World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Heinrich Rau

Article Id: WHEBN0009915755
Reproduction Date:

Title: Heinrich Rau  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Leaders of East Germany, Rau (disambiguation), Leadership of East Germany, Members of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski
Collection: 1899 Births, 1961 Deaths, Brandenburg Politicians, Communist Party of Germany Politicians, Communists in the German Resistance, German Atheists, German Military Personnel of World War I, German People of the Spanish Civil War, Government Ministers of East Germany, Independent Social Democratic Party Politicians, International Brigades Personnel, Leaders of East Germany, Mauthausen-Gusen Concentration Camp Survivors, Members of the People's Chamber, Members of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, People from Stuttgart, People from the Kingdom of Württemberg, Recipients of the Patriotic Order of Merit, Refugees from Nazi Germany in the Soviet Union, Socialist Unity Party of Germany Politicians
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Heinrich Rau

Heinrich Rau
Rau giving a speech in Leipzig, 1950
Born Heinrich Gottlob Rau
(1899-04-02)2 April 1899
Feuerbach, Kingdom of Württemberg, German Empire
Died 23 March 1961(1961-03-23) (aged 61)
East Berlin, East Germany
Cause of death Heart attack
Resting place Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde, Berlin, Germany
Organization Spartacus League, International Brigades
Known for Leader of the XI International Brigade
Chairman of the German Economic Commission
Leading economic politician and diplomat of East Germany
Political party Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (1917–1919)
Communist Party of Germany (1919–1946)
Socialist Unity Party of Germany (1946–1961)
Spouse(s) Helene Heß
Elisabeth Bihr
Children 3 sons, 1 daughter

Heinrich Gottlob "Heiner" Rau (2 April 1899 – 23 March 1961) was a German communist politician during the time of the Weimar Republic; subsequently, during the Spanish Civil War, he was a leading member of the International Brigades and after World War II an East German statesman.

Rau grew up in a suburb of World War I, he participated in the German Revolution of 1918-19. From 1920 onward, he was a leading agricultural policy maker of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). This ended in 1933, when Adolf Hitler came to power. Shortly afterward Rau was thrown in jail for two years. As an enemy of the Nazi regime in Germany he was imprisoned, in total, for more than half of the time of Hitler's reign. After his first imprisonment he emigrated in 1935 to the Soviet Union (USSR). From there, in 1937, he went on to Spain, where he participated in the Spanish Civil War as a leader of one of the International Brigades. In 1939, he was arrested in France, and was delivered by the Vichy regime back to Nazi Germany in 1942. After a few months in a Gestapo prison, he was transferred to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp in March 1943. While in the concentration camp he participated in conspiratorial prisoner activities, which led to a camp uprising in the final days before the end of World War II in Europe.

After the war he played an important role in the political scene of East Germany. Before the establishment of an East German state he was the chairman of the German Economic Commission, the precursor to the East German government. Subsequently he became chairman of the National Planning Commission of East Germany and a deputy chairman of the East German Council of Ministers. He was a leading economic politician and diplomat of East Germany and led various ministries at different times. Within East Germany's ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) he was a member of the party's CC Politburo.


  • Origins and early political career 1
    • Stuttgart 1.1
      • Early years until World War I 1.1.1
      • Revolution 1.1.2
      • Influences 1.1.3
    • Berlin 1.2
  • Imprisonment, International Brigades, World War II 2
  • East Germany 3
    • 1945–1949 3.1
      • New start in Brandenburg 3.1.1
      • German Economic Commission 3.1.2
    • 1949–1953 3.2
      • Establishment and difficult first years of a new state 3.2.1
    • 1953–1961 3.3
      • Competition in the Politburo and economic reform 3.3.1
      • Foreign trade and foreign policy 3.3.2
  • Aftermath and legacy 4
  • See also 5
  • Notes and references 6
    • Notes 6.1
    • References 6.2
    • Bibliography 6.3
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8

Origins and early political career


Early years until World War I

Rau was born in Feuerbach, now a part of Stuttgart, in the German Kingdom of Württemberg, the son of a peasant who later became a factory worker.[1] He grew up in the adjacent city of Zuffenhausen, now also a part of Stuttgart. After finishing school in spring 1913, he started work as a press operator in a shoe factory.[2] In November 1913 he changed his employer and moved to the Bosch factory works in Feuerbach. There he completed his training as metal presser and remained until autumn 1920, with interruptions due to war service during 1917-1918 and the subsequent German Revolution of 1918-1919.[2]

From 1913 Rau also was active in the labour movement. In that year he joined the

  • Heinrich Rau in the German National Library catalogue
  • Stalin and the Cold War "Conversations between Joseph V. Stalin and SED leadership" . Cold War International History Project. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Retrieved September 29, 2011. 
  • "Heinrich Rau, Richard Staimer y Kurt Frank". Europeana. Retrieved January 11, 2013.  – Picture with Rau, Richard Staimer and Kurt Frank in Spain, 1937.
  • "Heinrich Rau serving out bread to the children of the children's home "Ernst Thälmann".". – The children's home "Ernst Thälmann" near Madrid was established in 1937 by the XI International Brigade as a home for war orphans.  
  • "Ernesto Che Guevara visits East Berlin". Horst Sturm – Historische Auktions Ergebnisse. – Picture with Rau and Guevara in East Berlin.  
  • "Lumumba children get gifts from Germany".   – Picture of Rau's wife Elisabeth with Patrice Lumumba's children in Egypt. ( Lumumba was the first Prime Minister of the Congo. His family moved into exile in Egypt after or shortly before his violent death. )

External links

  • Bohn, Robert; Jürgen Elvert; Karl Christian Lammers (2000). Deutsch-skandinavische Beziehungen nach 1945 (in Deutsch). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.  
  • Bouscaren, Anthony Trawick (1953). America faces world communism. New York: Vantage Press. Retrieved September 29, 2011.  (Shows an American view in 1953)
  • Hoff, Henning (2003). Grossbritannien und die DDR 1955–1973 (Britain and the GDR 1955–1973) (in Deutsch). München: Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag GmbH.  

