Walter Ernst Paul Ulbricht (30 June 1893 – 1 August 1973) was the leader of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Ulbricht played a leading role in the creation of the Weimar-era Communist Party of Germany (KPD) and later (after 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.
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Quotes about Ulbricht
- The scale of the movement was impressive, with over 120 committees established nationwide. [...] The fact that so many committees adopted similar names and policies poses the question of whether there was a centralised organisation at work. Communists were prominent in nearly every Antifa despite the opposition of Moscow. Walter Ulbricht, the KPD leader, criticised the 'spontaneous creation of KPD bureaus, people's committees, and Free Germany committees', but he could do little as the KPD central apparatus had no communication link with the rank and file. Once communications were restored he could report: 'We have shut these [Antifas] down and told the comrades that all activities must be channelled through the state apparatus.'
- Donny Gluckstein, A People's History of the Second World War: Resistance Versus Empire. Pluto Press. 2012. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-7453-2803-4.