Who married Walter Ulbricht?
Lotte Ulbricht married Walter Ulbricht .
Walter Ernst Paul Ulbricht (German: [ˈvaltɐ ˈʊlbʁɪçt]; 30 June 1893 – 1 August 1973) was a German communist politician. Ulbricht played a leading role in the creation of the Weimar-era Communist Party of Germany (KPD) and later (after spending the years of Nazi rule in exile in France and the Soviet Union) in the early development and establishment of the German Democratic Republic in East Germany. As the First Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party from 1950 to 1971, he was the chief decision maker in East Germany. From President Wilhelm Pieck's death in 1960 on, he was also the East German head of state until his own death in 1973.
Ulbricht began his political life during the German Empire, when he joined first the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in 1912, the anti-World War I Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD) in 1917 and deserted the Imperial German Army in 1918. He joined the Communist Party of Germany in 1920 and became a leading party functionary, serving in its Central Committee from 1923 onward. After the Nazi takeover of Germany in 1933, Ulbricht lived in Paris and Prague from 1933 to 1937 and in the Soviet Union from 1937 to 1945.
After the end of World War II, Ulbricht re-organized the German Communist Party in the Soviet occupation zone along Stalinist lines. He played a key role in the forcible merger of the KPD and SPD into the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) in 1946. He became the First Secretary of the SED and effective leader of the recently established East Germany in 1950. The Soviet Army occupation force violently suppressed the uprising of 1953 in East Germany on 17 June 1953, while Ulbricht hid in the Soviet Army headquarters in Berlin-Karlshorst. East Germany joined the Soviet-controlled Warsaw Pact upon its founding in 1955. Ulbricht presided over the total suppression of civil and political rights in the East German state, which functioned as a one-party communist dictatorship from its founding in 1949 onward.
The nationalization of East German industry under Ulbricht failed to raise the standard of living to a level comparable to that of West Germany. The result was massive emigration, with hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the country to the west every year in the 1950s. When Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev gave permission for a wall to stop the outflow in Berlin, Ulbricht had the Berlin Wall built in 1961, which triggered a diplomatic crisis and succeeded in curtailing emigration. The failures of Ulbricht's New Economic System and Economic System of Socialism from 1963 to 1970 led to his forcible retirement for "health reasons" and replacement as First Secretary in 1971 by Erich Honecker with Soviet approval. Ulbricht suffered a stroke and died in 1973.Read more...
Lotte Ulbricht (19 April 1903 – 27 March 2002, born Charlotte Kühn) was a Socialist Unity Party of Germany official and the second wife of the East German leader Walter Ulbricht.
She was born the younger of two children in Rixdorf in 1903. Her father was an unskilled labourer and her mother a homeworker in Berlin. After attending primary and middle school, she worked as an office worker and a shorthand typist. In 1919, she joined the Free Socialist Youth movement, and in 1921, the Communist Party of Germany. She worked for the Party's central committee and in 1922-23, was a shorthand typist with the Communist Youth International (KJI) in Moscow. Kühn was thereafter a member of the central committee of the KPD and the KPD Reichstag group. In 1926-27 she was archivist with the KJI and then until 1931, secretary and shorthand typist at the Soviet Union's bureau of commerce in Berlin. In 1931, she emigrated to Moscow with her first husband, Erich Wendt. She became an instructor with the Comintern and completed a distance learning study at the Academy of Marxism-Leninism and an evening course at Moscow State University. Following the arrest of her husband in 1936 during the Stalinist purges, she divorced him the same year and was herself investigated. She remained under an official Party reprimand until 1938. From 1939 to 1941, she worked as a compositor at a foreign language printer, and later for the Comintern until 1945.
Kühn's older brother, Bruno, was discovered by the Gestapo in Amsterdam in 1943, working as a radio operator for the NKVD. He was executed in 1944, probably in Brussels.
Until 1947, she was a member of the central committee of the Communist Party. After 1947, she was a personal assistant to Walter Ulbricht, whom she knew from their time in Moscow, where they lived at the Hotel Lux, along with numerous other German exiles. After her 1953 marriage to Ulbricht, she resigned her job working for him and began studying at the Institute for Social Sciences, which awarded her a Social Sciences Diploma in 1959. During 1959-73, she was employed by the Institute for Marxism-Leninism, where, among other things, she was responsible for editing Walter Ulbricht's speeches and writings published by the Institute.
In addition, she was a member of the Women's Commission of the Secretariat of the Central Committee and of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. She retired in July 1973, a few weeks before the death of her husband. Lotte Ulbricht was much feted by the state and party leadership of East Germany, including in 1959, 1963, and 1978 the Fatherland Order of Merit, in 1969 and 1983 the Order of Karl Marx, and in 1988 the Grand Star of Friendship of Nations.
In a rare interview, after German reunification, in 1990, she complained that "Honecker wasted my husband's inheritance".
On March 27, 2002, she struggled out of her wheelchair and shuffled to a ladder propped against a bookcase. She climbed to look for a book on an upper shelf, crashed to the floor, and died that night. She lived at 12 Majakowskiring Street, Pankow, Berlin. She and Walter adopted a Russian girl, Beate Ulbricht (1944-1991).Read more...