift in East Germany corresponded to a pivot in Soviet foreign policy, although Moscow reacted to events rather than initiating the shift. Apart from African leaders who approached socialist countries for aid, Cubans and East Germans had been crucial in pushing the Kremlin to instigate a renewed large-scale commitment of the Soviet Union to Sub-Saharan Africa (Gleijeses 2006; Westad 2007).

  • 46 CCMA, CMM/OND/183/36 Yugoslavia, Vol. 1, Foreign Affairs Department of CCM Headquarters, Brief of S (...)
  • 47 CCMA, CMM/OND/183/36 Yugoslavia, Vol. 1, Foreign Affairs Department of CCM Headquarters, Brief of S (...)

40Tanzanian negotiators noticed the unmistakable shift away from being the preferred clients of the Soviet Union or the GDR. Tiresome experiences with the GDR and other COMECON countries left a mark on the opinion of the ruling party’s Foreign Affairs Department, which concluded in the mid-1980s: “All these socialist nations like to conduct their relations through a number of agreements like in the field of economic co-operation. These agreements are preceded by long and oftentimes cumbersome negotiations before the required assistance is extended. Experience has shown that even after the signing of such agreements there are long delays in full implementation of the projects.”46 This echoed experiences from the 1960s. The logical recommendation was that Tanzania should act pragmatically and choose the most efficient route when dealing with offers: “[W]hat we can get […] without much problem we shall exploit to the maximum.”47 This pragmatic attitude resonates with Oscar Sanchez-Sibony’s argument that the Soviet Union was seen as a second-best partner by Third World countries, a partner that could be instrumental in maximizing resource flows and providing political leverage—and in the case of some Tanzanians, this attitude continued well into the late 1980s (Sanchez-Sibony 2014).

  • 48 BArch Berlin Lichterfelde, DK 1/26764, Glemnitz, Abschlussbericht über den Studienaufenthalt für le (...)

41By then, competition and conflicts between different varieties of socialism no longer played a significant role. Whatever chance there might have been of learning from East Germany was rendered increasingly insignificant by economic constraints, political pressures and their own experiences with socialism. Tanzanians who visited the GDR through party-sponsored exchanges and had guided tours through the collectivized rural landscape in the 1980s believed—recalling the failures of “villagization”—that mobilization involving force and coercion were inappropriate measures to bring about socialism and collectivized agriculture in Tanzania.48 The era of competing visions of socialist modernity, the 1960s and 1970s, had faded in the face of the economic downturn that led to crises in the social and political realm. Whilst earlier it had seemed that there were several socialist options available, the common wisdom now was that there was no such thing as a path to socialism for Tanzania. Nyerere stepped down from the presidency in 1985, thus making way for reforms and the gradual dismantling of ujamaa. Still, he continued to serve as the party’s chairman and spearheaded efforts to stall the shift towards neoliberalism. In 1990, he made his first (though still unofficial) visit to the GDR. Remembering the visit, East German diplomats fondly interpreted this as a solidarity visit for the continued existence of the GDR. One may suspect that Nyerere, like other Tanzanians, was probably just as keen to learn rom socialist countries and observe transformation all over the world in order to navigate the shift from socialism to post-socialism. As far as power politics are concerned, the CCM (just like other post-socialist parties in Angola or Mozambique) has learned its lesson: it has continued to rule in the multi-party era up to the present day.

Conclusion

42Varieties of socialism, such as ujamaa, were not elaborated and implemented in a vacuum, but rather in a Cold War context of competing systems of political ideology and economic organization—with the US, the USSR and China being the most influential players in this competition. The Cold War context was further complicated by the rise of the Non-Aligned Movement and the lengthy process of decolonization. In both of these, Tanzania played a leading role by promoting the restructuring of North-South relations and supporting liberation movements in Africa until the demise of apartheid. In such a complex setting, it is therefore not surprising that there were not only substantial interactions taking place between differing kinds of socialisms, resulting in transfers on both material and ideological levels—but that clear lines of demarcation were also drawn.

43These lines were dynamic, however, as Tanzania’s room for maneuver changed in relation to shifting national and global power constellations. These shifts were made visible through the prism of relations between East Germany and Tanzania. Cooperation between East Germany and Tanzania was motivated firstly by short-term diplomatic and political interests. While actors in Tanzania often saw East Germany pragmatically as a source of aid and other resource transfers, East Germany pursued diplomatic recognition and laid more emphasis on ideological aspects. Interests overlapped, at least partially, in general foreign policy goals, including anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism and the ensuing support for African liberation movements. For the GDR’s strategic interest in liberation movements, Tanzania was a vital partner. Seen from the Tanzanian side, East German development workers were welcome to fill “manpower gaps” and relate the experience of the GDR’s agricultural and educational systems, responding to pressing problems in Tanzania. Politicization beyond that level, however, depended upon the interests of Tanzanian (and at times, other expatriate) counterparts, superiors, colleagues, and students.

