Ernst Reuter

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ernst Reuter bust in Berlin-Gesundbrunnen (sculptor: Harald Haacke , photo: 1955)

Ernst Rudolf Johannes Reuter (born July 29, 1889 in Aabenraa , Schleswig-Holstein province ; † September 29, 1953 in West Berlin ) was a German politician and local scientist . Reuter became known as the elected Lord Mayor of Berlin at the time of the division of the city in 1948.

Raised in a middle-class background, Reuter turned to socialism during his studies . From 1912 he belonged to the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and worked for them as a traveling speaker and journalist . After falling into Russian captivity during the First World War , he placed himself in the service of the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution and in 1918 worked as People's Commissar in the settlement area of ​​the Volga Germans in Saratov . From 1919 until his exclusion in 1922 he was a member of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). He held the post of general secretary of this party from August to December 1921.

Via the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD), Reuter came back to the SPD in 1922, for which he became Berlin's city councilor for transport in 1926. In 1931 he moved to Magdeburg as the mayor of that city. After his removal from office by the National Socialists and two concentration camps imprisonment, Reuter went into exile in Turkey in 1935 .

At the end of 1946 Reuter returned to Berlin and served as city councilor for transport and utilities. In post-war Berlin he quickly developed into the most important social democratic politician. The Soviet occupying power did not recognize his election as mayor by the Berlin city council in June 1947 . During the Berlin blockade , Reuter rose to become the internationally known representative of Berlin. After the split of the city, he only exercised his office as governing mayor in the western sectors . He campaigned for the establishment of a West German state and ensured a close connection between West Berlin and the Federal Republic.

Bourgeois origin and path to socialism

Family and school time

Ernst Reuter, seven years old

Ernst Reuter was the fifth son of Wilhelm Reuter (1838–1926). He already had two sons from his first marriage (one was Otto Sigfrid Reuter ). With his second wife, Karoline Reuter (1851–1941), née Hagemann, he had four sons, of which Ernst was the second youngest. Both the father and the mother came from bourgeois Protestant families in northern Germany . In 1889 his father was a teacher at the Royal Prussian Navigation School in Aabenraa. In 1892 he moved to Leer in East Frisia to teach there as the head of the helmsman's class at the navigation school. Since the Reuters were not long-established residents of the small town of Leer, they were respected, but lived largely in isolation.

The father's salary served not only to secure a livelihood but also to build up reserves that were intended for the education of the sons. Family life was characterized by modesty. Father and mother both attached great importance to Christian values , classical humanistic education, patriotism , motivation and the fulfillment of duty. One of the interests that Ernst Reuter developed as a schoolboy and teenager was a passion for books, especially those by ancient authors. Geography, philosophy and history were also attractive. In addition to these intellectual preferences, there was a tendency to explore nature and landscape. In March 1907 he received his secondary school leaving certificate in Leer .


In the spring of 1907, Reuter began studying history , German and geography at the Philipps University of Marburg . Among the professors who shaped him were the neo-Kantians Paul Natorp and above all Hermann Cohen . Reuter was particularly inspired by Kant's Code of Duties , which complemented the Lutheran legacy of his parental home. At the same time, the Neo-Kantians promoted the high esteem for freedom , which Reuter shaped for life. In addition to the philosophical insights that these representatives of the Marburg School imparted to him, another study experience was of lasting importance: A seminar on Bismarck's thoughts and memories and the background to the Emser Depesche made him develop contempt for the political methods of the long-time Reich Chancellor , an attitude which brought him into opposition to contemporary Bismarck veneration.

From 1907 Reuter was a member of the non-beating student association SBV Frankonia Marburg in the Christian-oriented Schwarzburgbund . He was less concerned with the ritualized life of communion and more with opportunities to discuss political and philosophical issues together. Reuter got the reputation of wanting to lead the connection to the left, which led to considerable differences with other members and finally induced him to change the place of study.

In the spring of 1909 matriculated he at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich . One of his Munich teachers was Lujo Brentano , a leading representative of the so-called Kathedersozialisten , who dealt in their works with the social consequences of the prevailing industrial society . At the same time, Reuter dealt intensively with the history of materialism , a major work by the philosopher Friedrich Albert Lange . Reuter also received other leading protagonists of social reforms, such as the social liberal Friedrich Naumann and the revisionist social democrat Eduard Bernstein .

In Munich , Reuter initially continued his connection life. Here, too, with his interests in contemporary discussions, he encountered the reluctance of members of the SBV Herminonia Munich , also a connection that belonged to the Schwarzburgbund. Because of these conflicts, Reuter and like-minded people suspended his liaison activities in the winter semester. The time gained in this way he invested in reading the socialist monthly , the theoretical organ of social democratic revisionism . At the same time he showed a keen interest in the speeches of leading social democratic parliamentarians in the German Reichstag . In addition to studying and politics, Reuter also made use of the diverse cultural offers of the Bavarian metropolis.

When Reuter returned to Marburg in 1910 , he had turned into a socialist . Increasing internal debates about the admissibility of social democratic engagement of individual members caused Reuter to move to Münster . There he intended to prepare for his state examination. In Munster the final break with Frankonia followed, to which he had again counted in Marburg and Munster. At the same time he met Henriette (“Henny”) Meyer, who lived in the same house as Reuter. The couple got engaged on July 15, 1912 after Ernst Reuter had passed his state examination in Marburg in the first days of July.

Even in the final phase of his studies, Reuter had strong doubts whether he would be able to reconcile it with his conscience to exercise the teaching profession in the Prussian civil service. Instead, he thought of ways to become active within the social democratic labor movement and thus to contribute to the implementation of his ideals. Reuter had concealed from his parents his turn to socialism, which went hand in hand with an increasing distance from the church.

Social democratic engagement in Bielefeld and Berlin

Ernst Reuter as speaker of the church exit movement, announcement of an event at the end of 1913

Reuter joined the SPD in 1912. His parents ended their financial support after he revealed to them that he was looking for a career in the labor movement. In the same year, Reuter worked as a private tutor in Bielefeld . At the same time he tried to get a permanent position in the social democratic education system. At the beginning of 1913, his employer gave him his job as a private tutor after he learned that Reuter was active in the Bielefeld SPD, including through contributions to the local party newspaper, the Volkswacht . Reuter then made a makeshift livelihood by giving lectures to the trade unions , the party and the workers' abstainer association. His fiancée's father broke off the engagement in August 1913 due to the political stance of Reuters, of which he had been informed by letter from his parents, and due to the uncertain financial situation Reuters. All attempts by the couple to maintain contact were stopped by Henriette's father.

Reuter accepted a one-month post as a social democratic traveling speaker, which temporarily improved his financial situation. In October 1913 he held lectures in the Palatinate on the political significance of the wars of freedom of 1813 . In August 1913 he moved from Bielefeld to Berlin to continue his attempts to establish himself in the socialist labor movement. Through the mediation of Heinrich Pëus , a member of the Reichstag known to him from Bielefeld , Reuter got a part-time job at the Konfessionslos committee , an umbrella organization of the church leaving movement under the leadership of Otto Lehmann-Rußbüldt and Kurt von Tepper-Laski . His hope remained that he would be able to work for the SPD as a permanent traveling speaker from autumn 1914. In the course of 1914 he was active as a speaker and gave lectures on various topics in Berlin, Dresden , Anhalt and Silesia . In the summer of 1914 he completed a long lecture tour in the Ruhr area and spoke under the title From Russian Dungeons about the situation of political prisoners in Tsarist Russia .

World War and Captivity

Confederation New Fatherland

The mood at the beginning of the First World War, described as “ August experience ” , initially largely silenced many opponents of the political structures of the German Empire , pacifists and also opposition Social Democrats. Proponents of an emphatic military power politics and propagandists of extensive annexations initially set the tone. When the Western Front froze in trench warfare after the battles on the Marne and in Flanders , the situation gradually began to change. In November 1914, Ernst Reuter was a consistent opponent of the war and co-founded the Bund Neues Vaterland (BNV). In the first years of the war, the BNV developed into a platform for pacifists from different political directions, ranging from a few diplomats to well-known representatives of social democracy. He tried to work towards a quick peace agreement through pamphlets and memoranda, thereby overcoming national politics in favor of a European union. Ernst Reuter worked together with Lilli Jannasch as managing director of the BNV and at the beginning of 1915 wrote an anonymously published memorandum that criticized German pre-war diplomacy. It was aimed at selected representatives of public life and diplomats. The memorandum aroused overwhelming indignation in the Foreign Office . Other addressees such as Eduard Bernstein and Richard Witting from the National Bank, however, sought contact with the BNV. The former German ambassador in London , Karl Max von Lichnowsky , also a sharp critic of pre-war diplomacy, had a one-hour conversation with Reuter based on the memorandum. Reuter did not take part in further discussions that were held between BNV representatives and interested addressees of the study in March 1915. He had left Berlin on March 22, 1915 to obey his call-up .

Military service

The anti-militarist Reuter did not experience his recruitment period as physical torture. In letters, however, he criticized the harassment many of his comrades were exposed to by the instructors. Reuter spent vacation days in Berlin. There he obtained information from the BNV about the latest political and military developments, about which the press could hardly find anything. In the spring of 1916, Reuter, who increasingly felt that everyday military training was dull, volunteered for the front. From April 1916 he served on the Western Front , where he experienced trench warfare and material battles . At the end of July, his troops were relocated to the Eastern Front to repel the Brusilov offensive . On August 10, 1916, he suffered severe wounds - bullets and a broken femur - and was taken prisoner by Russia .


A transport that lasted for weeks took Reuter via Yekaterinoslav , Odessa and Moscow to a hospital in Nizhny Novgorod . There his wounds slowly healed. From then on, however, he had to rely on a stick when walking because his right leg was shortened.

Reuter was released from the hospital in November 1916 and sent to the Pereslavl-Zalessky prison camp. Reuter used the convalescence and imprisonment time to learn the Russian language . Soon he was translating the latest news from the Russian press to his fellow prisoners. As these newspapers announced the fall of the Tsar by the February Revolution , Reuter's hopes grew for an improvement in the prison camps and for further major political changes in Russia and beyond across Europe. He saw the increasing influence of the Bolsheviks as a sign that the Russian people would now take their fate into their own hands.

