Ernst Brandt

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Ernst Friedrich Brandt (born November 19, 1896 in Magdeburg , † December 17, 1956 in Magdeburg) was a KPD functionary and Minister for Agriculture and Forestry in Saxony-Anhalt .


Ernst Brandt was born the son of a locksmith. After attending primary school, he completed an apprenticeship as a locksmith in the R. Wolf machine factory from 1911 to 1915 . Brandt joined the German Metalworkers' Association during his apprenticeship . In 1915 he was drafted into the military and in 1916 he was taken prisoner by the French. Brandt was released in 1919 and returned to his homeland. He worked for R. Wolf, where he became a shop steward and then a member of the works council . During the Kapp Putsch in 1920 he became a member of the USPD , but converted to the KPD in May of the same year. From 1927 to 1928 he was the Gau Treasurer of the Red Front Fighters Association for the Gau Magdeburg-Anhalt. In 1928 Brandt took on a first position in his party and was secretary for trade union work in the KPD district leadership in Magdeburg-Anhalt until 1931. In 1929 he attended the Reich Party School of the KPD in Fichtenau near Berlin and took on the role of technical director of the Red Front Fighters Association in the Magdeburg-Anhalt district. From November 1929 he also represented his party in Magdeburg's city parliament until the KPD was banned in 1933. In 1930 Brandt was expelled from the German Metalworkers' Association for oppositional activities. He became a member of the KPD-affiliated Revolutionary Trade Union Opposition (RGO) and worked for them from 1931 to 1933 as a full-time secretary for the Magdeburg district and from 1932 as union chairman of the KPD district leadership. In the Reichstag election in July 1932 , Brandt was able to win a Reichstag mandate for the KPD in the Magdeburg constituency .

National Socialism

After the National Socialists came to power, he distributed illegal pamphlets to KPD instructors and tried to get in touch with local KPD groups. On May 23, 1933 Brandt was initially taken into so-called protective custody in the Berlin police prison . Until April 1934 he was in the Sonnenburg concentration camp , the Esterwegen concentration camp and the Börgermoor concentration camp . On May 29, 1934, he was sentenced to three years in prison for preparing high treason by the Dessau Superior Court. He served this sentence in Coswig (Anhalt) and Luckau until May 1936 . So-called protective custody followed in Lichtenburg concentration camp and the Gestapo headquarters in Berlin until August 1937 . He then found another job as a locksmith, but was arrested again on September 1, 1939 at his workplace in a Krupp assembly hall and again taken into protective custody. He was in Buchenwald concentration camp from September 1939 to May 1943 , where he was a member of the Dreierkopf of the illegal KPD camp leadership. His release was subject to the customary requirement to report regularly to the Gestapo and to report any resistance activities immediately. He returned to his old job. Brandt made contact with a resistance group around Martin Schwantes . In March 1944 he was arrested again and spent the time until November 1944 in Neuengamme concentration camp . On November 28, 1944, he was transferred to the police prison in Magdeburg. The Gestapo interrogated him about his contacts with Martin Schwantes. He was released from prison on March 14, 1945. At that time, Lemsdorfer Weg 10 in Magdeburg-Sudenburg was specified as the apartment . In 1945 there is said to have been an indictment before the People's Court of illegal work against National Socialism. In April 1945 US troops moved into Magdeburg.

post war period

After the liberation, Brandt was first secretary of the KPD sub-district leadership in Magdeburg. He was instrumental in rebuilding the KPD party structures and in the unification of the SPD and KPD in the Magdeburg area. At a meeting at the Magdeburg Police Headquarters, Brandt agreed with the Magdeburg Social Democrats under Ernst Thape , with whom he was imprisoned in Buchenwald, that a “real unit of action” had to arise between the SPD and the KPD. After clarifying fundamental questions that are still open, a unity party should be aimed for. On June 17, 1945, Thape and Brandt became equal chairmen of the Committee of Ten , which was supposed to coordinate the work of both parties in the Magdeburg region. Both officials also took part in the Sixties Conference preparing the unification of the parties . From the social democratic side, however, increasingly unfair actions of the KPD, pressure from members who were skeptical of a unit and preferential treatment of the communist party by the Soviet military administration were deplored. Brandt is said to have tried to be honest with the Social Democrats. After the founding of the SED in the course of the forced unification of the SPD and KPD to form the SED , he was elected chairman of the SED district association in Magdeburg. Hermann Prübenau was co-chairman from the social democratic side . The news magazine Der Spiegel referred to Brandt as a loopy fox in 1950 and described an action by Brandt in which he unexpectedly burst a delegation of workers from the Krupp-Gruson factory into a feast in Prübenau. He held this office until 1947. After that, an SED state secretariat was formed and Brandt headed its Magdeburg branch. After the dissolution of the district secretariat, a new post was found for Brandt in the state government of Saxony-Anhalt. From June 28, 1948, he took over the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the State of Saxony-Anhalt from Erich Damerow . For this reason, he resigned the city council mandate he had obtained in 1946 on July 14, 1948.

At the same time, after the first state elections in autumn 1946, Brandt entered the state parliament as a member of the SED. In 1949 he was also elected by the 3rd German People's Congress as a member of the 2nd German People's Council. After the war, Brandt lived at Lilienweg 96 in Magdeburg-Reform , later at Liebknechtstraße 50 in Magdeburg-Stadtfeld Ost .

