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Walter Ulbricht

Walter Ulbricht (June 30, 1893 - August 1, 1973) was a German Communist. He lead the German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, DDR) from 1950 until 1971.

Ulbricht was born in Leipzig as the the son of a tailor. Both parents were active in the Social Democratic Party of Germany (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD). He attended secondary school (Volksschule), and learned the trade of a joiner. Later, he served in World War I from 1915 - 1918 in the Polish, Serbian and Western Front theater.

In 1918, Ulbricht joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany. A founding member of the German Communist Party (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, KPD) in 1919, Ulbricht attended the International Lenin School[?] of the Komintern[?] in Moscow in 1924/1925. He was subsequently voted into the regional parliament of Saxony (Sächsischer Landtag) in 1926. He became an MP of the German parliament (Reichstag) from 1928-1933. Following Nazi rule, Ulbricht lived in exile in Paris and Prague from 1933-1938, then in Moscow from 1938-1945.

A leader of the East German Communist party (Sozialdemokratische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, SED) from 1949-1971, he was also head of state of the German Democratic Republic from 1950 - 1970. He died at the Döllnsee near Berlin on August 1, 1973.

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