Further reading

  • Amos, Heike (2003). "Rau, Heinrich".  
  • Amos, Heike (2003). Politik und Organisation der SED-Zentrale 1949–1963 (in Deutsch). Münster: Lit Verlag.  
  • Bauerkämper, Arnd (2002). Ländliche Gesellschaft in der kommunistischen Diktatur: Zwangsmodernissierung und Tradition in Brandenburg 1945-1963 (in Deutsch). Köln: Böhlau.  
  • Berlin, Jörg, ed. (1979). Die deutsche Revolution 1918/19: Quellen und Dokumente (in Deutsch). Köln: Pahl-Rugenstein.  
  • Brun-Zechovoj, Valerij (2000). Manfred Stern – General Kleber (in Deutsch). Berlin: Trafo Verlag.  
  • Bock, Siegfried; Muth Ingrid; Schwiesau Hermann (2004). DDR-Aussenpolitik im Rückspiegel (in Deutsch). Münster: Lit Verlag.  
  • Broszat, Martin; Weber Herrmann; Braas Gerhard (1993). SBZ Handbuch (in Deutsch). München: R. Oldenbourg Verlag GmbH.  
  • Degras, Jane, ed. (1956). The Communist International, 1919–1943: Documents 1. London: Oxford University Press. 
  • Diedrich, Torsten (Ed.); Kowalczuk, Ilko-Sascha (Ed.); Heike Amos, etc. (2005). Staatsgründung auf Raten? (in Deutsch). Berlin: Ch. Links Verlag.  
  • Dunin-Wąsowicz, Krzysztof (1982). Resistance in the Nazi concentration camps, 1933–1945. PWN-Polish Scientific Publishers.  
  • Engel, Carlos (1999). Historia de las Brigadas Mixtas del E. P. de la República (in Español). Madrid: Almena Ediciones.  
  • Foitzik, Jan (1999). Sowjetische Militäradministration in Deutschland (SMAD) (in Deutsch). Berlin: Akademie Verlag.  
  • Gere, Edwin (2003). The Unheralded: Men and Women of the Berlin Blockade and Airlift. Victoria: Trafford.  
  • Gray, William Glenn (2003). Germany's cold war. University of North Carolina Press.  
  • Grieder, Peter (1999). The East German leadership 1946–73. Manchester: Manchester University Press.  
  • Hangen, Welles (1966). The muted revolution: East Germany's challenge to Russia and the West. New York:  
  • Hoffmann, Dierk (2000). Hoffmann, Dierk; Wentker, Hermann, eds. ]The last year of the Soviet Occupation Zone [Das letzte Jahr der SBZ (in Deutsch). München: Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag. pp. 101–102.  
  • Jackson, Michael W. (1994). The Fallen Sparrows: The International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society.  
  • Karlsch, Rainer (1993). Allein bezahlt? (in Deutsch).  
  • Kohlhaas, Wilhelm (1967). Chronik der Stadt Stuttgart. Volume 16: 1913–1918. Veröffentlichungen des Archivs der Stadt Stuttgart (in Deutsch). Stuttgart: Ernst Klett Verlag. pp. 199–209. 
  • Kohlhaas, Wilhelm (1964). Chronik der Stadt Stuttgart. Volume 17: 1918–1933. Veröffentlichungen des Archivs der Stadt Stuttgart (in Deutsch). Stuttgart: Ernst Klett Verlag. pp. 1–24. 
  • Lazitch, Branko; Drachkovitch, Milorad M. (1986). BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF THE COMINTERN. Stanford: Hoover Institution – Stanford University.  
  • Loth, Wilfried (2002). Stalin's unwanted children. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.  
  • Lustiger, Arno (1989). Shalom Libertad! (PDF) (in Deutsch). Frankfurt am Main: Athäneum Verlag.  
  • Marx, Karl; Engels, Friedrich (2004). Karl Marx, Frederick Engels: Collected Works. Volume 50: Engels 1892–95. New York: International Publishers. pp. 182–183.  
  • Mathias, Jörg (1983). Regional interests in Europe: Wales and Saxony as modern regions. London: Frank Cass Publishers. p. 65.  
  • McCauley, Martin (1983). The German Democratic Republic since 1945. London: Palgrave Macmillan.  
  • McLellan, Josie (2004). Antifascism and memory in East Germany. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  
  • Michel, Alexander (1996). Hans Pohl, ed. Von der Fabrikzeitung zum Führungsmittel. Beiträge zur Unternehmensgeschichte (in Deutsch) 96. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. pp. 217–220.  
  • Muth, Ingrid (2001). Die DDR-Aussenpolitik 1949–1972 (in Deutsch). Berlin: Christoph Links Verlag.  
  • Niemetz, Daniel (2006). Das feldgraue Erbe: die Wehrmachteinflüsse im Militär der SBZ/DDR (in Deutsch). Berlin: Christoph Links Verlag.  
  • Osterman, Christian (2001). Uprising in East Germany, 1953. New York: Central European University Press.  
  • Roesler, Jörg (2006). "Planungsreform unter günstigen und ungünstigen Bedingungen". In Prokop, Siegfried. Zwischen Aufbruch und Abbruch: Die DDR im Jahre 1956. Zeitgeschichte (in Deutsch) 41 (1 ed.). Berlin: Kai Homilius. pp. 88–95.  
  • Roesler, Jörg (September 2008). "Zwei Währungsreformen im besetzten Deutschland" (PDF). UTOPIE kreativ (in Deutsch) (215): 821. Retrieved September 29, 2011. 
  • Schirdewan, Karl (1994). Aufstand gegen Ulbricht (in Deutsch). Aufbau Taschenbuch Verlag.  
  • Schönborn, Karl-Heinz (1976). Revolutionärer Prozess und Staatsentstehung (in Deutsch). East Berlin:  
  • Schulze, Hans-Michael (2010). Das Pankower Städtchen: Ein historischer Rundgang (PDF) (in Deutsch). Berlin: Christoph Links Verlag.  
  • Schumann, Silke (2003). Anatomie der Staatssicherheit/MfS-Handbuch, Teil III/20 (PDF) (in Deutsch). Berlin:  
  • Weber, Hermann (1999). Geschichte der DDR (in Deutsch). Münschen: Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag.  
  • Weber, Hermann; Herbst, Andreas (2008). Deutsche Kommunisten. Biographisches Handbuch 1918 bis 1945 (in Deutsch). Berlin: Karl Dietz.  
  • Weitz, Eric D. (1997). Creating German communism, 1890–1990. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.  
  • Woitinas, Erich (1977). "Heinrich Rau". Schriftenreihe zur Geschichte der FDJ (in Deutsch) 36. East Berlin: Junge Welt Verlag. 


