Karl Liebknecht House
The Karl-Liebknecht-Haus is a listed office building in the Berlin district of Mitte . It was named after Karl Liebknecht and has housed, among other things, the federal office of the party Die Linke since 2007 . It is located at Kleine Alexanderstraße 28 and the adjacent Weydingerstraße 14-16 in Berlin-Mitte between Alexanderplatz and Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz .
The building was built in 1910 on behalf of the manufacturer Rudolph Werth as an office building in what was then the Scheunenviertel . After the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) acquired the house in November 1926, it was named after Karl Liebknecht - the co-founder of the KPD who was murdered during the November Revolution in January 1919. Before 1926 the party had its headquarters on Hackescher Markt , on Rosenthaler Strasse . After the acquisition of the building by the KPD, the central committee (ZK) of the KPD, the KPD district leadership Berlin-Brandenburg-Lausitz-Grenzmark, the editors of the KPD newspaper Die Rote Fahne , a bookstore, the central committee of the Communist Youth Association of Germany , a shop for uniforms of the Red Front Fighter Association and a printing shop were housed there. During these years it was the workplace of the party leadership around Ernst Thälmann , including Wilhelm Pieck , Walter Ulbricht and Herbert Wehner . Artists like John Heartfield and Max Gebhard had their studios under the roof of the Karl-Liebknecht-Haus . On August 9, 1931, KPD members murdered two police officers in the immediate vicinity of the house. The murders on Bülowplatz resulted in the occupation lasting several days and an unsuccessful search of the party headquarters by the police.
In February 1933, the political police again searched the Karl-Liebknecht-Haus. It was closed on February 26, 1933. The SA occupied the building on March 8, 1933 and renamed it the Horst Wessel House . Until the summer of 1933 she used it as a "wild" concentration camp to terrorize Nazi opponents . The Gestapo came during a search on 15 November 1933 on two hideouts in the building that had remained undetected in previous searches. In addition to two light machine guns, they contained 16 other firearms with ammunition as well as a large number of files from the party leadership with information on functionaries such as résumés, addresses and usage. The finds were probably based on information provided by the arrested Alfred Kattner , who had belonged to Thälmann's immediate surroundings. In 1935, the renovation ended with the handover to the land registry office of the Prussian tax authorities. The new entrance hall was designed as a memorial room for Wessel. From January 1937 the Horst-Wessel-Haus was the seat of the SA group Berlin-Brandenburg .
The house was partially destroyed during the fighting in Berlin at the end of World War II. However, the main structure of the building was retained. In December 1947 the Soviet occupying power handed over the confiscated building to the "Fundament-Gesellschaft" founded in 1946 by the KPD. From 1949 it was rebuilt by a resolution of the SED leadership with minor changes to the facade and an additional storey. The work was largely completed on Josef Stalin's 71st birthday in December 1950. The building was initially used by central offices of the SED, whose leadership was in the nearby “ House of Unity ”, and later the Institute for Marxism-Leninism at the Central Committee of the SED as an office and guest house.
After the political change in the GDR , a dispute ensued about legally and illegally appropriated assets from parties and associations in the GDR . As the successor to the SED, the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) led disputes with the Treuhandanstalt about the party's assets , such as the Karl Liebknecht House. These culminated in a hunger strike by prominent PDS members and various house searches by the police. In a settlement, the PDS finally renounced most of the real estate. The Karl-Liebknecht-Haus and the “ Hotel am Wald ” in Elgersburg , Thuringia , are the only properties owned by the party today, since they were owned by the KPD even before the SED was founded in 1946 .
From 1990 to 2007 the building was the headquarters of the PDS and at the same time the seat of the Berlin state executive. Since the merger with the WASG , it has housed the federal office of the party Die Linke and the office of the Berlin regional association . The youth association Linksjugend Solid and the student association Die Linke.SDS also have their federal offices in the Karl-Liebknecht-Haus. In the part of the building on Weydingerstraße there is also a bookstore and offices of various organizations and associations, including that of the FDJ .
At the front of the Karl-Liebknecht-Haus, near the main entrance, there are three different memorial plaques . Two of the three were already installed in the GDR and highlight the communist past of the house. It is a memorial plaque for the former KPD chairman Thälmann and one for the house as the workplace of the KPD Central Committee. The concrete text of the latter is:
"Karl-Liebknecht-Haus // The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Germany worked in this building from 1926 to 1933"
In addition, a memorial plaque for the left-wing victims of the Stalinist terror was unveiled at the Karl-Liebknecht-Haus on December 17, 2013 . The unveiling followed a decision by the executive committee of the party Die Linke at its meeting from October 18-20, 2013. The plaque bears the inscription:
"Honorable memory of thousands of German communists and anti-fascists who were arbitrarily persecuted, disenfranchised, deported to prison camps, banished for decades and murdered in the Soviet Union between the 1930s and 1950s"
In the remembrance of a representative room in the house is named Rosa-Luxemburg-Saal .
- Ronald Friedmann: The headquarters. The history of the Berlin Karl Liebknecht House . Karl Dietz Verlag, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-320-02254-9 .
- Karl Liebknecht home on the website of the party "Die Linke"
- Entry in the Berlin State Monument List
- On the history of the Karl Liebknecht House. Die Linke , accessed December 3, 2019 .
- Memorial plaque on the Karl-Liebknecht-Haus. Die Linke , accessed December 3, 2019 .
- Sarah Liebigt: I came to your country as a guest ... Neues Deutschland , December 19, 2013, accessed on December 19, 2013 .