Ernst Tillich (theologian)

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Ernst Tillich (born June 27, 1910 in Marienwerder , West Prussia province , † March 16, 1985 in Düsseldorf ) was a German theologian. Tillich was long-time chairman of the combat group against inhumanity which supported the resistance against the SED dictatorship in the GDR from West Berlin .


His father was the district judge Franz Tillich, his mother a born von Richthofen . The religious philosopher Paul Tillich is his uncle. After attending the humanistic high school in Steglitz , Ernst Tillich studied theology at the universities of Berlin, Bonn and Tübingen .

After the first theological exam he was an assistant at the Berlin Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität and later a vicar in a congregation of the Confessing Church in Kleinmachnow near Berlin . During his time at the university he belonged to a group of students by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and took part in the Ecumenical Youth Conference of the World Association for Church Friendship Work in 1934 on Fanø . Because of his supposedly "immoral lifestyle", Tillich soon had to leave the church service.

In 1936 the Gestapo arrested Tillich and Werner Koch for passing on a memorandum from the Confessing Church to Hitler to the foreign press. The GDR propaganda later described this as "news trading" activities for foreign press agencies such as United Press , Reuters and Agence Havas . He spent more than three years in solitary confinement in the Alexanderplatz Gestapo prison and in Sachsenhausen concentration camp . After his release in 1939, Tillich was employed by the electrical company Siemens & Halske until he was drafted into the Wehrmacht at the beginning of 1942 . His locations were Holland and Belgium .

After the Second World War , he became head of the youth welfare office and deputy district administrator in Fürstenfeldbruck near Munich . A year later, Ernst Tillich moved to Berlin and worked in the field of social policy and was a member of the editorial team of Otto Suhr 's bi-monthly publication The Socialist Century , which was published in Berlin from 1946 to 1950. He also became a member of the board of trustees in the Pestalozzi-Froebel-Haus .

Effective March 21, 1950, Tillich joined the management of the combat group against inhumanity. Tillich formed the executive board there together with Rainer Hildebrandt , Ernst Benda , Günther Birkenfeld , Herbert Geissler , Peter Lorenz and Albrecht Tietze . 1951 Tillich became head of the KgU.

On April 24, 1958, he handed over the management of the KgU to Adolf Hellwig. Tillich's picture appeared on the front page of Spiegel on July 2, 1958 . After his departure from the organization and the end of the KgU on March 12, 1959, Tillich no longer appeared politically in public and pursued a professional activity in the hospital sector.

He had been married to Anita Walter since 1951 and died in Düsseldorf in 1985 .

Political party

Was seriously Tillich since 1945 member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), from which it in November 1952 due to failure of its statutory duties excluded was. The social democratic newspaper Telegraf noted that the leadership of the combat group against inhumanity , rsp. Tillich “undertook and promoted things” “which at least very much accommodated the implementation of such show trials (see above)”.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Hans-Michael Schulze : In the villas of the agents. The Stasi celebrities in private. Berlin Edition, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-8148-0124-5 , p. 75.
  2. ^ Keith R. Allen: Survey - Review - Control: The admission of GDR refugees in West Berlin until 1961 . Ch. Links, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-86153-722-9 , p. 52 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  3. Peters, Dietlinde (2008): The Social Pedagogical Seminar (1945–1971). In: Adriane Feustel and Gerd Koch (eds.): 100 years of social teaching and learning. From the women's social school to the Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin. Berlin: Schibri, pp. 113–146, here: p. 127
  4. ^ Keith R. Allen: Survey - Review - Control: The admission of GDR refugees in West Berlin until 1961 . Ch. Links, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-86153-722-9 , p. 63 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  5. ^ Secret services / Tillich: "Later werewolf" . In: Der Spiegel . No. 27 , 1958, pp. 28-37 ( Online - July 2, 1958 ).
  6. Jump up ↑ will- o'-the-wisps underground: abdicated combat group chief Tillich . In: Der Spiegel . No. 27 , 1958 ( online - July 2, 1958 , front page).
  7. ^ Karl Wilhelm Fricke , Roger Engelmann : "Concentrated Strikes": State Security Actions and Political Processes . BStU series of publications , 11, p. 87 ( limited preview in Google book search).