Alexander, Eduard (known as E. Ludwig, 1881–1945). Lawyer, member of Spartacus League and of KPD at its foundation; head of Zentrale’s press service in 1922, editor of economics page of Die Rote Fahne. Removed from his responsibilities in 1929 as ‘conciliator’, arrested in August 1944, and died during transport.
André, Edgar (1894–1936). Born in the Rhineland, brought up in Belgium, building worker, member of Socialist Young Guard. Conscripted, prisoner of war in France in 1918; docker in Hamburg, joined SPD; then unemployed, organised unemployed committee in Hamburg, joined KPD at end of 1922. Very prominent activist in Hamburg in 1923. Organised League of Red Fighters, which he led in Hamburg. Nicknamed ‘Red General’, strongly hated by the Nazis, arrested in March 1933, tortured, sentenced to death, and beheaded on 4 November 1936.
Arendsee, Marta (1885–1953). Worked in bookshops, member of SPD in 1906, organiser of women’s movement from 1907; in opposition in 1914, member of Niederbarnim group, delegate to Berne in 1915. Member of USPD in 1917 and VKPD in 1920. On editorial staff of Die Kommunistin from 1922, elected to trade-union commission at Leipzig. Close to KPD Right, worked in Workers’ International Relief. Arrested in 1933, released in 1934, emigrated to USSR with her husband Paul Schwenk, who was arrested there; worked for Soviet radio in Moscow. Returned to Germany in 1945, member of leadership of SED until 1947.
Artelt, Karl (1890―). Metalworker member of SPD in 1908. Led mutiny in Kiel and Baltic sailors’ council in November 1918. Member of USPD, leader of councils in Brunswick in 1919. Member of USPD Left, in VKPD in 1920. Occupied various secondary responsibilities in KPD; veteran of SED, lived in DDR.
Bachmann, Otto (1887―). Building worker trade-union secretary in Breslau in 1908, chairman in Chemnitz during 1919–21, founding member of KPD. Expelled from trade union and became secretary of ‘red trade union’, put in charge of builders’ section of Zentrale’s trade-union department. Chairman of union of stonemasons expelled from ADGB from September 1923. After 1926, was a leader of red unions; in 1927, was first Communist mayor in Germany, at Ölsnitz. Expelled in 1929 as rightist. Continued to support Brandler, active in KPO. Emigrated in 1933, and probably died in exile.
Barth, Emil (1879–1941). Metalworker and Social Democrat. Discharged from army in 1917. Member of USPD. Replaced Richard Muller at head of group of revolutionary delegates after strike in January 1918. Member of Executive of Councils, People’s Commissar in November–December 1918, disowned by his comrades. Chairman of Factory Councils in 1921. Remained in USPD in 1920, returned to SPD in 1922. Then returned to anonymity.
Bartz, Wilhelm (1881–1929). Printer, joined union and SPD in 1900; attended Party School in 1910–11; full-time Party worker and journalist. Joined USPD in 1919. Joined VKPD in 1920. Protested against March Action, but did not follow Levi or Friesland. Worked on Inprekorr in 1921, joint chairman of KPD parliamentary fraction in Reichstag in 1922. Member of Left in 1923. Joined centre tendency in 1925.
Becker, Karl (1894–1942). Printer, son of activist, member of Socialist Youth in 1909 and SPD in 1912. During war was a leader of radical Left in Dresden and then in Bremen. Arrested in 1917, freed by November Revolution, was leader of a workers’ council. Delegate from IKD to founding conference of KPD. Supported ultra-left majority. Co-leader of opposition in 1919 and co- founder of Allgemeine Arbeiter Union. Expelled at Heidelberg, did not join KAPD, returned to KPD(S) under Radek and Frölich’s influence in March 1920. Made several visits to Moscow. From 1921 was editor of Hamburger Volkszeitung, in 1923 in charge of the Wasserkante and North-West region, member of right tendency. Appears to have gone underground at end of 1923 and taken refuge in Moscow. Returned in 1925, member of ‘conciliator’ group, elected to Prussian Landtag in 1928. Made ‘self-criticism’. Went underground in 1933, then emigrated to France. Betrayed by Vichy, condemned to death, executed in Plötzensee.
Blenkle, Konrad (1901–43). Bakery worker, from working-class family; joined Youth in 1919 and KPD(S) in 1920; worked for Soviet embassy in Berlin; became secretary of Communist Youth in 1923, supported KPD Left. Chairman of Communist Youth and member of Central Committee in 1924; deputy in 1928; in disgrace thereafter. Worked illegally in 1933–4. Emigrated and led some illegal work in Germany, from Copenhagen. Arrested, sentenced to death, executed in Plötzensee.
Böttcher, Paul (1891―). Printer, member of Socialist Youth in 1907, chairman of Leipzig group in 1908, member of SPD, youth full-timer at trade-union level. Opposed War. Joined USPD in 1917, Chief Editor of Sozialdemokrat in Stuttgart in 1920. In USPD Left, head of trade-union left opposition. Joined VKPD in 1920. Kidnapped by supporters of Kapp during putsch. In February 1921, Chief Editor of Die Rote Fahne, member of the Zentrale in August 1921. In 1923 chairman of parliamentary fraction in Saxony, secretary of West Saxony district, favoured support for and joining workers’ government. Minister for the Economy in Zeigner’s government in October 1923, driven from his ministry by Reichswehr. Member of right opposition, expelled from KPD in 1929, founder, with Brandler, of KPO; in exile in Switzerland during 1933–46. Arrested on return to Germany, taken to USSR after sentence in absentia to two years in jail, held in various camps and prisons until 1955. Released that year, returned to DDR and admitted to SED in 1956; Chief Editor of Leipziger Volkszeitung until he retired in 1968. According to Hermann Weber, Böttcher worked for Soviet intelligence services from 1927, and arrested in Switzerland for this reason.
Brandler, Heinrich (1881–1967). Building worker, born in the Sudetenland, of Austrian nationality, lame since early youth owing to accident at work, trade-union activist 1897, sentenced for violence in 1900. Joined SPD in 1901, worked until 1904 in Hamburg, where he led building workers’ union, then in Bremen during 1904–8, where he was active in trade union and Socialist Youth. In Switzerland during 1908–14. In Chemnitz in June 1914, secretary of the building workers’ union. Expelled from SPD with Heckert in 1915, driving force in Spartacus group, joined USPD in 1917 despite reservations. Deported from Germany as foreigner in October 1918, he acquired German nationality thanks to Eisner’s government in Bavaria. Returned to Chemnitz, founded there both Der Kämpfer and most powerful local organisation of KPD(S). Supported Levi against ultra-Left, organised election of workers’ councils in Chemnitz immediately after Kapp Putsch, and was chairman of Chemnitz workers’ council, where he developed ideas foreshadowing those of the workers’ united front. Elected to Zentrale in April 1920 and reported to Unification Congress on questions of organisation. Took Levi’s place as KPD Chairman in February 1921 and assumed Party leadership during March Action. In June, sentenced to five years imprisonment in a fortress. Released in November, spent some time in Moscow as member of Comintern Presidium. Returned to Germany in autumn 1922, carried out functions of General Secretary. In 1923 stood at head of KPD, and attacked by Left, whose expulsion he urged many times in vain. Head of State Chancellery of Zeigner’s government, after having taken part in Moscow in preparations for insurrection. Communist spokesman at Chemnitz Conference, called off insurrection after left Social Democrats retreated. Held responsible for defeat in Germany in 1923, and tried in vain to assert that he did not support Left Opposition in Russia. In Moscow until October 1928, returned to Germany against KPD’s decision, expelled in January 1929. Founded KPO, but did not join SAP. Emigrated to France, interned during 1939–40, took refuge in Cuba during 1941–7, then in Britain, returned to Germany in 1949, and settled in Hamburg where he led Arbeiterpolitik group.
Brass, Otto (1875–1960). File-cutter, in SPD in 1897. Cashier in insurance firm, then administrator of newspaper. Leader of radical wing in the Ruhr, co-founder of USPD. Chairman in 1919 of council of workers and soldiers in Remscheid, delegate to Berlin in December. USPD deputy at Weimar. Organised strike in the Ruhr in 1919 and struggle against Kapp in 1920, which led to his being charged with high treason. In USPD Left, Joint Chairman of the Halle Congress. Elected to VKPD Zentrale, resigned at same time as Levi and Däumig in February 1921. As minority delegate in Moscow immediately after March Action, publicly supported Levi for months following his expulsion, and, with Friesland and Malzahn, organised new right opposition. Expelled in January 1922, returned that year with Levi to USPD and then to SPD. From then until 1933 played minor role, but placed under surveillance by the Nazis. Arrested in 1945 for underground activity, liberated by Red Army. In leadership of SPD in Russian zone, signed appeals for reconstitution of free trade unions and for fusion of Social-Democratic and Communist Parties. On this basis, he was co-founder of SED.
Braun, M.J. (Miechislaw Bronski, 1882–1937). Polish, Social Democrat in 1902, took part in 1905 Revolution, served a year in prison. Emigrated to Switzerland in 1907, active in Swiss Social-Democratic Party and, in opposition to Luxemburg and Jogiches, supported Warsaw Committee, which Radek also supported. Close to Lenin, took part in Zimmerwald and Kienthal Conferences, a leader of Zimmerwald Left. Accompanied Lenin in ‘sealed train’ in April 1917, took part in Russian Revolution. Appointed consular representative in Berlin in 1918, made contact with German revolutionaries. Deported in November. Returned to Germany in 1919, was member of Western European Secretariat and leadership of KPD(S) under a pseudonym. Sharply criticised for Zentrale’s position at beginning of Kapp Putsch and recalled to Moscow shortly afterwards. Lectured at University of Moscow, active in Polish Communist Party, joining its Political Bureau. Arrested and executed during purges.
Budich, Willi (1890–1941). Son of peasant, studied to become engineering technician, member of SPD in 1910, joined Spartacus League during War, and, under name ‘Brandt’, was one of Jogiches’ principal collaborators in underground organisation. Joined USPD in 1917, arrested in March 1918, and set free by November Revolution. Organised League of Red Soldiers in November 1918, seriously wounded and lost an arm as a result of the shooting on 6 December. Took part in Munich Soviet Republic in March 1919, member of its Executive Committee under the name of ‘Dietrich’. Shared with Friesland and other Berlin leaders responsibility for appeal of 13 March 1920. Was also in USSR in that year, and received military training. Arrested in 1921, escaped and returned to USSR. His role in 1923 is not known. In Moscow, was in leadership of International Workers’ Relief, and then, under the name of Gerbilski, Soviet trade representative in Vienna. Returned to Germany in 1929, arrested in 1933, released, and once more emigrated. Arrested in 1937 during purges, and died in prison in 1941 or 1942.
Charpentier, Fritz (1869–1928). After business studies, became businessman and representative. Joined SPD before war. Joined USPD in 1917, and KPD in 1920. Disowned by KPD for having agreed without its authority to Bielefeld agreements following Kapp Putsch. He joined Levi in KAG, but broke with him and continued to be Party secretary in Elberfeld. Played important role in 1923 in preparing for insurrection in the Ruhr. Hunted by police, took refuge in USSR. In Leningrad, supported Left Opposition. The Social-Democratic press announced that he had been executed, which KPD denied.
Cohn, Oskar (1869–1937?). Son of Jewish traders, lawyer, member of SPD, deputy in 1912. Supported the majority in 1914 and served at front as non-commissioned officer. Discharged in 1917, joined USPD, defended sailors and strikers before tribunals. In 1918 was legal adviser to Russian ambassador Joffe. In January 1919, acted as conciliator in January days. Later in right wing of USPD and went back to SPD in 1922. In 1933 took refuge in USSR, arrested in purges, and disappeared.
Creutzburg, August (1892–1940?). Painter and lacquer worker, member of SPD in 1908. In army during 1912–18. Joined USPD in 1917 and VKPD in 1920, secretary in Jena. KPD leader in Magdeburg district in 1923. A real ‘commissar’ of the KPD leadership, played important role in expelling each successive opposition. Leading figure in apparatus from 1929. Emigrated in 1933 and reached USSR in 1935, arrested in 1937, and said to be one of the prisoners whom Stalin handed over to Hitler.
Crispien, Artur (1875–1946). Painter and decorator, Social Democrat, became journalist. Joined Die Internationale group on its foundation; arrested in 1915 and put in army. Joined centrist opposition during its formation and became USPD leader when it was founded. People’s Commissar in November–December 1918. Leader of USPD Right, stayed with it despite vote at Halle, returned to SPD with it in 1922. Emigrated to Switzerland in 1933, died there without returning to Germany.
Dahlem, Fritz (1892―). Son of railway worker, worked as stable lad. In SPD in 1913. Chairman of Socialist Youth in Cologne in 1914. Conscripted into army during 1914–18, joined USPD in 1917, member of soldiers’ council in 1918. Worked as journalist in Cologne, member of USPD Left, joined VKPD in 1920, represented Central Rhineland on Central Committee. Supported Levi, openly backed his positions in Party press without being punished, but then broke with him. In France during July–October 1922. At beginning of 1923 was secretary [Obersekretär] for entire Rhineland. Deported by French occupying authorities, then worked in Party press and organisation department. Member of Politbureau in 1929, deputy during 1928–33. Compromised with oppositions to Ulbricht and Pieck at head of Party. Emigrated in 1933, fought in International Brigades in Spain during 1936–9, interned in France in 1939, handed over to German government in September 1941, held for eight months in Gestapo headquarters cell, then in Mauthausen until 1945. Reached Moscow and then Germany with Pieck. Leader of SED and East-German state. Dismissed from all functions in May 1953, rehabilitated in 1956.
