Werner Eberlein

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Werner Eberlein (1983)
Eberlein (center) and Ewald Moldt (left) visiting Herbert Schmalstieg in Hanover (1987)
Gravestone for Hugo and Werner Eberlein

Werner Eberlein (born November 9, 1919 in Mariendorf ; † October 11, 2002 in Berlin ) was a German SED functionary. From 1986 to 1989 he was a member of the SED Politburo . He became known in the GDR as the chief Russian interpreter under state and party leader Walter Ulbricht .


His father Hugo Eberlein was a co-founder of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) at the end of 1918 . After being imprisoned in France , Hugo Eberlein had been in exile in Moscow since autumn 1936 and, like many other German emigrants in the Soviet Union , fell victim to the great terror of the Stalin regime .

Werner Eberlein had to emigrate to his stepmother in the Soviet Union in 1934. He also spent eight years in Siberia - as "Volodja" - in exile and did not return to Germany until 1948 . In the German Democratic Republic , he became the chief Russian interpreter under state and party leader Walter Ulbricht and was well known through numerous television appearances (" Khrushchev's voice"), as he translated the emotional speech of the Soviet party leader into German. "Tall One" could not be overlooked because of his tall stature, and his sparkling humor was also known.

From 1960 Eberlein was a member of the Central Committee of the SED , from 1964 to 1983 deputy head of the Central Committee department. In 1983, almost of retirement age, he surprisingly became 1st Secretary of the SED district leadership in Magdeburg and held this position until 1989. From 1986 to 1989 he was a member of the Politburo of the SED, de facto the highest governing body in the GDR, which probably had to do with his friendship with General Secretary Erich Honecker and the fact that the Magdeburg district was particularly important politically because of its long western border with the Federal Republic of Germany . For a short time at the end of 1989 he was chairman of the Central Party Control Commission of the SED-PDS. Most recently he was a member of the PDS's council of elders .

Eberlein died of a heart attack . His urn was buried in the grave complex for the victims and persecuted of the Nazi regime in Berlin's Friedrichsfelde central cemetery, where his father Hugo Eberlein is also commemorated.

He was a half-brother of the journalist Klaus Huhn .


  • Views, insights, prospects , Berlin 1994
  • Encounters , Berlin 1999
  • Born on November 9th. Memories , Berlin 2000
  • Ed., Information about Erich Honecker , Berlin 2002
  • Dispute with readers , Berlin 2002


Web links

Commons : Werner Eberlein  - Collection of Images
predecessor Office successor
Erich Mückenberger Chairwoman of the Central Party Control Commission of the SED in