  • 49 The aspect of subversion also contributed to the fallout of West African political leaders with the (...)

44Socialist encounters occurred in a mode of cooperation or competition or—more rarely—of conflict. However, the potential of a socialist fraternity could never be fully exploited. The limits of cooperation rested, as the preceding discussion shows, upon material, political and ideological constraints that depended on wider historical constellations. As evidenced by several failed projects in both Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania, East Germany’s ability and willingness to contribute to Tanzania’s economic development was limited. In ideological terms, Nyerere considered Marxism-Leninism unfit for local conditions in many regards, while East German orthodoxy left little room to acknowledge the validity of ujamaa. In political terms, East German support for Marxists-Leninists posed a threat to Karume’s project in Zanzibar and Nyerere’s efforts in Tanzania to consolidate internal sovereignty based on personalized rule and ideological hegemony.49 Nyerere also shunned a close relationship with East European countries to maintain an image of Tanzania as non-aligned and to avoid the estrangement of Western donors, as long as these were forthcoming. In material terms, both Tanzania and East Germany found themselves cornered in a (semi-)peripheral position in the world economy, constrained by mounting debt and debilitating foreign exchange shortages. As both governments went on a global hunt for hard currency to prevent the faltering of their sociopolitical systems, an economic basis for bilateral relations became more important—but that was exactly what was missing. As a result of ideological tensions and structural incompatibilities, synergetic effects between the actually existing socialisms in Tanzania and East Germany (as well as the European COMECON countries at large) were rare.

Bibliographie

Altorfer-Ong Alicia, 2014. “Old Comrades and New Brothers: A Historical Re-examination of the Sino-Zanzibari and Sino-Tanzanian Bilateral Relationships in the 1960s,” Ph.D. Dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Babu Abdulrahman Mohamed, 2001. “I Was the First Third World Minister to Recognise the GDR,” in Haroub Othman (ed.), Babu: I Saw the Future and it Works. Essays Celebrating the Life of Comrade Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu, 1924–1996, Dar es Salaam, E&D: 48–58.

Barker Carol E., Bhagavan M.R., Mitschke-Collande P.V., Wield D.V., 1986. African Industrialization. Technology and Change in Tanzania, Aldershot, Gower.

Bjerk Paul, 2015. Building a Peaceful Nation. Julius Nyerere and the Establishment of Sovereignty in Tanzania, 1960–1964, Woodbridge, Boydell & Brewer.

Bjerk Paul, 2017. Julius Nyerere, Athens, Ohio University Press.

Burgess G. Thomas, 2007. “A Socialist Diaspora: Ali Sultan Issa, the Soviet Union and the Zanzibari Revolution,” in Maxim Matusevich (ed.), Africa in Russia, Russia in Africa: Three Centuries of Encounters, Trenton, Africa World Press: 263–291.

Burgess G. Thomas, 2009. Race, Revolution, and the Struggle for Human Rights in Zanzibar. The Memoirs of Ali Sultan Issa and Seif Sharif Hamad, Athens, Ohio University Press.

Burgess G. Thomas, 2010. “Mao in Zanzibar: Nationalism, Discipline, and the (De)construction of Afro-Asian solidarities,” in Christopher J. Lee (ed.), Making a World after Empire: The Bandung Moment and its Political Afterlives, Athens, Ohio University Press: 196–234.

Burton Eric, 2016. “African Manpower Development During the Global Cold War. The Case of Tanzanian Students in the Two German States,” in Andreas Exenberger and Ulrich Pallua (eds.), Africa Research in Austria. Approaches and Perspectives, Innsbruck, Innsbruck University Press: 101–134.

Byrne Jeffrey James, 2009. “Our Own Special Brand of Socialism: Algeria and the Contest of Modernities in the 1960s,” Diplomatic History, vol. 33, no. 3: 427–447.

Dietrich Anne, 2014. “Zwischen solidarischem Handel und ungleichem Tausch: Zum Südhandel der DDR am Beispiel des Imports kubanischen Zuckers und äthiopischen Kaffees,” Journal für Entwicklungspolitik, vol. 30, no. 3: 48–67.