Due to his language skills and his political convictions, his fellow prisoners elected Reuter to a commission that was supposed to negotiate with the administration about the prison conditions. However, these negotiations were unsuccessful, as was a corresponding letter from Reuters to the Provisional Government .

In mid-1917, Reuter was one of those prisoners who were to be included in a prisoner exchange as members of the military who were no longer fit to fight. For this reason he was brought to Moscow. But Reuter himself was not part of the group that could actually travel home to Germany via Sweden . Instead, at the end of August 1917, he was sent to a camp near Savinka, a village in Tula Governorate . There Reuter was used to do physical work in a mine.

Revolutionary on the Volga

Representatives of the prisoners of war

The October Revolution of 1917 also meant a fundamental change in his living conditions for Reuter. Reuter welcomed the revolution and now hoped to be able to work actively on a more just, socialist society. At the same time he was impressed by the will of the Bolsheviks to quickly make peace with the Central Powers .

Reuter, along with two other people, was appointed managing director of the mine in which he had previously had to work. Reuter quickly took on the responsibility of getting the miners the necessary food and medication in the increasingly disorganized country. He belonged to a group of three representatives of the local Workers 'and Soldiers' Council who traveled to Tula to negotiate this matter with the Territorial Soviet. Here he made himself known to the Bolsheviks for the first time as a Russian-speaking German Social Democrat. A little later they took him to Moscow and in February 1918 appointed him chairman of an international prisoner committee they supported.

In his political work among the prisoners of war in the period up to the conclusion of the peace of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918, Reuter's aim was to train revolutionaries who were supposed to help put socialist visions into practice in a political upheaval in Germany. He spoke out against the idea of ​​using these prisoners of war as resources for a new revolutionary Russian armed force, the Red Army .

People's Commissar on the Volga

In April 1918 Reuter resigned from political work with prisoners of war. Lenin , Stalin and other leading Bolsheviks commissioned him to set up an autonomous administration for the German settlers on the Volga , which should be loyal to the new rulers in Moscow. Stalin informed the Soviet authorities in Saratov on the Volga at the end of April 1918 by telegram of the establishment of a Volga commissioner for German affairs , thus paving the way for Reuter.

Reuter's task was to make the German colonists loyal citizens of the emerging Soviet state. Socialist school lessons in German should make a special contribution to this. Furthermore, the supply of the big cities, especially Moscow and Petrograd , had to be guaranteed with grain from this surplus region - an elementary task in times of the Russian civil war . After all, one of Reuter's duties was to have fruitful contact with representatives of imperial Germany, who represented Reich German interests in the area of ​​the Volga Germans on the basis of the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk. He and his comrades-in-arms were, however, urged to prevent these Reich representatives from developing or fomenting any counterrevolutionary activities.

The Volga Commissariat ensured that on June 30, 1918 the first Volga German Soviet Congress met in Saratov. This decided to hold elections for village soviets in the colonists' villages, who were supposed to tackle a socialist land reform. As in the surrounding Russian agricultural areas, there were also conflicts in the Volga German villages over the requisitioning of agricultural products by Russian revolutionaries. On July 26, 1918, a government resolution co-signed by Lenin stipulated that all contributions , confiscations and requisitions would in future only be permitted with the consent of the German Volga Commissioner.

By the second Volga-German Soviet Congress, held in Seelmann on October 20, 1918, the Volga region was administratively and politically consolidated under Reuter's leadership. It was considered a model for the establishment of other autonomous areas . This congress - in contrast to the first, now dominated by communists and the forces sympathizing with them - expressed confidence in the commissariat for the work that had been done and elected an executive who again chaired Reuter. Immediately after the meeting ended, Reuter left for Moscow on October 24, 1918 to attend the sixth All-Union Congress of Soviets. He never returned to the Volga, because news of the German November Revolution reached him in Moscow . At the end of 1918, Lenin Reuter recommended Clara Zetkin to the founding party conference of the KPD with the words: "The young Reuter is a brilliant and clear head, but a little too independent."

KPD functionary

Party building in Upper Silesia and Berlin

Together with Karl Radek and Felix Wolf , Reuter crossed the border at Eydtkuhnen on his return trip from Russia in December 1918 . He arrived in Berlin over the Christmas period and moved into the room that he had lived in until 1915. On January 7, 1920 Reuter married Lotte Krappek, the foster daughter of his Berlin landlady. This marriage resulted in two children, Hella (1920–1983) and Gerd Harry (1921–1992), who became a British citizen in exile in England and was a professor of mathematics.

Reuter took part in the founding congress of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) at the turn of the year 1918/19, but not as a delegate of the Spartakusbund , but like Wolf and Radek as a representative of the Russian Soviet power.

His first party mandate was to build a powerful communist party apparatus in the region of Upper Silesia , which had been destabilized by the uprisings . From March 1919 he began to implement this order there, using the code name Friesland because the party's open political work was not possible due to the state of siege in the region . This camouflage did not last long, because after a few weeks Reuter was denounced and arrested. In Beuthen , an extraordinary court martial sentenced him to three months in prison for holding a political meeting despite the ban. After serving this prison term, he was released in the late summer of 1919, visited his parents in Aurich, and returned to Berlin in October 1919.

His second party commission made him the task of organizing the Berlin section of the KPD. He devoted himself to this task as Berlin District Secretary for the following year and a half. This happened at a time in which the young party suffered severely from bans, internal conflicts of direction and also a far-reaching lack of leadership after the exponents of its founding phase , Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht , fell victim to political murders in January 1919 in the wake of the failed January uprising were. His leading position in the Berlin party apparatus paved Reuter's way to the top of the party. The delegates of the third party congress of the KPD elected him at the end of February 1920 as a substitute in the party headquarters.

In the course of the Kapp Putsch , Reuter spoke out against supporting the general strike, which was supposed to force the putschists to give up. The workers should not stand up for the protection of the republic. In addition, it is not yet ready for a revolution and for the implementation of a soviet republic . From then on, Reuter was counted on the left wing of the KPD. After the left wing of the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD) merged with the KPD in autumn 1920 and the new party of the Communist International (Comintern) joined, the German Communists had the desired mass base. Within the party, which initially operated under the name of the United Communist Party of Germany (VKPD), Reuter became chairman and first secretary of the Berlin-Brandenburg district.

March action, general secretary and break with the communists

Railway attack during the March campaign

Under Reuter's leadership, this party district was one of the sharp criticisms of party chairman Paul Levi , after he wanted to set the party on a course of the united front and a phase of renouncing revolutionary actions against the republic. Levi resigned in the wake of these conflicts and the party dared - massively harassed by the Comintern - then in March 1921 the March action . This attempted uprising in central Germany was quickly put down. Reuter approved the uprising. Even in the weeks of passionate internal party controversy, he defended this revolutionary offensive strategy. He only turned around after Lenin and Trotsky on the III. The World Congress of the Comintern in July 1921 condemned the March action in the strongest form and called for a period of renunciation of attempts at overthrow and organizational consolidation. Furthermore, Lenin and other leading Bolsheviks had convinced Reuter in lengthy discussions of the necessity of a change in policy by the German communists. These experiences at the Moscow Congress turned Reuter from a representative of the left to a spokesman for the right.

Endowed with the trust of the Russian party leaders and after an urgent appeal to overcome internal conflicts of direction, the delegates of the Jena party congress of the VKPD elected Reuter as general secretary of the party in August 1921, Ernst Meyer remained party chairman. Reuter was only able to hold onto his post for a short time. Conflicts with the Comintern became apparent as early as September 1921, because it repeatedly wanted to exert pressure on the German Communists with appeals, slogans, campaigns and open letters, although Reuter and with him the newly elected party leadership took on the influence of the Comintern and the Reds Trade Union International (RGI) banned. On November 21, 1921, Wilhelm Pieck and Fritz Heckert attacked Reuter at a leadership meeting of the VKPD with the accusation that his stance hindered the Comintern. Hugo Eberlein's application to make Pieck the successor to Reuters in the office of general secretary failed, however.

On November 25, 1921, the social democratic party newspaper Vorwärts published documents that proved that the VKPD had used strategies of provocation in the run-up to and in the course of the March campaign. The party's military-political apparatus, led by Eberlein, had prepared bomb attacks. The targets of these attacks were a munitions factory and a consumer cooperative in Halle . Two communist district leaders were also supposed to be kidnapped. The provocateurs then wanted to blame these criminal acts on the " reaction " in order to fuel the fighting spirit of the proletariat. When this strategy became known through the revelations of the Forward, large sections of the working class were indignant.

Reuter was also indignant and repeatedly advocated a relentless internal party clarification of the background and main actors of this strategy. Those responsible for such plans would have to resign. Reuter's demand contradicted the party leadership, which shied away from open debate and heralded critics such as Levi, who has since been ousted from the party. Reuter's insistence on criticism and personal consequences would also have resulted in a break with the Comintern, which the majority of the party leadership did not want to risk. Instead, on December 13, 1921, she abolished the office of general secretary, thus depriving Reuter of power. On January 23, 1922, Reuters was expelled from the party after he continued to mobilize party members and officials to hold those responsible for the March action to account and to put a stop to the influence of the Comintern. This exclusion from the party ended the so-called Friesland Crisis , which the party had got into since December 13, 1921.

Social democratic local politician in Berlin and Magdeburg

Journalist and city councilor

After being expelled from the VKPD, Reuter initially earned his living by contributing to the weekly Berlin supplement to the metal workers' newspaper. In addition, there was income from presentations and training courses at trade union events. In April 1922, on the recommendation of the metal workers' association , he finally got a job in the editorial office of Freedom , the then central organ of the USPD, which Reuter had recently joined. After the majority of the rest of the USPD returned to the SPD in October 1922, he became the editor of Vorwärts .

In his journalistic work, Reuter took up local political issues more often . He was able to use his experience as a member of the Berlin city council , to which he had been elected as a communist functionary in the summer of 1921. In a series of articles, speeches and lectures he repeatedly demanded reasonable tariffs so that the costs of municipal companies could be covered. At the same time, he asked these companies to operate more economically. Reuter developed particular interest in questions of inner-city traffic in the rapidly growing metropolis of Berlin. He linked his political work as a representative of the city council in the traffic deputation with his journalistic work.

