Walter Ernst Paul Ulbricht (30 June 1893 – 1 August 1973) was a German communist politician. Ulbricht played a leading role in the creation of the Weimar-era Communist Party of Germany (KPD) and later (spending the years of Nazi rule in exile in France and the Soviet Union) in the early development and establishment of East Germany (the German Democratic Republic). As the first secretary of the Socialist Unity Party 1950 to 1971, he was the chief decision maker in East Germany. From President Wilhelm Pieck's death in 1960, he was also the East German head of state until his own death in 1973.
Ulbricht was born in Leipzig, Saxony, to Pauline Ida (née Rothe) and Ernst August Ulbricht, a tailor. He spent eight years in primary school (Volksschule). After leaving school, he trained to be a joiner. Both his parents worked actively for the Social Democratic Party (SPD), which Walter joined in 1912...
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