Däumig, Ernst (1868–1922). Of bourgeois origin, joined French Foreign Legion. Joined SPD well before war, journalist on Vorwärts in 1911. Joined opposition in 1914. Co-founder of USPE) and Chief Editor of Freiheit in 1917–18. Coopted in 1918 into nucleus of revolutionary delegates to undertake military preparations for November insurrection. Member of Executive of Councils in November, opposed formation of KPD(S) and adhesion of revolutionary shop-stewards, unsuccessfully opposed putschist elements in January 1919. Leader of USPD Left and theoretician of ‘conciliar system’. Secured rejection of Legien’s proposals for workers’ government following Kapp Putsch. Delegate to Third Comintern Congress, supported ‘Twenty-One Conditions’. Elected joint chairman of VKPD with Levi in December 1920, resigned position with Levi in February 1921. Joined KAG, refused to surrender his mandate as KPD deputy. Died soon after Levi and KAG joined USPD.
Dissmann, Robert (1878–1926). Turner, leader at age of 22 of metalworkers’ union in Barmen-Elberfeld. In 1905 secretary of metalworkers’ union in Frankfurt-am-Main and of SPD in Hanau in 1908. Candidate of left opposition for SPD Executive in 1911. Joined opposition in 1914, member of USPD from its foundation. Chairman of metalworkers’ union in October 1919, leader of trade-union left opposition, broke with left Independents on issue of trade-union independence, and opposed before and during Halle Congress affiliation to Comintern. Stayed with rump USPD and in 1922, in alliance with Levi, unsuccessfully opposed return to SPD. In 1923 organised left opposition with Levi in SPD. One of leaders of Social-Democratic Left and trade-union leader, died of heart attack.
Dittmann, Wilhelm (1874–1954). Cabinet maker, member of SPD in 1898, journalist in 1899, deputy in 1912. In opposition during War, particularly attacked censorship. Co-founder of USPD, had contact with the sailor Reichpietsch. Sentenced to five years imprisonment in a fortress after January 1918 strike. Amnestied in October, became People’s Commissar in November and December. Leader of USPD Right, returned to SPD in 1922. In 1933 emigrated to Switzerland, where he remained until 1951.
Dorrenbach, Heinrich (1888–1919). Office worker, Social Democrat, secretary of association of office workers in the Rhineland in 1910. Volunteered for army in 1914, became second lieutenant. Reduced to ranks and discharged in 1917, active in strikes of January 1918. In November, tried to organise Red Guard, and then took command of People’s Naval Division. Associated with Liebknecht, advocated insurrection in January 1919, and was disavowed by the sailors. Took refuge in Brunswick where he barely escaped capture by the Free Corps; arrested in Eisenach, killed ‘whilst trying to escape’.
Duncker, Herman (1874–1960). Son of business people, had higher education, became doctor of philosophy. Member of SPD in 1893, journalist in 1903, travelling speaker, then in 1911 taught with Luxemburg at Central Party School. Member of internationalist nucleus in August 1914 and of Internationale group and then of Spartacus League. Member of KPD(S) Zentrale at its foundation, re-elected to it in January 1919, but not in 1920. Became Secretary of Independent government in Gotha region. Asthmatic, he then devoted himself to intellectual tasks and education of activists. Arrested in 1933, spent a year in concentration camp, managed to flee to Denmark in 1936. Reached USA in 1941. Opposed to German-Soviet Pact in 1939. Returned to East Germany in 1947, was member of SED, professor and dean.
Duncker, Käte (née Doell, 1871–1953). Teacher, Social Democrat in 1900, associated with Clara Zetkin, organiser of Socialist Women. Married Hermann Duncker, whom she won to socialism. Worked with him in internationalist nucleus, on Zentrale in 1918, where she was in charge of work amongst women. Elected to Zentrale in 1919, not re-elected in 1920. Held no more responsible positions after that. Emigrated to USA in 1938, and returned with her husband in 1947 to resettle in East Germany.
Düwell, Bernhard (1891―). Higher studies in commerce. Conscripted into army during 1914–18. Joined USPD in 1917, journalist in Zeitz in 1918. Commissar of councils in Merseberg. Helped organise strike in Central Germany in 1919, deputy to National Assembly. In USPD Left, in Party’s central press service, joined VKPD in 1920. Supported Levi, expelled in August 1921. Joined KAG and then USPD and SPD in 1922. Later fate unknown.
Eberlein, Hugo (1887–1944). Industrial draughtsman, trade-unionist in 1905, in SPD in 1906. Member of opposition nucleus in August 1914, organiser of group responsible for an important SPD Berlin group. Joined USPD in 1917. Member of Zentrale in November 1918 in charge of finances, active in workers’ council in Neukölln. Elected to KPD(S) Zentrale at its foundation, delegate under the name Max Albrecht to Comintern Foundation Congress, unsuccessfully defended KPD(S) thesis opposing its ‘premature’ foundation, and abstained in the vote. Enjoyed confidence of ECCI, which entrusted money to him, and was a leader of M-Apparat. Played important role in organising ‘provocations’ during March Action. Compromised by revelations in Vorwärts, took refuge in Moscow, from where he returned at unknown date, still working in underground apparatus. Supported Brandler. Supported centre tendency at end of 1923, associated with ‘conciliators’ in 1928, eliminated from Politbureau and then from Central Committee, retained his seat in Prussian Landtag (1921–33) and appears to have worked in international apparatus. Emigrated to France in 1933, was arrested there and deported, went to USSR. Arrested in 1937, deported and included in 1940 in list of prisoners to be handed over to Germany; died shortly afterwards of pulmonary asthma without being transported. According to other sources died in 1944.
Eckert, Paul (1883―). Metalworker, member of SPD before 1914. Leader and organiser during War of group of revolutionary shop-stewards, member of USPD in 1917. Member of action committee of strikers in January 1918, of Executive of Councils in November, delegate to Congress of Councils in December. Participated as an ‘invited visitor’ at KPD(S) Founding Congress, but stayed in USPD, a leader of left wing. Joined VKPD in 1920, was member of its trade-union department. Supported Levi, joined KAG after expulsion, then USPD and SPD in 1922. Played secondary role from 1922. In East Germany after 1945, SED member and ‘veteran’.
Egelhofer, Rudolf (1897–1919). Son of worker, conscripted into navy. Organiser of clandestine action with Reichpietsch in 1917, condemned to hard labour. Freed by November Revolution, organised detachment of revolutionary sailors. Head of Red Army in Bavaria, shot without trial by Free Corps.
Eichhorn, Emil (1863–1925). Son of artisan, glassworker, member of SPD in 1881, Party full-timer in 1893, head of its press office during 1908–17. Joined USPD in 1917, organised its press office, and led ‘information’ section of Soviet Rosta agency. On 9 November 1918, occupied the police headquarters and surrounded himself with worker activists. His dismissal on 5 January 1919 sparked January uprising and repression. Took refuge by air in Brunswick. USPD deputy in Constituent Assembly. On USPD Left, joined VKPD in 1920. Supported Levi in 1921, joined KAG, but returned to KPD. Remained KPD deputy in Reichstag until his death.
Eildermann, Willi (1897―). Son of SPD full-timer. Youth organiser, internationalist in 1914. Conscripted during 1916–18. Joined KPD(S) in 1919. Communist journalist, particularly in 1923 on Klassenkampf in Halle. Worked underground in Germany in 1933. In International Brigades in Spain during 1937–8. Interned until 1942, served in British army during 1942–4. Returned to USSR. Professor of history in DDR, member of SED, supported theses about origins of KPD which Ulbricht condemned.
Eisler, Gerhart (1897–1968). Son of professor in Vienna, brother of Ruth Fischer. Officer in Hungarian army in 1918, joined Communist Party in 1919, collaborated on Kommunismus. Active in Germany from 1921 under name of Gerhardt, collaborated on Die Rote Fahne and in Berlin district organisation. Broke from Left in April 1923 with Ewert, Pfeiffer and Heinz Neumann, supporter of centre tendency after October. Member of apparatus, linked to conciliators, then entered Comintern apparatus, which he served in China and USA. Jailed in 1948, returned to DDR in 1949. Appears to have been intended for trial during Cold War years, but was saved by death of Stalin. Fulfilled important functions up to his death.
Eisner, Kurt (1878?–1919). Of Jewish family from Galicia, born in Berlin, broke off his studies to work in Social-Democratic press. Editor on Vorwärts in 1898, literary critic. Revisionist, dismissed in 1903, lived by his pen. In 1914 opposed war on pacifist grounds, joined USPD in 1917, organised network of delegates in Munich factories. Sentenced to eight months in jail after January 1918, leader of Bavarian Revolution in November, Prime Minister of Bavaria, assassinated 21 February 1919.
Enderle, August (1887–1959). Mechanic, trade-unionist and SPD member in 1905. Full-timer in 1910. Oppositionist during War, member of USPD in 1917, joined KPD(S) as individual. Organised Communist fraction in metal-workers’ union, delegate to Second RILU Congress. In Moscow during 1922–3, gave information to Trotsky about situation in Germany. Collaborated in KPD trade-union commission, excluded as rightist in 1928, founded KPO with Brandler, joined SAP in 1932. In exile in Sweden in 1933, returned to Germany in 1945, joined SPD and until his death worked in trade-union press.
Eppstein, Eugen (1878–1943). Son of Jewish traders. Had business training, worked in commerce. In SPD in 1897, in opposition in 1914, organiser of Spartacus League in the Ruhr. Secretary from 1920 of Central Rhineland district. Stalwart of Fischer-Maslow left wing, replaced by Dahlem, re-elected in February 1923, dismissed by Zentrale. Reinstated after October 1923, deputy and secretary of North-West district in 1924. Then joined left opposition, left KPD in 1928, co-founder of Leninbund. Emigrated to France in 1933, arrested by Gestapo, deported from Drancy to Lublin-Majdanek, where he was murdered.
Ewert, Arthur (1890–1959). Son of small peasant, saddle-maker. Trade unionist and SPD member in 1908. Went to Canada before war, served a year in jail there for a political offence. Returned to Germany in 1920, joined KPD in Berlin, then became secretary of Hesse district, in Frankfurt. Tended to be associated with Left, but regarded as ‘lukewarm’. Elected to Zentrale in January 1923 in Leipzig. In April, attacked Left with Pfeiffer and Heinz Neumann. Military head of Oberbezirk West in 1923. In 1925 was member of centre tendency, on Central Committee, Zentrale and Politbureau. In illegality during 1926–8, candidate member of Comintern Presidium, resident in Moscow during 1928–9. Purged along with conciliators, worked in Comintern apparatus. Represented ECCI in China during 1929–34, then sent to Brazil. Arrested in 1935, was tortured, lost his reason, nevertheless sentenced to 13 years imprisonment. Repatriated to Germany in 1947, and diagnosed incurable. Still denounced as an ‘agent’ in 1956, but finally honoured at his death in psychiatric hospital.
Fischer, Ruth (Elfriede Eisler, successively married Friedländer, Golke, Pleuchot, 1895–1961). Daughter of Viennese professor Eisler, student of philosophy and political economy, joined Social Democracy in 1914, brought together revolutionary elements in student milieu. In 1918 made contact with Russian representatives in Vienna, received funds enabling her to found weekly journal Der Weckruf. First member of Austrian Communist Party founded on 3 November 1918, imprisoned for several weeks after November days. Removed in May 1919 from revolutionary leadership, strongly criticised as rightist after defeat of Bettelheim. Left Austria for Berlin in August. Associated with leaders of KPD(S), especially Levi, and then influenced by Maslow – who was to be her life-long companion – took leadership of left opposition. Under pseudonym of Ruth Fischer was a leader of Berlin-Brandenburg district from 1921. Acquired German nationality in early 1923 by marriage to Golke. A beautiful woman and an exceptional orator, became in 1921 champion of ‘theory of the offensive’ and opponent of Moscow Compromise. Delegated by KPD Left to Fourth Comintern Congress. Provoked crisis in KPD at beginning of 1923 by her passionate speeches, but in May accepted compromise dictated by ECCI, and joined Zentrale. From July, resumed her opposition, took part in Moscow in preparation for insurrection, declared in favour of maintaining slogan of armed uprising, but opposed general strike following Chemnitz Conference. Supported by Zinoviev and anti-Brandler current in KPD, reached leadership of Party in 1924 and became leader of chorus for ‘Bolshevising’ Communist Parties. However, in 1925 came out in favour of withdrawing Communist candidate in second round of presidential elections, and was disavowed by ECCI. Obliged to stay in Moscow in 1925–6, replaced in Berlin by Thaelmann, and expelled in August 1926. Founder of the Leninbund and other oppositional groupings. Exiled in France in 1933, acquired French nationality by another marriage, arranged by Doriot. In Spain in June 1940, then in Cuba, then finally in USA in 1941, taking part in various anti-Communist activities. Naturalised as American, returned to France in 1956, and died in Paris.
Flieg, Leo (1893–1939). From Jewish family, office worker in commerce. Active in Socialist Youth from 1908, became bank employee. Conscripted in 1914, employed as secretary in General Staff, whilst also member of Spartacus League and youth organisation. Secretary to Jogiches, arrested in March 1918, freed by November Revolution. Organiser of Young Communist International and member of Executive up to 1922. Then secretary to KPD Politbureau, and in 1923 responsible for contacts in Berlin with OMS. Influential behind scenes in KPD up to 1933, then emigrated to Moscow, later to Paris. Recalled to Moscow in 1937, considered refusal but returned, arrested on arrival and probably murdered in 1939.
Frank, Karl (1893―). Son of small industrialist in Vienna, officer cadet during 1909–13. Then at university, became doctor of philosophy, joined Socialist Students. Called up into army as lieutenant, discharged in 1916. Joint founder of Austrian Communist Party, settled in Berlin in 1920, collaborated on Die Internationale. In 1923 responsible for preparing uprising in Bavaria, arrested and escaped. Imprisoned during 1924–5, was journalist in 1929. Expelled in 1929, joined KPO, then SAP, then SPD in 1933. Worked in illegality during 1933–8, then settled in USA, teaching psychology.
Franke, Otto (1877–1953). Erector-mechanic in Berlin. In SPD in 1898. Revolutionary delegate and organiser of Spartacus League during War. Agent of Liebknecht in October 1918. Member of Berlin workers’ and soldiers’ council. Played subordinate role in KPD apparatus. Collaborated with Pieck. Arrested in 1933, released, emigrated to Britain, returned to East Germany in 1946, joined SED.