In addition to articles devoted to local politics, Reuter wrote analyzes on developments in the camp of the communist parties and the situation of the KPD. They were not only printed in Vorwärts, but also in the magazine Die Glocke , a social democratic medium published by Alexander Parvus . Reuter sharply criticized the policies of the KPD in his articles. In 1923 he attested the communists an worship of military force, in which they would resemble their antipodes on the right-hand side of the political spectrum. A year later he wrote that socialism and communism did not confront each other as hostile brothers, but as movements completely alien.

The crisis year 1923 - characterized among other things by the occupation of the Ruhr and the discovery of the activities of illegal paramilitary formations such as the " Black Reichswehr ", through attempts at communist insurrection in Central Germany and Hamburg as well as the Hitler putsch and hyperinflation - made Reuter believe that a stable democratic state is necessary in order to gradually find the way to socialism on this basis.

Berlin City Councilor for Transport

In the late summer of 1926, the SPD appointed Ernst Reuter for the post of paid city councilor for transport, and in October of the same year he was elected unanimously. The following spring, Reuter divorced his first wife Lotte. Shortly afterwards he married Hanna Kleinert from Hanover , a politically interested daughter from social democratic parents who worked as a secretary at Vorwärts . Reuter's second marriage resulted in a son in 1928, Edzard Reuter , who was Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler-Benz AG from 1987 to 1995 .

Reuter set himself the goal of adapting the Berlin transport system to the requirements of a modern metropolis - with the emergence of Greater Berlin , the Reich capital had advanced to become the third largest city in the world. Urban planning and transport policy in Berlin should go hand in hand in order to do justice to the housing and mobility interests of as many residents as possible. Efficient local transport should ensure mobility between the outskirts and the city center. Reuter brought the endeavors to localize private Berlin transport companies and to integrate the Deutsche Reichsbahn ( S-Bahn ) into a comprehensive system of local public transport . Such a system was seen as a prerequisite for uniform and affordable prices. The various modes of transport - tram , bus and underground - were successfully integrated in several steps , until the Berliner Verkehrs-AG (BVG), at that time the largest local public transport company in the world, began operations on January 1, 1929 . Reuter took over the post of chairman of the board of this company.

Reuter was convinced that the future would belong to the automobile . At the same time, as the person responsible for Berlin's transport policy, he pushed for the expansion of the metro system in the city - local public transport should not clog Berlin's streets, and there had to be an inexpensive alternative to the automobile that could be used by the masses. Before 1914, the subway network had a total length of around 36 kilometers. In the years of the Weimar Republic this number was almost doubled, with a large part of this expansion falling during Reuter's tenure as city councilor for transport. Reuter's ambitious plans - the network that existed when he took office was to be expanded by 38 kilometers - failed, however, because the outbreak of the global economic crisis made all the relevant financial planning waste. From 1930 the construction of the subway in Berlin largely stagnated.

Lord Mayor of Magdeburg

Hermann Beims , Lord Mayor of Magdeburg since 1919 , was one of the few social democratic mayors in Prussia. When he announced at the end of 1930 that he would retire from his office for reasons of age, the Magdeburg SPD could not agree on a successor from its own ranks and therefore turned to the SPD party executive. The party chairman Otto Wels suggested Reuter. On April 29, 1931, the Magdeburg city council elected Reuter mayor for twelve years with 38 of 66 votes.

In Magdeburg, as everywhere in Germany, strong forces of political disintegration emerged during the years of the global economic crisis. In the days of the mayoral election, the KPD attacked Reuter, whom it blamed for mismanagement in Berlin's transport system. The right-wing parties , i.e. the German People's Party (DVP), the German National People's Party (DNVP) and the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), untruthfully accused him, as People's Commissar, of atrocities in the settlement area of ​​the Volga Germans. This political situation was joined by a broken municipal budget: a third of all expenses had to be used for recipients of support due to the rapidly increasing unemployment in Magdeburg . Like many other cities, the city largely lost its financial sovereignty in 1931 when a Prussian State Commissioner was appointed to implement drastic austerity measures and to re-regulate local taxes.

Portrait photo of Reuter in the Reichstag Handbuch from 1932

Reuter concentrated his work on the rehabilitation of the budget, on the continuation of infrastructure programs that were supposed to provide stimulus to the economy , on the promotion of self-help projects for the unemployed and on winter aid in the city. Staff cuts in local government and the city council as well as cuts in unemployment benefits improved the budget situation in the following period. Reuter also pushed through an increase in the citizen tax. At the same time, Magdeburg collected real estate transfer taxes and residents' contributions more vigorously than before . Reuter also succeeded in obtaining a loan of ten million Swiss francs for the city through Magdeburger Stadtwerke .

Reuter did not set up extensive infrastructure programs. However, he was anxious to complete those of his predecessor Beims. This included bridge construction projects, the expansion of the Mittelland Canal , measures to expand the Magdeburg harbor and the completion of a waterworks in the Colbitz-Letzlinger Heide . Under the leadership of Reuters, Magdeburg was also involved in helping the unemployed to help themselves. In the outskirts, the city promoted housing construction by the unemployed. Construction of the first settlement began in May 1932; 50 single-family houses were built in Lemsdorf . By August 1932 the construction of four more settlements began.

On September 23, 1931, Reuter invited a number of associations and organizations to the town hall to organize joint winter aid. This welfare program had a surprisingly great success in the winter of 1931/32, so that a large number of people in need could be provided with food, clothing and heating material. Trade unions, employers' associations , welfare institutions , Reichswehr agencies and political combat organizations such as the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold and the Stahlhelm participated. Emergency aid continued in the following winter.

The Magdeburg SPD made Reuter a candidate for the Reichstag in 1932 , to which he belonged after the Reichstag election of July 31, 1932 . Even after the November 1932 election he was one of the elected officials. In response to the Prussian strike of July 20, 1932, Reuter and Magdeburg police chief Horst W. Baerensprung considered sending two units of the riot police to Berlin to support the republican forces against the coup. This plan did not take place, however, because the government under Otto Braun gave up without a fight.

Imprisonment and exile

Persecution and detention

In the Reichstag elections of March 5, 1933 , Reuter defended his Reichstag mandate and on the same day also won a seat in the provincial parliament of the province of Saxony . Reuter was one of the Social Democratic members of the Reichstag who rejected the Enabling Act on March 23, 1933 . When the Provincial Parliament of the Prussian Province of Saxony met for the first time on May 30, 1933 in Merseburg, NSDAP members beat the SPD elected representatives. Reuter then had to be treated in the hospital.

SA members stormed the Magdeburg town hall on March 11, 1933 . Among other things, they tried to put Reuter in so-called protective custody . This project was stopped by a police major who took Reuter into custody and had him taken to the city police headquarters. There Reuter was released after a few hours. With Reuter's removal from the town hall, he was considered to be on leave.

Reuter was arrested on June 8, 1933. The reasons given were anti-state activities as a KPD and SPD functionary as well as responsibility for atrocities in the Volga region. The National Socialist rulers dismissed him from the services of the city of Magdeburg on July 29, 1933 with reference to the law to restore the civil service. On August 11, Reuter was taken to the Lichtenburg concentration camp near Torgau , where he was subjected to severe abuse as a prominent prisoner. Almost five months later, on January 15, 1934, Reuter was suddenly dismissed. Interventions by foreign authorities and the advocacy of Petrus Legge , who knew Reuter from his previous position as provost in Magdeburg, had worked.

For two weeks Reuter recovered from the rigors of imprisonment in Falkenstein im Taunus , where he was a guest in a Quaker home . In 1933, members of this religious community created protected places for the politically persecuted in Germany with the “ Rest Home Project ”. Reuter then contacted other Social Democrats such as Wilhelm Leuschner and Carl Severing . On June 16, Reuter was arrested again and again sent to the Lichtenburg concentration camp. The conditions of detention were more stressful than during the first period of detention. Solitary confinement and, at times, dark detention were ordered for Reuter . Contact with fellow political prisoners was cut off, and he also had to perform the lowest of services. Reuter suffered permanent health problems from imprisonment, including chronic bronchitis and severe hearing loss.

While Reuter was in custody, Hanna Reuter mobilized Quakers to work towards his release. Noel Noel-Buxton , a British politician and former minister, finally wrote to the German ambassador in London asking for an end to internment. The latter passed on Buxton's request to the Foreign Office in Berlin, which in turn asked the Gestapo for a decision. This authority finally ordered Reuter to be dismissed in order not to jeopardize the good relations with Great Britain that were sought at the time . Reuter's imprisonment ended on September 19, 1934. The National Socialist authorities then forced the Reuter family to leave Magdeburg as they feared problems due to its popularity in the Elbe city. From the beginning of October 1934, the family lived with Hanna Reuter's mother in Hanover for a few weeks. The Quakers helped again by taking the family up in a rest home in Bad Pyrmont .

Via Great Britain to Turkey

In January 1935 Ernst Reuter went to England. His family initially stayed in Hanover. Reuter was looking for opportunities to find employment in British exile. He lived in Essex with Elizabeth Fox Howard , the Quaker who had already helped him in Germany after his first concentration camp imprisonment as director of the Falkensteiner recovery home and who had used her relations during his second imprisonment to get him released. Reuter also found support from Greta Burkill and her husband, the mathematician John Charles Burkill . The Burkills agreed to take Gerd Harry, Reuter's juvenile first son, into their care. Reuter's search for employment was unsuccessful.

At the beginning of 1935 he contacted Fritz Baade , whom the Turkish government had offered to serve as an expert in agriculture. Reuter also corresponded with Friedrich Dessauer , who had already emigrated to Turkey, and with Philipp Schwartz from the Emergency Association of German Scientists Abroad , who worked in Switzerland . Reuter also turned to Max von der Porten , who was helping to build up the industry in Turkey. At the end of February 1935, Reuter announced von der Porten that he could hope for a job with the Turkish government. His knowledge of tariffs is interesting. Baade, Dessauer and Schwartz supported these emerging plans. In mid-March 1935, it was decided to hire Reuters in the Turkish Ministry of Economic Affairs as a specialist in general tariffs. At the end of May 1935, Reuter finally made his way to Turkey and on June 4, 1935 reached Ankara , his future place of residence. Edzard and Hanna Reuter followed in September of the same year. Gerd Harry, however, was looked after by the Burkills. Reuter's daughter Hella, who mostly lived with her mother, stayed in Berlin.