  1. ^ a b c "Heinrich Rau". Internationales Biographisches Archiv 15/1961 (in Deutsch). Ravensburg: Munzinger-Archiv (de). 1961-04-03. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h (German) Woitinas 1977, pp. 8–11
  3. ^ For documents on Infantry Regiment 126' see
    • "Bestand M 740/6". Regimentschronik (in Deutsch). Stuttgart: Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d For the first days of the demonstrations and strikes, see
    • (German) Kohlhaas 1967, pp. 199–201
    For the king's declaration, see
    • Kohlhaas 1967, pp. 201–203
    For detailed information about these events on 9 November 1918 in Stuttgart, see
    • Kohlhaas 1967, pp. 201–209
  5. ^ a b c d (German) Woitinas 1977, pp. 12–13
  6. ^ a b For Fritz Rück and the workers' councils in Württemberg, see
    • "Einführung". Bestand E 135 a (in Deutsch). Stuttgart: Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg / Hauptstaatsarchiv. March 1988. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
    For Albert Schreiner and the soldiers' councils in Württemberg, see
    • "Einführung". Bestand E 135 b (in Deutsch). Stuttgart: Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg / Hauptstaatsarchiv. March 1991. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "Biographien M–Z – Rau, Heinrich". Kabinettsprotokolle der Bundesregierung online (in Deutsch). Koblenz:  
  8. ^ (German) Berlin 1979, pp. 98–100, 125
  9. ^ (German) Kohlhaas 1964, pp. 16–17
  10. ^ For the situation at the Bosch company, see pp 217–219; for the situation at the Daimler company, see pp 219–220
    • (German) Michel 1996, pp. 217–220
  11. ^ (German) Kohlhaas 1964, p. 20
  12. ^ a b c (German) NDBAmos 2003
  13. ^ a b For Edwin Hoernle (short biographies), see
    • Lazitch 1986, pp. 177–178
    • "Biographien H – Hoernle, Edwin". Akten der Reichskanzlei. Weimarer Republik online (in Deutsch). Koblenz:  
    For Hoernle as member of the ECCI in 1922, see:
    • Degras 1956, pp. 453–455 / Extraction: "The Communist International (1919–1943)/ORGANISATIONAL OFFICIALS". Early American Marxism. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  14. ^ For Engels' letter to Karl Marx' daughter Laura Lafargue, where he writes about Clara Zetkin, see
    • CollWorks 2004, pp. 182–183 / Extraction: "girl girls girls". learning curve. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  15. ^ a b Müller, Hans-Georg (1995). "Clara Zetkin und ihre Sillenbucher Zeit" (in Deutsch). Retrieved September 27, 2011.  Speech manuscript of a lecture by the Stuttgart local historian Dr. Hans-Georg Müller in Stuttgart-Sillenbuch on 16 November 1995.
  16. ^ a b (German) Woitinas 1977, pp. 19–20
  17. ^ a b (German) Woitinas 1977, pp. 21–22
  18. ^ "Brigadas Internacionales / XI Thaelmann o Hans Beimler" (in Español). Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  19. ^ Krammer 1969
  20. ^ a b (Spanish) Engel 1999 / Extraction: "XI Brigada Internacional". Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  21. ^ (German) Brun 1999 / Summary: "Manfred Stern – General Kleber". Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  22. ^ (German) Niemetz 2006, p. 51
  23. ^ Thomas 1977, pp. 366, 482, 488
  24. ^ Antonia Stern. "Hans Beimler" (in Deutsch). Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  25. ^ McLellan 2004, p. 182
  26. ^ Jackson 1994, p. 107
  27. ^ "International Brigades – Battalions / international brigades". Axis History Forum. 2006-05-15. Retrieved February 4, 2013. 
  28. ^ a b (German) Lustiger 1989, pp. 35–36
  29. ^ Thomas 1977, p. 878
  30. ^ "La prison de Castres de 1941 à l’évasion de 1943" (in Français). Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  31. ^ Dunin 1982, pp. 67, 269 - On page 269 a by Rau drawn plan for a camp uprising is described.
  32. ^ a b (German) Woitinas 1977, p. 24
  33. ^ (German) ( Erich Woitinas' reference from 1977 to Franz Dahlem's writing was IML (Institut für Marxismus-Leninismus), ZPA (Central party archive of the SED), EA 1078. Meanwhile, the IML ceased to exist and the ZPA is part of the 'SAPMO' section of the German Federal Archives(SAPMO) in Berlin. The correct reference should be 'German Federal Archives, SAPMO, ZPA, EA 1078'. )
  34. ^ (German) Woitinas 1977, p. 25
  35. ^ a b (German) Bauerkämper 2002, pp. 68–69, 88
  36. ^ (German) Broszat 1993, pp. 96–97
  37. ^ Mathias 2004, p. 65
  38. ^ McCauley 1983, p. 38
  39. ^ Weitz 1997, p. 350
  40. ^ (German) Roesler 2008, p. 821
  41. ^ (German) Karlsch 1993, p. 211
  42. ^ Gere 2003, pp. 45–46
  43. ^ a b (German) Hoffmann 2000, pp. 101–102
  44. ^ (German) Foitzik 1999, p. 369
  45. ^ Dr. Helmut Meschenmoser (2006). "Blockade und Gegenblockade" (in Deutsch). Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  46. ^ (German) Broszat 1993, p. 266
  47. ^ (German) Broszat 1993, p. 272
  48. ^ (German) Weber 1999, p. 123
  49. ^ (German) Schöneburg 1976, p. 149
  50. ^ Current notes on international affairs 23. Australia. Dept. of Foreign Affairs. 1952. p. 724. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  51. ^ Osterman 2001, p. 29
  52. ^ "Dreimal gleiche Treue".  
  53. ^ Grieder 1999, p. 55
  54. ^ (German) Amos 2003, pp. 105–107
  55. ^ a b "O. Grotewohl's Handwritten Notes on the SED CC Politburo Meeting".  
  56. ^ (German) Amos 2003, p. 346
  57. ^ (German) Diedrich 2005, pp. 66–69
  58. ^ Osterman 2001, p. 28
  59. ^ (German) Schird 1994, p. 55
  60. ^ Loth 2002, p. 157
  61. ^ "EAST GERMANY: Rehabilitated Rival".  
  62. ^ "Verirrte Kugeln".  
  63. ^ (German) Amos 2003, pp. 255, 257, 258, 265, 311
  64. ^ (German) MfS 2003, p. 31
  65. ^ (German) Amos 2003, p. 292
  66. ^ (German) Amos 2003, p. 396
  67. ^ (German) Amos 2003, pp. 340–341
  68. ^ (German) Schenk 1962, pp. 111–114
  69. ^ (German) Ditfurth 1998, pp. 38–39
  70. ^ a b "Ministerial Appointments: East Germany". CHRONOLOGY OF INTERNATIONAL EVENTS AND DOCUMENTS (Supplement to 'THE WORLD TODAY') (London: Royal Institute of International Affairs) IX (23): 760–769. 1953.  
  71. ^ Hangen 1966, p. 5 (Contemporary description of the New Economic System, published in 1966. The author received for this book also the 1966's Cornelius Ryan Award.)
  72. ^ (German) Roesler 2006, pp. 91, 94–95
  73. ^ (German) Roesler 2006, pp. 88–95
  74. ^ (German) Roesler 2006, pp. 91, 94
  75. ^ a b (German) Roesler 2006, pp. 91–94
  76. ^ (German) Roesler 2006, p. 92
  77. ^ (German) Roesler 2006, pp. 93–94
  78. ^ (German) Bock 2004, p. 91
  79. ^ (German) Muth 2001, p. 58
  80. ^ (German) Amos 2003, pp. 398–401, 487
  81. ^ Gray 2003, pp. 59, 88
  82. ^ "Latin America Report" (PDF) (JPRS-LAM-84-037). Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS). 1984-03-23. p. 24. Retrieved September 28, 2011. 
  83. ^ (German) Schalck 2000, p. 107
  84. ^ (German) Weber 2008, p. 704
  85. ^ (German) Schulze 2010, pp. 89–90; on page 4, a photograph with Rau, Grotewohl and Pieck, visiting Franz Dahlem in his house in Majakowskiring, can be seen.
  86. ^ "Johannes Rau".  


