Alfred Neumann (East Germany)
Alfred "Ali" Neumann (
15 December 1909– 8 January 2001) was a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, and for a short time, he was East German Minister of Materials Management.
Neumann was born in
Berlin- Schönebergand completed training as a joiner. In 1919, he joined the worker's sport club "Fichte" (" Fir" or " Spruce"), which in 1928 became a member of the "Fighting Community for Red Sport Unity" ("Kampfgemeinschaft für Rote Sporteinheit"; KG). Neumann became a member of the Communist Party of Germany(KPD) in 1929, and in 1930, a member of the KG state leadership.
econd World War
In 1933-1934 he worked together with
Karl Maronillegally – for Hitlerhad come to power by now – for the KG. In 1934, he emigrated through Swedenand Finlandto the USSR, where he worked as a sport teacher. In 1938, he was expelled from the Soviet Union as he had no Soviet citizenship, and he went to Spainwhere he participated in the Spanish Civil Waras a member of the International Brigades. In 1939, he was arrested in Franceand interned, in 1941, he was handed over to the Gestapo, and in 1942 he was sentenced by the " Volksgerichtshof" to eight years in labour prison ("Zuchthaus") for high treason. In February 1945, he was transferred from the prisonin Brandenburg-Görden to the Dirlewanger SS penal battalion, from which he succeeded in escaping. He became a Soviet prisoner of war, however, and stayed until 1947 in several prison camps.
After his return to
Germany, he joined the Socialist Unity Party ("Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands"; SED) and was an administrative staffer and an SED functionary at the district level in Berlin. In 1949, he became Secretary for Propagandafor the SED Berlin state leadership, from 1951 to 1953, he was East Berlin's acting mayor, and from 1953 to 1957, succeeding Hans Jendretzky, he was First Secretary of the Berlin SED district leadership.
From 1949, Neumann was a representative in the
Volkskammer, from 1954 a member of the Central Committee and candidate, and from February 1958 a member of the SED Central Committee's Politburo. From 1957 to 1961, he was SED Central Committee Secretary, from 1961 to 1965 chairman of the People's Economic Council("Volkswirtschaftsrat"), and from 1965 to 1968 Minister of Materials Management. From 1962, he was a member of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers, and in 1968 he was one of the first two acting chairmen of the Council of Ministers.
Neumann played an important rôle in the initiation and implementation of the
New Economic System("Neues Ökonomisches System"; NÖS). In the wake of Erich Honecker's removal of Walter Ulbrichtin 1971, Neumann, as the only important Politburomember from that time, refused to go along with underwriting a secret request to the Soviet leadership for Ulbricht's redemption, since he was on Ulbricht's side on content and conceptual issues. Erich Honecker would never forget this. Neumann was until the end an uncomfortable antagonist to Honecker, but this was never used in public against him.
In 1989, in East Germany's dying days, Neumann went back to join the Council of Ministers and was excluded from the Politburo. He was also excluded from the SED/PDS in 1990. From 1992 he faced accusations of "
manslaughterand bodily harmon the inter-German border" for his membership in the East German National Defence Council ("Nationaler Verteidigungsrat der DDR"). The 23rd Penal Chamber of the Berlin State Court, however, stayed proceedings in 1999 without ever arranging a trial.
Neumann received in 1956 and 1964 the Fatherland Order of Merit and in 1984 the
Order of Karl Marx.
* "Arbeit für den Sozialismus", selected speeches, Berlin 1979
* "Die DDR stärken - den Frieden sichern", selected speeches, Berlin 1984
*S. Prokop: "Poltergeist im Politbüro. S. Prokop im Gespräch mit Alfred Neumann", Frankfurt an der Oder 1996
NAME= Neumann, Alfred
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Neumann, Ali
SHORT DESCRIPTION=East German politician
DATE OF BIRTH=
15 December 1909
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
8 January 2001
PLACE OF DEATH=
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