In the service of Turkish ministries

When Reuters started work, the ministry did not have any documents on transport tariffs in Turkey. These had to be laboriously brought in. Because the Turkish administrative officer assigned to him only spoke French and Turkish , Reuter learned the national language.

From 1935 to 1939 Reuter worked in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, then in 1939 in the Ministry of Transport. His tasks included the reorganization of the tariffs in the railway sector and the structuring of the tariff relations between the railway and coastal shipping . Overall, Reuter was not able to fully develop its possibilities, because he was not only active in an advisory capacity, but also carried out many administrative tasks himself - he lacked a staff .

Local scientist in Ankara

From 1938 onwards, Reuter supplemented his work in the ministry with a teaching position at the Ankara School of Administration, which was reformed in the 1930s, where he dealt with town planning and urban development. This lecturing activity took up most of his working hours after 1938. From 1940 he worked exclusively at the university, because all German experts had been dismissed from the Turkish ministries. In 1941 he was appointed professor of local science. From 1944 onwards, Reuter also acted as a consultant for the shipping and port administration of Istanbul .

Reuter published two Turkish textbooks on urban planning and municipal finance. A third long manuscript in Turkish on local public transport was no longer published during his exile. In addition, he published a large number of specialist articles in many magazines in the country. He also gave speeches and lectures, and a number of specialist analyzes and reports were also made.

In his academic work, Reuter dealt mainly with issues of urbanization , housing and building land policy, urban planning, local government and local financial management. In all subject areas, Reuter did not shine through originality or theoretical enthusiasm, but showed a pronounced pragmatism . In essence, he conveyed western ideas and his own experiences that he had made in local politics and administration.

Reuter's pedagogical style had little in common with the country's academic traditions. He asked his students to interrupt him if his Turkish was unclear or if he did not correctly translate the urban planning terms he used into the national language. At the same time, he encouraged open discussions, contradiction, independent thinking and the questioning of traditional authorities. This form of knowledge transfer reflected traditions of the Western European Enlightenment .

Integration into the exile community

Reuter's Circle of Friends in Turkey, especially in Ankara, comprised people who had hardly appeared politically before 1933. He regularly played Skat with the conductor Ernst Praetorius and the Assyriologist Benno Landsberger . Under the direction of the classical philologist Georg Rohde, he read and discussed ancient Greek texts with others. Well-known Reuters also included the director Carl Ebert , the dermatologist Alfred Marchionini , the administrative lawyer and labor lawyer Oscar Weigert as well as the architect Bruno Taut and his colleague Martin Wagner , with whom Reuter took a trip to the USA in 1929 , about the conditions in major American cities to get to know firsthand.

Reuter also maintained friendly contacts with Germans who lived in Istanbul, such as the finance scientist Fritz Neumark , the social democratic economist and agricultural expert Hans Wilbrandt, and the economists and social scientists Gerhard Kessler and Alexander Rustow . These contacts with exiles in Istanbul intensified after the beginning of the Second World War .

The relationship with Fritz Baade, who helped ensure that Reuter came to Turkey, deteriorated. Reuter disapproved of the fact that Baade maintained contacts with the German embassy and visited Nazi Germany several times. Baade justified these contacts with his work as an agricultural advisor to the Turkish government - almost half of the exports, i.e. mainly agricultural products, went to Germany. Baade also stated that during his visits to Germany he tried to establish contact with the resistance .

While Gerd Harry Reuter stayed in England and turned to mathematics, Reuter's daughter Hella came to Ankara in the spring of 1939 after graduating from high school. The beginning of the Second World War prevented her return to Germany; like her father, she stayed in Turkey until 1946.

Politician waiting

Reuter had had to impose political abstinence in his services for the Turkish government. The largely apolitical circle of acquaintances Reuters reinforced this abstinence. Turkey also had far fewer Germans in exile than Great Britain, the USA or Scandinavia . Nevertheless, Reuter tried to keep up to date on the situation in Germany and Europe. For this purpose he followed the reporting of the BBC and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung . In addition, he corresponded with politically active social democratic exiles such as Victor Schiff and Paul Hertz .

After the USA entered the war at the end of 1941 and the German defeats at el Alamein and Stalingrad in 1942/43, Reuter intensified his attempts to influence Germany's future development while in exile. From the end of 1942 he approached friends and acquaintances in Turkey and abroad with the suggestion of founding a “Movement Free Germany”. A first important measure of this movement should be to win Thomas Mann as a speaker. This plan failed, however, because Mann assessed the design possibilities of exiles as limited.

In correspondence with Mann and others, Reuter protested against collective guilt theses , such as those expressed above all in the statements of the politicians Robert Vansittart and Henry Morgenthau . Reuter countered this with his firm belief in a healthy core of the German people. A politically radically changed post-war Germany had a perspective of equal rights in a united Europe.

Together with Gerhard Kessler, Reuter promoted the establishment of the Free German Group in Turkey , later renamed the German Freedom Association . According to the ideas of its initiators, this group should be a cornerstone for a social democratic anti-Hitler coalition. It produced a number of radio reports, none of which were broadcast because the Allies showed no interest. However, these activities sparked American interest in Reuter. Secret service employees of the Dogwood network and the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) were extremely positive about Reuter's political attitudes and potential.

City councilor for transport and utilities in Berlin

Delayed return to Berlin

When the German defeat was only a matter of time, Reuter pushed back to Germany. In mid-April 1945 he asked the American embassy in Ankara to draw up a letter of recommendation that would make his return home easier for him. This request was the prelude to a series of similar attempts to obtain an official homecoming letter. They all remained fruitless. Only when the British intervened and Reuter's efforts were supported by Social Democrats who were already active in post-war Germany did the extremely unsatisfactory situation for Reuter change. On April 29, 1946, Reuter received the message from the British embassy in Ankara that he could enter the British occupation zone and that his route would take him via Paris to Hanover. Reuter's departure was delayed again because the Turkish pound lost value as a result of a devaluation , which drove up travel expenses. He also had to write a memorandum on the Turkish state and municipal bank for the Turkish Ministry of the Interior. On November 4, 1946, Reuters finally embarked in Istanbul and began their journey home via Naples , Marseille and Paris.

Magistrate member

Memorial plaque on the house at Hardenbergstrasse  35

On November 26, 1946, when Ernst Reuter arrived in Hanover - the place from which Kurt Schumacher reorganized the SPD in the western zones - he still had no clear idea of ​​his future work. He thought it conceivable to go to the Ruhr area and, among other things, participate in the reorganization of industrial ownership. Franz Neumann , one of three equal SPD chairmen in the former Reich capital, asked him, on behalf of the Berlin party leadership, to become a member of the Berlin magistrate . After initial hesitation and a visit to Berlin, Reuter decided on this offer. On December 5, 1946, the Berlin city council elected Reuter as city councilor for transport and utilities. Because he could not initially find accommodation in the bombed-out city, the magistrate assigned him rooms in the Taberna Academica in Charlottenburg , which is now the student house of the Technical University of Berlin . The Soviet authorities refused to confirm the new city council. They claimed that he had compromised himself politically while in exile in Turkey. The British and Americans, however, stuck to Reuter.

The four sectors of Berlin

The four- sector city ​​of Berlin was characterized in those days by the competition between the SPD and the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), which was created through the forced unification of the KPD and SPD in the Soviet occupation zone (SBZ ). The compulsory unification had failed in Berlin and the SPD had achieved a clear victory over the SED in the election for the city council . The struggle for a unified Germany and Berlin policy of the victorious powers of the Second World War (i.e. the United States, the Soviet Union , Great Britain and France) also emerged. While the Soviet Union suppressed all attempts to oppose its will, it became apparent from September 1946 at the latest with the hope speech by James F. Byrnes that the Western Allies - especially the USA and Great Britain - increasingly wanted to give the Germans their own freedom.

Against this background, one of Reuter's first tasks was to enforce the quota of electricity in the so-called hunger winter of 1946/47 , which the Allied Command had decided on December 4, 1946 in view of the electricity shortage. Reuter officially asked the Berliners to implement the Allied requirements, but later stated that he had only implemented these requirements slowly . In mid-February 1947, the Allied Command stated that their instructions had hardly been heeded and demanded that Mayor Otto Ostrowski punish those responsible. Reuter, who had openly called for Allied policies to be restricted to general guidelines, was targeted by the Soviet occupying power in particular - they demanded Reuter's removal. The French also considered this. The Americans and the British, however, protect Reuter and keep him in office.

Mayoral election and Soviet veto

Reuter succeeded in gaining a foothold in the Berlin SPD, which initially met him with skepticism due to his demands for changes in strategy and organization. His self-confident attitude towards the victorious powers contributed significantly to this gain in popularity, and he also developed into a sought-after speaker at party events.

In April 1947, the Berlin SPD expressed mistrust to its mayor Otto Ostrowski , because in February 1947 he had agreed on a work program to alleviate the economic hardship of the Berlin population without consulting the SED and with this step the clearly anti-communist line of the Berlin SPD had been agreed seemed disregarded. Reuter was considered a natural candidate to succeed Ostrowski.

The formal objections of the Soviet occupying power to Ostrowski's resignation showed, however, that they would not be willing to accept Reuter, the strong American-backed and decidedly anti-communist candidate. In addition, in June 1947, they enforced that a new Lord Mayor of Berlin had to be unanimously confirmed by the Allied Command . As a result, the Soviet side had practically achieved a veto position. Reuter particularly resented the American military governor Lucius D. Clay for having given in on this issue. Despite these omens, the SPD nominated Reuter as a candidate for mayor on June 24, 1947. The city council elected him on the same day with 89 to 17 votes with two abstentions.

In the Allied Commandant's office, the American and British commanders spoke out in favor of a confirmation from Reuters, while the French commander, who was initially reserved, did not object to a confirmation. However, these came from the Soviet commander. Major General Alexander Kotikow stated that Reuter had served the allegedly pro-German Turkish government in exile, and that the German embassy in Ankara, headed by Franz von Papen at the time , had extended his passport. Finally, Reuters' inability to be responsible for transport and utilities has been proven.