Döring Hans-Joachim, 1999. Es geht um unsere Existenz. Die Politik der DDR gegenüber der Dritten Welt am Beispiel von Mosambik und Äthiopien, Berlin, Links.

Dvorácek Jan, Piknerová Linda, Záhorík Jan, 2014. A History of Czechoslovak Involvement in Africa. Studies from the Colonial Through the Soviet Eras, Lewiston, New York, Mellen Pressm.

Edwards Sebastian, 2014. Toxic Aid. Economic Collapse and Recovery in Tanzania, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Ferguson James, 1994. The Anti-politics Machine. “Development,” Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press.

Friedman Jeremy Scott, 2015. Shadow Cold War. The Sino-Soviet Competition for the Third World, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press.

Gleijeses Piero, 2006. “Moscow’s Proxy? Cuba and Africa 1975–1988,” Journal of Cold War Studies, vol. 8, no. 2: 3–51.

Gray William Glenn, 2003. Germany’s Cold War. The Global Campaign to Isolate East Germany, 1949–1969, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press.

Hong Young-Sun, 2015. Cold War Germany, the Third World, and the Global Humanitarian Regime, New York, Cambridge University Press.

Hunter Emma, 2015. “Julius Nyerere” in Steven Casey and Jonathan Wright (eds.), Mental Maps in the Era of Détente and the End of the Cold War, 1968–1991, Houndmills, Palgrave Macmillan: 81–96.

Iandolo Alessandro, 2012. “The Rise and Fall of the ‘Soviet Model of Development’ in West Africa, 1957–1964,” Cold War History, vol. 12, no. 4: 683–704.

Jennings Michael, 2008. Surrogates of the State. NGOs, Development, and Ujamaa in Tanzania, Bloomfield, Kumarian Press.

Kilian Werner, 2001. Die Hallstein-Doktrin. Der diplomatische Krieg zwischen der BRD und der DDR 1955-1973. Aus den Akten der beiden deutschen Außenministerien, Berlin, Duncker und Humblot.

Kotkin Stephen, 2010. “The Kiss of Debt. The Eastern Bloc Goes Borrowing,” in Niall Ferguson, Charles S. Maier, Erez Manela, and Daniel J. Sargent (eds.), The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective, Cambridge, Belknap, Harvard University Press.

Lal Priya, 2014. “Maoism in Tanzania: Material Connections and Shared Imaginaries,” in Alexander C. Cook (ed.), Mao’s Little Red Book: A Global History, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 96–116.

Lal Priya, 2015a. “African Socialism and the Limits of Global Familyhood. Tanzania and the New International Economic Order in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development, vol. 6, no. 1: 17-31.

Lal Priya, 2015b. African Socialism in Postcolonial Tanzania. Between the Village and the World, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Lofchie Michael F., 1965. Zanzibar: Background to Revolution, Princeton, Princeton University Press.

Lofchie Michael F., 2014. The Political Economy of Tanzania. Decline and Recovery, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press.

Lorenzini Sara, 2014. “Comecon and the South in the Years of Détente. A Study on East-South Economic Relations,” European Review of History: Revue européenne d’histoire, vol. 21, no. 2: 183–199.

Lüders Klaus, 1978. Tansania in der Sicht der Sowjetunion. Eine Studie zur sowjetischen Schwarzafrika-Politik, Hamburg, Institut für Afrika-Kunde.

Lüthi Lorenz M., 2008. The Sino-Soviet Split. Cold War in the Communist World, Princeton, Princeton University Press.

Martin Esmond Bradley, 1978. Zanzibar. Tradition and Revolution, London, Hamilton.

Mazov Sergey V., 2010. A Distant Front in the Cold War: The USSR in West Africa and the Congo, 1956–1964, Washington, DC, Stanford University Press.

Mazrui Ali, 1967. “Tanzaphilia,” Transition, no. 31: 20–26.

Monson Jamie, 2009. Africa’s Freedom Railway. How a Chinese Development Project Changed Lives and Livelihoods in Tanzania, Bloomington, Indiana University Press.

Muehlenbeck Philip, 2016. Czechoslovakia in Africa, 1945–1968, New York, Palgrave.

Nyerere Julius, 1968. Ujamaa. Essays on Socialism, Dar es Salaam, Oxford University Press.

Nyerere Julius, 1974. Freedom and Development: Uhuru na maendeleo. A selection from Writings and Speeches 1968–1973, Dar es Salaam, Oxford University Press, 1974.

