The film was criticized by many party officials for its negative portrayal of youth and life in East-Germany. Film critics, however, praised its authenticity. After much debate, the film was released in August 1957 - three months later it had already attracted over 1,5 million viewers.
This was one of the films censored by the 11th Plenum of the SED's central committee in December of 1965 for its supposed subversive content. After the decision, Gerhard Klein fell ill and did not complete another feature-length film
Ilse Pagè was granted her first role in this film (as Angela) despite being from West-Berlin. Due to her lack of acting-experience, she even received extra coaching - which was in turn heavily criticized by SED officials. Since then, she has become a well-known German actress.