The Allied Command referred the problem to the Allied Control Council , the supreme government in post-war Germany. This referred the Reuter case back to the commandant's office, which finally informed the Berlin magistrate on August 18, 1947 that a confirmation from Reuters was not possible. In Reuter's place, the SPD politician Louise Schroeder ran the mayor's affairs, as she had done since Ostrowski's resignation.

Berlin blockade

With the beginning of the Cold War, Germany and Berlin formed a center of global political conflicts. In this situation, Reuter repeatedly emphasized that the former imperial capital would have to be held by the Western powers if a further expansion of the Moscow-style communism, which he strictly rejected, was to be prevented. As a result, he became more and more a sought-after interlocutor for the representatives of the Western powers on all important political and strategic questions that affected the future of the city.

From the beginning of 1948 at the latest, the western powers had been working towards transforming the bizone into a unified western state. They saw this as an essential prerequisite for the political stabilization of Germany and Europe, which should be promoted by the help of the Marshall Plan . The USSR, on the other hand, tried to counteract this trend because it feared significantly reduced opportunities to influence the development of Germany and the loss of access to economic resources in the western zones. In this dispute, they viewed Berlin as a decisive lever for asserting their interests.

Berlin observe the landing of a raisin bomber on the Tempelhof airport (1948). Photograph by Henry Ries .

The last impetus for the open conflict came in mid-June 1948 with the introduction of the D-Mark in the western zones and in the western sectors of Berlin. The Soviet Union reacted promptly with the Berlin blockade : on June 24, 1948, it closed all roads, railways and waterways that led into the western sectors of Berlin, and the power supply was also cut off. Even before this date, there had been many obstacles to the movement of people and goods. On June 24th, Reuter emphasized at a mass rally of the SPD in front of 80,000 listeners that the currency dispute was not a question of financial policy, but an expression of the struggle between two opposing economic and political systems. He urged the Berliners not to submit to the Soviet claim to rule, but to stand up for the freedom of the city.

Reuter then made this willingness to resist clear to General Clay, who was impressed by Reuter's firmness and by the will of the Berlin population to accept privation. Reuter asked Clay to implement the American plans to supply Berlin from the air. On June 28, 1948, President Harry S. Truman announced the American position: Berlin would be supplied, the Americans would by no means withdraw from Berlin. The airlift developed into a lasting success and led to the solidarity of the West German population and the people in Berlin's western sectors with the Western Allies, especially with the Americans.

Reuter's popularity and notoriety grew steadily during the months of the Berlin blockade. He rose to the rank of tribune through his public speeches and symbolized Berlin’s desire for freedom internationally. Reuter struck a tone in his speeches that strengthened the Berliners in their cohesion and promoted the anti-communist consensus. With his speeches he also succeeded in occasionally putting the Western Allies under moral pressure to such an extent that they corresponded to his wishes. The best-known evidence of this is Reuter's famous speech on September 9, 1948 in front of the Reichstag building. With her he appealed to about 300,000 people to the "peoples of the world" to look at the city and not to give up Berlin. A good two years later, on September 18, 1950, Reuter appeared on the cover of Time Magazine , which also dedicated the cover story to him.

Advocate of the founding of the West German state

In mid-1948, the West German minister-presidents reacted with reserve to the request by the Western Allies, laid down in the Frankfurt documents , to initiate the establishment of a West German state. They feared that this western state would endanger the goal of German unity. Louise Schroeder shared this concern. At the Rittersturz conference on July 8th and 9th, 1948, she urged the assembly not to take any irrevocable steps before Berlin and the other zones had become one again. In contrast, at the subsequent Niederwald conference , Reuter emphasized the preliminary nature of a western state to be founded, but on July 20 and 21, 1948, he vigorously called for this state to be founded and for Berlin to be included. This vote by Reuters, who represented Louise Schroeder, who was sick, contributed significantly to allaying the concerns of the West German Prime Ministers. According to this plea, Reuter himself was one of the five representatives of Berlin on the Parliamentary Council that drafted the Basic Law .

Lord Mayor of Berlin

Election to the Lord Mayor of West Berlin

Ernst Reuter (1951)

During the Berlin blockade, Reuter urged that the offices of the city administration and the conference venue of the Berlin city council should be moved from the eastern sector of the city to the western sectors. He prevailed against Ferdinand Friedensburg of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), who, as Berlin's deputy mayor, advocated keeping the administrative offices in the eastern part of the city in order to demonstrate the unity of Berlin and its administration. Reuter's opposite position was inadvertently promoted by the obstructionist policy of the SED and the Soviet Union, because this approach made effective administrative action for the whole of Berlin and objective discussions in the city council more and more impossible. At the same time, Reuter advocated the establishment of a university in the western sectors protected from the influences of the SED - in November 1948, the Free University of Berlin began teaching in Dahlem . At the beginning of November 1949, Reuter was awarded an honorary doctorate from the economics department of this university.

Political division went hand in hand with the administrative division of the city. On November 30, 1948, an extraordinary city council meeting took place in the eastern sector of Berlin, to which the deputy city council chief Ottomar Geschke (SED) had called. At this meeting, which was dominated by the SED and the mass organizations controlled by it , the assembly decided to depose the Berlin magistrate. In its place, a “provisional democratic magistrate” was announced and Friedrich Ebert , a son of the first Reich President , was elected mayor. The representatives of the western military authorities rejected the validity claim of these resolutions for the whole of Berlin and limited it to the eastern sector.

A few days later, on December 5, 1948, the population of the western sectors elected a new city council. The SPD Reuters achieved an overwhelming victory with 64.5 percent of the vote, for which its significant share in the ideological and power-political struggles for Berlin was responsible. On December 7th, the city council elected Reuter unanimously as mayor. He held this office until his death. Since the introduction of the Berlin constitution on September 1, 1950 , he has held the title Governing Mayor of Berlin .

Currency reform in Berlin

After the election as Lord Mayor, Reuter forced the reactivation of the Allied command, but from now on as a three-power body. He saw this as a step towards more efficient administration, if this went hand in hand with the expansion of German self-government in the western zones. As Lord Mayor, he supplemented his domestic policy considerations with foreign policy activities. By visiting London and Paris in 1949, he found out to what extent it was possible to overcome monetary policy difficulties - there had been two currencies in Berlin since the summer of 1948 - and whether the western part of Berlin could become an equal territory of the western state that was to be founded. Despite initially contrary signals from the capitals of the Western Allies, Reuter's goal of making Berlin an integral part of the Federal Republic could not be achieved.

However, the implementation of a currency reform succeeded: On March 20, 1949, the German mark was the sole currency in the western sectors . Reuter considered this success an important step in making West Berlin a symbol of freedom and economic prosperity . According to the magnetic theory , the western sectors should have such an attractive effect on the entire Soviet occupation zone or, from October 1949, on the German Democratic Republic (GDR) that ultimately all parts of Germany would be firmly anchored in the western system of values ​​and economies.

Economic and financial problems

After the end of the Berlin blockade, the city's serious economic and financial problems became apparent. Few of them, like the five-week Berlin railroad strike in May and June 1949, turned out to be temporary phenomena. The structural economic and financial policy imbalances with which the city and its mayor had to struggle were more sustainable. In June 1948 the value of industrial production in the western sectors was about 136.5 million DM; at the beginning of the blockade it had fallen to less than 90 million DM. In April 1949 this value was finally around 73.5 million DM. The index of industrial production in West Berlin was around 20% in September 1949, measured against the figures from 1936 - the value for the Federal Republic was more at the same time than 90%. Unemployment developed similarly dramatically in the western sectors: Almost 47,000 people were unemployed in June 1948, in April 1949 this number was more than 156,000, in December 1949 it was more than 278,000, which corresponds to an unemployment rate of 24.5%.

Several factors were decisive for the crisis. On the one hand, the Berlin blockade had immensely damaged the city's economic life. On the other hand, the currency reform of March 1949 broke off trade with the hinterland in the Soviet occupation zone. In addition, dismantling , which occurred more frequently in the western sectors of Berlin than in the western zones or the Soviet Zone, caused major problems. After all, Berlin lost its role as a financial and banking metropolis and as the most important German administrative center after 1945. The falling tax revenues forced the Reuter magistrate to consolidate the budget . At the same time, Reuter did everything to ensure that Berlin was finally included in the Marshall Plan aid, which had been benefiting the western zones since April 1948. In the summer of 1949 Reuter was able to report success on this issue.

Reuter also achieved relief through lengthy negotiations with the federal government about permanent Berlin aid. But he had to back off on other issues. When Berlin was declared its capital when the GDR was founded on October 7, 1949, the American Foreign Minister Dean Acheson explored whether this violation of the Potsdam Agreement should not be answered by making West Berlin the twelfth federal state of the Federal Republic. Reuter was enthusiastic about this possibility, but Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer was strictly against it. With references to the financial aid from Bonn, which Berlin really needed, and with the threat of no longer recognizing the Berlin D-Mark bills with only an extra stamp as legal tender, he brought Reuter to the declaration that West Berlin would be included Going to the Federal Republic is currently not wise because of the international tensions to be feared. Afterwards, Reuter expressed his bitterness about the negotiations with the Federal Chancellor.

The tough negotiations finally led to the “First Law on Aid Measures to Promote the Economy of Greater Berlin” in March 1950, which in particular provided tax advantages for companies that awarded contracts to Berlin companies. Berlin was declared an emergency area of ​​the Federal Republic. The regulations also stipulated that Berlin companies should be given preference in public contracts, provided that they submitted competitive offers. On June 21, 1950, the Berliner Bank was founded on the initiative of Ernst Reuter . Its primary task was to promote the reconstruction of Berlin's economy.

Legal alignment between the federal government and Berlin

After many discussions and negotiations and with the consent of the Western Allies, who changed the occupation statute accordingly in March 1951 and especially in May 1952, Reuter succeeded in enforcing another measure to brace West Germany and West Berlin: From now on it was possible that that Berlin House of Representatives - successor to the city council since 1950 - decided to extend the scope of West German laws to the western sectors of Berlin in order to ensure legal equality. In 1952, the scope of international treaties and obligations entered into by the Federal Republic of Germany were extended to West Berlin.