  1. ^ As the king had demanded that no blood should be shed for his sake, and thus de facto had rejected the use of weapons, this event occurred nearly bloodless. The crowd was able to disarm a nearby stationed security troop, which was not given order, what to do, without resistance. At least one of the guards at the Wilhelm Palais was badly beaten before other revolutionaries intervened and tended his wounds. The still quite popular king was unharmed.[4]
  2. ^ Arthur Crispien and Ulrich Fischer, the two USPD ministers in the cabinet, sympathised with the communists during a communist revolt in Stuttgart, in January 1919. Afterward they were removed from office.[9]
  3. ^ The communists had a strong presence in Stuttgart's factories. For example, at the Works council elections (Betriebsratswahl) at the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (Mercedes) in March 1920, the candidates of KPD and USPD together received about three quarters of the votes. Similar results had already occurred in January 1919 at elections to a forerunner body of the works council. The majority structure at Rau's firm, the Bosch factory works in Feuerbach, was comparable in these years.[10]
  4. ^ In 1936 five international brigades were established, which, perhaps "for the purpose to make them appear more formidable to the enemy, were named the XIth, XIIth, XIIIth, XIVth and XVth International Brigades".[19]
  5. ^ There is some evidence, which at least in part hints in this direction: According to authors like Carlos Engel, Rau replaced Richard Staimer on 3 November 1937.[20] According to an official report, written by the former leading brigade officer Gustav Szinda in 1940 in Moscow, Rau however followed Staimer at the beginning of January 1938, when Staimer left Spain for Moscow. Szinda wrote in accordance with the official version of the events desired by the Soviet and the Comintern leadership at the time, and also described Hans Kahle as the brigade's first commander while failing to mention his predecessor, 'Gen. Kléber', who had fallen into disgrace in the meantime.[21] Szinda himself was a temporary acting commander of the brigade after Rau's injury. East German communists later were struck by the enmity between Rau and Staimer, the origin of which was supposed to have originated in Spain.[22] Speculation and accusations also emerged that Richard Staimer had murdered the brigade's early commissar Hans Beimler on behalf of the Soviet secret service NKVD[23] (An important partisan of this thesis was Beimlers's close friend Antonia Stern.)[24]
  6. ^ During the past two years, inmates, under the leadership of imprisoned Soviet officers and Spain fighters like Rau, had build a secret military organisation in the camp. Franz Dahlem, then member of the illegal 'International Camp Committee' later wrote, that the leading Soviet colonel Shanzshejew had informed him, that a total of 11 fighting groups had been available, among them 3 Soviet groups and 3 German speaking groups, including one from pre-war Austria. The other groups were 1 French speaking group and respectively one group from each of the areas of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Spain and Yugoslavia. Finally, on 5 May 1945, the 'International Camp Committee' triggered the rebellion.[32][33]
    According to Woitinas, Rau played an essential role in the uprising: "Heinrich Rau was, as one of the organisers of the secret military organisation, crucially involved in the success of the liberation action." ("Heinrich Rau war als einer der Organisatoren der geheimen Militärorganisation am Gelingen der Befreiungsaktion entscheidend beteiligt.")[32]
  7. ^ Following a Soviet order in February 1948, the German Economic Commission became a "nascent state structure for all intents and purposes", with "competence ranging far beyond the economy proper" and it was granted power "to issue orders and directives to all German organs within the Soviet Occupation Zone".[39]
  8. ^ The exchange rate for state-run companies and very small saving accounts up to 100 [41]
  9. ^ Chairman (prime minister) was Otto Grotewohl, the symbol figure of the merger into the SED. SED General Secretary Walter Ulbricht held also the post of the first deputy chairman. In cases, when both, Grotewohl and Ulbricht were abroad, for instance in Moscow, Rau, the 2nd deputy chairman, normally used to serve as the acting prime minister in this time.[50] Beside Ulbricht and Rau there were three other deputy prime ministers, among them two representatives of the other parties in the National Front, who, according to Grotewohl in a talk with Joseph Stalin, were of no relevance. ("Comrade Grotewohl says that two of the five deputies are representatives of bourgeois parties, and we are glad that they do not do anything.")[51]
  10. ^ Ulbricht, who led the Politburo in this time still as Primus inter pares, led also the Secretariat of the Central Committee. The CC Secretariat was the de facto second highest party body after the Politburo. Its task was, to lead the party apparatus according to the decisions by the Politburo. This included the important areas of agitation and propaganda and the party press. It was of particular importance, that the Secretariat was superior of the party cadres, including some – perhaps most – members of the Central Committee in their further party occupations. With the exception of a row of especially important positions, whose manning the Politburo expressively reserved, the Secretariat, in particular Ulbricht, could decide about the careers of the party cadres.[54] The CC Secretariat was an important pillar of Ulbricht's power.