Pratt Cranford, 1976. The Critical Phase in Tanzania, 1945–1968: Nyerere and the Emergence of a Socialist Strategy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Roberts George, 2016. “Politics, Decolonisation, and the Cold War in Dar es Salaam c. 1965–1972,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Warwick, University of Warwick.

Sanders Ethan R., 2014. “Conceiving the Tanganyika-Zanzibar Union in the Midst of the Cold War: Internal and international factors,” African Review, no. 41: 35–70.

Schneider Leander, 2014. Government of Development. Peasants and Politicians in Postcolonial Tanzania, Bloomington, Indiana University Press.

Shivji Issa G., 2008. Pan-Africanism or Pragmatism? Lessons of the Tanganyika-Zanzibar Union, Dar es Salaam, Mkuki na Nyota.

Smith Tony, 2000. “New Bottles for New Wine. A Pericentric Framework for the Study of the Cold War,” Diplomatic History, vol. 24, no. 4: 567–591.

Spanger Hans-Joachim, Brock Lothar, 1987. Die beiden deutschen Staaten in der Dritten Welt. Die Entwicklungspolitik der DDR. Eine Herausforderung für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland? Opladen, Westdeutscher Verlag.

Speller Ian, 2007. “An African Cuba? Britain and the Zanzibar Revolution, 1964,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, vol. 35, no. 2: 283–302.

Tripp Aili Mari, 1997. Changing the Rules. The Politics of Liberalization and the Urban Informal Economy in Tanzania, Berkeley, University of California Press.

Unfried Berthold, 2016. “Friendship and Education, Coffee and Weapons. Exchanges between Socialist Ethiopia and the German Democratic Republic,” Northeast African Studies, vol. 16, no. 1: 15–38.

Van der Heyden Ulrich, Benger Franziska (eds.), 2009. Kalter Krieg in Ostafrika: Die Beziehungen der DDR zu Sansibar und Tansania, Berlin, Lit.

Vinnai Volker, 2010. “Die Arbeit der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Tansania – 40 Jahre Zusammenarbeit mit Parteien, Gewerkschaften, Zivilgesellschaft und Regierung,” in Norbert von Hofmann, Volker Vinnai and Hermann Benzing (eds.), Die Arbeit der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Indonesien, Tansania und Zentralamerika seit den 1960er Jahren, Bonn, Dietz.

Weis Toni, 2011. “The Politics Machine: On the Concept of ‘Solidarity’ in East German support for SWAPO,” Journal of Southern African Studies, vol. 37, no. 2: 351–367.

Westad Odd Arne, 2007. The Global Cold War. Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times, Cambridge and New York, Cambridge University Press.

Wilson Amrit, 2013. The Threat of Liberation. Imperialism and Revolution in Zanzibar, London, Pluto Press.

Wimmelbücker Ludger, 2012. “Architecture and City Planning Projects of the German Democratic Republic in Zanzibar,” The Journal of Architecture, vol. 17, no. 3: 407–432.

Notes

1 The research on which this contribution is based was funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) within the framework of the research project “Personal cooperation in ‘development aid’ and ‘socialist aid’ in the context of system competition” (P 25949-G16). The research in Tanzania was conducted with the kind assistance of Oswald Masebo from the Department of History at the University of Dar es Salaam and Atuswege Burton. I would like to thank Sarah Hanisch, Berthold Unfried, two anonymous reviewers, and the conference participants for helpful suggestions and comments on earlier drafts.

2 Wilson Center Digital Archive, Stasi Report on Meetings with the KGB, 30 November–1 December 1964, Berlin, 2 December 1964 [originally from BStU, MfS, SdM 576: 1–30].

3 Anna Warda is working on this subject. See https://zzf-potsdam.de/de/forschung/projekte/die-tatigkeiten-des-mfs [accessed on 22 December 2020].

4 A main problem was that many East Germans, who had had to leave after only rudimentary preparation, had a poor command of English (which remained the language of secondary education) (Martin 1978: 21).

5 Interview with Adam Shafi, Dar es Salaam, 27 March 2014; Interview with Pius Msekwa, Dar es Salaam, 23 November 2014. In his memoirs, the responsible Stasi officer writes that the Zanzibari security apparatus took on a life of its own to a degree that even concerned East German advisors and trainers: Markus Wolf, Spionagechef im geheimen Krieg: Erinnerungen, München, List, 1997.