Relationship to Berlin and to the Federal SPD

Reuter's policy of an unconditional connection between West Berlin and the Federal Republic did not go unchallenged in the Berlin SPD. In particular, Franz Neumann and Otto Suhr , head of the city council and president of the House of Representatives, repeatedly acted as leaders of an internal party opposition to Reuter. They accused him of paying too little attention to the profile of the Berlin SPD in competition with the other democratic parties. At the same time they maintained that Reuter's policy was endangering Berlin's achievements; The replacement of civil servants by salaried administrative employees, the secular and twelve- class uniform school as well as the “classless” uniform insurance of all Berlin employees by the Berlin Insurance Company were important assets of the post-war development in Berlin in the eyes of the inner-party opponents. They should promote social reforms and grind down bastions of "reaction".

The conflicts on this issue came to a head after the election to the House of Representatives on December 3, 1950. The SPD had suffered heavy losses of almost 20 percentage points because it had not made its popular mayor the top candidate, but Franz Neumann. At the same time, the SPD's election campaign remained colorless. In the lengthy coalition negotiations, Reuter showed himself willing to compromise when representatives of the CDU and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) demanded changes in civil service law, social security and the school system. Conflicts in the Reuter Senate repeatedly resulted in Neumann and Suhr demanding an end to the coalition and promising to strengthen their party by joining the opposition. Reuter contradicted these considerations by referring to the threat to Berlin. This makes cross-party government work necessary. At the same time, he warned against perpetuating the island situation of Berlin by refusing to align the law with the Federal Republic. At the beginning of 1951 he described the adherence to the "Berlin achievements" as a fetish. It was not until May 1952 that Reuter finally succeeded in asserting himself against his opponents.

At the federal level, Reuter himself was not in agreement with Kurt Schumacher's policy on Germany. He found its policy to be like a woodcut and not very flexible. Even in rejecting the steps towards common European institutions, Reuter did not follow the instructions of the party chairman. For example, he felt that Schumacher's outright rejection of the Council of Europe was inappropriate.

Before the first federal election in August 1949 , Reuter was under discussion both as a candidate for chancellor and as a federal president . Kurt Schumacher, however, stood as the SPD representative in both votes. Even after Schumacher's death (August 1952), Reuter was considered a possible successor. His foreign policy views, which by no means always coincided with those of his party, were a hindrance to this. Instead , his successor was Erich Ollenhauer , a man with solid support in the party apparatus.


Reuter has never made a secret of his fundamental rejection of communism since he was expelled from the KPD in 1922. His determination to oppose the claim to rule and the ideology of communism did not diminish after the end of the Berlin blockade and with the gradual political stabilization in the western sectors of Berlin. Again and again he denounced the lack of freedom of the Soviet system and unequivocally preached the need to set limits to this system. Reuter proved to be a supporter of the totalitarian theories widespread at the time . From 1950 onwards, the Congress for Cultural Freedom , a movement that - as it later turned out - was influenced by the American secret service, the CIA , was a forum for Reuter's intellectual confrontation with communism . This congress held its first session in Berlin at the end of June 1950, immediately after the start of the Korean War . Reuter gave the opening speech and participated intensively in the debates of this congress. On other occasions, Reuter appeared as an advocate of a military deterrent for the Soviet Union and welcomed initiatives in Western Europe, although he took into account the traditional skepticism of the SPD on military-political issues.

Support all-German elections

His basic anti-communist attitude also resulted in Reuter's willingness to support every initiative for free elections throughout Germany and in all of Berlin. Reuter assumed that the democratic parties would achieve a clear victory over the communists in such votes.

In the spring of 1950, Reuter therefore supported a corresponding campaign by American bodies for elections throughout Berlin. When Otto Grotewohl submitted the proposal for an all-German constituent council in November 1950 as a kind of preliminary stage to reunification, Reuter pleaded for an answer, especially since Grotewohl's initiative was underpinned by the propagation of elections throughout Berlin. Adenauer, on the other hand, saw nothing of substance in these East Berlin initiatives. When Grotewohl again proposed all-German elections in 1951, the federal government switched on the United Nations . This formed a commission of inquiry, which should examine the possibilities of such elections. Reuter led the German delegation. He spoke on this matter in Paris before the General Assembly of the United Nations and called for elections for Berlin on the basis of the Berlin election law passed in 1946. However, all plans to prepare and hold all-German elections came to nothing because the GDR authorities refused the UN representatives entry to the GDR.

When in the spring of 1952 the Soviet Union offered reunification in the Stalin Notes at the price of neutralizing Germany, the Governing Mayor of Berlin finally advocated, along with others such as Jakob Kaiser or Ernst Lemmer (both CDU), to sound out how seriously this proposal was actually meant . The federal government, however, stuck to the course of integration with the West .

1953: popular uprising, federal election, death

The economic and political situation in the GDR led to an increasing flow of refugees. After the direct flight to West Germany had been made much more difficult in 1952, the way out was via West Berlin. In January 1953 several hundred refugees came to the western part of the city every day, so that Reuter ordered an expansion of the capacities of the refugee camps - instead of 30,000 people, 40,000 people should now be cared for.

With the death of Stalin on March 5, 1953, the political crisis in the GDR came to a head. It seemed unclear which group in the SED leadership would determine the future political fate of the country and the economic target planning of the East German central administration economy .

Tanks in the Schützenstrasse in Berlin

On June 17, 1953, dissatisfied workers in East Berlin triggered the popular uprising through increased labor standards . Reuter was not in town that day, but was on a vacation trip lasting several weeks that had taken him to southern Germany, Italy and Austria . His attempt to reach Berlin from Vienna by plane failed. He did not arrive at the scene until the following day. At this point the uprising was already crushed. All that was left to Reuter was to condemn the arrests and executions that had taken place .

In the late summer of 1953, the general election showed that the events had an impact at a distance. This election on September 6, 1953 confirmed the ruling coalition under Konrad Adenauer. The economic upswing since the establishment of the Federal Republic and the Chancellor's promise of security were honored by the majority of voters. The SPD, on the other hand, was only moderately convincing at the federal level with its strict opposition policy - especially on the question of the new state's ties to the West. Reuter complained about the lack of imagination of his party in the election campaign and called on it to say goodbye to outdated political ideas. Where he saw future prospects for the party and whether he would personally contribute to the reform of the SPD as a leading federal or party politician, he left open to his interlocutors.

Honorary grave at the forest cemetery in Zehlendorf

On September 28, Reuter canceled his participation in an evening event because he felt uncomfortable. He had a heart attack at night . On September 29, the 64-year-old fell into a twilight state in the afternoon and died around 7 p.m. After the radio reported Reuters sudden death, thousands of Berliners spontaneously put candles in the windows. With this gesture they expressed their attachment to the deceased. At Christmas 1952, he asked the Berliners to remember those who were still in captivity.

A funeral procession and a laying out in the Schöneberg Town Hall were followed by a state ceremony on October 3, 1953 . Federal President Theodor Heuss gave the funeral speech in which he once again underlined Reuter's commitment to a Germany in unity and freedom. Reuter's body was buried in the forest cemetery in Zehlendorf . The grave is one of the honor graves of the State of Berlin and is located in Dept. 038-485.


Research history

The life and work of Reuters have been the subject of biographical literature several times over the past few decades. For a long time, the study published in 1957 by the two re-emigrated social democrats Willy Brandt and Richard Löwenthal was considered authoritative. Both identified strongly with Reuter's ideals and politics. In 1957, a short outline of the life of Reuters, which Klaus Harpprecht had written and which offered the reader plenty of picture material, was published. In 1965, Hans J. Reichhardt remembered Reuter with a short biography. Reichhardt and Hans E. Hirschfeld , long-time heads of the Press and Information Office in Berlin, published Reuter's most important writings, letters and speeches between 1972 and 1975 and provided this four-volume edition with a comprehensive commentary. In 1987 Hannes Schwenger presented a paper that portrayed Reuter less in terms of the structural conditions of the Cold War, but rather classified him in German traditional lines of protest and resistance. In 2000, the American historian David E. Barclay published a biography that Reuter wanted to recall to a broad audience while at the same time meeting scientific standards. This study was supplemented in 2009 by an anthology edited by Heinz Reif and Moritz Feichtinger. The articles published there developed the work of Reuters from his experiences in local politics and his associated ideas about a gradual reform of society. The book presented research results that were presented and discussed in 2007 at the conference "Ernst Reuter as a local politician 1921–1953".

Commemoration and culture of remembrance

Postage stamp from the Deutsche Bundespost Berlin (1954) on the first anniversary of Ernst Reuter's death

Immediately after Ernst Reuter's unexpected death, there were a number of initiatives in his memory. It was particularly funded in West Berlin. For example, on October 1, 1953, the authorities ordered a traffic junction to be renamed “ Ernst-Reuter-Platz ”. Since 1954, the Berlin Senate has awarded the Ernst Reuter plaque to people who have made special contributions to the city . In the same year, the “Ernst Reuter Society of Friends, Sponsors and Alumni of FUB e. V. “founded. This annually awards Ernst Reuter prizes for outstanding dissertations by members of this university and awards "Ernst Reuter scholarships" for study abroad. Another prize was the Ernst Reuter Prize for radio broadcasts , which was awarded until around 1991 . In Berlin there are also a subway station , a high school, a sports field, an administration building , two power plants ( Berlin-Reuter and Reuter West ), the Ernst-Reuter-Siedlung in the Berlin district of Gesundbrunnen , a town hall, a youth hostel and two student residences named after Ernst Reuter by the Mayor Reuter Foundation . In Reuter's former place of residence Leer (East Friesland) , a new square created in the 1970s at the port was named Ernst-Reuter-Platz. Commemorative plaques were put up at other former places of residence of Reuters. The Deutsche Bundespost Berlin issued three stamps with his portrait . The radio station RIAS put together a long-playing record for Reuters 100th birthday ; it contained contributions from the series founded by Reuter " Where the shoe pinches us " and other speeches by Reuters.

The American Post honored Reuter in September 1959 with two stamps in the "Champion of Liberty" series. There are Ernst Reuter squares, streets and schools in numerous German cities. The German School Ankara also bears his name. An institute for urban studies at Ankara University is named after him. The Foreign Ministers of the Federal Republic of Germany and Turkey, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Abdullah Gül , launched the Ernst Reuter Initiative for Dialogue and Understanding between Cultures in September 2006, which is intended to strengthen the German-Turkish dialogue.