    Given his not very strong position in the Politburo, Ulbricht also managed in the early 1950s to expand the activities of the Secretariat – which was originally designed as a supporting body of the Politburo for typical party affairs – partly to government policy, a core responsibility of the Politburo. As a consequence, the Secretariat, which was now occasionally even by followers of Ulbricht nicknamed "Bureau Ulbricht", was increasingly seen as a rival of the Politburo. This situation led in 1953 within the Politburo to the demand to abolish the Secretariat.[55] Shortly afterwards Ulbricht could consolidate his position in the Politburo and accepted, that the activities of the Secretariat, which had lost in value for Ulbricht, were widely narrowed to the original purpose again.[56] ( In later decades the character of the Secretariat changed once more. Since 1959 all CC Secretary posts were manned by members of the Politburo. Subsequently it became more and more usual, that the Politburo members were also CC Secretaries for their responsible areas, including the government policy. In these times most of the Politburo commissions for the diverse government areas, which were in part also discussion rounds, lost influence and the Politburo members often preferred now to use more the apparatus of the Secretariat for directives. )[57]
  11. ^ Karl Schirdewan, who became in 1953 member of the Politburo, wrote, that Vladimir Semyonov, Moscow's representative in East Germany, asked him on 19 June 1953 about Ulbricht and Rau. According to Schirdewan, he responded (diplomatically) by favouring Ulbricht, but declared that in case of a needed change Rau would be the most promising candidate.[59] (A few years later, Schirdewan himself became a new rival of Ulbricht and failed.)
  12. ^ Prime Minister Otto Grotewohl, who seemed to keep out of the conflict, took some notes about a few single statements during the fevered meeting.[55]
  13. ^ Franz Dahlem, Ulbricht's main rival in the SED and since 1938 Rau's close fellow in Paris, Camp Vernet, Castres, the Prince Albrecht Street and the Mauthausen Concentration Camp, had already been deposed by Ulbricht a few months earlier, in connection with the Noel Field affair and the subsequent trials.[61] (Three years later, in 1956, Dahlem was rehabilitated and shortly afterward among the first recipients of the new established Hans Beimler Medal, which he received during a ceremony supervised by Rau. Ironically Richard Staimer, a quite prominent person in the GDR and also a target of some speculations which claimed him to be Beimler's murderer, received the same medal on this occasion as well out of necessity – and had to accept it.)[62]
  14. ^ Ulbricht found especially support by , an organisation with vast security competences outside the direct responsibility of the Politburo.National Defense Council of East Germany In Ulbricht's time no other Stasi chief could become again member of the Politburo. In 1960 Ulbricht also converted his security commission into the [64]
  15. ^ The Central Committee of the SED, the by name highest party body between the Party Congresses, but de facto usually a acclamation body of its Politburo, had also officially the right, to ballot the members of the Politburo and of the Secretariat between the Party Congresses. But given the widespread custom, to see secret voting as a sign of dangerous bourgeois falderal, it was usual to accept always the proposals by the Politburo. But during the following 15th session of the Central Committee, which was also attended by high Soviet officials, among them Mikhail Suslov, and which saw sharp attacks by Ulbricht against some other Politburo members, especially against Herrnstadt and Zaisser, all was different and the members of the Central Committee didn't elect those rebels, who were especially a target of Ulbricht's attacks. Never before and never again in the SED history, it happened, that apparatchiks, nominated for election by the Politburo itself, were not subsequently also elected by the Central Committee![65] In this Central Committee session Ulbricht could consolidate his position in the Politburo and the Central Committee confirmed also his rank as head of the party. It was merely cosmetics, that, according to the Soviet example, his post of 'General Secretary' was now renamed to 'First Secretary'. Btw., four years later Soviet leader Khrushchev could use the experiences from 1953 and succeeded in securing his own position in a similar way.
  16. ^ One base source for conflicts between Rau and Leuschner became Fritz Schenk, Bruno Leuschners personal assistant during this time, who fled in 1957 to West Germany, where he became a vehement critic of the SED rule. He depicted Leuschner's internal remarks then.[68]
  17. ^ The three ministries, which merged into the Ministry for Machine Construction were the Ministries for Heavy Machine Construction, for General Machine Construction, and for Transport and Agricultural Machine Construction.[70]
  18. ^ The term "trade mission" was a GDR invention, for the purpose of displaying a diplomatic touch and to delete the word 'trade' later easily, when possible.[78]
  19. ^ The de facto highest decision-making body for all kinds of affairs in the GDR was the Politburo, which usually followed the proposals of its respectively responsible member for a field (other members could also assume, that especially important proposals had been discussed with Ulbricht in advance.) The person responsible for foreign policy was Rau. The decision-making body for day-to-day foreign policy was the Central Committee Division for Foreign Policy and International Relations (APIV), whose leading members were, beside experts from other fields, also members of Rau's superior Foreign Policy Commission of the SED Politburo (APK), which had the task of coordination of the diverse political responsibilities and preparation of material for decisions by the Politburo.[80]
    The Christian Democratic Union (East Germany) (CDU), had been arrested for suspected espionage.


