Otto Bennemann

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Otto Bennemann (born September 27, 1903 in Braunschweig ; † May 22, 2003 there ) was a German politician ( SPD ).

Between empire and emigration

Otto Bennemann - son of a locksmith - completed a commercial apprenticeship at the Braunschweig power supply company Überlandwerk after primary school, then worked as an industrial clerk and in 1922 joined the Central Association of Employees (ZdA). In November 1923 Otto Bennemann became a member of the SPD and got involved with the Young Socialists . Through people from this environment he came into contact with the 'International Youth League' (IJB), from where his path led him to the International Socialist Fighting League (ISK). Since 1926 he was an ISK member, editor and cashier of the ISK local association in Braunschweig.

He got to know Franziska Stellmacher through the political education work of the ISK, which took place in the Walkemühle Landerziehungsheim . In 1934 the two, who had also been active in the resistance since the seizure of power , got married.

Otto Bennemann was warned of an imminent arrest and went underground. “He initially hid in Berlin and was then able to emigrate to England on adventurous routes via Switzerland and a stay of several weeks in Paris [1938]. The contacts to a group of the MSI (Militant Socialist International), the English group of the ISK, helped him. ”In 1939 Franziska Bennemann was also able to emigrate to England.

While Franziska Bennemann was able to stay in England and worked there as a technical draftsman from 1939 to 1946, her husband was interned as an enemy alien in 1940 and deported to Australia. When he was able to return from Australia in 1942, Franziska Bennemann had already made sure that, since 1941, when he was still interned, he had become a member of the newly formed union of the Trade Union Center for German Workers in Great Britain with a special permit . After his return from Australia in February 1942, Bennemann became involved in the Union of German Socialist Organizations in Great Britain .

“Bennemann came into contact with a subdivision of the American intelligence service, the Labor Desk of the Office for Strategic Services ( OSS ), through Willi Eichler, a leading ISK member and employee in the 'Union' . There he received intensive training for his return to Germany.
On April 12, 1945, the city of Braunschweig was occupied by the Americans. Otto Bennenıann left London on April 16, 1945 and, wearing the uniform of an American GI, traveled in a small group via Brussels and Maastricht until he arrived in Hanover on May 24, 1945 - the end of a seven-year exile for him. From September 1945 he lived in Braunschweig again. "

Politics in times of reconstruction

After the end of the war, Bennemann took part in the reconstruction of the SPD. After 1945 he was councilor of the city of Braunschweig and in 1946 a member of the Appointed Braunschweig Landtag (February 21, 1946 to November 21, 1946). In 1947 he was elected to the Lower Saxony state parliament, to which he belonged between the 1st to 7th electoral period from April 20, 1947 to June 20, 1974. He was deputy chairman of the SPD parliamentary group from May 6, 1955 to May 5, 1959.

From December 17, 1948 to December 3, 1952 and from December 15, 1954 to May 27, 1959, he was Lord Mayor of the city of Braunschweig. He was also one of the authors of the SPD's Godesberg program .

On May 12, 1959, Bennemann was appointed Minister of the Interior of Lower Saxony to the Lower Saxony state government led by Prime Minister Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf , and since 1961 has also been a member of the subsequent government led by Prime Minister Georg Diederichs . On July 5, 1967, his office in the state government ended for reasons of age. Richard Lehners was his successor .

The grave of Otto Bennemann and his wife is in the Brunswick city ​​cemetery .


The Otto and Franziska Bennemann Foundation is named after the Bennemanns . It was established in 1990 "for the promotion and research of the idea and design of the democratic-social legal system and its ethically founded basic values" and has its seat in Bonn. In 1994, at the age of 91, Bennemann also set up the "Otto Bennemann Foundation Braunschweig" in his hometown. This is funded by the Georg Eckert Institute for international textbook research , the Internationale Haus Sonnenberg and Lebenshilfe .




  • Horst-Rüdiger Jarck : Otto Bennemann (1903-2003). Of milieu, resistance and political responsibility. (= Braunschweigische Biographien , edited by the Braunschweigische Stiftung, Volume 3), Joh. Heinr. Meyer, Braunschweig 2015, ISBN 978-3-926701-88-6 .
  • Munzinger : International Biographical Archive. 06/1968 of January 29, 1968.
  • Barbara Simon : Member of Parliament in Lower Saxony 1946–1994. Biographical manual. Edited by the President of the Lower Saxony State Parliament. Lower Saxony State Parliament, Hanover 1996, p. 34.
  • Rainer Zirbeck : Otto Bennemann (1948–1952; 1954–1959), Lord Mayor. In: Henning Steinführer , Claudia Böhler (Hrsg.): The Braunschweiger Mayors. From the establishment of the office in the late Middle Ages to the 20th century. oeding print GmbH, Braunschweig 2013, ISBN 978-3-941737-68-6 , pp. 453-461.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Horst-Rüdiger Jarck: Zeitzeugenerinnerung II: On Otto Bennemann and Georg Eckert - Notes from Bennemann's estate on a piece of the common path , in: Dieter Dowe, Eckhardt Fuchs, Heike Christina Mätzing, Steffen Collector (eds.) : Georg Eckert. Crossing the border between science and politics , V & R unipress, Göttingen, 2017, ISBN 978-3-8471-0761-3 , p. 91 ff. Online: Otto and Franziska Bennemann on Google Books .
  2. See: German Trades Unions in Great Britain
  3. a b About the Bennemann Foundations & Otto Bennemann on the website of the city of Braunschweig
  4. International House Sonnenberg. The educational institution in the Harz Mountains
  5. biography on Retrieved November 11, 2009 .

See also

Web links