Max Reimann

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Max Reimann (1950)
Signature of Max Reimann
Grave of Max Reimann in the Friedrichsfelde Central Cemetery in Berlin
Max Reimann bust in Richard-Lehmann-Strasse in Leipzig

Max Reimann (born October 31, 1898 in Elbing ; † January 18, 1977 in Düsseldorf ) was a German politician ( KPD , later DKP ).


Before 1945

Max Reimann was born in Elbing, West Prussia, the son of a metalworker. From 1904 to 1912 he attended elementary school in Elbing, from 1912 to 1916 he worked as a riveter, in 1913 he became a member of the German Metal Workers 'Association and its youth management as well as the Socialist Workers' Youth , and in 1916 also the Spartakusbund . Sentenced to one year imprisonment in a fortress in 1918 for taking part in battles against the Freikorps von der Goltz in Elbing , he was imprisoned in Königsberg . In 1920 Reimann moved to Ahlen as a miner and joined the German Miners' Association there . He became honorary political leader of the KPD Ahlen and from 1921 a full-time KPD functionary. In 1923 he took part in the fighting in the Ruhr area resulting from the occupation of the Ruhr and was then briefly imprisoned. From 1920 to 1928 he did trade union work in the KPD sub-district of Hamm and was a co-founder of the Communist Youth Association in the Buer-Recklinghausen sub-district, where he was also responsible for the admission of Kurt Goldstein , who came from the "bourgeoisie", to the youth association. From 1926 Reimann was a member of the leadership of the Revolutionary Trade Union Opposition (RGO) of the German Miners' Association and between 1929 and 1932 secretary of the KPD sub-district of Hamm and second secretary of the RGO in the Ruhr area.

From 1933 Reimann was politically active as political director of the RGO Ruhr and from June 1933 as senior advisor to the RGO on the Middle Rhine and in Cologne. In 1934 he was promoted to Reichsleiter of the RGO and worked for the Union's Western Europe Secretariat in Paris. In 1935 he took part in the Saarland election campaign for the Saar referendum , which was lost to opponents of National Socialism, and in the same year he took part in the 7th Congress of the Communist International in Moscow. In 1939 he worked in the KPD foreign secretariat in Prague and illegally in Germany several times. After the German invasion of Prague , until his arrest on April 4, 1939, he directed the escape of KPD cadres abroad. In May 1940 Reimann was sentenced to three years in prison for “preparing for high treason”. The imprisonment began in Hamm prison and continued from 1942 in Sachsenhausen concentration camp , where he became a member of the illegal camp administration. In 1944 she was transferred to the subcamp in Falkensee . Max Reimann was involved in the self-liberation of the camp together with other prisoners.

After 1945

At the 15th KPD party congress in April 1946, Reimann delegated eleven other top officials (including Kurt Müller , Walter Fisch , Fritz Sperling and Albert Buchmann ) to the SED party executive . He - like the other eleven - had to resign on the orders of the Western occupying powers, however, as the SED was not allowed in the West. In 1948 he became chairman of the West German KPD, having previously led the party in the British zone.

Former Max Reimann Stadium in Cottbus

From 1946 to 1954 Reimann was a member of the North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament , between 1946 and 1948 he was a member of the zone advisory board for the British occupation zone and from 1947 to 1949 a member of the economic council for North Rhine-Westphalia . In 1948/49 he became a member of the Parliamentary Council and was chairman of the KPD group, then from 1949 to 1953 a member of the Bundestag and parliamentary group leader of the KPD. His words about the rejection of the Basic Law by the KPD became known: “We do not sign. However, the day will come when we communists will defend this Basic Law against those who have adopted it! "

On June 13, 1950, he was barred from participating in plenary sessions for 30 days because of unparliamentary behavior by Bundestag President Erich Köhler .

Reimann vehemently rejected the occupation statute and described it as the "colonization" of West Germany. He evaded an arrest warrant in 1954 by moving to the GDR . From there he continued to lead the party, even after the KPD was banned in 1956. From 1957 as 1st secretary of the central committee of the illegal KPD.

Reimann's role in the party purges in 1950

In March 1950, Max Reimann played an important role in the internal party purges controlled from Moscow in the wake of the Noel Field affair . Among other things, the deputy KPD party chairman and member of the Bundestag from North Rhine-Westphalia, Kurt Müller, was asked to go to East Berlin through a telephone call with Max Reimann. After a conversation with Walter Ulbricht , Müller was arrested in the Central Committee building and taken to the central remand prison of the State Security in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen . Shortly thereafter, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a Soviet court and deported to the Soviet Union. The interrogations were carried out personally by the then Deputy Minister for State Security Erich Mielke . In addition to Müller, the party leader of the KPD in the Hessian state parliament Leo Bauer , the Hamburg KPD state chairman Willi Prinz and Müller's successor as deputy KPD party chairman Fritz Sperling were directed to East Berlin and arrested there. The arrested were tortured during interrogation by the GDR Ministry for State Security and the Soviet secret service MWD , after which they were sentenced to long prison terms in labor camps and penitentiaries in show trials. Reimann campaigned for the release of Sperling. Fritz Sperling died just two years after his release from prison, at the age of 46, of the consequences of the abuse he had suffered.