Friesland, Ernst (known as Reuter, 1889–1953). Son of merchant marine officer, Social Democrat, dismissed as teacher for political activity. Organised pacifist league in 1914. Conscripted in 1915, prisoner of war in Russia in 1916, formed prisoners’ committee in 1917, became Communist in German section of Bolshevik Party and met Lenin. Commissar of Volga Germans in 1918, returned secretly to Germany with Radek and Felix Wolf in December, took pseudonym of Reuter. Secretary in Upper Silesia, then in Berlin-Brandenburg after Heidelberg split. Co-led KPD(S) Left during 1920–1. Won by Lenin to support Moscow Compromise, he defended it at Jena, and became General Secretary. Moved in a few weeks towards positions of his former opponent Levi, organised right opposition, expelled in January 1922. Rejoined SPD directly in 1922. Emigrated to Turkey, then to Scandinavia. Returned to Germany after 1945, member of SPD from 1948 to his death, Mayor of West Berlin during Cold War.
Frölich, Paul (alias Paul Werner, 1884–1953). Second of 11 children in workers’ family. Technical commercial studies, worked as office worker in commerce. Self-educated and studied at SPD schools, joined SPD in 1902. Journalist from 1908 in Altona, from 1910 in Hamburg, associated with Bremen militants, Knief, Radek and Pannekoek. In 1914 journalist on Bremer Bürgerzeitung. Conscripted as non-commissioned officer and discharged in 1916, joint founder of Arbeiterpolitik, delegate at Kienthal, member of Zimmerwald Left, close to Lenin, recalled into army at end of 1916. In summer 1918 was arrested for anti-militarist activity and interned in psychiatric hospital, liberated by November Revolution. Leader of IKD, spokesman for leftists at KPD(S) Foundation Congress, and elected to Zentrale. Took part in Bavarian Revolution and spent some time in clandestinity. Re-elected to Zentrale, criticised Levi’s passivity in 1920, in 1921 became a defender of ‘theory of the offensive’. Secretary of Zentrale in 1921–2. Deputy from 1921. Supported Brandler in 1923. Teacher in KPD school until 1928, then expelled as right-winger. Joint founder of KPO. Left it for SAP. Arrested in 1933, released after nine months in concentration camp, succeeded in emigrating to Czechoslovakia, then Belgium and France. Interned in 1939, got visa for USA, lived there until 1950, returned to West Germany and joined SPD.
Gäbel, Otto (1885–1953). Bookbinder, in SPD in 1905. In 1914 published opposition’s first documents with his comrades in Niederbarnim group. Member of Spartacus League, did not join KPD(S) on its foundation, but remained in USPD, in leadership of Left. Joined VKPD in 1920, elected to Zentrale. In December 1921 supported Brass against Zentrale, but did not join KAG. Then in charge of Kommunistische Partei-Korrespondenz and Secretary of Reichstag fraction. Municipal councillor in Berlin. Compromised in financial scandal, expelled from KPD in 1929, and later sentenced to prison. No subsequent political role, died in West Berlin.
Geschke, Ottomar (alias Eisbär, 1882–1957). Metalworker working on railways, in SPD in 1910. After 1914 in opposition; led youth group. Member of Spartacus League, in USPD on foundation, member of group of revolutionary stewards. On KPD Central Committee in 1921. Chairman of Berlin railwaymen, three times re-elected after union leadership annulled election, finally expelled from union. Second secretary of organisation of Berlin-Brandenburg district in 1921, supported Left. Coopted to Zentrale in May 1923, played important role in M.-Apparat. Second and then first secretary for organisation in KPD, led ‘Bolshevisation’ process. Then broke with Left and backed Thaelmann. Arrested in 1933, held in various camps, chaired in 1945 international committee of Buchenwald. Secondary role after 1945 in KPD and SED.
Geyer, Curt (1891–1967). Son of pioneer Saxon Social Democrat. Higher studies in economics and history. On editorial staff of Vorwärts in 1914 and then of Party paper in Würzburg. Member of USPD in 1917, of Leipzig council in 1918, chaired it in 1919. Deputy in National Assembly. Leader of USPD Left, supported joining Comintern. On VKPD Zentrale in 1920, represented Party on ECCI and ‘small bureau’. Supported Levi, expelled in August 1921, followed him into KAG, USPD and SPD. Unlike other ‘Levites’ and Levi himself, did not join left opposition in SPD. In 1933 emigrated and settled in Britain, where he was on SPD Executive in exile. For a long time correspondent of German newspapers, retired in West Germany.
Globig, Fritz (1882―). One of 11 children of a worker. Injured at age of four by tram. Engraver, trade-unionist and member of Socialist Youth in 1908, joined Spartacus League during War whilst continuing activity in Socialist Youth. Member of KPD(S) on foundation, one of first leaders of German Communist Youth. Employed in Soviet embassy in 1922. Journalist in Bremen in 1923. Worked as journalist in Germany up to 1930, then settled in Moscow. Arrested in 1937, spent many years in concentration camp. Returned to Germany in 1955, admitted to SED.
Gorter, Hermann (1864–1927). Dutch, son of pastor. Studied classical literature, high-school teacher, wrote thesis on Aeschylus. Member of Dutch Social Democracy in 1896, opponent of revisionism, defender of ‘mass strike’, collaborator on Tribune in 1907. Expelled in 1909, co-founder of leftist SPD. Opposed War in 1914, joined Zimmerwald Left, co-founder of Dutch Communist Party in 1918. In Germany at end of 1918, became theoretical leader of ultra-left wing of KPD(S) in 1919–20. Member of Amsterdam Bureau of Communist International, came into conflict with Secretariat and then ECCI. Co-founder in April 1920 of KAPD, wrote reply to Lenin’s Left-Wing Communism. In November negotiated in Moscow status of KAPD as ‘sympathising’ party. In April 1921 criticised VKPD’s March Action. In 1922 after split in KAPD, led ‘Essen Group’. Died whilst travelling in Belgium. Essential literary and poetical works have been published since his death.
Grothe, Hermann (1888―). Metalworker. In SPD in 1907. Conscripted in 1914, hospitalised during 1916–17, discharged. Member of revolutionary shop-stewards in Marienfelde, entrusted amongst others with task of preparing November insurrection. Active amongst unemployed in 1919. From 1922, president of national council of workers’ councils. KPD full-timer during 1924–33; jailed under Hitler for two-and-a-half years, lived in East Berlin.
Grylewicz, Anton (1885–1971). Son of worker, mechanic. In SPD in 1912. Two years on Eastern Front, wounded and discharged. Toolmaker in Berlin factory, joined USPD and revolutionary delegates. Assistant to Eichhorn at police headquarters, played important role in January 1919. Deputy-Chairman and then Chairman of USPD in Greater Berlin in 1920, leader of USPD Left. Secretary of Berlin-Brandenburg organisation in 1921. Took part in 1923 in Moscow in preparing plans for insurrection. Leader of KPD Left, member of Zentrale in 1924, several times sentenced. Expelled from Party in 1927. Became leader of Trotskyists in Germany. Published Trotsky’s writings in Germany. In 1933 arrested in Prague in connection with frame-up aimed at implicating him in espionage. Cleared, reached France in 1937 and Cuba in 1941, where he worked as cabinet-maker until 1955. Retired to West Berlin.
Haase, Hugo (1863–1919). Of Jewish origin from East Prussia, ‘the poor people’s lawyer’ in Koenigsberg, Social Democrat. Deputy in 1897, SPD Chairman in 1911, in Reichstag fraction in 1912. Opposed vote for war credits in 1914, but submitted in interests of discipline. Spokesman for centrist minority from 1916. Leader of USPD from its foundation, People’s Commissar in November–December 1918. Leader of USPD Right, assassinated on Reichstag steps by nationalist.
Hausen, Reich (1900―). Son of worker, electrician-fitter. Conscripted in 1918, in USPD in 1919, in VKPD in 1920. Secretary of Lausitz district in 1922, member of Central Committee in 1923. Played important role in preparing insurrection in 1923. Served 20 months imprisonment, then was secretary in Silesia. Accuser of Thaelmann in Wittorf affair, expelled in December 1928. Organiser and leader of KPO, arrested and sentenced in 1934, emigrated to France when released. Interned, went to USA in 1941 and settled there.
Heckert, Fritz (1884–1936). Son of worker, building-worker. In SPD in 1902, itinerant worker, settled in Berlin and Bremen, then in Switzerland during 1908–11, where, through his wife, contacted Bolsheviks. In 1912 in Chemnitz, led builders’ union and brought in Brandler. Created strong Spartacus group, joined USPD which he led locally. Arrested in October 1918, chaired workers’ and soldiers’ council in Chemnitz in November. Member of KPD(S) at its foundation, brought into it USPD organisation in Chemnitz. Candidate member of Zentrale in 1919, full member in 1921, assistant in trade-union department of Zentrale. Important role in clandestine preparations in 1923. Minister for the Economy in Zeigner’s government in Saxony in October 1923. Member of KPD right wing, joined centre tendency, elected to Politbureau in 1928. Member of Comintern Presidium from 1928, representative on RILU, and later in the Communist International. Was seriously wounded in 1931 by SA. Died in Moscow, his funeral urn placed in Kremlin wall.
Hesse, Max (1895–1964). Son of metalworker, co-founder of metalworkers’ union, mechanic, member of Socialist Youth in 1910, worked in Scandinavia, then in Siemens. Conscripted in 1914, three times wounded, discharged in 1916, member of group of revolutionary shop-stewards. Recalled to army, deserted, sentenced to six years imprisonment, freed by November Revolution. Member of workers’ council in Spandau. In KPD(S) at its foundation. In jail during March–September 1919. Leader of VKPD in Charlottenburg, and chairman of Lorenz workers’ council during 1920–3. Member of KPD Left, took part in Moscow in discussions in September 1923, then sent to Saxony. Member of ECCI during 1924–6, in left opposition, reproved in 1927 and then expelled. Co-founder of Leninbund. Returned to SPD in 1929, chairman of it in Charlottenburg and of a works’ council. Arrested in 1933, escaped from Oranienburg, emigrated to Netherlands, arrested, was not identified, escaped in 1944, returned to Germany in 1947.
Hirsch, Werner (1899–1937?). Son of Jewish banker. In USPD in 1917, then in Spartacus League, where he supported Jogiches. Arrested at beginning of 1918, freed and conscripted into navy. Took part in Kiel mutinies, helped organise People’s Naval Division. Delegate to KPD(S) Foundation Congress. Distanced himself from Party after Levi was expelled, became press correspondent in Vienna. Returned to KPD in Germany in 1924, as journalist in 1926. Chief Editor of Die Rote Fahne in 1930, secretary to Thaelmann in 1932. Arrested in 1933, freed in 1934, wrote a pamphlet on Nazi camps. Went to USSR in 1937, arrested as ‘spy’ and shot.
Hoelz, Max (1889–1933). Son of worker, sawyer of timber. Emigrated to Britain in 1905, became mechanic. In army in 1914, seriously wounded, joined USPD, worked on railways. In 1919 organised unemployed in the Vogtland, and practised ‘direct action’. In KPD in 1919, began ‘urban guerrilla’ operations, which he developed on large scale at time of Kapp Putsch. Hunted by police, came close to KAPD when in clandestinity. Organised armed struggle in Mansfeld region in March 1921. Arrested, escaped, recaptured and sentenced to life imprisonment. Set free in 1928, made lecture tour, went to Moscow in 1929. Accidentally drowned; hypothesis that he was assassinated has often been advanced.
Hoernle, Edwin (1883–1952). Son of pastor, studied theology. Pastor for three months during 1909, joined SPD in 1910, associated with Mehring and Luxemburg, then journalist in Stuttgart with Westmeyer. Member of Spartacus League nucleus during War, several times arrested, sent to front and wounded. Member of USPD in 1917, of KPD(S) at its foundation. Imprisoned during January-June 1919. Specialised in work amongst children and adolescents. Member of Zentrale in 1923, member of ECCI and candidate member of Comintern Presidium. Supported centre tendency in 1924, but protested against exclusion of leftists, worked during 1928–33 in campaigns department of Zentrale. Emigrated to USSR in 1933, member of Freies Deutschland committee during War, returned to Germany in 1945, and filled important posts until his death.
Hoffmann, Adolf (1858–1930). Son of worker, gilder, then metalworker. In SPD when Exceptional Laws in operation. Journalist, then publisher for SPD in 1893. In 1900 deputy to Prussian Landtag; very popular. In Reichstag in 1904. Pacifist in 1914, opposed both majority and revolutionaries. In USPD in 1917, played important role in strikes in January 1918. Minister of Education in November 1918. On USPD Left, in VKPD and member of Zentrale in 1920. Supported Levi, followed him into KAG and USPD, but not into SPD. Remained up to his death in USPD fragment which maintained its independence.
Höllein, Emil (1880–1929). Son of worker, emigrated to Belgium, toolmaker. In SPD in 1905. At front during 1915–18. In USPD in 1917, Chief Editor of its daily paper in Jena. On USPD Left, in VKPD in 1920, elected to Zentrale after Levi resigned. Responsible in 1923 for links between KPD and French Communist Party. Arrested, released shortly afterwards, very ill, thereafter played only secondary role.
Jannack, Karl (1891―). Illegitimate child, worked as farm labourer and then as cobbler. In SPD in 1909. Soldier during 1913–16. Gassed and discharged, at this time associated in Bremen with Arbeiterpolitik group. Arrested, volunteered to join army and served as soldier up to November Revolution. Co-founder of IKD, member of KPD(S) at its foundation. Leader of Conciliar Republic in Bremen, then secretary of KPD(S) North-West district. Expelled after Heidelberg with ultra-leftists. Did not join KAPD, rejoined KPD(S) and resumed his responsibilities. Member of Central Committee after 1920. In 1922 secretary of ADGB trade unions in Remscheid. In 1923 secretary for trade-union work in KPD Rhineland-South Westphalia district, firm supporter of Brandler against Left. Expelled in 1924 for factional activity, re-admitted in 1925, worked for Workers’ International Relief. Illegal after 1933, then accused of having joined Nazis. Arrested in 1940, offered to ‘redeem’ himself. In Buchenwald until end of war. After 1945 in DDR, member of SED.
