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Volkseigener Betrieb

(singular) or Volkseigene Betriebe (plural) are both abbreviated as VEB. The term is best translated as people-owned enterprise[s] and describes state-owned businesses and factories in the former German Democratic Republic.

During the various phases of expropriation following the founding of the German Democratic Republic, all single factories or former companies that had been nationalized became so-called VEB units. These were then grouped in larger VVB units that were named after the largest or most influential of the included VEB units which then also operated as responsible head office.

The prefix VVB was dropped a few years later and replaced by the term Kombinat. For example the VVB Feinkeramik Kahla later became the Kombinat VEB Porzellanwerk Kahla. While both of those names described the whole group of production units, the name VEB Porzellanwerk Kahla alone (without the Kombinat addition) only described the single factory on Kahla.

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