When the Marxist Philosopher Ernst Bloch arrived in Eastern Germany in 1949, he was already 64 years old and not very well-known. Nonetheless he became one of the most important thinkers of the early GDR. A few years after his arrival, in the mid-50s, conflict between him and the communist leaders and their SED party escalated due to opposing views on the concept of freedom. There were further disagreements on the role of the subject in history and the (un-)importance of utopianism. Following the escalation he was politically and academically isolated, which led to his leaving the country in 1961. But his philosophy of hope was kept alive in the GDR, especially in oppositional circles. Thus one can find elements of his utopianism in works of dissidents such as Rudolf Bahro, Wolfgang Harich and Robert Havemann.
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