Jogiches, Leo (also known as Tyszka, Grosovsky, Johannes Kraft, Otto Engelmann, Krumbagel, etc., 1867–1919). Son of rich Jewish family in Lithuania, joined clandestine revolutionary movement when very young, first arrested in 1888. In Switzerland in 1890, in Zurich met Rosa Luxemburg, who was to be his partner until 1906 and his comrade-in-arms until her death. Founded with her Polish Social-Democratic Party, which he led in emigration from Germany from 1897. Returned to Poland in 1905, played important role in Revolution, arrested and sentenced to six years hard labour, escaped, returned to Germany. Broke politically from Lenin on some Russian Party questions immediately before War; sharp conflict with Radek about Polish Party. Member of internationalist nucleus in 1914, co-editor of Spartacus Letters, organiser of Spartacus League, supported entry into USPD. Arrested in March 1918, set free by the Revolution, became a leader of Zentrale. Opposed foundation of KPD(S) and immediate break from USPD. Elected to Zentrale at Founding Congress. Opposed Liebknecht’s policy in January 1919, and called upon him, unsuccessfully, to repudiate it publicly. Arrested and murdered in March 1919 ‘whilst trying to escape’.
Jung, Franz (1888–1963). Higher studies, literary activities in expressionist movement. Deserted in 1914, joined Aktion group. Joined KPD(S) at Foundation Congress, in its left wing. In KAPD in 1920, delegate to Second Comintern Congress. Organiser of KAPD’s fighting groups, played important role during March Action, hunted by police, took refuge in USSR. Returned to Germany after 1923, correspondent of various journals, emigrated to USA, returned in 1945, thereafter merely literary activity.
Katz, Ivan (1889–1956). Son of businessman, higher technical studies. In Socialist Youth in 1906, worked as metal-worker for one year, then as assistant in how and economics college. Member of SPD before War, remained there until end of 1919, when he joined USPD. In VKPD in 1920, leader of ‘communes’ department attached to Zentrale in 1922, supporter of Left. Member of Politbureau in 1924, then delegate to Moscow. Organised ultra-left opposition in 1925, expelled in January 1926. Arrested in 1934, set free, again arrested in 1940, escaped and lived illegally until 1940, arrested and deported to Auschwitz. After war spent short time in KPD and SED, in 1950 founded ‘Titoite’ party.
Kilian, Otto (1879–1945). Printer, in SPD in 1902, full-timer in 1906, then journalist. Conscript during 1915–18, joined USPD in 1917. Chairman of workers’ council in Halle, in 1918, sentenced in March 1919 to three years imprisonment, amnestied. On USPD Left, in VKPD in 1920. Opposed March Action, remained in Party, then activist of the Left, expelled in 1927, made ‘self-criticism’, readmitted, resigned and organised Leninbund. Arrested in 1933, in a concentration camp, died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen shortly before end of War.
Kippenberger, Hans (also known as Leo and Alfred Langer, 1898–1937). Secondary education, bank employee. Lieutenant during war. Resumed studies after war, worked as press correspondent. In USPD in 1918, in VKPD in 1920. Joined clandestine apparatus in 1922, played important role in 1923 in military preparations, and had leading role in Hamburg uprising. Took refuge in Moscow, studied in military school. In illegality in Germany during 1924–8, organised KPD’s Military Apparatus. Deputy in Reichstag during 1928–33. Important role in illegality in Germany during 1933–5, recalled to Moscow, shot after secret trial on 3 October 1937. Officially rehabilitated in USSR in May 1957, but not in DDR.
Kleine, August (Samuel Haifiz, also known as Guralski, 1885–1960). Son of poor Jewish family, born in Lodz. Higher studies during which he joined Jewish Poale Zion movement. Emigrated to Vienna, went to Russia, active in Menshevik ranks in February 1917. Joined Bolsheviks at end of 1918, joined Comintern apparatus. In Germany in 1921 with Bela Kun just before March Action. Representative of ECCI in 1922 with KPD, elected to Zentrale in 1923. Responsible for politico-military preparations for insurrection in Germany in 1923, leader of Kopf. Organiser of centre tendency after October retreat. Recalled to Moscow in 1924 after his group was defeated by KPD Left. Member of United Opposition behind Zinoviev, sent on mission to South America. Arrested during purges, freed after death of Stalin, died in 1960, according to DDR sources.
Knief, Johann (1880–1919). Petty-bourgeois family, teacher. In SPD, journalist in Bremen in 1905. Pupil of Pannekoek. Organiser of opposition in 1914, founded Arbeiterpolitik in 1916, then in ISD which became IKD in 1918, supported splitting from right-wing Social Democrats, and announced himself to be a Bolshevik, remaining in contact with Radek. Emigrated to Holland in 1917 or 1918, collaborated with Gorter and Pannekoek, polemicised against Spartacists, whom he condemned for joining USPD. Hostile to fusion with Spartacus League, refused to be delegate to Foundation Congress of KPD(S). Seriously ill, died in April 1919 following operation.
Kobis, Alwin (1892–1917). Son of worker, stoker in navy. Organiser of revolutionary sailors in 1917 with Reichpietsch. Sentenced to death, shot in September 1917.
Koenen, Bernhard (1889–1964). Son of socialist carpenter. Trade unionist in 1906, in SPD in 1907. Itinerant worker in Europe and North Africa. Conscript during 1914–16. Worked at Leuna-Werke, vice-chairman of workers’ council in 1918. On USPD Left. In VKPD in 1920, delegate to the Second Comintern Congress. Played important role in March Action, in which he opposed KAPD’s initiatives. Represented ECCI in France and Belgium during 1921–2. In 1923 candidate member of KPD Central Committee. Member of centre tendency, then ‘conciliator’, capitulated in 1929, given subordinate functions. Attacked by SA in 1933, left for dead, blinded in one eye, succeeded in emigrating, took refuge in USSR. Arrested in 1937, freed in 1939, rearrested for having disclosed tortures to which he had been subjected. Reintegrated into KPD in 1940, co-opted to Central Committee in 1942, returned to Germany in 1945, occupied important posts in SED and DDR, ambassador to Prague.
Koenen, Wilhelm (1886–1963). Brother of Bernhard. Business studies, worked in SPD bookshop, joined Party in 1904. Full-timer from 1907. Student at Party school in 1911. In USPD in 1917, commissar of workers’ and soldiers’ council in Halle-Merseburg in 1918, leader of strike in Central Germany in 1919. On USPD Left, in VKPD 1920, twice delegated, in 1921 and 1922, to Moscow, where he presented draft Comintern constitution to its Fourth Congress. Defended March Action, then Moscow Compromise. Joined centre tendency, capitulated in 1929. In 1933 emigrated to Czechoslovakia, France, Britain. Returned to Germany in 1945, held important posts. Criticised in 1953, demoted to subordinate functions until his death.
Köhler, Max (1897―). Son of worker, painter. Member in 1911 of Socialist Youth, in SPD in 1915, joined Spartacus League, led its youth organisation in Berlin 1916. Sentenced to six years imprisonment in 1917. Co-founder of Communist Youth, member of KPD on its foundation, held national and international responsibilities. Appointed head of trade-union department of Zentrale in 1923. Expelled in 1928 as rightist, member of KPO and then SAP. Arrested, released, led underground SAP. Arrested in 1933, sentenced to three years imprisonment. Emigrated 1937. Lived illegally in Denmark during War, returned to Germany postwar, joined SPD.
Kolarov, Vassili (1877–1950). Member of Bulgarian Social-Democratic Party in 1897, a leader of ‘Narrow’ faction, pro-Bolshevik. Deputy in 1913. Co-founder of Bulgarian Communist Party in 1919. Represented ECCI at Jena Congress in 1921. Member of ECCI from December 1922, then of Comintern Presidium and Orgbureau. Finally took refuge in Moscow after insurrection in Bulgaria in September 1923. Lived in USSR during 1923–45, worked in apparatus of Comintern and Russian Communist Party. Deputy Prime Minister, then Prime Minister in Bulgaria after War.
König, Artur (1884―). Worker, self-educated, became bookseller. In SPD in 1904, settled in the Ruhr. Conscript during 1916–18, joined Spartacus League. In KPD(S), which he led in Essen from its foundation, played important role at head of Ruhr Red Army in 1920. Member of Central Committee, Orgleiter of Oberbezirk West in 1923, co-opted to Zentrale in May as leader of Left. Treasurer of Zentrale in 1924, expelled after 1925 with left, later fate unknown.
Korsch, Karl (1886–1961). Son of bank manager. Higher studies in Germany and Britain. Member of Fabian Society in London during 1912–14. Officer during 1914–18, joined USPD in 1917. In VKPD in 1920. Professor of Law in Jena. In October 1923, Minister of Justice in Thuringia. Published Marxism and Philosophy in 1923. Deputy in Reichstag during 1924–28, delegate to Fifth Comintern Congress, led ultra-left opposition, expelled in 1926. Emigrated, settled in USA.
Bela Kun (1886–1939). Hungarian, office worker, Social Democrat in 1902, journalist, then full-timer. Prisoner of war in Russia, joined Bolshevik Party in 1917, at end of 1918 founded Hungarian Communist Party a few months before heading short-lived Soviet Republic in Hungary in 1919. Took refuge in Moscow, political commissar in Red Army. Organiser of left current and Kommunismus during 1920–1. Joined Comintern small bureau in 1921, arrived in Germany just before March Action, for which he is generally seen as being responsible. Functionary in Comintern apparatus, arrested in 1937, executed without trial. Rehabilitated in 1956.
Kuusinen, Otto (1881–1964). Finnish, Social-Democratic student, teacher of philosophy in 1905, took part in Revolution. Deputy and leader of Centre in Social-Democratic Party of Finland. Member of Provisional Government in 1918, joined Communist movement after defeat of Revolution, founded Communist Party of Finland. From 1921, Secretary of ECCI. Functionary in Comintern to 1939, then in Russian Party. Took part in de-Stalinisation process.
Lange, Paul (1880–1951). Office worker. In SPD in 1900, leader of office-workers’ union. Member of Spartacus League during War, on Zentrale in 1918. Left KPD after disagreeing with its trade-union policy in 1920, just before unification with USPD Left. Joined USPD and then, in 1922, SPD. Member of SPD left opposition with Levi, playing an unobtrusive role; in SED in 1946.
Laufenberg, Heinrich (1872–1932). Son of Catholic family in the Rhineland. Doctor of philosophy, went from Catholic Centre Party to SPD. Journalist in Düsseldorf during 1904–8, given task of writing history of workers’ movement in Hamburg, and settled there. Organised left opposition there in 1914. Chairman of workers’ and soldiers’ council in Hamburg during 1918–19, organiser of ‘united communists’, at First Congress of Councils in December 1918. Supporter of revolutionary ‘unions’, excluded from KPD(S) at Heidelberg. Member of KAPD, excluded in 1919 after having developed national Bolshevism theses with Wolffheim. Accused of having contacts with the Kappist generals in 1920. Later fate unknown.
Ledebour, Georg (1850–1947). Teacher, actor, then journalist. Deputy for Pankow, well-known for his interruptions, pre-war radical, centrist during war, hostile to Bolsheviks and Spartacists. Member of USPD in 1917 and of its Berlin organisation in 1918, leader of circle of revolutionary stewards. Joint Chairman of Revolutionary Committee in January 1919, charged with high treason, accused of putschism by Communists. Broke with USPD Left in 1920 on question of joining Comintern. Stayed in USPD in 1920, returned to SPD in 1922. Emigrated to Switzerland in 1933, died there after War.
Leow, Willi (1887–1937). Son of worker, carpenter. In SPD in 1904, joined Spartacus League during War, already youth organiser. Arrested in March 1918, freed by November Revolution. Occupied various functions in clandestine apparatus before 1923. Vice-President and real organiser of League of Red Front Fighters in 1924, deputy in 1928, member of Central Committee in 1929. Emigrated in 1933, in USSR in 1934, arrested in 1937, probably executed without trial that year.
Levi, Paul (also known as Paul Hartstein, Paul Hartlaub, 1883–1930). Son of Jewish banker. Studied law in Berlin, Grenoble, Heidelberg. Lawyer in Frankfurt, member of SPD in 1906. Defended Luxemburg in 1913, member of nucleus around her in 1914. Conscripted, discharged in 1916, settled in Switzerland, associated with Radek, then with Lenin, member of bureau of Zimmerwald Left. Declared in favour of split from social-chauvinists and centrists in 1917. Supported Lenin’s journey across Germany in 1917. Recalled to army, again discharged, leader of Spartacus League in 1918. Member of Zentrale, close collaborator of Luxemburg. Opposed initiatives of Liebknecht in January 1919, and made head of Zentrale in March. Opened struggle against ultra-Left, organised split at Heidelberg. President of VKPD in 1920, resigned in February 1921, publicly condemned March Action. Expelled in April, founded KAG, and in 1922 joined USPD, then SPD. In August 1923 organised a conference of Social-Democratic left opposition. Deputy until his death, organiser of ‘new Left’ and Sozialistische Politik und Wirtschaft, then Der Klassenkampf. Committed suicide by throwing himself out of window during fever.
Levien, Max (1885–1937). Son of Jewish trader born in Moscow. Studied in German school in Russia, then at university in Germany. In Russia in 1905, Socialist Revolutionary emigrated, continued studies in Switzerland, where he was associated with Bolsheviks but gave up political work. Finished studies in Germany, acquired German nationality. Conscript during 1914–18. Spartacist leader in Munich during 1918–19, chairman of soldiers’ council in Munich. Leading role in Bavarian Soviet Republic. Took refuge in Vienna and then in USSR, where he worked in Comintern apparatus. From 1924 ‘protected’ German Left in Moscow, associated with Maslow. Executed during purges.
