Herbert Wehner

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Herbert Wehner
Bundesarchiv Bild 175-Z02-00866, Herbert Wehner.jpg
Iconic portrait of Minister Herbert Wehner in 1966, with his pipe
Federal Minister of Intra-German Relations
In office
1 December 1966 21 October 1969
Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger
Preceded by Johann Baptist Gradl
Succeeded by Egon Franke
Member of the Bundestag
In office
1949–1983
President Karl Arnold (1949, acting )
Theodor Heuss (1949–1959)
Heinrich Lübke (1959–1969)
Gustav Heinemann (1969–1974)
Walter Scheel (1974–1979)
Karl Carstens (1979–1983)
Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (1949–1963)
Ludwig Erhard (1963–1966)
Kurt G. Kiesinger (1966–1969)
Willy Brandt (1969–1974)
Helmut Schmidt (1974–1982)
Helmut Kohl (1982–1983)
Chairman of parliamentary group of SPD
In office
1969–1983
Chancellor Willy Brandt (1969–1974)
Helmut Schmidt (1974–1982)
Helmut Kohl (1982–1983)
Preceded by Helmut Schmidt
Succeeded by Hans-Jochen Vogel
Personal details
Born(1906-07-11)11 July 1906
Dresden, Saxony
German Empire
Died19 January 1990(1990-01-19) (aged 83)
Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia
West Germany
NationalityGerman
Political party Social Democratic Party
Spouse(s)1.Lotte Loebinger (1927–1999); 2. Lotte Burmester (* – 1979); 3. Greta Burmester (daughter of 2.) (1924–2017)

Herbert Richard Wehner (11 July 1906 – 19 January 1990) was a German politician. A former member of the Communist Party, he joined the Social Democrats (SPD) after World War II. He served as Federal Minister of Intra-German Relations from 1966 to 1969 and thereafter as chairman of the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag until 1983.

A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.

Communist Party of Germany former political party in Germany

The Communist Party of Germany was a major political party in Germany between 1918 and 1933, and a minor party in West Germany in the postwar period until it was banned in 1956.

Social Democratic Party of Germany Social-democratic political party in Germany

The Social Democratic Party of Germany, is a social-democratic political party in Germany.

Contents

During his tenure in the Bundestag from 1949 to 1983, Wehner became (in-)famous for his caustic rhetoric and heckling style, often hurling personal insults at MPs with whom he disagreed. He holds the record for official censures (77 by one count, 78 or 79 by others) handed down by the presiding officer.

Heckler verbal harasser

A heckler is a person who harasses and tries to disconcert others with questions, challenges, or gibes. Hecklers are often known to shout disparaging comments at a performance or event, or to interrupt set-piece speeches, with the intent of disturbing performers and/or participants.


The Presidium of the Bundestag is responsible for the routine administration of the Bundestag, including its clerical and research activities. The presidium consists of the President of the Bundestag and a variable number of Vice Presidents, currently six.

Life

Herbert Wehner was born in Dresden, the son of a shoemaker. His father was active in his trade union and a member of the Social Democratic Party. More radical than his father, Wehner engaged in anarcho-syndicalist circles around Erich Mühsam, driven by the 1923 invasion of Reichswehr troops into the Free State of Saxony at the behest of the DVP SPD Reich government of Chancellor Gustav Stresemann. He also fell out with Mühsam, whose pacifist manners he rejected, and finally joined the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) in 1927, becoming an official of the party's Rote Hilfe organisation the same year.

Dresden Place in Saxony, Germany

Dresden is the capital city of the German state of Saxony, and with around 550,000 inhabitants, it is the state's second most populous city after Leipzig. It is the 12th most populous city of Germany, the fourth largest by area after Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne, as well as the third most populous city in the area of former East Germany, after (East) Berlin and Leipzig. Dresden is contiguous with Freital, Pirna, Radebeul, Meissen and Coswig, and its urban area has around 780,000 inhabitants, making it the largest in Saxony.

Shoemaking process of making footwear

Shoemaking is the process of making footwear.

A trade union is an association of workers forming a legal unit or legal personhood, usually called a "bargaining unit", which acts as bargaining agent and legal representative for a unit of employees in all matters of law or right arising from or in the administration of a collective agreement. Labour unions typically fund the formal organization, head office, and legal team functions of the labour union through regular fees or union dues. The delegate staff of the labour union representation in the workforce are made up of workplace volunteers who are appointed by members in democratic elections.

Wehner rose quickly and was elected to the Landtag state legislature of Saxony in 1930. Nevertheless, he resigned one year later to work at the KPD politburo in Berlin with Walter Ulbricht. After Hitler's seizure of power in January 1933, he participated in the communist resistance against the Nazi regime from the Saar Protectorate. When the Saar was re-incorporated in 1935, Wehner went into exile, first to Paris, then in 1937 to Moscow, where he lived at Hotel Lux, wrote for the Deutsche Zentral Zeitung and had to face Joseph Stalin's Great Purge of 1937-38. [1] After Wehner's death, German news magazine Der Spiegel magazine documented accusations that he informed the NKVD on several party fellows like Hugo Eberlein, presumably to save his own life. [2] After being sent to neutral Sweden in 1941 in order to re-enter Germany, he was arrested at Stockholm and interned for espionage in 1942. If he deliberately went into custody has not been conclusively established, at least he was excluded from the Communist Party by politburo chief Wilhelm Pieck.