After the second state elections in October 1950, Brandt was not taken into account again in the formation of the new state government. On the contrary: Brandt was relieved of all offices and party functions in November 1950. The exact background is unclear. Since 1945 there had been allegations that he was responsible for breaking up the Schwantes group. However, a first check after July 1, 1945 had exonerated him. In April 1946 he was briefly arrested for the same reason, but after which he was rehabilitated. It is assumed that the dismissal was brought about by a decision by Walter Ulbricht and that it was caused by differences in content, especially in the party leadership's fight against so-called reconciliation , which meant alleged weaknesses in dealing with social democratic positions.

First he found a job from April to June 1951 as cultural director at VEB Dampfkesselbau Hohenthurm . On June 27, 1951, however, the State Security arrested Ernst Brandt and took him to the Roter Ochse prison in Halle. He was accused of violating laws and ordinances of the People's Chamber and the GDR government during his tenure as minister . Furthermore, he would have to answer for sabotage and overexploitation of the native forests due to insufficient supervision . Brandt was released in November 1951 without a conviction.

After his imprisonment, Brandt took on various activities in Halle's mechanical engineering companies in 1952. From 1952 to 1956 he was plant manager at VEB Maschinenfabrik Halle. From 1953 he held party functions again in the city, later in the Halle district. Brandt, however, was subject to constant investigation by the Central Party Control Commission .


In his hometown Magdeburg a street ( Ernst-Brandt-Straße ) and a polytechnic high school ( POS "Ernst Brandt" ) in the Salbke district were named after him. A rest home in Tanne (Harz) bore his name. However, after the political turning point in 1989, the institutions were given new names.


  • Beatrix Herlemann : Brandt, Ernst. In: Guido Heinrich, Gunter Schandera (ed.): Magdeburg Biographical Lexicon 19th and 20th centuries. Biographical lexicon for the state capital Magdeburg and the districts of Bördekreis, Jerichower Land, Ohrekreis and Schönebeck. Scriptum, Magdeburg 2002, ISBN 3-933046-49-1 , p. 87.
  • Christina Trittel: The members of the first state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt 1946–1952. Magdeburg 2007
  • Michael Viebig, Daniel Bohse, Justice under National Socialism. About crimes in the name of the German people. Saxony-Anhalt , 2015, ISBN 978-3-9813459-0-2 , page 300 f.
  • Brandt, Ernst . In: Hermann Weber , Andreas Herbst : German Communists. Biographisches Handbuch 1918 to 1945. 2nd, revised and greatly expanded edition. Dietz, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-320-02130-6 .
  • Manual of the State Parliament of Saxony-Anhalt, Mitteldeutsche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH Halle (Saale) 1947, page 199
  • Short biographies of Magdeburg resistance fighters , editor of the Commission for Research into the History of the Local Labor Movement at the Magdeburg City Administration of the SED, Working Group on Memories and Biographies, without a year, around 1976, page 7 f.

Web links

  • Ernst Brandt in the database of members of the Reichstag
  • Ernst Brandt at (accessed on November 6, 2017).

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Michael Viebig, Daniel Bohse, Justice in National Socialism. About crimes in the name of the German people. Saxony-Anhalt , 2015, ISBN 978-3-9813459-0-2 , page 300
  2. ^ Handbook of the State Parliament of Saxony-Anhalt, Mitteldeutsche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH Halle (Saale) 1947, page 199
  3. ^ Michael Viebig, Daniel Bohse, Justice in National Socialism. About crimes in the name of the German people. Saxony-Anhalt , 2015, ISBN 978-3-9813459-0-2 , page 300
  4. Wolfgang Roll, Social Democrats in Buchenwald Concentration Camp 1937-1945 , Wallstein Verlag, 2000, ISBN 978-3-89244-417-6 , page 130
  5. Andreas Schmidt, "- Mitfahren or thrown" the compulsory union of KPD and SPD in the province of Saxony / in the state of Saxony-Anhalt 1945-1949 , LIT Verlag Münster 2004, ISBN 978-3-8258-7066-9 , page 77
  6. ^ Certificate of discharge from March 14, 1945 printed by Helmut Asmus, 1200 Years Magdeburg 1945-2005 , page 73
  7. ^ Handbook of the State Parliament of Saxony-Anhalt, Mitteldeutsche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH Halle (Saale) 1947, page 199
  8. Helmut Asmus, 1200 Years Magdeburg 1945-2005 , page 80
  9. Helmut Asmus, 1200 Years Magdeburg 1945-2005 , page 117
  10. MAGDEBURG: Bunny, it stinks here . In: Der Spiegel . No. 19 , 1950 ( online ).
  11. ^ Handbook of the Landtag Saxony-Anhalt, Mitteldeutsche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH Halle (Saale) 1947
  12. ^ Address book of the city of Magdeburg 1950-51, part I, page 60
  13. Andreas Schmidt: "- Mitfahren or thrown" the compulsory unification of KPD and SPD in the province of Saxony / in the state of Saxony-Anhalt 1945-1949 . LIT Verlag, Münster 2004, ISBN 978-3-8258-7066-9 , page 78
  14. Helmut Asmus: 1200 years Magdeburg 1945-2005 . Page 228