6 There are different explanations as to why Twala was arrested, but they share the assumption that relations between Twala and Karume had deteriorated. BArch [Bundesarchiv] Berlin, DN 1/15578, Nimmrich to Gentsch, Zanzibar, 21 September 1967.

7 This is particularly evident in reactions to the MP Joseph Kasella-Bantu, who demanded that TANU be turned into a vanguard party, or the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Oscar Kambona, who was rumored to have received support from the Soviet Union and fled Tanzania in 1967.

8 SAPMO [Stiftung Archiv der Parteien und Massenorganisationen der DDR im Bundesarchiv] BArch Berlin, DY 24/19211, Böhme to Friendship Brigade Zanzibar, Berlin, 22 July 1970.

9 BArch Berlin, DC 20/11615, Vermerk über die abschließende Unterredung des Leiters der Regierungsdelegation der DDR mit Karume, Zanzibar, 8 May 1970, fol. 16.

10 Ali Sultan Issa served as Minister of Education and Minister of Health under Karume.

11 BArch Berlin, DC 20/11525, Büttner (GDR Consulate Zanzibar), Abschlussbericht Juli 1967 – Juni 1970, Berlin, 30 June 1970.

12 Interview #112, former East German teacher.

13 BArch Berlin, DC 20/11525, Büttner (GDR Consulate Zanzibar), Abschlussbericht Juli 1967 – Juni 1970, Berlin, 30 June 1970: 72. Other East European governments also tried to make Tanzania raise their development workers’ salaries in order to save costs. They were also concerned that their experts would not appear “cheap” in comparison to western experts and mentioned the internal problem that it was difficult to attract qualified staff for an overseas appointment without material incentives. See notes of conversations that a GDR diplomat conducted in May 1972 with his Romanian, Bulgarian and Czechoslovakian counterparts based in Dar es Salaam in the PAAA [Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amtes Berlin], C 773/74.

14 BArch Berlin, DC 20/11525, Zusammengefaßter Aktenvermerk über die Gespräche mit SU-Konsul Genossen Bogow am 11. und 19.5.1970, Zanzibar, 21 May 1970.

15 BArch Berlin, D 20/11525, GDR Consulate Zanzibar, Zusammenfassende Nachschrift der Rede des 1. Vizepräsidenten der VRT, A.A. Karume, am 30.5.1970, Zanzibar, 2 June 1970, fol. 74, 80; ibid., DC 20/11614, GDR Delegation, Bericht über die Verhandlungen zur weiteren Gestaltung der Außenwirtschaftsbeziehungen, Berlin, 12 May 1970, fol. 311-314.

16 BArch Berlin, DC 20/11525, Büttner (GDR Consulate Zanzibar), Abschlussbericht Juli 1967 – Juni 1970, Berlin, 30 June 1970.

17 The insight that Zanzibar’s political weight was insufficient to influence the mainland was already mentioned earlier, showing that the mutual disillusionment was a gradual rather than sudden process. See BArch Berlin, DC 20/11614, Abschlussbericht über die Verhandlungen mit der VRT/Sansibar, Berlin, 18 December 1967, fol. 18.

18 PAAA, MfAA, C 772/74, Gesprächsnotiz DDR-Handelsrat Felber und DDR-Generalkonsul Butzke mit VRT-Finanzminister Jamal, Dar es Salaam, 5 December 1970.

19 There was an important, though sometimes blurred distinction between countries of a “socialist orientation” and those on a “socialist path of development.” The grouping was relevant for the disbursement of aid and preferential trade relations.

20 SAPMO BArch Berlin, DY 30/IV 2/20/53, Plan für die Entwicklung der Beziehungen der DDR zu afrikanischen Ländern südlich der Sahara für 1962, 13 September 1961, fol. 194.

21 Interview with Adam Shafi, Dar es Salaam, 27 March 2014; Interview with Muhammed Khatib, 9 October 2014.

22 Email from a former attaché to the East German embassy sent to the author, 1 October 2015.

23 SAPMO BArch Berlin, DY 30/IV A 2/20/964, MfAA Africa Division, 5 January 1968: 1–17; cited in Roberts (2016: 93).

24 BArch Berlin, DE 1/58694, Länderinformation Vereinigte Republik Tansania, no date [c. 1980]: 5; SAPMO BArch Berlin, DY 24/14001, Umlaufvorlage an das Sekretariat anlässlich Delegationsaufenthalt, Berlin, 19 December 1983.