Notes and references

See also

When the prominent West German SPD politician and future President of Germany Johannes Rau visited an SPD rally in the East German city of Erfurt during the time of German reunification, he was introduced as "Prime Minister 'Heinrich Rau'". Thereupon Johannes Rau ironically commented on this lapse by observing that Heinrich Rau was a "Minister of Trade, a Swabian and a communist" and he was none of the three.[86]

Rau was married twice and had three sons and a daughter.[12][84] Like the other members of the Politburo, he lived until 1960 in a secured area of East Berlin's district Pankow and moved in 1960 to the Waldsiedlung near Wandlitz. In Pankow he had lived in Majakowskiring. In 1963, Rau's widow Elisabeth moved to this street again.[85]

After his death, firms, schools, recreation homes, numerous streets, and a fighter squadron were named after him. The GDR issued a stamp with his picture three times.

Aftermath and legacy

Rau, in poor health during his final years, died of a heart attack in East Berlin, in March 1961.[83]

Between 1955–1961 Rau served as Minister for Foreign Trade and Inter-German Trade. The term "Inter-German Trade" meant the trade with West Germany. In this time both German states still saw German reunification as their own aim, but both envisaging different political systems. The West German position was that they, as the only freely elected government, had an exclusive mandate for the entire German people. In consequence of this, the GDR's official diplomatic relationships with other states were narrowed to the states of the Eastern Bloc. Practically no other states recognized the GDR. As a result, Rau's ministry established numerous new "trade missions" in other states, which served as a kind of surrogate for nonexistent embassies.[note 18] It was a corollary, that Rau, in addition to his responsibility for the export-oriented industry, also chaired the Foreign Policy Commission of the SED Politburo (Außenpolitische Kommission beim Politbüro or APK) since 1955,[79] in this period the actual decision-making body for foreign affairs, and visited other states in different parts of the world in this capacity.[note 19] Among the visited states were, beside the core states of the Soviet Bloc, also then Eastern Bloc peripheral states, like China and Albania and leading states of the crystallizing Non-Aligned Movement like India and Yugoslavia (after the Bandung Conference). Between 1955 and 1957 he visited, as part of a diplomatic advertisement campaign in the Arab world, various Arabic states, among them repeatedly Egypt.[81] One of his last deals, which he closed as minister, was a trade agreement with Cuba, signed by Cuba's minister Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, on 17 December 1960 in East Berlin.[82]

Heinrich Rau (right) with Che Guevara, 1960 in East Berlin

Foreign trade and foreign policy

In 1953–1955 Rau led the new established Ministry for Machine Construction, which combined the responsibilities of three existing ministries.[70][note 17] His deputy in this ministry was Erich Apel, who would, in the early 1960s, become an initiator and architect of an economic reform, which became known as the New Economic System (NES).[71][72] This later reform was presaged by a reform in the middle of the 1950s; the economic historian Jörg Roesler considers the NES in the 1960s as a continuation of this reform.[73] The origin of the reform in the 1950s was a scientific study, commissioned by Rau's ministry in 1953, to assess the need for greater economic efficiency in the factories. The subsequent results from this study promised enhanced economic efficiency by shifting more responsibility from the National Planning Commission to the enterprises themselves.[74] Thenceforward, already in spring 1954, Rau advocated such a planning reform, while planning boss Bruno Leuschner quite consistently opposed it.[75] In August 1954, Rau's ministry sent a concept for such a reform to Leuschner's State Planning Commission.[75] Eventually this reform got under way, after Ulbricht, perhaps under the influence of his new personal economic adviser Wolfgang Berger, had approved such a policy at the end of 1954 too.[76] Subsequently the reform accelerated until 1956. It found however its early end in the generally aggravated political atmosphere in 1957.[77] Unrests in other Eastern Bloc countries during the previous year 1956, in particular in Hungary, had awoken the desire for more central control again. The subsequent unsatisfying economic development, however, during the following years eventually led in the 1960s to the concept of a new planning reform, the NES.

Concentrating on his tasks in the SED leadership and as a minister, Rau – despite occasional internal criticism – avoided giving the impression of any disagreement with Ulbricht, at least in public. In 1954, Rau received in the Order of Merit for the Fatherland (Vaterländischer Verdienstorden) in gold. Later, Ulbricht stated in a 1964 interview about the "introduction of socialism" in the GDR, that only three people were heavily involved in the economic development during that time, "namely Heinrich Rau, Bruno Leuschner and me. Others were not consulted!"[69]

Unlike some other rebels in the leadership, Rau kept most of his positions. He remained a member of the Politburo and deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers. In the Politburo he continued to be responsible for the industry of the GDR.[66] However, his position had been weakened. Bruno Leuschner, a follower of Ulbricht and Rau's successor as chairman of the National Planning Commission, now became a new candidate member of the Politburo.[67] During the ensuing period, Leuschner, often supported by Ulbricht, gradually superseded Rau as the senior leader for the economy as a whole. The official GDR press never mentioned the dissension between Rau and Leuschner and always described their cooperation as a success story.[note 16]

Displayed harmony: Rau (left) beside Khrushchev and Ulbricht at the SED's 5th Party Congress, 1958

Competition in the Politburo and economic reform


After the death of Stalin in March 1953, the new collective Soviet leadership started to advocate a New Course. Moscow favored replacing East Germany's Stalinist party leader Walter Ulbricht and made inquiries about Rau as a potential candidate.[note 11] In response, the leading SED party ideologist, Rudolf Herrnstadt, a candidate member of the Poliburo, with assistance from Rau drew up a concept for just such a New Course in East Germany.[60] However, the workers' uprising, which was suppressed by the Soviet army on 17 June led to a backlash. Three weeks later, during a session of the then eight person Politburo (plus six candidate members) on 8 July 1953, Rau made a recommendation that Ulbricht be replaced, while Rau's Spanish Civil War comrade, Stasi chief Wilhelm Zaisser, who in Spain had been known as 'General Gómez', accused Ulbricht of having perverted the party.[note 12] The majority was against Ulbricht. His only supporters were Hermann Matern and Erich Honecker. At that moment however there was no viable candidate who could replace Ulbricht immediately.[note 13] Suggested were first Rudolf Herrnstadt and then Heinrich Rau, but both were hesitant, thus a decision was postponed.[63] The very next day after the meeting Ulbricht went by plane to Moscow and the Soviet leadership, who in part also feared that deposing Ulbricht might be construed as a sign of weakness, now secured Ulbricht's position.[note 14] Subsequently five members and candidate members of the Politburo lost their positions.[note 15]

In 1952–1953, Rau led the newly established Coordination Centre for Industry and Traffic at the East German Council of Ministers.[7] The purpose of this office was effective control of the economy in order to overcome the difficulties, which were caused by a grown bureaucracy and unclear decision paths. Prime Minister Otto Grotewohl described this in a talk with Joseph Stalin.[58]

