Walter Wolf (politician)

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Walter Wolf (born February 27, 1907 in Gotha , † April 2, 1977 in Potsdam ) was a German politician ( KPD , SED ) and educator.


Walter Wolf passed his Abitur at the advanced school in Gotha in 1928 and studied philosophy, education, psychology and economics or history (elective) at the University of Jena from 1928 to 1931 . Here he was a member of the communist university group and joined the KPD on January 1, 1930. From 1931 to 1938 he worked as a primary school candidate in Zechau -Leesen ( Altenburg district ), primary school candidate ( status of a non-scheduled civil servant ) and assistant teacher in Kulm ( Schleiz district ) and as a primary school teacher in Zeulenroda . In order to secure his professional advancement, Wolf joined SA Storm 3/19 in Zeulenroda as a storm man on November 1, 1933 after consultation with the illegal KPD leadership and became an ideological instructor there. From February 1, 1934, he was a member of the Nazi teachers' association and became a member of the National Socialist Welfare Association on February 2, 1934 , and from July 1936 as NSV official.

In 1938, after his illegal activity for the KPD was exposed and the planning of acts of sabotage, he was tried for “preparation for high treason ”. However, the 1st criminal division of the Higher Regional Court in Jena acquitted Walter Wolf on April 4, 1938 for lack of evidence. However, he was taken to the Buchenwald concentration camp in " protective custody " , where he remained until 1945.

Along with Hermann Brill and others, he worked in Buchenwald Popular Front Committee to draft education policy emergency measures .

From 1945 to 1947 he was head of the State Office for National Education and Minister for National Education in Thuringia . The social-pedagogical faculty of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1945. Wolf was the founder there and until 1949 also director of the Institute for Dialectical Materialism . His attempt to do his habilitation at the faculty with a thesis on Hegel's dialectic failed due to technical inadequacy. In 1949 Wolf was appointed professor for theoretical pedagogy at the University of Leipzig . From 1953 to 1972 he then worked as a professor at the Potsdam University of Education . The Institute for Teacher Training in Weimar (Schwanseestrasse 11, former “Landbundhaus”, 1933–1945 “ Darré House” of the Thuringian State Farmers' Union) bore his name during the GDR era.

In 1977 Wolf was awarded the Gold Medal for the Patriotic Order of Merit .


  • Critique of Unreason. For the analysis of the National Socialist pseudophilosophy , Thüringer Verlagsanstalt, Weimar 1947 (manuscript written in the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1944)


  • Michael Eckardt: Between school, university and politics: On the work of the communist pedagogue Walter Wolf in Thuringia before and after 1945. In: Contributions to the history of the workers' movement 48 (2006) 2, 81–94.

Individual evidence

  1. Peter Dudek: Peter Petersen: Reform pedagogy in the SBZ and the GDR 1945-1950. A case study . Deutscher Studienverlag, Weinheim 1996, p. 88-92 .
  2. Neues Deutschland , March 1, 1977, p. 5.