25 BArch Berlin, DR 2/25494, Baier to MfVoBi [Ministry of Primary Education], Dar es Salaam, 13 August 1971.

26 This is the retrospective judgement of the former ambassador Helmut Matthes, “Zur Entwicklung der außenpolitischen Grundlagen der Beziehungen zwischen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und der Vereinigten Republik Tansania bis Mitte der siebziger Jahre.”

27 United Republic of Tanzania (URT), Manpower Planning Division, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development Planning, Annual Manpower Report to the President 1969, Dar es Salaam, May 1970: 42.

28 CCMA [Chama cha Mapinduzi Archives Dodoma], 1003, Report of the Staffing Sub-Committee of the Kivukoni College, Dar es Salaam, 20 December 1968.

29 BArch Berlin, DE 1/58694, Vertrauliche Dienstsache – Länderinformation Vereinigte Republik Tansania, no date [c. 1980]: 5. See also PAAA, MfAA C 6115, DDR-Botschaft, Jahresbericht 1976, Dar es Salaam, 3 January 1977, fol. 45.

30 CCMA, THQ/C/E.20/7, Ibrahim Kaduma, Report from journey to Vietnam, 18 September 1975: 5.

31 BArch Berlin, DR 2/25493, W.S.M. Migembe, Director of National Education, Orientation Course for Some Expatriate Tutors and Teachers, 29 June–1 July 1970, Dar es Salaam, 16 June 1970. G.R.V. Mmari, Education for Self-Reliance in Practice. Preparation of Teachers for ESR since 1967, Dar es Salaam, Education Services Centre Limited, 1988: 8–9. Also, the ambitious objective that anybody who applied for a teaching position in Tanzania be interviewed in Tanzanian embassies before being allowed to work “for ujamaa” proved unfeasible.

32 BArch Berlin, DR 2/25494, Baier to MfVoBi, Dar es Salaam, 13 August 1971.

33 BArch Berlin, DR 2/25493, J.B., Informationsbericht, Dar es Salaam, 25 April 1970.

34 BArch Berlin, DR 2/25493, J.B., Informationsbericht, Dar es Salaam, 25 April 1970.

35 See the reports and correspondence in SAPMO BArch Berlin, DY 34/7296.

36 BArch Berlin, DR 2/25496, O.B., Bericht über den Einsatz als Berater und Lehrer bei der FRELIMO, Dar es Salaam, 21 November 1972: 10.

37 TNA [Tanzania National Archives], FA/E 160/11 Part C, Comment in a letter from the GDR embassy in Dar es Salaam to the Ministry of Culture and Youth, Dar es Salaam, 11 January 1977.

38 BArch Berlin, DE 1/58694, Länderinformation Vereinigte Republik Tansania, no date [c. 1980]: 15.

39 URT, Annual Manpower Report 1987, Dar es Salaam, Government Printer, 1990: 48; see also Roberts (2016: 207–208).

40 BstU, MfS, HA I/13548, Ländermappe Tansania, [c. 1986], fol. 105.

41 Quotation from a speech given by Julius Nyerere in Havanna, September 1979, cited in O. M. Ole-Parsalaw, “On Non-Alignment,” Mbioni, vol. IX, no. 6, 1980: 1.

42 “Tanzania Hails GDR,” Daily News, 5 June 1981.

43 “Tanzania, GDR Cement Ties”, Daily News, 6 June 1981.

44 BArch Berlin, DR 2/50566, Bericht über den Besuch des Ministers für Erziehung der VRT, Jackson M. Makwetta, vom 19.1. bis 27.1.1987 in der DDR; ibid., Aktenvermerk über Gespräch M. Honecker mit UdSSR-TAN-Botschafter Sepetu, 14 December 1983.

45 Interview #110, former GDR diplomat.

46 CCMA, CMM/OND/183/36 Yugoslavia, Vol. 1, Foreign Affairs Department of CCM Headquarters, Brief of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, no date [c. 1985].

47 CCMA, CMM/OND/183/36 Yugoslavia, Vol. 1, Foreign Affairs Department of CCM Headquarters, Brief of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, no date [c. 1985].

48 BArch Berlin Lichterfelde, DK 1/26764, Glemnitz, Abschlussbericht über den Studienaufenthalt für leitende Kader der Partei der Revolution Tansania vom 25.4.-24.5.1985, o.O., o.D. [1985]: 5.

49 The aspect of subversion also contributed to the fallout of West African political leaders with the Soviet Union. See Iandolo (2012).

Auteur

© Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l’homme, 2021

Licence OpenEdition Books

Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search