Leviné, Eugen (1883–1919). Son of Jewish businessman, born in St Petersburg. Secondary and higher studies in Germany after 1897. Took part as Socialist Revolutionary in 1905 Revolution. Arrested in 1906 and 1908, harshly treated. Continued studies in Germany, joined SPD. Conscripted during 1914–16, joined USPD, worked in Russian Rosta agency. Member of Spartacus League, organiser in Rhineland, delegate to councils congress. Sent to First Comintern Congress, but unable to get to Russia. Entrusted with reorganising KPD(S) in Bavaria, purging pro-anarchist leftists. Leader of second Soviet Republic in Munich, condemned to death and shot.
Lieberasch, Arthur (1881–1966). Son of worker, metal-worker. Trade unionist in 1899, in SPD in 1906, in USPD in 1918, led strike in Leipzig in 1918, led workers’ council in November Revolution. On USPD Left, in VKPD in 1920. Supported Brandler in 1923. Stalwart of KPD Right, expelled in 1929, co- founder of KPO, emigrated to Switzerland in 1933. Returned to Leipzig, admitted to SED in 1947, expelled in 1951, readmitted and rehabilitated after death of Stalin.
Liebknecht, Karl (1871–1919). Son of Wilhelm Liebknecht, SPD founder. Lawyer in Berlin in 1906, SPD member since 1900, leader of Socialist Youth, sentenced for anti-militarist activity. Deputy in Reichstag in 1912, voted for war credits in August 1914 to avoid breaking discipline, then standard-bearer of revolutionary opposition to war. Conscripted, organised anti-War demonstration on 1 May 1916, sentenced to four years imprisonment in a fortress. Amnestied in October 1918, took part in preparations for insurrection. Leader of Spartacus League, then of KPD(S) at its foundation. One of those who inspired uprising of January 1919. Arrested and murdered by his captors.
Lindau, Rudolf (1888―). Son of saddler, transport worker. In SPD in 1907. Leader of left radicals in Hamburg during War, remained in KPD(S) when KAPD split off. Secretary of the Wasserkante district in 1921. Member of Left, moderated position, elected to Zentrale in 1923, worked in organisation department. Joined centre group in 1924, journalist and historian, in Moscow during 1933–45, director of Party school in Berlin, dismissed in 1950, author of historical works.
Luxemburg, Rosa (1871–1919). Born in Poland of impoverished Jewish family. Emigrated to Zurich in 1888, met Jogiches and with him founded Polish Social-Democratic Party. Settled in Germany, naturalised thanks to marriage of convenience. Polemicised against revisionists. Returned to Poland during 1905 Revolution, arrested and freed on bail. Lecturer in central SPD school in Berlin from 1907. Broke with Kautsky and centre tendency of SPD in 1912. In August 1914 organised resistance to social-chauvinism, founded Internationale group. Twice imprisoned, freed by November Revolution, strove to maintain Spartacus League, of which she was theoretical leader, within USPD. Edited Die Rote Fahne. Member of Zentrale, opposed January uprising, arrested and murdered along with Liebknecht.
Malzahn, Heinrich (1884–1957). Son of worker, mechanic. In SPD in 1906, in left opposition in metalworkers’ union. Member of group of revolutionary shop-stewards. In USPD in 1917, member of strikers’ action committee in January 1918, and of Executive of Councils in November 1918. Chairman of Berlin Committee of Factory Councils. USPD deputy in 1920, co-led USPD Left. In VKPD and in trade-union commission in 1920. Opposed March Action, but organised strike in the Ruhr. Defended Levi at Third Comintern Congress. Organised right opposition with Brass and Friesland, expelled in January 1922, returned to USPD, then to SPD. Later political role of no great importance. Imprisoned by Nazis during 1940–5.
Marchlewski, Julian (known as Karski and as Johannes Kämpfer, 1866–1925). Born in Poland, secondary education, then dye-worker. Underground activist in 1888, emigrated, resumed studies, took part in formation of Polish Social-Democratic Party with Luxemburg, continued to be associated with her in Germany, where he settled in 1893. Member of Spartacist nucleus, imprisoned during 1916–18, freed as Russian citizen abroad at request of Soviet government, returned in February 1919 and advised Commission of the Nine in the Ruhr. Escaped, returned to Russia, then to Poland, where he was in leadership of Communist Party. Declined offer in 1921 of leading position in KPD. Settled in Moscow, leader of Workers’ Relief International.
Maslow, Arkadi (Isaac Chereminsky, 1893–1941). Born in Elisabetgrad of rich Jewish family, which took up residence in Germany in 1899. Brilliant, very eclectic studies: natural sciences, music, physics under Einstein. No connection with workers’ movement before 1914. Interned as resident foreigner, volunteered for work with Russian prisoners, then served as Russian interpreter in German army. Resumed studies in Berlin in 1919, made acquaintance of Levi and Fischer, who won him to Communism, active in KPD under pseudonym Maslow; elected to Central Committee in November 1920 as representative of ‘Russian section’, already leader of Left. Prominent in attacks on Levi, supported March Action and theory of the offensive, opponent of Moscow compromise, for which Lenin suggested, unsuccessfully, that he be sent to Russia. Arrested in 1922, proclaimed himself to be Russian agent, which got him into difficulties with KPD but did not save him from being sentenced to eight months in jail. Spokesman of Left at Leipzig Congress, elected to Central Committee. Summoned to Moscow in September 1923 for preparations insurrection, held there by Commission of Enquiry. Cleared by Commission presided over by Stalin, returned to Germany in January 1924. Member of Politbureau in April, and leader of KPD with Fischer. Arrested in May 1925, not released until July 1926. Meanwhile, had taken a position opposing formation of red trade unions and in favour of withdrawing KPD candidate in second round of presidential elections. Attacked by ECCI in September 1925, expelled in August 1926. Co-founder and leader of Leninbund. Emigrated to Paris with Fischer in 1933, stayed until 1940, not authorised to enter USA, settled in Cuba, where he died, killed in road accident. Fischer was to attribute his death to Stalin’s assassins.
Maslowski, Peter (1893―). Tailoring worker, in USPD in 1917, member of League of Red Soldiers in 1918, of VKPD in 1920. In 1923 secretary of Central Rhineland district in Cologne, leader of moderate Left. Joined centre tendency in 1924, active journalist, twice elected deputy several times sentenced. Émigré in 1933, broke with KPD after his friend Münzenburg was expelled. Lived illegally in Grenoble, France during War, in contact with Trotskyists. Returned to Germany in 1945, and joined SPD.
Mehring, Franz (1846–1919). Son of bourgeois family. Writer and liberal journalist, joined SPD in period of anti-socialist persecution. Author of works of history and literary criticism. Long-time Chief Editor of Leipziger Volkszeitung and editorial writer in Die Neue Zeit. Associated with Luxemburg, joined her when she broke from Kautsky. Member of internationalist nucleus in 1914, Spartacist, showed sympathy for Bolsheviks in 1917. In bad health, did not take part in foundation of KPD(S), of which he became member. Deeply affected by murder of Liebknecht and Luxemburg, died a few weeks later.
Melcher, Erich (1892–1944). Son of worker, toolmaker. In SPD in 1910, conscript during 1912–17, then worked in Daimler factories in Stuttgart, joined Spartacus League and USPD. Co-founder of KPD(S) in Wurttemberg, first president of metalworkers’ union in Stuttgart in 1919, responsible for Open Letter in January 1921, expelled from union in May. Stayed briefly in Moscow, then head of metalworkers’ section in trade-union department of Zentrale. Secretary for trade-union questions in Berlin-Brandenburg district in spring 1923. Led ‘security’ department during preparations for insurrection in 1923. Removed as rightist, imprisoned during July 1924–August 1926, Polleiter in Dresden, expelled as rightist in 1928. In KPO then SAP. Illegal work under Hitler, jailed 1934 to end of 1936, arrested in August 1937, deported to Buchenwald, where clandestine KPD leadership treated him as ‘enemy of party’. Died during transport.
Merges, August (1870–1933). Son of worker, tailor. In SPD towards 1890, held various responsibilities. Associate of Thalheimer, member of Spartacus group in Brunswick, where in November 1918 he was chairman of workers’ council and President of Socialist Republic of Brunswick. After revolutionary movement was crushed, joined KAPD, which he represented in Moscow at Second Comintern Congress. In minority in KAPD until 1921, then joined KPD. Murdered by SS in 1933.
Meyer, Ernst (1887–1930). Son of locomotive driver. Higher studies, narrow religious training. Polemicised against socialists, ended by joining SPD in 1908. Presented thesis in 1910, worked as statistician. Journalist on Vorwärts at beginning of 1913, where he edited art and literature sections. Friend of Luxemburg, oppositionist in August 1914. Tubercular, not conscripted, stalwart of Spartacus League during War, despite several arrests. On Zentrale in 1918, elected to KPD(S) Zentrale at its foundation. Principal Party leader with Levi, Chief Editor of Die Rote Fahne, then Secretary of Politbureau in 1921, and Chairman of Party. Very hostile to Left, but criticised on ECCI for opportunist positions, gave place to Brandler when latter returned in August 1922. Not re-elected to the Zentrale in 1923. Secretary of Oberbezirk South during preparation of insurrection in 1923. Leader of centre tendency in 1924, then of ‘conciliators’. Openly opposed Comintern’s ultra-left line in 1929, died early in 1930.
Möller, Werner (known as Nauffacher, 1888–1919). Son of worker, tin-smith, joined SPD when very young, became writer. In 1914 in Borchardt’s Berlin group, helped lead ISD. Nine months in prison in 1915, leader of ISD in Berlin, collaborator in Arbeiterpolitik. IKD leader, and leader of Berlin ultra-leftists. Led occupation of Vorwärts building, and helped to defend it in January 1919. Murdered by Free Corps soldiers.
Müller, Richard (1890―). Son of worker, turner. Responsible for turners’ branch of metalworkers’ union in Berlin. In 1914 led opposition to War, organised network of revolutionary stewards, led strikes in June 1916, April 1917 and January 1918. Conscripted. President of Executive of Councils in November 1918, resisted convocation of National Assembly. Opposed entry of revolutionary stewards into KPD(S), protested against initiatives which led to January uprising. Led strike of March 1919 in Berlin. Leader of left opposition in trade unions and USPD. In VKPD in 1920, supported Levi in 1921, resigned and gave up all political activity. Later fate unknown.
Münzenberg, Willi (1887–1940). Son of inn-keeper, itinerant worker at age of 12. In Socialist Youth in 1906. In Switzerland from 1910, where he led Socialist Youth. Was then associated with Bolsheviks, and reorganised leadership of Young Socialist International. Several times imprisoned, expelled from Switzerland in 1918. From November 1918, member of USPD and Spartacus League in Stuttgart, organised National Conference of Socialist Youth (Left) in Berlin in December. Delegate to First Congress of Councils. Member of KPD(S) on its foundation, under arrest for five months in 1919, organised ‘buffer group’ between Levi and leftists at Heidelberg Congress. Secretary of Young Communist International until 1921, in conflict several times with ECCI. In 1921 put in charge of organising Workers’ International Relief. Founded network of businesses, the ‘Münzenberg Trust’, to help Comintern. Deputy during 1924–33, emigrated to France, refused to go to Russia when summoned, expelled from KPD in 1938. Interned in 1940, freed when French army collapsed, assassinated near Saint-Marcellin.
Neubauer, Theodor (known as Lorenz, 1890–1945). Son of nationalist civil servant. Higher education, worked as teacher. Doctorate in 1913, active in National Liberal Party. Volunteered for army in 1914. Lieutenant in 1915, gassed in 1917. Member of ‘party of the German Fatherland’, joined Democratic Party in 1918. Developed rapidly leftwards, in USPD at end of summer 1919, and in KPD in 1920. Still a teacher. Communist minister in Fröhlich government in October 1923. Went into illegality, active on Left, up to 1927. Journalist, deputy from 1928, specialist in foreign affairs, many stays in Moscow. Arrested in 1933, freed in 1939, organised secret group. Arrested in 1944, sentenced to death, executed in 1945.
Neumann, Heinz (1902–1937?). Son of bourgeois family, revolted against it, sent to special school at age of 15. Secondary education, then higher studies in philosophy. Joined Socialist Youth in 1918, KPD in 1920; recruited by Friesland, trained by Thalheimer. Worked in KPD press office, on Inprekorr and Die Rote Fahne from 1922. Sentenced to six months in prison, learned Russian, which enabled him that year to be first German leader to have personal relations with Stalin. Member of left opposition in 1923, broke with it in April, played important role in M- and Z-Apparat during preparations for insurrection. Secretary of Mecklenburg district, arrested, escaped. Represented KPD in Moscow in 1925, contributed to elimination from KPD leadership of Zinoviev’s protégés. Sent on mission to China in 1927, organised Canton Commune with Lominadze. One of few leaders to support Thaelmann in Wittorf affair in 1928, became Chief Editor of Die Rote Fahne and Party leader. Until 1932 was Stalin’s spokesman in KPD, then deported opposed his policies, lost all positions, and sent to Spain. Recognised his factional activities in ‘self-criticism’ in 1934, arrested in Switzerland, deported to USSR, arrested in April 1937, and executed without trial.
Neumann, Paul (1888―). Son of worker, metalworker. SPD member when very young, in circle of revolutionary delegates in 1916, in USPD in 1917, member of Revolutionary Committee in January 1918. Organised left opposition in metalworkers’ union. On USPD Left, joined VKPD in 1920. Opposed decisions which Central Committee took in March 1921, supported Levi. Delegate of ‘Right’ at Third Comintern Congress. Organiser with Brass of right opposition; worked with Brass in Zentrale’s trade-union department. Supported Friesland, excluded in January 1922. Returned to USPD in 1922, and then to SPD. Later activity and fate unknown.