Transfer of the KPD to the DKP

From East Berlin, Reimann advocated the re-admission of the KPD in the Federal Republic. When the SED decided in 1968 to set up a legal communist party in the Federal Republic of Germany with KPD functionaries like Kurt Bachmann , Herbert Mies and others, Reimann initially continued to advocate lifting the KPD ban. Only when, after Brandt's meeting with Brezhnev in the Crimea, it became clear that the DKP was not threatened with a ban, did Reimann find himself ready to join the new party in September 1971.

In 1968 he returned to the Federal Republic of Germany . From 1971 he was honorary chairman of the DKP. He was buried in the Stoffeler cemetery in Düsseldorf . After the death of his wife Ilse Reimann, the family arranged for his urn to be transferred to the central cemetery in Berlin-Friedrichsfelde ( burial site for the victims and persecuted of the Nazi regime ).


  • The importance of the III. SED party congress for West Germany . In: Wissen und Tat , 1950, No. 8, p. 17.
  • with Franz Dahlem : The next tasks of the KPD. Speeches at the conference of West German guest delegates for the Second Party Congress of the SED . Hagen / Westphalia 1951.
  • For lasting peace, democracy and progress. The 20th party congress and our tasks . In: Wissen und Tat , 1956, No. 4, pp. 23–40.
  • In the interests of the forces of peace . In: Problems of Peace and Socialism . Berlin 1966. Issue 6, pp. 440-441.
  • The aggravation of the situation and the West German labor movement. From the presentation by Comrade Max Reimann at the 7th meeting of the Central Committee of the KPD . In: Knowledge and Action . 1966, issue 5/6, pp. 2-35.
  • Max Reimann, Willi Mohn , Max Schäfer : The XXIII. Party congress of the CPSU and its resolutions - a powerful weapon in our struggle for peace, democracy and social security . In: Knowledge and Action . 1966, issue 7/8, pp. 6-13.
  • The cooperation of communists and social democrats - the most important prerequisite for the creation of the unity of action of the people's forces. Excerpts from the speech at the 8th meeting of the Central Committee of the KPD . In: New Germany . Berlin, July 29, 1966, p. 4.
  • The situation after the formation of the Bonn government and the next tasks of the KPD. From the presentation at the 9th meeting of the Central Committee of the KPD . In: Neues Deutschland , Berlin, December 31, 1966, p. 5.
  • Presentation before the 10th meeting of the Central Committee of the KPD . In: Wissen und Tat , 1967, No. 6, pp. 2–15.
  • Highlights from the life of a communist - Franz Ahrens on Max Reimann . Blinkfüer-Verlag Harald Dötze, Hamburg 1968.
  • 10 years of Marxist papers . In: Marxist sheets . Bonn 1973, No. 6, pp. 15-17.
  • Decisions 1945–1956 . Verlag Marxistische Blätter, Frankfurt am Main 1973. ISBN 3-88012-166-4


Several streets in the GDR have been named after him, some of which are still called that today.

  • In the city of Eberswalde , a new housing estate was called Max-Reimann-Viertel (today Brandenburg Quarter) from the 1970s.
  • The Max-Reimann-Straße at the outdoor pool in Kleinmachnow is named after him because he lived there during his time in the GDR.
  • On Rügen in Altenkirchen , in the north of the island, a street is named after him.
  • In Ladebow, a district of Greifswald , there is also a Max-Reimann-Straße .
  • The motor vehicle repair company based in Kleinmachnow was also named after him (VEB KIB "Max Reimann").
  • The Max Reimann Stadium in Cottbus was named after him.
  • The sleeper factory in Zernsdorf , now part of Königs Wusterhausen, bore his name.
  • In 1952 the gasworks in Leipzig was named "Max Reimann".
  • There is a bust of Max Reimann on Richard-Lehmann-Straße in Leipzig.


Web links

Commons : Max Reimann  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Dietrich Staritz, Communist Party of Germany , in: Richard Stöss (Ed.), Party Handbook, paperback edition, Westdeutscher Verlag , Opladen 1986, p. 1672.
  2. ^ Hans Kluth: The KPD in the Federal Republic: Your political activity and organization 1945 - 1956. Westdeutscher Verlag, Cologne / Opladen, 1959, p. 129
  3. Jens Ulrich Klocksin: Communists in Parliament. The KPD in the governments and parliaments of the West German occupation zones and the Federal Republic of Germany (1945–1956). Bonn: Verlag im Hof, 1993, 2nd edition 1994, pp. 447-450 ISBN 3-925689-04-4
  4. Kurt Müller (1903–1990) in commemoration. Edited by Dieter Dowe, Research Institute of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
  6. ^ Karl-Heinz Janßen: Apotheosis of a comrade. The old communist Max Reimann was buried in Düsseldorf . In: The time . February 4, 1977. Digitized