Walter Ulbricht

Walter Ulbricht (väl´tər ŏŏl´brĬkht), 1893–1973, Communist leader in the German Democratic Republic. A founder of the German Communist party, he fled Germany in 1933 and went to Moscow, where he was a member of the politburo of the exiled German Communist party. Ulbricht entered Germany with the Russian troops in 1945. In 1949 he became deputy premier of the German Democratic Republic and in 1950 was named secretary-general of the Socialist Unity party, successor to the Communist party. Leader of East Germany from that time, he became chairman of the council of state in 1960. A hard-line Communist who was opposed to normalizing relations with West Germany, Ulbricht was responsible for the building (1961) of the Berlin Wall. He strongly supported close ties with the USSR and sent troops to join the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. In 1971 he was replaced as secretary-general by Erich Honecker.

See biography by C. Stern (tr. 1965).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Anatomy of a Dictatorship: Inside the GDR, 1949-1989
Mary Fulbrook.
Oxford University Press, 1995
Dictatorship as Experience: Towards a Socio-Cultural History of the GDR
Konrad H. Jarausch; Eve Duffy.
Berghahn Books, 1999
Stasi: The Untold Story of the East German Secret Police
John O. Koehler.
Westview Press, 1999
To Win the Minds of Men: The Story of the Communist Propaganda War in East Germany
Peter Grothe.
Pacific Books, 1958
Berlin: The Wall Is Not Forever
Eleanor Lansing Dulles.
University of North Carolina Press, 1967
Divided Berlin: The Anatomy of Soviet Political Blackmail
Hans Speier.
Frederick A. Praeger, 1961
We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History
John Lewis Gaddis.
Oxford University Press, 1998
Germany Divided: The Legacy of the Nazi Era
Terence Prittie.
Little, Brown and Company, 1960
Re-Viewing the Cold War: Domestic Factors and Foreign Policy in the East-West Confrontation
Patrick M. Morgan; Keith L. Nelson.
Praeger, 2000
The Collapse of East German Communism: The Year the Wall Came Down, 1989
David M. Keithly.
Praeger, 1992
Dictionary of East European History since 1945
Joseph Held.
Greenwood Press, 1994
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