Niederkirchner, Michael (1882–1949). Son of stonemason, born in Hungary. Plumber, in Hungarian Social-Democratic Party in 1903, in SPD in Berlin in 1905. In USPD in 1917, in VKPD in 1920. Secretary of plumbers’ trade-union from 1921. Supported Levi, protested in 1921 against condemnation of KAG. Pillar of KPD Right in 1923. Remained very popular union leader, member of Central Committee in 1927 and 1929. Arrested in 1933, deported as foreigner; in USSR, from where he returned in 1945, to fill several important positions.
Osterloh, Hermann (1886–1961). Son of worker, metalworker, in SPD in 1908. Conscripted in 1914, prisoner in Russia, joined Bolshevik Party in 1917. Arrested and turned back at German frontier in December 1918, returned only in 1919, active in Bremen as secretary concerned with peasant questions. KPD full-timer in various posts, expelled as rightist in 1928, joined SPD in 1930, worked in factory. Sentenced to eight years in camp in 1934. Leader of SPD in Bremen after War.
Pannekoek, Anton (known as Harper and Horner, 1873–1960). Of Dutch origin, higher studies in astronomy, in Dutch Social Democracy in 1902, formed its left wing from 1905, and led Tribune group; excluded in 1909, founded leftist SDP. Settled in Germany after 1905, lived in Bremen for many years, educated many activists there. Pre-war polemic against Kautsky. Returned to Netherlands in 1914, member of Zimmerwald Left, co-founder of Dutch Communist Party in 1918, supported IKD in Germany, then became theoretician of German ultra-Left. Inspired KAPD’s programme in 1920, and was its theoretician. Following crises in KAPD, resumed scientific activities, published authoritative works; continued to inspire activity of council communists in Holland and elsewhere.
Peters, Bruno (1884―). Son of worker, toolmaker. In SPD before war, secretary of Charlottenburg circle in 1916, and member of Spartacus group, member of circle of revolutionary stewards. In USPD in 1917, led April 1917 strike in DMW plant in Berlin. Arrested in January 1918, liberated by November revolution, chairman of workers’ council in Frankfurt-an-der-Oder. Member of KPD(S) on its foundation, on control commission afterwards. In SED in 1946; had secondary role for long time.
Pfeiffer, Hans (1895–1968). Son of worker, toolmaker. In SPD in 1913, won to anarchism in Switzerland. Returned to Social Democracy before 1914. Discharged during War, active in Berlin in connection with youth groups around Münzenberg, joined Spartacists. In USPD in 1917, in KPD on its foundation. Specialist in organisation, secretary of Berlin-Brandenburg district from 1919, in charge of organisation. Elected to Zentrale in January 1923, broke from Left in April. Imprisoned for a year in 1924–5, opposed Left, held organisational responsibilities in Berlin, then Moscow and Prague. Arrested in 1933, sentenced to three years in jail in 1934. Returned to work in factory. Obscure member of KPD and SED after War.
Pfemfert, Franz (1879–1954). Writer, editor of Die Aktion, left critic of SPD before war, leading figure in expressionist literature during War, founded in 1915 ‘anti-national socialist party’. Joined KPD(S) at its foundation, placed Die Aktion in service of ultra-left current, joined KAPD in April 1920, defended ‘unions’. Expelled from KAPD at beginning of 1921, maintained left criticism of workers’ parties. After 1923 applied himself to creating ‘Spartacus League Mark 2’, personally associated with Trotsky, came close to theses defended by International Left Opposition. Emigrated in 1933 to Prague, then Paris, in 1940 to New York. Settled in 1941 in Mexico, where he was photographer, and died there.
Pieck, Wilhelm (1876–1960). Son of labourer, carpenter. Trade unionist in 1894, in SPD in 1895, worked until 1906 as carpenter in Bremen and during 1906–10 in apparatus of local Party. In Berlin in 1910 responsible for Party education. Worked with Ebert, but stood on Left of SPD. Member of Internationale group in 1914, arrested in May 1915, conscripted in October, sentenced for refusal to obey orders in August 1917 to 18 months in prison. Deserted and escaped into Holland in January 1918. Returned in November, was co-opted by Liebknecht to circle of revolutionary shop-stewards. Elected to Zentrale of Spartacus League, then to that of KPD(S), Liebknecht’s right-hand man in January 1919, arrested with him, released soon afterwards, under arrest again during July-November 1919. His first arrest was to give rise to accusations against him which are rather improbable. One of authors in 1921 of declaration of loyal opposition, did his best to get compromise in the Ruhr, as mandated by Zentrale. On KPD Right, supported Brandler, agent of ECCI, to which he was delegated particularly in 1921. Supported centre tendency in 1924, led Workers’ International Relief, and then, in 1926, the Berlin district. Made self-criticism and submitted to Stalin in 1929, was member of ECCI from 1928, of Comintern Secretariat and Presidium from 1931, for a long time Comintern Secretary for the Balkans. In Paris during 1933–8. In Moscow in 1938, worked with Committee for a Free Germany during War. Returned in 1945 as KPD chairman. SED chairman in 1946, DDR President from its foundation in 1949 to his death.
Plattner, Karl (1893–1933). Son of worker, printer. In Socialist Youth before War, in SPD in 1914, organiser of youth during War, sentenced to 18 months in prison for leaflet supporting Liebknecht’s actions. Founder of IKD in Dresden in 1918, member of workers’ and soldiers’ council of Dresden, then resigned from it. Member of KPD(S) on its foundation and activist of ultra-left wing. Played important role in Republic of Councils in Bremen in 1919, and in struggle against Kappists in the Ruhr in 1920. Foundation member of KAPD, head of its fighting organisation, organised ‘expropriations’ to finance Party; important role in fighting in March 1921, organised urban guerrillas, arrested in 1921 and sentenced in 1923 to 10 years in fortress. Amnestied in 1928, rejoined KPD. According to Hermann Weber, died in Buchenwald; according to Hans Bock, was shot down when trying to cross Czechoslovak frontier.
Pogany, Josef (known as Pepper, 1886–1937). Social-Democratic journalist, joined Hungarian Communist Party President of Soldiers’ Council in Budapest in 1919. After defeat, took refuge in Moscow, collaborator of ECCI, accompanied Kun to Berlin in 1921, carried on struggle against rightist current in youth organisation. Played no further role in Germany. Organised Communist Party of the USA, under name of Pepper. Arrested and liquidated during Stalinist purges.
Pohl, Kathe (Katarina or Lydia Rabinovich, 1892―). Born in St Petersburg. Partner of Guralski-Kleine, active in Germany under pseudonym. Secretary to KPD Politbureau in 1921, collaborated on Inprekorr, played role in the Ruhr in 1923. Supported centre tendency in 1924, appears to have ceased all political activity; all trace of her is lost.
Radek, Karl (Karl Bernardovich Sobelson, known as Parabellum, Arnold Struthahn, Paul Bremer, Max, 1885–1940?). Son of Jewish family in Austrian Galicia. Studied in Poland, then in Vienna and Switzerland. Active at age of 18 in underground movement, met Jogiches in 1904, played important role in 1905 Revolution. Arrested in 1906, escaped, reached Germany in 1908, wrote in SPD press in Leipzig, then in Bremen, and became known through his controversy with Kautsky. Expelled from Polish Party in 1912 at instigation of Jogiches and Luxemburg, and from SPD in 1913 following much-publicised ‘scandal’. Emigrated to Switzerland 1914, took part in Zimmerwald and Kienthal Conferences, collaborated in Arbeiterpolitik, and played important role in forming Zimmerwald Left. Close to Lenin, in conflict with him on national question. Left Switzerland with him, organised in Stockholm Bureau of Bolsheviks’ Central Committee with task of revolutionary propaganda in Germany. In Petrograd in October 1918, Vice-Commissar for Foreign Affairs, took part in Brest-Litovsk discussions, and organised Bolshevik propaganda directed at German prisoners of war and troops. Secret mission to Berlin in December 1919, took part in Founding Conference of KPD(S), giving support to decision to found it. Unsuccessfully opposed initiatives of Liebknecht in January 1919. Arrested in February, enjoyed favourable treatment after some months. Set free at end of year, he became ECCI Secretary, from which job he was removed for having supported Levi and KPD against his own party in KAPD affair. Co-author of Open Letter of January 1921 with Levi, opened struggle against him, and, up to Third Comintern Congress, supported KPD Left, which he had earlier opposed. From then, was KPD’s guide and principal political leader, at same time as being USSR’s semi-official diplomatic representative in contact with ruling circles in Germany. Supported decision to withdraw Brandler in October 1923. Selected as scapegoat for 1923 defeat, after he had moved to support Left Opposition in USSR. Rector of University of the Peoples of the East in Moscow, important member of United Opposition during 1926–7, expelled and exiled internally, capitulated in 1929. Journalist, accuser and accused in second Moscow Trial in 1937, sentenced only to imprisonment, died in concentration camp.
Rákosi, Mátyás (1892–1971). Son of comfortably-placed Jewish family. Studied in Budapest, then in Germany and England. Member of Socialist Youth in 1911. Conscript in 1914, prisoner of war in Russia, member of group which, with Kun, adhered to Communism. Returned to Hungary at beginning of 1918; People’s Commissar of Soviet Republic in 1919. Took refuge in Moscow, worked in Comintern apparatus, which he represented notably at Livorno Congress. His intervention in KPD Zentrale provoked crisis and resignation of Levi. From 1922 member of Comintern Secretariat. Sent on secret mission to Hungary in 1925, arrested and sentenced, exchanged in 1940 for Hungarian flags taken in 1848. Russian citizen, lived in USSR during 1940–44, returned with Russian army as General Secretary of Hungarian Party. Compelled to resign in July 1956 after protracted resistance. Left Hungary for USSR after Revolution of October 1956. Expelled from Hungarian party, in which he had been incarnation of Stalinism, in August 1962. Died in USSR.
Rau, Heinrich (1899–1961). Son of peasant. Metalworker. In Socialist Youth in 1913. Spartacist in 1916. Member of USPD in 1917, in KPD(S) at its foundation. Leader in Stuttgart in 1919–20. In Berlin in 1920 as head of agricultural department of Zentrale. Editor of Der Pflug. Retained Party functions until 1932. Arrested in 1933, two years in jail, emigrated to Czechoslovakia, then to USSR. Commissar and then Commander of Eleventh International Brigade in Spain. Interned in France in 1939. Handed over to Gestapo in 1942, deported to Mauthausen. Minister and member of SED Politbureau after war, specialist in economic questions.
Reichenbach, Bernhard (born 1888). Son of comfortably-off family. Higher studies, leader of socialist students. Conscript during 1915–17, joined USPD in 1917, worked in its press office until 1919; in 1920, associated with Schröder, went over to KAPD, delegate to Third Comintern Congress. Member of Essen group after split in KAPD in 1922. In SPD in 1924, in SAP in 1931, emigrated to Britain in 1935, living there from then.
Reichpietsch, Max (1894–1917). Mechanic, conscripted into navy in 1914. In 1917 organised revolutionary sailors and made contact with USPD leaders in Berlin. Shot in September 1917.
Remmele, Hermann (1880–1939). Son of small-scale miller. In SPD in 1897, organiser of youth and illegal anti-militarist activity in Ludwigshafen. Student at SPD school in 1907–8, then full-timer in Mannheim, member of Left. Conscript during 1914–18, organised opposition whilst on leave in Mannheim, delegate to USPD Foundation Congress. Council chairman in Mannheim in 1919, leader of Conciliar Republic in 1919. Then in Stuttgart, leader of USPD Left. In VKPD in 1920, elected to Zentrale. Important role in preparing insurrection in 1923; courier of Zentrale indirectly, at least, responsible for outbreak of Hamburg insurrection. Supported centre tendency, then Thaelmann’s faction, member of Comintern Presidium, a principal leader of KPD until 1932, came out against Thaelmann. Emigrated to Moscow in 1933, confessed in 1934 to ‘factional’ activity, arrested in 1937. According to some, he was murdered immediately; according to others, he lost his reason.
Rogg, Ulrich (1888–1938?). Bakery worker. In SPD before War, then in Spartacus group. One of its organisers in the Ruhr. Important role in events in Duisburg in 1919. In 1923 a KPD cadre in Halle region. In Russia in 1925, arrested and sentenced when he returned to Germany, gave up all political activity.
Rosenberg, Arthur (1889–1945). Son of Jewish business people in Berlin. Brilliant higher studies in ancient history. Assistant in University of Berlin in 1914. Joined USPD when demobilised in 1918. In VKPD in 1920, worked on Inprekorr. Member of Berlin Left and leadership of Berlin-Brandenburg district, theoretician of theory of the offensive from 1921. Member of Zentrale and Politbureau in 1924–5, then leader of ultra-left opposition, joined Thaelmann in 1926. Resigned from KPD in 1927, returned to chair in University of Berlin, led League of the Rights of Man. Dismissed in 1933, emigrated to Britain, taught in University of Liverpool. Settled in 1937 in Brooklyn, USA, continued to teach and produce historical works.
Ruck, Fritz (1895–1959). Son of carpenter, printer. Active in Socialist Youth, on Left of SPD in 1913. Conscript during 1915–16, discharged, joined USPD as Spartacist, collaborated on Sozialdemokrat in Stuttgart. A leader of November Revolution there. Member of editorial staff of Die Rote Fahne in 1921, supported Brandler in 1923. Expelled in 1929 as right-winger. In SAP in 1932. Emigrated in 1933 to Switzerland and in 1937 to Sweden. Joined Social Democrats. Author of children’s books. President of printers’ union in West Germany after War.
Rühle, Otto (1874–1943). Teacher, psychologist, educator. In SPD in 1900, journalist in 1902. Deputy in Reichstag in 1912. Joined Liebknecht in open opposition in 1915, spoke in favour of splitting SPD. Spartacist, then leader of IKD in 1917. Resigned in November 1919 from Dresden council of workers and soldiers. Spokesman at KPD(S) Foundation Congress for ultra-left majority. Defended ‘unionism’, joined KAPD when it was founded. Delegate to Second Comintern Congress, spoke against Twenty-One Conditions, refused to take part, repudiated and expelled by KAPD in November. Promoter of ‘unionist’, anti-authoritarian tendency. Returned in 1923 to SPD. Devoted himself to valuable scientific works, emigrated in 1933, in Mexico in 1936, helped organise Dewey Commission of Enquiry into Moscow Trials, had discussions with Trotsky, devoted his last years to painting.
