Margarete Buber-Neumann

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Margarete Buber-Neumann , b. Thuringia (born October 21, 1901 in Potsdam ; † November 6, 1989 in Frankfurt am Main ) was a German communist , later Christian Democrat and political journalist .


Margarete Buber-Neumann was born as the daughter of the Potsdam brewery director Heinrich Thüring and his wife Else. The publicist Babette Gross was her older sister. As a student, she first came into contact with socialist writings through the Wandervogel movement . After graduating from high school, she trained as a kindergarten teacher. At the age of 20 she joined the Communist Youth Association of Germany (KJVD) and in 1926 the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). In 1922 she married Rafael Buber, the son of the Jewish religious philosopher Martin Buber . She was divorced in 1929 from Buber, from whom she had been separated since 1925. The marriage resulted in two daughters, Barbara and Judith Buber, who later lived with their in-laws and with whom she was in close contact throughout her life.

She was employed by Inprekorr in 1928 , where she met Heinz Neumann , a member of the KPD's Politburo and a member of the Reichstag . From the summer of 1929 she was his partner. In 1933 they were surprised by the " seizure of power " by the National Socialists in Spain and in 1934 they lived in Switzerland . In 1935 Heinz Neumann and Margarete Buber-Neumann were finally deported to the Soviet Union , where Heinz Neumann was arrested, sentenced to death and executed in Moscow during the time of the Great Terror in 1937. As his wife and "socially dangerous element" Margarete Buber-Neumann was during the so-called " German operation " in 1938 to five years in a prison camp condemned and in a penal camp in Karaganda in the former Union Republic of Kazakhstan brought. In 1940 she was extradited to Germany and - as a communist - imprisoned in the Ravensbrück concentration camp for five more years . Here she met Franz Kafka's friend Milena Jesenská , about whom she later wrote a book. At first she worked here in the Siemens warehouse as a secretary. Between October 1942 and spring 1943 she was the personal secretary of the SS supervisor Johanna Langefeld . On April 21, 1945 she was released from the concentration camp and went to see her mother in Thierstein .

After the Second World War , she worked as a publicist and, as a contemporary witness, turned against dictatorships and inhumanity. She used a two-year recovery stay in Sweden at the invitation of the International Rescue Committee from 1946 to write her report as a prisoner with Stalin and Hitler , which first appeared in Swedish in 1948 and was very successfully disseminated in German, French and English a little later. Her testimony about the Soviet gulag system in the Kravchenko trial of Les Lettres françaises (1949) was of great importance . After she had been a member of the SPD for a long time, but in particular strongly rejected the Ostpolitik initiated under Willy Brandt , she became a member of the CDU in 1975.


Grave of Margarete Buber-Neumann (2018)

In 1980 she was awarded the Great Federal Cross of Merit for her special journalistic services . Her grave in the main cemetery in Frankfurt is a grave of honor . In the Frankfurt district of Heddernheim , the "Buber-Neumann-Weg" is named after her.


  • As prisoners with Stalin and Hitler. A world in the dark. Ullstein, Munich 2002 [1. Ed. 1949, Verlag der Zwölf, Munich], ISBN 3-548-36332-6 .
  • From Potsdam to Moscow. Stations on a wrong path. Ullstein, Munich 2002 [1. Edition 1957, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt GmbH, Stuttgart], ISBN 3-548-36355-5 .
  • Milena, Kafka's friend. Langen Müller, Munich 2000 [1. Ed. 1963], ISBN 3-7844-1680-2 .
  • Theaters of war of the world revolution. A report from the practice of the Comintern 1919–1943. Seewald, Stuttgart 1967.
  • The extinguished flame: the fates of my time. Ullstein, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main 1989 [1. Ed. 1976], ISBN 3-548-33107-6 .
  • "Freedom, you are mine again ..." The strength to survive. Georg Müller Verlag, 1978.
  • Plea for freedom and humanity. Lectures from 35 years. Edited by Janine Platten and Judith Buber Agassi. Ed. Hentrich, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-89468-226-4 .


  • Michaela Wunderle (Ed.): Apropos Margarete Buber-Neumann. New Critique Publishing House, Frankfurt am Main 2001, ISBN 3-8015-0357-7 .
  • Ernst Cincera (Ed.): Margarete Buber-Neumann - dedicated to a witness of the century on her eightieth birthday . Excerpts from speeches. Athenaeum, Lugano 1981, ISBN 3-85532-707-6 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Margarete Buber-Neumann: From Potsdam to Moscow. Stations on a wrong path. 2nd edition Stuttgart 1958, p. 124.
  2. ^ Margarete Buber-Neumann: From Potsdam to Moscow. Stations on a wrong path. 2nd edition Stuttgart 1958, p. 144.
  3. Margarete Buber-Neumann: "Freedom, you are mine again ..." The strength to survive. Georg Müller Verlag, 1978, p. 171 ff.