Between 1949 and 1950, Rau was Minister for Planning of the GDR and in 1950–1952 chairman of the National Planning Commission.[7] In this position, as the key figure of the economic development, Rau came into conflict with SED General Secretary Walter Ulbricht. In the face of an imminent economic collapse, Rau blamed the "Bureau Ulbricht" for the wrong policy. In response East Germany's old president Wilhelm Pieck renewed the old accusation of Trotskyism against Rau.[52] In a later letter to Pieck of 28 November 1951, Rau protested at the manner in which the Secretariat usurped the Politburo by censoring his speech on economic affairs.[53][note 10]

Likewise in 1949, the ruling SED implemented traditional leadership structures of communist parties and Rau became a member of the newly established Central Committee of the SED and candidate member of its Politburo; in 1950 he became a full member of the Politburo as well as deputy chairman of the East German Council of Ministers.[7][note 9]

Leaders of the government: Rau (left) beside Ulbricht and Grotewohl, 1951

[7], the newly established parliament of the GDR and joined the new government.People's Chamber Rau thereupon became a delegate of the [49] Five days later, the DWK was formally abolished on 12 October 1949.[48] The time of Rau's German Economic Commission ended in October 1949 with the establishment of the East German state, the

Establishment and difficult first years of a new state


The DWK's increasingly centralised administration resulted in a substantial increase in its staffing level, which grew from about 5000 employees in mid-1948 to 10,000 by the beginning of 1949.[46] In March 1949, Rau, like the representative of a state, signed a first treaty with a foreign state, a trade agreement with Poland.[47]

The biggest obstacle to the plan's implementation soon proved to be the Berlin Blockade by the USSR, which was followed by a western counter-blockade of the Soviet occupation zone. As there were long-established economic ties between the western zone and the eastern, which was highly dependent on supplies from the West, the blockade was more damaging to the East. The West Berlin SPD newspaper Sozialdemokrat reported in April 1949, how Rau clearly criticized the blockade in a meeting of SED apparatchiks and there is reason to believe that he did the same in the meetings with the SMAD. According to the paper, Rau spoke of a "bad speculation" regarding the undervaluation of the dependence on western supplies, stating that the "broadminded Soviet help" turned out as insufficient and hinting that the blockade would soon be lifted.[45] Finally the Berlin Blockade was lifted on 12 May 1949.

Under Rau's leadership the DWK, still under supervision of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany (German: Sowjetische Militäradministration in Deutschland or SMAD), quickly developed more and more into a partner of the SMAD with its own conceptions and intentions.[43] This policy was also endorsed by the Soviet chief diplomat in Germany, Vladimir Semyonov, the future Chief Commissar of the USSR in Germany, who already in January 1948 correspondingly stated, that SMAD orders, (which accompanied DWK orders,) should have merely the purpose to back the authority of the German orders.[44] One of Rau's aims during the meetings with the SMAD was, to come to agreements, which also obliged the Soviet side, including subordinate Soviet authorities, who still engaged in wild confiscations for reparation purposes. An important success in this direction was a half-year plan for the economic development in the second half of 1948, which was accepted by the SMAD in May 1948. It was followed by a likewise accepted two-year plan for 1949 and 1950.[43]

In March 1948 Rau became chairman of the western German zones introduced a new currency, leaving the eastern zone to use the old common currency. In order to avoid inflation, the DWK under Rau's leadership, was forced to follow quickly with its own reform and issued an own currency too. In doing so, the DWK also exploited the currency reform to redistribute capital by using different exchange rates for private and state-run companies.[note 8] The disagreement, which of the two new currencies should be used in Berlin, triggered the Berlin Blockade by the USSR and the western airborne supply of West Berlin.[42]

Heinrich Rau (right) with Bruno Leuschner, one of his deputies at the DWK, 1951

German Economic Commission

In September 1945, the Soviets appointed Rau a member of the provisional chairmanship of the Province of Brandenburg with the title of a vice-president and responsibility for food, agriculture and forests. Rau succeeded Edwin Hoernle, who had held this position since the end of June and became chairman of the central administration for agriculture and forests in the Soviet Occupation Zone (SBZ).[35] In his new position, Rau was a member of the commission for the execution of the land reform in the province. In spring 1946 he assumed responsibility for economy and transport in Brandenburg. In this capacity, he was, from June 1946 onwards, chairman of the newly established sequester commission in the province.[36] 1946 was also the year of the forced merger of eastern KPD and eastern SPD into the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), resulting in Rau's membership in the SED.[37] Important 1946 events in Brandenburg were in November elections, which preceded an official status change from a province to a federal state in the following year.[35] Afterwards, from 1946 until 1948, Rau was state parliament delegate and Minister for Economic Planning of Brandenburg.[7]

Stamp advertising the 1945 land reform

When the war was over, Rau went to Vienna for some weeks and helped the KPD representatives in the city gather liberated political prisoners from Germany. He left Vienna in July 1945, when he led a car convoy with 120 former Mauthausen inmates to the Soviet occupied part of Berlin.[34]

New start in Brandenburg


East Germany

[note 6][31] Rau was arrested by the French authorities in September 1939 and sent to

It seems, however, that Rau also had influential friends. He was released from prison and expelled from Spain. He moved to France in May 1938. There, he was in charge of the emergency committee of the German and Austrian Spain fighters and member of the KPD country leadership in Paris until 1939. At the beginning of 1939 Rau crossed the border to Spain again and subsequently led, together with Ludwig Renn, the remainders of the XI Brigade. Together with other remaining international units – now combined in the "Agrupación Internacional" – they fought on Spain's northern border after the fall of Barcelona, protecting the stream of refugees escaping to France.[27][28][29] Thus the Agrupación enabled the escape of perhaps some 470,000 civilians and soldiers.[28]

When Rau took charge of the XI Brigade, he might have been at odds with his predecessor, Richard Staimer, the future son-in-law of KPD leader Wilhelm Pieck. [note 5] This was the time of the Great Purge which had its echos in Spain, and it could be perilous to have powerful enemies. André Marty, the chief commissar of the International Brigades based at Albacete, was also an executor of the Great Purge in Spain. Following Rau's injury, Marty managed to imprison him under a pretext for a brief time. A report, written in Moscow in 1940, described Rau as a "political criminal", who had had contact with the Spanish anarchists and members of the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM), which was demonized as "Trotskyist".[25] These were serious allegations in this time, when accusations of Trotskyism frequently led to a death sentence if the accused was within reach of the authorities.[26]