Despite this culture of remembrance, current articles on Reuter's life and work draw attention to the fact that many Germans are only vaguely known to Reuter. A more recent anthology on the local and socio-political activities of Reuters calls it a research task to determine why Reuter stepped back so comparatively early in historical memory and finally faded.

Writings and literature

Printed works and writings

  • Ernst Friesland: On the crisis of our party. Printed as a manuscript. Berlin 1921.
  • Hans Emil Hirschfeld , Hans J. Reichardt (Ed.): Ernst Reuter. Writings - speeches (4 volumes), Propylaea, Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Vienna 1972–1975.

Biographical literature

  • David E. Barclay: Look at this city. The unknown Ernst Reuter. Translated by Ilse Utz, Siedler, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-88680-527-1 .
  • David E. Barclay: Ernst Reuter's activity as a Soviet commissioner in the Volga region. In: Reif, Feichtinger (ed.): Ernst Reuter. Pp. 69-77.
  • Werner Blumenberg : Ernst Reuter. In: Fighters for Freedom. JHW Dietz Nachf., Berlin / Hanover 1959, pp. 172–178.
  • Willy Brandt , Richard Löwenthal : Ernst Reuter. A life for freedom. A political biography. Kindler, Munich 1957.
  • Klaus Harpprecht : Ernst Reuter. A life for freedom. A biography in pictures and documents. Kindler, Munich 1957.
  • Siegfried Heimann : Ernst Reuter - hopes of a (re) migrant put to the test Berlin. In: Mike Schmeitzner (Ed.): Criticism of totalitarianism from the left. German Discourses in the 20th Century (Writings of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Research on Totalitarianism , Volume 34), V&R , Göttingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-525-36910-4 , pp. 307–326.
  • Siegfried Heimann : Years of Development: Ernst Reuter and the leadership of the Berlin SPD 1947–1953 . In: Reif, Feichtinger (ed.): Ernst Reuter , pp. 301–310.
  • Thomas Herr: A German Social Democrat on the Periphery - Ernst Reuter in Turkish exile 1935–1946. In: Herbert A. Strauss , Klaus Fischer, Christhard, Hoffmann, Alfons Söllner (eds.): The emigration of the sciences after 1933. Discipline-historical studies . KG Saur, Munich, London, New York, Paris 1991, ISBN 3-598-11044-8 , pp. 193-218.
  • Marthina Koerfer: Berlin. Ernst Reuter . In: Walter Mühlhausen, Cornelia Regin (ed.): Trustee of the German people. The Prime Ministers of the western occupation zones after the first free state elections. Political portraits (Kassel research on contemporary history, vol. 9). Verlag Kasseler Forschungen zur Zeitgeschichte, Melsungen 1991, ISBN 3-925523-06-5 , pp. 115-137.
  • Reiner Möckelmann: Ankara waiting room. Ernst Reuter - exile and return to Berlin. Berlin, Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag 2013, ISBN 978-3-8305-3143-2 .
  • Ernst Reuter . In: Franz Osterroth : Biographical Lexicon of Socialism . Deceased personalities . Vol. 1. JHW Dietz Nachf., Hannover 1960, pp. 252-254.
  • Hans J. Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter . Lower Saxony State Center for Political Education, Hanover 1965.
  • Heinz Reif: Introduction . In: Reif, Feichtinger (Ed.): Ernst Reuter , pp. 7–15.
  • Heinz Reif, Moritz Feichtinger (ed.): Ernst Reuter. Local politicians and social reformers 1921–1953 (Political and Social History Series, Volume 81), JHW ​​Dietz Nachf., Bonn 2009, ISBN 978-3-8012-4187-2 .
  • Heinz Reif, Barış Ülker: Challenge and Inspiration. Challenges and Inspirations. Ernst Reuter as a city reformer in Turkey. Ernst Reuter as an Urban Reformer in Turkey , be.bra verlag, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-95410-102-3 .
  • Hannes Schwenger : Ernst Reuter. A civilian in the Cold War . Piper, Munich [u. a.] 1987, ISBN 3-492-15210-4 .
  • Winfried Suss:  Reuter, Ernst Rudolf Johannes. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 21, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-428-11202-4 , p. 467 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Matthias Tullner: Local politics under increasing pressure to radicalize. Ernst Reuters Magdeburg years 1931–1933 . In: Reif, Feichtinger (ed.): Ernst Reuter . Pp. 173-181.
  • Hans-Ulrich Wehler : Politician with expertise, passion and the ability to learn: Ernst Reuter . In: Ders .: Notes on German history . Beck, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-54770-6 , pp. 186-199.
  • Dorothea Zöbl: Ernst Reuter and his difficult relationship with the Allies 1946–1948 . In: Reif, Feichtinger (Ed.): Ernst Reuter , pp. 253–273.
  • Martin Schumacher (Hrsg.): MdR The Reichstag members of the Weimar Republic in the time of National Socialism. Political persecution, emigration and expatriation, 1933–1945. A biographical documentation . 3rd, considerably expanded and revised edition. Droste, Düsseldorf 1994, ISBN 3-7700-5183-1 .
  • Reuter (Friesland), 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 .