Rusch, Oskar (1884―). Metalworker, delegate and ‘agent’ of SPD in Berlin factory in 1914. Social-Democratic member of Executive of Councils in November 1918, joined USPD after Congress of the Councils in December. Later, leader of metalworkers’ union and trade unions in Berlin, particularly during Kapp Putsch. On USPD Left, removed from his responsibilities. In VKPD in 1920. Left in 1921, returned to SPD in 1922. Later dates and facts unknown.
Sachse, Willy (1896–1944). From petty-bourgeois family, technical studies. Conscripted into navy in 1914. Organiser of revolutionary sailors in 1917, sentenced to death, but sentence commuted to hard labour. Freed by November Revolution, joined USPD and then VKPD in 1920. In 1923 secretary of Halle-Merseburg district. Important functions in KPD apparatus up to 1928, when he resigned. From 1933, organised resistance group to Hitler regime. Arrested in January 1942, executed in August 1944.
Schliestedt, Heinrich (1883–1938). Metalworker, active in trade union, in left tendency before War. In USPD in 1917, organiser of struggles in the Ruhr in 1919–20. On USPD Left, opposed joining Comintern. Returned to SPD in 1922. Underground organiser under Hitler, killed accidentally when returning from conference abroad.
Schloer, Jakob (1888–1956). Café waiter, in SPD from 1911. Associated with Levi, Spartacist in Frankfurt during War, co-founder of KPD(S) in Mannheim. Supported KAG in 1921, remained in Party. In apparatus in South Germany in 1923. Secretary-general of Red Aid in 1926, expelled as rightist in 1929, émigré in 1933, admitted to KPD and then SED after War, expelled in 1951, readmitted in 1955.
Schmidt, Felix (1885–1932). Printer, in SPD in 1904, led left opposition in Bremen during War, and IKD in 1918, leader of left wing. Remained in KPD(S) when ultra-Left split off. Treasurer of Zentrale from 1921. In 1923 took leadership of Oberbezirk South-West. In Red Aid in Moscow during 1924–6, excluded in 1929, went to KPO and then to SAP. Died following an operation.
Schneller, Ernst (1890–1940). Son of railway worker, orphaned at age of five. Became schoolteacher. In SPD in 1920, joined KPD after Kapp Putsch. In 1921 belonged to Levi’s tendency. A leader of preparations for insurrection in 1923, commanded proletarian hundreds in Saxony. Joined centre tendency and then left wing. On Zentrale in 1924, in charge of military questions, then of theoretical matters, became champion of ‘the struggle against Trotskyism and ‘Luxemburgism’. Joined Thaelmann’s leadership, but removed after Wittorf affair. Arrested in 1933, sentenced to six years, executed in Sachsenhausen.
Scholem, Werner (1895–1940). Son of printing worker, higher studies in history and law. In Socialist Youth in 1912, in SPD in 1913. Conscripted in 1914, sentenced in 1917 for anti-militarist activity. In USPD in 1917, journalist in Halle. In VKPD in 1920, worked on Die Rote Fahne. Arrested after March 1921, played important role as organiser in Berlin district, supported Left in 1923. Member of Zentrale and Politbureau, responsible posts in Organisation Bureau in 1923, de facto KPD leader with Fischer until 1925, when he co-led ultra-Left. Expelled in 1926, joint organiser of Leninbund, worked with organ of German Trotskyist opposition. Arrested in 1933, executed in 1940.
Schreiner, Albert (1892―). Son of worker who became SPD full-timer. Mechanic. In SPD in 1910, member of Spartacus group during War. Minister of War in government of Württemberg for a few days. A leader of Military Apparatus in 1923, M. Leiter in Wasserkante. In military school in Moscow in 1924, then leader of League of Red Front Fighters. Expelled in 1929 as rightist. Member of KPO. Returned to KPD in October 1932, left it immediately. Emigrated to France in 1933, fought in Spain as Chief of Staff of Twelfth International Brigade. In France during 1939–41, then in Morocco, Mexico and USA. Returned in 1946 to East Germany, frequently in conflict with leadership on questions of history.
Schröder, Karl (1885–1950). Son of teacher, higher studies in philosophy. In SPD in 1913. In Spartacus League during War. Helped run Die Rote Fahne in 1918. Ultra-leftist, theoretician of revolutionary workplace organisations. Leader of Berlin district, expelled from KPD(S), prominent initiator in founding KAPD. Close collaborator with Gorter in 1920. Travelled with him to Moscow, when he obtained admission of KAPD into Comintern as sympathising party. At end of 1921, organised information bureaux and International of Left Communists. Led KAPD in Essen after split of 1922. Returned to SPD in 1924. Literary critic on Vorwärts. Organised former KAPD members in SPD, and in 1936 formed illegal organisation, Red Fighters. Sentenced to hard labour, organised education in West Berlin after 1945, went over to East, joined SED.
Schubert, Hermann (1886–1938). Son of worker, miner, then itinerant worker. In SPD in 1907. Trade-union responsibilities. In USPD in 1917, in VKPD in 1920. Followed courses at Lenin School in Moscow in 1923. A leader of projected insurrection in Thuringia. Arrested, escaped, lived illegally in the Ruhr. Member of left wing, then supported Thaelmann against Fischer; from 1933 lived illegally, defended former sectarian line against Pieck and Ulbricht. Removed in 1935, arrested in Moscow in 1937, and executed.
Schulte, Fritz (1890–1943). Son of worker, worked in chemical industry. In USPD in 1918. In VKPD in 1920, led red trade-union. Member of right wing, called Thaelmann an ‘idiot’. Joined Left in 1924, then organised red trade unions. Took part in Politbureau. In Moscow in 1935, removed from Central Committee, arrested and executed.
Schulz, Karl (1884–1933). Son of worker, blacksmith. In SPD in 1905, leader of Socialist Youth. At SPD school during 1912–13, then journalist. Joined Spartacus League during War, founder and leader of Red Soldiers’ League. Delegate to Foundation Congress of KPD(S), founder of Party in Pomerania and Mecklenburg. In 1923 secretary of Oberbezirk North. Hunted by police, took refuge in Moscow during 1924–8. Conciliator, accepted penalties against group. Arrested at time of Reichstag fire, died in Spandau as a result of ill-treatment.
Schumann, Georg (1886–1945). Son of stonemason, toolmaker. In SPD in 1905, leader of Socialist Youth. At SPD school in 1912–13, then journalist. During War joined Internationale group, arrested in 1915 and conscripted. Sentenced by military court to 12 years hard labour. Freed by November Revolution, led Spartacus League and then KPD(S) in Leipzig. The most popular leader in Central Germany, member of right wing. Moved to centre tendency in 1924. Worked in RILU in Moscow during 1925–6, then in jail in Germany during 1926–7. Conciliator, made ‘self-criticism’ in 1929. Arrested in 1933, deported to Sachsenhausen until 1939. Resumed factory work, soon became leader of important communist resistance group, which declared, in opposition to Free German Committee in USSR, its support for socialism. Arrested in 1944, tortured at length, executed in January 1945.
Schwab, Alexander (1887–1943). Son of master carpenter. Printer. In SPD in 1907, Spartacist during War. Associated with Schröder in Berlin, co-founder of KAPD. Sympathised with national Bolshevism, left KAPD in September 1920, returned to SPD.
Serrati, Giacinto Menotti (1874–1926). Became Socialist activist at very young age, pioneer of Italian Socialism. Leader of maximalist wing during War, Chief Editor of Avanti in 1915, delegate to Zimmerwald and Kienthal. Arrested in 1917, supporter of break with Second International and of joining Third International from 1919. Elected at Second Comintern Congress to ECCI, resisted application of Twenty-One Conditions by his party. Remained with Italian Socialist Party after Livorno Congress. Was readmitted with some of his supporters to Comintern and Italian Communist Party in 1924, member of latter’s Central Committee until he died.
Siewert, Robert (1887―). Son of carpenter, building worker. In SPD in 1906. Worked in Switzerland where he knew Lenin, Brandler and Heckert. Conscripted during 1914–18, worked illegally for Spartacus League. Organised and led soldiers’ council. Joined KPD(S) on return, organised activities in Erzegebirge. Supporter of Brandler, member of Central Committee, political secretary for Erzgebirge-Vogtland in 1923. Right oppositionist, expelled in 1929, joined KPO, worked on Arbeiterpolitik. Arrested in 1933, rejoined KPD in Buchenwald. Held posts in DDR after War, dismissed in 1950 because of his past, forced to make ‘self-criticism’ in 1951.
Sommer, Josef (Joseph Winterritz, alias Lenz, 1896–1952). Son of professor, studied in Britain, then in Prague. Conscripted in 1917, socialist in 1918, in Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in 1920. Doctor of philosophy, active in KPD from 1923, attacking right wing, and appearing to be theoretician of Left. Responsible for propaganda in 1924, candidate member of Central Committee, low-level posts in apparatus during 1925–8, returned to heading propaganda in 1931. Made ‘self-criticism’ after having attacked Thaelmann and Stalin. Emigrated to Czechoslovakia in 1934, to Britain in 1939, worked for Communist Party of Great Britain. Returned in 1948, headed the Marx-Engels Institute. Severely criticised in 1951, returned to Britain, where he died.
Sorge, Richard (alias Sonter, alias Ika, 1895–1944). Son of engineer, born in Russia. Higher studies; volunteered in 1914, three times wounded. In USPD in 1918, in VKPD in 1920. Teacher in Aachen, dismissed in 1922. Lecturer in Frankfurt in 1923, member of KPD’s secret Military Apparatus. In charge of security at Congress in 1924, seconded to Moscow, worked for Comintern, then in Fourth Bureau of the Red Army. Mission to China during 1931–2. Returned to Germany in 1933, joined Nazi Party, got himself accredited as war correspondent to Japan, organised information network which in particular was to warn Stalin in advance of German aggression of June 1941. Arrested in October 1944, executed in November. His mission has been recognised and role celebrated since an article in Pravda on 4 September 1964.
Stern, Manfred (alias Stein, alias Kleber, 1896–1954). Born in Bukovina, activist before War, conscripted in Austro-Hungarian army in 1916, prisoner of war, won to Communism, fought in ranks of Red Army, especially in Siberia. In Germany as military technician in 1921 and 1923, under name of Stein. From 1927 to 1936, was military adviser in China. Appointed in Spain to command International Brigades and in defence of Madrid under name of General Kleber. Arrested on recall in 1937 and long believed to have been executed. According to Russian sources, which do not seem to deny his long imprisonment, he died in 1954.
Stoecker, Walter (1891–1939). Son of engineer, began higher studies. In SPD in 1908, active in youth movement and from 1912 led socialist students in Cologne. In contact with Münzenberg in 1914. Conscripted during 1915–18. In USPD in 1917. Leader of councils in Cologne in 1918–19. Deputy Secretary of USPD in June 1919, a leader of left wing, delegate to Third Comintern Congress. Elected to VKPD Zentrale in 1920, Chairman of Party after Levi resigned. In retirement during 1921–3. Elected to Zentrale in 1923, Secretary of Oberbezirk West in 1923. Joined centre tendency, Chairman of parliamentary fraction in Reichstag during 1924–32. Arrested at time of Reichstag fire, sent to various camps, died of typhus in Buchenwald.
Sturm, Fritz (Samuel Markovich Zaks-Gladniev, 1890–1937?). Born in Russia, Bolshevik. Came to Hamburg in 1919. Member of IKD, then of KPD(S), belonged to left wing. Did not join KAPD. Arrested in 1920 and expelled. Settled in Leningrad. Supported Bukharin in 1928, arrested and seems to have been executed as terrorist in 1937.
Süsskind, Heinrich (alias Heinrich, alias Kurt, 1890–1937). Son of rabbi, born in Poland. Studied in Vienna, in Germany in 1917, studies in history. In 1919 worked in youth movement, joined KPD(S). Subject to expulsion from Germany, went underground, worked on Die Rote Fahne, becoming its Chief Editor at age 26 in December 1921. Member of Zentrale. Arrested and forced to leave Germany, in Russia in 1922 and 1923. Resumed his position at beginning of 1923, replaced in June by Thalheimer, sent to Leipzig. Member of Left, then of Thaelmann’s group, conciliator in 1928, made ‘self-criticism’, emigrated to Prague in 1933, then in USSR, where he was arrested and executed.
Tenner, Albin (1885–1967). Son of painter on porcelain, started work at age of 14, became teacher. Conscript during 1914–18. In USPD in 1918, member of Land government in Gotha. In VKPD in 1920. A Communist leader in Thuringia, member of Central Committee in 1923, Minister for the Economy in Frolich’s government in October 1923. Expelled in 1925, then readmitted, again expelled in 1929; in KPO, then in SAP. Emigrated to Holland, where he died.
Teuber, Heinrich (1872–1928). Miner, union president in 1910, leader of trade-union left opposition. In USPD in 1917, in VKPD in 1920, expelled with Malzahn and Brass, returned to USPD and then SPD in 1922.
Thaelmann, Ernst (1886–1944). Son of greengrocer, left paternal home when very young, became stoker in cargo ship. Worked in New York, then returned to Germany and did various jobs, including as docker. In SPD in 1903, member of left wing, opponent of trade-union bureaucrats. Conscripted during 1915–18, in USPD in 1918. Leader of USPD Left in Hamburg, in VKPD in 1920, mobilised unemployed to impose strike in March 1921. Defended theory of the offensive against Lenin and Trotsky at Third Comintern Congress. Member of Central Committee, a standard-bearer of Left. Co-opted to Zentrale in May 1923. Important role in Hamburg insurrection in October 1923. Member of Zentrale and Politbureau in 1924, President of Party after Fischer and Maslow were eliminated, endangered by Wittorf affair, supported by Stalin. Arrested in March 1933, executed in Buchenwald in August 1944.