After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and following the formation of the International Brigades, Rau attended a school for military commanders in Ryazan (USSR), and subsequently went to Spain.[17] After his arrival in April 1937, he joined the XI International Brigade and participated in the civil war as political commissar, beginning in May 1937, then as chief of staff and finally commander of the brigade, until March 1938, when he was injured.[17] [18][note 4] Although the brigade achieved some temporary successes during these months, Francisco Franco's troops were already on the road to victory. Rau's brigade saw combat in the battles of Brunete, Belchite, Teruel and the Aragon Offensive, where Rau was wounded.[20]

Heinrich Rau on a stamp commemorating the Spanish Civil War

After Hitler's rise to power in January 1933 and the subsequent suppression of the KPD, Rau became a Central Committee's party instructor for southwest Germany and was active in building an underground party organisation there. On 23 May 1933 Rau was arrested and on 11 December 1934 convicted, together with Bernhard Bästlein, for "preparations to commit high treason" by the People's Court of Germany.[16] He was sentenced to two years imprisonment. After his release from custody, he emigrated to the USSR in August 1935, via Czechoslovakia, and became a deputy chairman of the International Agrarian Institute in Moscow.[16]

Imprisonment, International Brigades, World War II

The head of the Central Committee's Division for Agriculture initially was Edwin Hoernle, with whom Rau had come from Stuttgart. Hoernle had been elected to the Moscow and in 1931 he became an office member of the European Peasant Committee. From 1928 to 1933 he was also member of the Preußischer Landtag, the Prussian federal state parliament. There he joined the committee on agricultural affairs of the parliament and became its chairman.[1][7][12]

In November 1920 Rau became a full-time party functionary and the secretary of the agricultural division of the Central Committee of the KPD in Berlin. Between 1921 and 1930 he lectured at the Land and Federal schools of the KPD, and edited a few left-wing agricultural journals.


The most outstanding ideological authority of the movement in Stuttgart, during the time of Rau's political involvement there, was however Clara Zetkin. She was a founding member of the Second International, about whom Friedrich Engels once had written, that he liked her very much, while emperor Wilhelm II is said to have referred to her as the "worst witch in Germany".[14][15] She had been living in a Stuttgart suburb since 1891 and, since then, been gathering a circle of Württemberg Marxists around her, among them Rau's friend Hoernle, who had been editing with her the magazine Die Gleichheit. Her house, built in 1903 in Sillenbuch (now a part of Stuttgart), had become a meeting place of leading national and local left-wing and communist activists. It was also visited by international communist leaders like Vladimir Lenin, who stayed there overnight in 1907.[15] In 1920, when Zetkin was elected to the Reichstag in Berlin, Hoernle and Rau moved to Berlin as well.

From 1919 until 1920 Rau was head of the local KPD group in Zuffenhausen, and chaired the KPD organisation in Stuttgart.[12] The party leader in Württemberg at this time was Edwin Hoernle. Hoernle had visited Rau's youth group in Zuffenhausen and had become a long-standing friend; he was an influential teacher for Rau and made his voluminous library available to Rau to use.[2][13]


Rau resumed his employment at Bosch in Feuerbach. During another general strike in several Württemberg cities, from 28 August to 4 September 1920, he led the strike committee in his firm, which resulted in his dismissal.[5]

During the ensuing months the communists tried repeatedly to seize power in Stuttgart and other cities in Württemberg through armed rebellion, accompanied by large-scale strikes.[note 3] They seized public buildings and print offices. During one such an attempt - at the beginning of April 1919 when the Bavarian Soviet Republic was formally proclaimed in Munich - a general strike took place in the Stuttgart area. The government in Stuttgart imposed a state of emergency and 16 people died in street fights.[11] At the time of these events, Rau used his position as chief of the military police in Zuffenhausen to shut down companies that remained operational while the strike was ongoing. However, when the strike collapsed, Rau was removed from office by the government.[5]

As early as 9 November, about 150 councillors gathered for a two-day meeting in Stuttgart. A majority of the councillors entrusted the leaders of the SPD and USPD political parties, who had been invited to the meeting, with the establishment of a provisional government in Württemberg. The Spartacist Albert Schreiner, then chairman of a soldier council, initially assumed the key position of Minister of War in this quickly established first government, which for the time being shared power with the councils. However, he resigned already a few days later, after disputes about the future course of the government.[4][6] While the Spartacists considered as their ideal aim the kinds of results achieved by the previous year's October Revolution in Russia, the position of the other USPD politicians was unclear and the SPD leaders supported a parliamentary democracy and early elections in Württemberg.[8][note 2]

These happenings were a first cumulation of a civil commotion, that had started a few days earlier with large strikes and demonstrations. On 4 November 1918, a first workers' council under the leadership of the 23-year-old Spartacist Fritz Rück had been established in Stuttgart.[6] During the following days and weeks more spontaneously elected worker and soldier councils were formed, and took over a large part of Württemberg.[4] Rau was elected leader of the military police in his home city of Zuffenhausen, a part of Stuttgart's urban area.[5][7]

The revolution in November 1918 led in Württemberg, like everywhere in Germany, to the end of the monarchy. King William II left Stuttgart on 9 November, shortly after a revolutionary crowd had stormed his residence, the Wilhelm Palais and flown a red flag above the building.[note 1] On the very same day the demonstrators were also able to seize some of Stuttgart's barracks, where parts of the garrisons openly joined them.[4] Rau took active part in the events in Stuttgart's streets on this and the following day.[5]

Stuttgart's New Castle about 1916. The upper parts of the then adjacent Wilhelm Palais can be seen behind the right wing of the castle.


In spring 1917, Rau, by this time an elected trade union official in his firm, participated in the attempt to organise a strike against the war. His action led to a reprimand from his employer, and may have hastened his conscription into the army in August 1917.[2] In the army he was trained in the Zuffenhausen-garrisoned Infantry Regiment 126 and deployed to the Western Front as member of a machine gun company.[2][3] In September 1918 a shell splinter penetrated his lungs. In the following weeks, he was treated in military hospitals in Weimar and in Stuttgart's neighbouring town Ludwigsburg. While in Ludwigsburg, Rau managed to get leave at short notice on 8 November 1918 and joined the in those days developing revolution in Stuttgart.[2]

(KPD), which had been founded mainly by members of the Spartacus League. Communist Party of Germany (USPD) and in 1919 the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany In accordance with the politics of the Spartacists, in 1917 he joined the left-wing [2][1]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.