Web links

Commons : Ernst Reuter  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Benjamin Pinkus, Ingeborg Fleischhauer: The Germans in the Soviet Union. History of a National Minority in the 20th Century . Baden-Baden 1987, p. 70
  2. On the origin of the parents, on the family situation of Reuters and on the visual world of the milieu of origin, see Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 17–20; Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , p. 11; Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , p. 15 f.
  3. On the life of Reuters in Leer and on Ernst Reuter's interests and academic achievements, see Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 16–18, p. 20, pp. 22–24. See also Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 20-25 and Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 12-15. The Abitur certificate is shown at Harpprecht: Ernst Reuter , p. 24 f.
  4. Regarding Reuter's activities during his studies in Marburg and his liaison engagement there, see Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 15–19, Barclay: Schaut auf sucht Stadt , pp. 25–32 and Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , p. 24 -29. For the appreciation of Kant and its influence by the Neo-Kantians, see Wehler: Politiker , p. 188.
  5. Regarding Reuter's study time in Munich, see Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 32–35, Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 19–21 and Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 30–32.
  6. On Reuter's position in fraternity conflicts and during his time in Münster, cf. Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 22–24, Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 35–36 and Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 32–36.
  7. On Reuter's increasing distance from the church and his professional reorientation see Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , p. 35, Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , p. 24-25.
  8. Barclay report on Reuters time in Bielefeld: Look at this city , pp. 37–41; Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 25–38 and Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 36–37 and pp. 43–46. On the forced end of the relationship with Henriette Meyer, cf. Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 38 and 41–42 as well as Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 41–43.
  9. For Tepper-Laski see the biographical note (accessed on November 4, 2009, 6:45 p.m.) on the website of the Humanist Press Service .
  10. On Reuter's move to Berlin, his work as a traveling speaker and his work in the non-denominational committee, see Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 53–59; Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 39-44; Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 44–48.
  11. Apparently not much is known about Jannasch. See the relevant information on an inquiry (accessed on November 4, 2009, 6:45 pm) in the H-Soz-u-Kult mailing list .
  12. On Witting, see the biographical information (accessed on November 4, 2009, 6:45 pm) on a website that introduces authors from the Weltbühne .
  13. On the BNV see Dieter Fricke : Bund Neues Deutschland (BNV) 1914–1922 ; in: Lexicon of party history. The bourgeois and petty bourgeois parties and associations in Germany (1789–1945). In four volumes. Edited by Dieter Fricke, […], Volume 1, Alldeutscher Verband - German League for Human Rights , Pahl-Rugenstein, Cologne 1983, ISBN 3-7609-0782-2 , pp. 351-360. Reichhardt reports on Reuter's activities in the first months of the war: Ernst Reuter , pp. 47–50; Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 62–73; Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 49–54.
  14. On Reuter's recruits and soldiers' days, see Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 50–53; Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 75–78.
  15. The time of Reuter'schen captivity until October Revolution is treated at Reich Hardt: Ernst Reuter , pp 53-55; Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 79–83; Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 59–62. The literature refers to the village as "Sawinsk".
  16. Reichhardt reports on Reuter's activities in the first weeks after the October Revolution: Ernst Reuter , pp. 55–56; Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 83–85 and pp. 88–91; Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 61–65.
  17. Brandt / Löwenthal report on Reuter's activities in the Volga Commissariat for German Affairs: Ernst Reuter , pp. 94-108; Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 58-61; Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 65–74, as well as: Ernst Reuter's activity .
  18. ^ Kirsten Baukhage: Ernst Reuter. "You peoples of the world ... look at this city" ( Memento from August 19, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), from September 29, 2003.
  19. On Reuter's activities from December 1918 until the founding of the VKPD see Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 113–115, pp. 120–128, pp. 130–131; Pp. 133-134, pp. 139-142; Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 63–73; Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 75–79.
  20. On the strategy of provocation in the course of the March campaign, see Heinrich August Winkler : From the Revolution to Stabilization. Workers and Labor Movement in the Weimar Republic 1918 to 1924 , 2nd, completely revised and corrected edition, JHW ​​Dietz Nachf., Berlin and Bonn 1985, ISBN 3-8012-0093-0 , p. 516 and p. 533.
  21. ↑ describe Reuter's attitude and activities in the conflict-ridden period between the March Action and his expulsion from the party Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 146–159, pp. 165–204; Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 76-79; Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 81–97. For the "Friesland crisis" see Heinrich August Winkler: From the Revolution to Stabilization. Workers and Labor Movement in the Weimar Republic 1918 to 1924 , 2nd, completely revised and corrected edition, JHW ​​Dietz Nachf., Berlin and Bonn 1985, ISBN 3-8012-0093-0 , pp. 534-536.
  22. Brandt / Löwenthal report on Reuter's activities as a journalist and Berlin city councilor and the change in his political convictions: Ernst Reuter , pp. 207–217, pp. 219–236 and pp. 238–240; Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 83-91; Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 104-107. Reuter's statement about completely alien movements can be found in Barclay: Look at this city , p. 100. Heimann analyzes the statement about the glorification of violence by communists: Ernst Reuter , p. 312.
  23. On Reuter as the Berlin city councilor for transport see Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 242–256; Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 91-97; Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 107–118.
  24. Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 256–263, pp. 269–272, provide information on Reuter's policy as Lord Mayor of Magdeburg ; Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 97-99; Barclay: Look at this city , p. 121–124, p. 128 f and p. 132–138. See also Tullner: Kommunalpolitik .
  25. The surprising thing about Reuter's release from his first concentration camp imprisonment is noted by Barclay: Look at this city , p. 149 and Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , p. 108. Backgrounds are briefly dealt with in Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , p. 284.
  26. About the time in prison Reuters report Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 145–152; Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 104–112; Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 275-291. Comprehensive on the background to the releases from prison Hans G. Lehmann: Ernst Reuters release from the concentration camp ; in AfS , Vol. 13 (1973), pp. 483–508 (accessed on September 6, 2010; PDF; 6.3 MB).
  27. On Reuter's stay in England and his journey to Turkey see Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 152–155 and Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 291–295.
  28. About Reuter's work in the Ministry of Economics and Transport can be found in Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , p. 295 f.
  29. Reuter's communal science activities are dealt with by Barclay: Schaut auf sucht Stadt , pp. 164–168 and by Herr: Ein deutscher Sozialdemokrat , pp. 196–198.
  30. On Praetorius, see the biographical data (accessed on June 4, 2013, 2:20 p.m.) in the lexicon of persecuted musicians from the Nazi era .
  31. On Weigert see Jochen Oltmer: Migration und Politik in der Weimarer Republik , V&R , Göttingen 2005. p. 382 , note 49 (accessed on November 4, 2009, 6:45 pm).
  32. For the residence of the children from the first marriage, see Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter p. 300; on the circle of friends and acquaintances of Reuters in Turkey and on the development of the relationship between Baade and Reuter, see Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 161–163 and Herr: Ein deutscher Sozialdemokrat , p. 201.
  33. ^ The corresponding passage in his consultancy contract is quoted in Herr: Ein deutscher Sozialdemokrat , p. 196.
  34. On Reuter's political activities during the second half of World War II, see Barclay: Schaut auf sucht Stadt , pp. 175–183; Herr: Ein deutscher Sozialdemokrat , pp. 203–208; Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 121–125. For the German Freedom Association and the Dogwood network, see Heike Bungert: The National Committee and the West. The reaction of the Western Allies to the NKFD and the Free German Movements 1943–1948 (Transatlantic Historical Studies, 8), Steiner, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-515-07219-5 , p. 97 (accessed on November 4, 2009, 18: 45 p.m.).
  35. On the difficulties of Reuter's return, see Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 185–190 and pp. 198 f. See also Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 118–127.
  36. On Reuters career path immediately after his return see Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , p. 127–129, Barclay: Schaut auf sucht Stadt , p. 199–201 and Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , p. 358 f.
  37. On the resistance of the Soviet occupying power see Zöbl: Ernst Reuter , p. 257 f as well as Barclay: Look on this city , p. 209–211.
  38. ^ On the general political situation and electricity policy in post-war Berlin, Zöbl for short: Ernst Reuter , p. 258 and Reichhardt, p. 130 f. Comments on the hunger winter can be found at Barclay: Look at this city , p. 211 f. and Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , p. 359 f.
  39. On Reuter's increasing popularity in the Berlin SPD, see Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 132-133 and Barclay: Schaut auf sucht Stadt , p. 214.
  40. On Ostrowski's failure, see Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 375–377, Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 138–140 and Barclay: Schaut auf sucht Stadt , pp. 215–219.
  41. On the circumstances of Reuter's election as mayor and on the conflicts regarding his confirmation, see Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 377–385, Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , pp. 140–142 and Barclay: Schaut auf sucht Stadt , p. 219-222.
  42. On the role of Reuters as an increasingly important interlocutor for the Western powers, see Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 223–229.
  43. For the history of the Berlin blockade and the role of Reuters in it, see Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 399–421 and Barclay: Schaut auf sucht Stadt , pp. 230–240. Number of listeners on June 24, 1948 according to John H. Backer: The German Years of General Clay. The way to the Federal Republic 1945-1949 , Beck, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-406-09306-X , p. 270.
  44. On Clay's reaction to Reuter's statements, see John H. Backer: Die Deutschen Jahre des Generals Clay. The way to the Federal Republic 1945–1949 , Beck, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-406-09306-X , p. 271.
  45. On the meeting of Reuter and Clay see Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 240–243. On the solidarity effects of the airlift, Wolfgang Ribbe in short : Berlin between East and West (1945 to the present) . In the S. (Ed.): History of Berlin. Second volume. From the March Revolution to the present. With contributions by Günter Richter,… , CH Beck, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-406-31591-7 , pp. 1027–1124, here p. 1065. See also Koerfer: Berlin , p. 130.
  46. Wording of the speech with a link to an audio excerpt from this speech (accessed on December 13, 2013, 9:30 a.m.). On the popularity of Reuters, for example, Wehler: Politiker , p. 195 f. On Reuters' ability to exert pressure through public speeches, see Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 247 f.
  47. ^ Cover page of Time Magazine from September 18, 1950 (accessed November 4, 2009, 6:45 p.m.).
  48. Germany: Last Call for Europe , Time Magazine, September 18, 1950 (accessed November 4, 2009, 6:45 p.m.).
  49. On Reuter as an energetic supporter of the founding of the West German state, see Barclay: Schaut auf sucht Stadt , pp. 248–250 and Koerfer: Berlin , pp. 131 f.
  50. On the different strategies of Reuter and Friedensburg as well as on the establishment of the Free University of Berlin see Barclay: Schaut auf eine Stadt , pp. 248–250.
  51. ^ Department of Economics: Information on the honorary doctorate from Prof. Ernst Reuter
  52. For the removal of the magistrate and the election of Ebert see Barclay: Schaut auf sucht Stadt , p. 258.
  53. Barclay reports on the elections of December 5 and 7, 1948: Look at this city , pp. 258–259. See also Wolfgang Ribbe: Berlin between East and West (1945 to the present) . In the S. (Ed.): History of Berlin. Second volume. From the March Revolution to the present. With contributions by Günter Richter,… , CH Beck, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-406-31591-7 , pp. 1027–1124, here p. 1061.
  54. On the problems arising from this, see Wolfgang Ribbe: Berlin between East and West (1945 to the present) . In the S. (Ed.): History of Berlin. Second volume. From the March Revolution to the present. With contributions by Günter Richter,… , CH Beck, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-406-31591-7 , pp. 1027–1124, here pp. 1054–1058.
  55. On the revival of the Berlin headquarters and on the trips abroad, see Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 270–274.
  56. On the Berlin currency reform of March 1949 see Barclay: Schaut auf sucht Stadt , pp. 274–277.
  57. To this Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 283–288 as well as Gerhard Keiderling: The S-Bahn in the sights of the Cold War . In: Berlinische Monatsschrift , 6/1999, at the Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein
  58. All numbers according to Barclay: Look at this city , p. 291.
  59. Wolfgang Ribbe: Berlin between East and West (1945 to the present) . In the S. (Ed.): History of Berlin. Second volume. From the March Revolution to the present. With contributions by Günter Richter,… , CH Beck, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-406-31591-7 , pp. 1027–1124, here p. 1047.
  60. On the financial and economic problems of the western sectors see Barclay: Schaut auf sucht Stadt , pp. 291–294.
  61. ^ Henning Koehler: Adenauer. A political biography , Propylaeen, Berlin 1994, pp. 575-578. On the relationship between Reuter and Adenauer see also Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , p. 195 f.
  62. Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , p. 542.
  63. On this auxiliary law and its meaning see Barclay: Schaut auf sucht Stadt , p. 304. See also Georg Drosten: Die Berlin-Chronik. Data, people, documents , Droste, Düsseldorf 1984, ISBN 3-7700-0663-1 , p. 418.
  64. On the policy of legal harmonization see Barclay: Schaut auf sucht Stadt , p. 305 f and Reichhardt: Ernst Reuter , p. 199 f.
  65. On the conflicts between Reuters and the inner-party opposition in Berlin, see Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 309–323. See also Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , p. 566 and p. 570–573.
  66. See the explanations in Heimann: Aufbaujahre , p. 307.
  67. Wehler: Politiker , p. 196. Wehler discusses the possibilities - historically not taken advantage of - of Ernst Reuters who would have been more involved in the party leadership and at the federal level. See Wehler Politiker , p. 198 f.
  68. On Reuter's anti-communist positions, see Barclay: Schaut auf einer Stadt , pp. 326–332. Reuter's anti-totalitarian thinking and acting is shown in Heimann: Ernst Reuter .
  69. See resolution 510 (VI) of the General Assembly of December 20, 1951 (accessed on November 4, 2009, 6:45 p.m.).
  70. On Reuter's support for elections in all of Berlin and all of Germany, see Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 332–334 and Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , pp. 621–630.
  71. ↑ On this briefly Koerfer: Berlin , p. 134 and Brandt / Löwenthal: Ernst Reuter , p. 632–635.
  72. On Reuter's reaction to the increasing number of refugees see Barclay: Schaut auf sucht Stadt , p. 334 f.
  73. For the developments in the run-up to and during June 17, 1953 see Barclay: Schaut auf sucht Stadt , pp. 336–338.
  74. Barclay reports on the Bundestag election of 1953 and Reuter's reaction to it: Look at this city , pp. 339–340.
  75. On the death of Reuter, see Barclay: Look at this city , pp. 340–343. See also the photos and documents from Harpprecht: Ernst Reuter , pp. 118–125.
  76. On the current research situation, see the introductory remarks by Barclay: Look at this city , p. 7 f.
  77. See the corresponding conference report (accessed on November 4, 2009, 6:45 pm), published in the H-Soz-u-Kult mailing list.
  78. On Reuter's memory, see the remarks in Barclay: Look at this city , p. 346 f. and on the corresponding website of the Berlin Press and Information Office (accessed on January 18, 2017, 6:30 a.m.).
  79. On this initiative, see the relevant information on the website of the Federal Foreign Office , accessed on January 8, 2010, 9:40 p.m.
  80. For example Barclay: Look at this city , p. 346 f. See also the corresponding closing remarks (from 20:19 minute) of the Reuter portrait in the program “Bayern2 Radiowissen” (see web links).
  81. Reif: Introduction , p. 14.
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on November 11, 2009 in this version .