Alfred Neumann (politician, 1909)

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Portrait photo of Neumann 1984

Alfred "Ali" Neumann (born December 15, 1909 in Schöneberg ; † January 4, 2001 in Berlin ) was a German politician, member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the SED and 1965–1968 Minister for Materials Management of the GDR .


Neumann completed an apprenticeship as a carpenter. In 1919 he joined the workers' sports club "Fichte" , which in 1928 became a member of the Kampfgemeinschaft für Rote Sporteinheit (KG). Neumann became a member of the KPD in 1929 and in 1930 a member of the regional management of the KG.

From 1933 to 1934 he worked illegally with Karl Maron for the KG. In 1934 he emigrated to the USSR via Sweden and Finland , where he worked as a sports teacher . In 1938 he was expelled from the USSR for lack of Soviet citizenship. He managed to come to Spain , where he took part in the Spanish Civil War as a member of the International Brigades . In 1939 he was arrested and interned in France, extradited to the Gestapo in 1941 and sentenced by the People's Court in 1942 to eight years in prison for high treason . In February 1945 he was transferred from Brandenburg-Görden to the SS Penal Battalion Dirlewanger , where he managed to escape. He was taken prisoner by the Soviets and was held in various prison camps until 1947.

After his return to Germany he joined the SED and was an administrative employee and SED functionary at the district level in Berlin, a. a. in Berlin-Neukölln . Arrested there in March 1949 for violating the Control Council Act. He had a black, red and gold flag from the party office in Neukölln's Karl-Marx-Straße . hanged. The trial took place in an American court. He was then released on bail. In 1949 he became secretary for propaganda of the SED regional leadership in Berlin, from 1951 to 1953 he was deputy mayor of East Berlin and from 1953 to 1957 as successor to Hans Jendretzky first secretary of the SED district leadership in Berlin.

Since 1949 Neumann has been a member of the People's Chamber , since 1954 a member of the Central Committee and a candidate, since February 1958 a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the SED. From 1957 to 1961 he was Secretary of the Central Committee of the SED, from 1961 to 1965 Chairman of the Economics Council and from 1965 to 1968 Minister for Materials Management. Since 1962 he was a member of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers, since 1968 one of the first two deputy chairmen of the Council of Ministers.

Neumann played an important role in tackling and implementing the New Economic System of Planning and Management (NÖSPL). When Walter Ulbricht was overthrown by Erich Honecker in 1971, Neumann was the only important politburo member at the time to refuse to sign a secret "request" to the Soviet leadership to replace Ulbricht because he was on Ulbricht's side in terms of content and concept. Erich Honecker never forgot this. Neumann remained an uncomfortable opponent of Honecker until the end, but never appeared against him in public.

In 1989 he resigned with the Council of Ministers, became part of the Politburo and on 20/21. January 1990 excluded from the SED-PDS . Since 1992 he has been investigated because of his membership in the National Defense Council of the GDR for "manslaughter and bodily harm on the inner-German border". In 1999 the 23rd criminal chamber of the Berlin district court closed the case without initiating a main hearing.


Neumann received the Patriotic Order of Merit in gold in 1956 and 1964 , the Order of Labor Banner in 1959 and the Karl Marx Order in 1984 .


  • Confidence in the strength of the working class: selected speeches. Dietz-Verlag, Berlin 1975
  • Work for socialism: selected speeches. Dietz-Verlag, Berlin 1979
  • Strengthening the GDR - securing peace: selected speeches. Dietz-Verlag, Berlin 1984


Web links

Commons : Alfred Neumann  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Exclusion. The Politburo in front of the party court
  2. ^ New Germany , October 7, 1956, p. 7
  3. ^ New Germany, October 6, 1964, p. 5
  4. ^ Order "Banner of Labor" for Alfred Neumann , In: Neues Deutschland, December 16, 1959, p. 1
  5. Congratulations for Alfred Neumann , In: Neue Zeit , December 17, 1984, p. 1