Thalheimer, August (1884–1948). Son of Jewish trader. Higher studies in philosophy, especially in Oxford and Strassburg. In SPD in 1904, Chief Editor in Göppingen in 1909, linked with Radek, Luxemburg, Mehring and Westmeyer. Member of Internationale group, active in Spartacus group during War, conscripted during 1916–18, played important role in November Revolution in Stuttgart, and was for short time member of Land government. Fought ultra-Left in 1919–20, but in 1921 defended theory of the offensive. Member of Zentrale since 1918. Theoretician of KPD in 1923, sceptical about chances of Revolution. Held responsible, with Brandler, for the defeat, held in Moscow 1924–8, where he taught at Sun-Yat-Sen University. Expelled in 1929, co-founder of KPO, emigrated to France in 1933, interned in 1939, found refuge in Cuba in 1941, died in exile, for lack of authorisation to live either in Germany or in France.
Thomas, Wendelin (1884―). Son of peasant, ship’s boy and then sailor. In SPD in 1910. Conscripted during 1914–18, member of Committee of Revolutionary Sailors in 1918, joined USPD. In VKPD in 1920. Sentenced in 1921. Important role in preparations for insurrection in 1923. Worked in Comintern apparatus during 1925–8, imprisoned in Germany during 1928–30, left KPD in 1933. Emigrated to USA, where he joined Dewey Commission of Enquiry into Moscow Trials. Not to be confused with ‘Comrade Thomas’, Comintern envoy to Berlin, about whom nearly nothing is known.
Tittel, Hans (1894―). Son of worker, lithographer. In Socialist Youth in 1909, in SPD in 1912, a leader of radicals in Württemberg in 1914. With Spartacus League, jailed for eight months and conscripted. Leader of KPD(S) in Stuttgart and leading member of right wing. Political secretary in Thuringia in 1923. Imprisoned during 1923–4, headed Zentrale press bureau from 1926, excluded at end of 1928 as rightist. Joined KPO. Emigrated in 1933, expelled from KPO in 1939, went to USA, returned to West Germany in 1962.
Toller, Ernst (1883–1939). Son of Jewish trader, born in Russia, higher studies especially at Grenoble. In army in 1914, wounded and discharged. Pacifist, associated with Eisner. President of USPD in Munich in 1917. Commander of Red Army in Bavaria in 1919, sentenced to five years imprisonment. When released, joined KPD, but devoted himself to literature and theatre. Committed suicide in New York.
Tost, Otto (?-?). Metalworker in Berlin, conscripted into navy, then discharged. In USPD in 1917, member of circle of revolutionary stewards and action committee of strikers in April 1917 and January 1918. Again conscripted, organised People’s Naval Division in Cuxhaven, which he led for short while. President of metalworkers’ trade-union and secretary of unions in Berlin in October 1919, on USPD Left, supported Dissmann and opposed joining Comintern. Remained in USPD at Halle, and returned to SPD in 1922.
Ulbricht, Walter (1893―). Son of Social-Democratic tailor, carpenter. In SPD in 1912. In 1914 in Leipzig, member of Liebknecht’s group, led by Schumann. Conscripted in 1915–18, two months in jail for desertion. Joined KPD(S) after its foundation, journalist, had task of getting arms to workers in March 1921. Political secretary of Thuringia district in June 1921, supported Brandler, elected to Zentrale in 1923, Revkom organiser. Supported centre tendency, put in charge of putting Party on factory cells basis and Bolshevisation. In Moscow in 1924. Various missions for ECCI in Vienna and Prague. At top level after Wittorf affair. Represented Party in Moscow in 1928–9, member of Central Committee and Politbureau from 1929. Succeeded Thaelmann after his arrest in 1933, formed bloc with Pieck against his supporters for Popular Front policy. In USSR in 1937, during War founded Free German Committee. Returned to Germany in 1945, leader of KPD and SED, ‘strong man’ of Pankow regime. Retired in May 1971.
Unger, Otto (1893–1937?). Worked in bookshops, in SPD in 1912, active in Socialist Youth, leader of Communist Youth in 1921, supported Left, criticised Brandler at beginning of 1924. Leader in Hamburg during 1926–8, conciliator, disciplined in 1928, sent to USSR, arrested and executed in 1937.
Urbahns, Hugo (1890–1947). Son of peasant, teacher, socialist sympathiser before war. In army in 1914. Joined Spartacus League in 1918, then KPD leader in Wasserkante, conspicuous leftist from 1921. Secretary of Wasserkante district in 1923. Arrested in January 1924, sentenced in January 1925, released in October. Supported Left, expelled in November 1926. Leader of Leninbund, in favour of workers’ united front against Nazism. Emigrated in 1933, expelled from Sweden at time of Moscow Trials, unable to get a visa to anywhere, died in Sweden.
Utzelmann, Peter (alias Kempin, 1894―). Son of worker, carpenter. In Socialist Youth in 1908, in SPD in 1912. Conscripted into navy in 1915, member of People’s Naval Division in 1918, joined KPD(S) on its foundation, sided with ultra-Left. Helped found KAPD, leader in Leuna works in March Action. Sentenced to hard labour for life in 1921, amnestied in 1923, left KAPD. In SPD in 1928, organised Red Front Fighters, expelled in 1932, under arrest during 1936–8, held important posts in DDR until 1950, when he went to West Germany.
Walcher, Jacob (1887―). Son of worker, turner. In SPD in 1906. Student at SPD school during 1910–11. Then journalist in Stuttgart. Organiser of Left, then of Spartacus group in Stuttgart in 1914, arrested in 1915, sent into army. Chairman of Founding Congress of KPD(S), won over half of USPD in Stuttgart. Member of Zentrale in 1920, supporter of general strike against Kapp, member of strike leadership, supporter of workers’ government line. Secretary of Zentrale in 1921, responsible for trade-union work, represented Germany at RILU in 1923, gave Trotsky information about situation in Germany. Demoted as rightist, in Moscow during 1924–6, expelled in 1928, in KPO and then SAP. Emigrated in 1933, close to Trotsky briefly, then moved away to join London Bureau. Interned in France in 1939, reached USA in 1941, took part in Council for a Democratic Germany. Returned to East Germany in 1946, admitted into SED, demoted from all positions in 1949, then expelled from SED. Rehabilitated and readmitted in 1956.
Wegmann, Paul (1889–1945). Metalworker in Berlin, in SPD before War. With Richard Müller, organised circle of revolutionary shop-stewards. In USPD in 1917. Member of Action Committee in November 1918, then of Executive Committee, spokesman for Left at Congress of Councils in December. Leader of left wing in trade unions and USPD. In VKPD in 1920, joined Zentrale after Levi resigned. In opposition with Friesland and Malzahn, expelled in January 1922, returned to USPD in same year, then to SPD. Became specialist on problems of youth for municipality of Berlin, and gave up all political activity. Arrested in 1933, died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen.
Wendel, Friedrich (1886–1960). Son of master carpenter, printer. In SPD in 1907, joined Spartacus League during War in Berlin, led left wing in KPD(S) in 1919. Co-founder of KAPD, sympathetic to national Bolshevism, returned to SPD in 1920. Became Social-Democratic journalist. Went to ground during Nazi period, employed by city of Kiel and member of SPD until he died.
Westmeyer, Friedrich (1873–1916). Worker, Party secretary in Stuttgart, leader of Württemberg radicals, personal friend of Luxemburg and Clara Zetkin. Organised resistance in 1914, arrested, conscripted, died in military hospital.
Weyer, Paul (1887–1943). Son of worker, metalworker. In SPD in 1910, in USPD in 1917, whilst a leader of revolutionary shop-stewards. Close to Spartacists, remained in USPD in 1919, joined VKPD in 1920. Leftist, a leader of Berlin-Brandenburg district. In 1924 led movement to leave trade unions. Expelled in September 1924. Subsequently rejoined SPD.
Winguth, Fritz (1892–1948). Son of worker, mechanic. In Socialist Youth in 1908, in SPD in 1912. Organiser of youth and Spartacus League during War. Vice-president of USPD in Neukölln in 1917, member of revolutionary stewards. Full-time official of metalworkers’ union in 1919. On KPD(S) Central Committee in 1920. Supported Levi and expelled like him in 1921, followed him into USPD and then SPD. Secretary of metalworkers’ union in 1933. Organised resistance group with Brass in 1933, worked in East Germany in 1945, but not admitted to SED.
Wolf, Felix (Nicolas Krebs, alias Rakov, alias Inkov, 1890–1937?). Son of German worker settled in Russia. Railway worker, Bolshevik in 1917, Communist organiser of prisoners of war. In Germany with Radek in December 1919. Comintern functionary, returned to Germany with Kun in February 1921. Deported from Germany in 1922. Diplomatic representative in Vienna under pseudonym of Inkov. Associated with Opposition, expelled in 1933, arrested and executed in 1937.
Wolffheim, Fritz (?–1936?). Journalist, collaborator with IWW organ in San Francisco in 1912–13. In Germany in 1913, worked with Laufenberg and with him led ultra-leftists in Hamburg during War. Theoretician of industrial ‘unions’, joined KPD(S), there defended ultra-left theories which called into question role of Communist Parties. Spokesman for opposition which was expelled at Heidelberg Congress. Shortly afterwards became publicist for national Bolshevism with Laufenberg. Accused of being in contact with some Kappist officers who were considering alliance with USSR against West. Joined KAPD at its foundation, expelled in August 1920. Co-founder of Communist League, then of Union for the Study of German Communism, with nationalistic elements. Linked to Nazis in 1923. Led various small groups, apparently in contact with left wing of Nazi Party, led by Strasser. Arrested under Nazism, died in concentration camp.
Wolfstein, Rosi (1888―). Daughter of businessman, commercial studies. In Socialist Youth in 1907, in SPD in 1908. Pupil of Luxemburg at SPD school in 1912–13. Active in Youth and in Spartacus League during War. In USPD in 1917, member of Düsseldorf council in 1918, Secretary of Foundation Congress of KPD(S). Candidate member of Zentrale from 1921. From 1924, devoted herself, with husband Paul Frölich, to publishing Luxemburg’s works. Expelled in 1929. In KPO and then SAP. Emigrated in 1933, in USA during 1941–50. In SPD when she returned to Frankfurt.
Wollenberg, Erich (1892―). Son of doctor, medical student. In army in 1914, lieutenant, five times wounded. In USPD in 1918. Commanded detachment of revolutionary sailors in Koenigsberg. A commander of Red Army in Bavaria in 1919. Several times arrested and escaped. Transferred from Königsberg to the Ruhr in 1923, politico-military head of the South-West during summer. Military studies in Moscow, various posts of command in Red Army up to 1927. Again in USSR, teaching from 1928. Clandestine leader of Red Front Fighters in Germany in 1931, again arrested. Criticised KPD leadership, expelled in 1933 with Felix Wolf. Emigrated to France in 1934, collaborated with various anti-Nazi groups, arrested in 1940, took part in Resistance in Morocco, arrested, freed by Allied landing. Press officer for USA in Bavaria in 1946. Freelance journalist.
Wollweber, Ernst (1898–1967). Son of miner, docker, in Socialist Youth in 1915. Conscripted in 1916, stoker, in leadership of Kiel mutiny in 1918. In KPD in 1919. District secretary in Hesse-Kassel from 1921, member of Central Committee. Organised merchant seamen’s trade-union. From 1932 head of underground apparatus, controlled all links between emigration and Germany from Copenhagen, then from Sweden, where he was arrested in 1943 and expelled to USSR. In East Germany in 1945, member of KPD, head of state security, member of SED Central Committee until 1958.
Zaisser, Wilhelm (1893–1958). Schoolteacher in the Ruhr. Conscripted, lieutenant, joined Ukrainian partisans in 1918 with his men. Played role in Military Apparatus, particularly in the Ruhr, in 1920, 1921 and 1923. Student at Military Academy in Moscow in 1924. Military adviser to Chiang Kai-Shek in China up to 1930. Commanded an International Brigade in Spain under name of General Gomez. In USSR in 1940, led political re-education of German officers in ‘anti-fascist school’. Member of KPD, then of SED, Minister for State Security in DDR during 1950–3. Compelled to retire after June 1953 rising.
Zeigner, Erich (1886–1961). Son of bourgeois family. Studied law. Deputy judge in 1908, conscript during 1917–19. Presiding judge, joined SPD in 1919. Led Left in Saxony, where he was Minister of Justice in 1921, favoured alliance with KPD. Prime Minister in Saxony in April 1923, obtained entry of KPD in October into government of republican and proletarian defence. Denounced Reichswehr’s activities. Deposed by it and imprisoned. After trial, resumed functions as magistrate. Dismissed in 1933, became accountant. Mayor of Leipzig in 1946, honoured as forerunner by SED of which he became member.
Zetkin, Clara (née Eisner, by marriage Gundel, 1857–1933). Daughter of schoolteacher, won to Marxism by Russian, Ossip Zetkin, whom she married and who died in 1889. Emigrated during 1880–90, collaborated on Sozialdemokrat, presented report on work amongst women at Foundation Congress of Second International in 1889. Secretary of Women’s Secretariat of International, founder and Chief Editor of Gleichheit. One of the best-known figures of international socialist movement and German Left. Member of internationalist nucleus from August 1914, arrested immediately after Berne Conference, removed from Gleichheit in 1916. In USPD as Spartacist in 1917, declared solidarity with Bolsheviks. Not present at KPD(S) Founding Congress, joined Party some months later. Deputy, member of Zentrale, supported Levi in 1921 and Brandler in 1924. Was kept in KPD for prestige purposes, despite evident disagreements. Spent last years in Moscow; sympathised with Bukharinist right wing. Delivered opening speech in Reichstag in August 1932 with violent attack on Nazism. Died in Moscow.
1. These biographical details were compiled in 1971 and have not been updated for this edition.
Last updated on 13.2.2014