Landtag representative assembly (parliament) in German-speaking countries with legislative authority and competence over a federated state

A Landtag is a representative assembly (parliament) in German-speaking countries with legislative authority and competence over a federated state (Land). Landtage assemblies are the legislative bodies for the individual states of Germany and states of Austria, and have authority to legislate in non-federal matters for the regional area.

Politburo executive committee for a number of political parties

A politburo or political bureau is the executive committee for communist parties.

Berlin Capital of Germany

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.

Upon his return to Germany in 1946, Wehner joined the Social Democratic Party in Hamburg and soon became an aide of Chairman Kurt Schumacher. After the 1949 federal election he entered the Bundestag parliament and remained an MP until his retirement from politics in 1983, from 1952 to 1958 also as a member of the European Parliament. In 1957/58 and again from 1964 to 1966 he served as deputy chairman of the SPD parliamentary group. Wehner was instrumental in the party's adoption of the Godesberg Program in which the Social Democrats repudiated a fixation on Marxist ideology and broadened its appeal. In 1966 he was named Federal Minister for All-German Affairs in the CDU SPD grand coalition government of Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger. The cooperation between the ex-communist and the former member of the Nazi Party went well; Wehner even promised the CDU partners to stabilize the coalition by backing the implementation of a plurality voting system, which he later denoted as "nonsense".

Hamburg City in Germany

Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany with a population of over 1.8 million, after the capital Berlin.

Kurt Schumacher German politician

Kurt Ernst Carl Schumacher was a German social democratic politician, who served as chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany from 1946 and was the first Leader of the Opposition in the West German Bundestag from 1949 until his death in 1952. An opponent of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer's government, but an even stronger opponent of the East German Socialist Unity Party and communism in general, he was one of the founding fathers of post-war German democracy. He was also a noted opponent of the far-right and the far-left, i.e. the Nazi Party and the Communist Party of Germany, during the Weimar Republic, and is famous for his description of the communists as "red-painted Nazis." He spent over ten years in Nazi concentration camps, where he was severely mistreated.

1949 West German federal election

Federal elections were held in West Germany on 14 August 1949 to elect the first Bundestag, with a further eight seats elected in West Berlin between 1949 and January 1952 and another eleven between February 1952 and 1953. They were the first contested elections since 1933 and the first after the division of the country.

Wehner (left), Brandt and Schmidt (right) at a SPD convention in Hanover, 1973 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F039406-0011, Hannover, SPD-Bundesparteitag, Brandt.jpg
Wehner (left), Brandt and Schmidt (right) at a SPD convention in Hanover, 1973

When the SPD assumed the reins of government under Chancellor Willy Brandt upon the 1969 federal election, Wehner became chairman of the SPD parliamentary faction. He was known as a hard disciplinarian who kept his members in line. When the CDU on 27 April 1972 waged a constructive vote of no confidence against Brandt, he ordered the SPD deputies not to participate in the ballot in order to exclude possible bribed dissidents. The opposing candidate Rainer Barzel failed to reach the absolute majority by two votes. After Brandt was re-elected in 1972, the relations between the two men cooled down during the 1973 oil crisis, when Wehner increasingly viewed the chancellor's policies as indecisive. In the course of the Guillaume Affair, he did not make great efforts to persuade Brandt to stay in office and promoted the chancellorship of Helmut Schmidt.

Willy Brandt German social-democratic politician; Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Willy Brandt was a German statesman who was leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1964 to 1987 and served as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1969 to 1974. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971 for his efforts to strengthen cooperation in western Europe through the EEC and to achieve reconciliation between West Germany and the countries of Eastern Europe. He was the first Social Democrat chancellor since 1930.

1969 West German federal election

Federal elections were held in West Germany on 28 September 1969 to elect the members of the 6th Bundestag. The CDU/CSU remained the largest faction and the Social Democratic Party remained the largest single party in the Bundestag, winning 237 of the 518 seats.

The constructive vote of no confidence is a variation on the motion of no confidence that allows a parliament to withdraw confidence from a head of government only if there is a positive majority for a prospective successor. The principle is intended to ensure that a replacement head of government has enough parliamentary support to govern.

Already Father of the House from 1980, Herbert Wehner did not seek re-election in 1983, after the social-liberal coalition had finally broken up. He retired to Bonn, where he died in 1990 at the age of 83 after a long illness, suffering from Diabetes mellitus and Binswanger's disease.

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References

  1. „Emigranten: Hotel Lux“ Geo Epoche, No. 38 (August 2009). Retrieved 12 November 2011 ‹See Tfd› (in German)
  2. "Menschlicher Abschaum" Der Spiegel (31 December 1990). Retrieved 15 November 2011 ‹See Tfd› (in German)