The Full Wiki

Heinz Hoffmann: Wikis

Advertisements
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Heinz Hoffmann
Nov 11, 1910 – Dec 13, 1985
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1982-1217-023, Heinz Hoffmann.jpg
Place of birth Mannheim, Germany
Place of death Strausberg, Germany
Resting place Berlin, Germany
Allegiance German Democratic Republic
Service/branch National People's Army
Years of service 1949-1985
Rank Army General

Heinz Hoffmann (* November 2, 1910 in Mannheim, Germany; † December 2, 1985 in Strausberg, Germany) was Minister of National Defense in the Council of Ministers of the German Democratic Republic, and since October 2, 1973 Member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party (SED).

Contents

Youth

Hoffmann came from a working class family. After attending school in Mannheim, he spent the 1925 - 1930 period learning to be an engine fitter at Motoren-Werke Mannheim (MWM). From 1926 to 1930 he was a member of the Communist Youth Federation of Germany, followed by membership in the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). During this time Hoffman served several short prison sentences for participating in demonstrations and fights.

Immigration

After the rise of the Nazi party in 1933, he was faced with a warrant for his arrest. Hoffmann fled Germany and immigrated to the Soviet Union by the way of Switzerland and Czechoslovakia. Until 1945 he used the alias “Heinz Roth,” which is the reason why he used Heinz as his first name rather than his given name Karl-Heinz. In the Soviet Union he attended the International Lenin School in Moscow.

Service in the Spanish Civil War

For a few months in 1936 and 1937 he attended military school in Ryazan conducted by the Frunze Military Academy in preparation for service with the Republican forces in Spain. Upon graduation he was given the rank of Lieutenant. From 1937-1938 he served in the 11th International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War. He was as a Battery Commissar in the Hans Beimler Battalion. He took command of the Battalion after his commander was wounded. After being severely wounded in the legs and abdomen by infantry gunfire south of Quijorna, Hoffmann was hospitalized in Madrid for a few months then later moved to a clinic in Eaubone, France where he recovered from 1938 to 1939. From April 1939 to November 1940, he was on rest and convalescence in Soviet Union.

Training in the Soviet Union

Starting in March 1941, he attended a special course of the Comintern in Pushkino, northwest of Moscow. In addition to an extensive social science training he was also taught military subjects. This included training in rear area sabotage with other German exiles. He was medically disqualified from training after parachute jumps aggravated his earlier leg wounds. Hoffman was then selected to work in German prisoner of war camps after assisting the Soviet NKVD in interrogating prisoners. From 1942 to 1944, Hoffmann was a teacher at the Antifascist School, first in the territory of Gorky, and later in Krasnogorsk. By 1945, Hoffman headed the Party School No. 12 in Moscow.

Party functionary in the Soviet Occupation Zone

In January 1946, he returned to Berlin and was initially on the personal staff of Wilhelm Pieck, and later the staff of Walter Ulbricht. From 1950 until his death, Heinz Hoffmann was a member of parliament and was a candidate or a member of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party. In 1952 he joined the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party. From 1973 to his death in 1985, Hoffmann belonged to the Politburo of the Socialist Unity Party.

Military career

Starting in 1949, Hoffmann was involved in the establishment of the East German armed forces. He was first Vice President of the German Administration of the Interior and Head of the Department of Political Culture with the rank of Inspector General. In 1950, Hoffmann was appointed Head of the Main Administration for Training (HVA), the immediate predecessor of the Barracked People's Police. During the establishment of Barracked People's Police, he was on July 1, 1952 made their chief being promoted Lieutenant-General on October 1952. Hoffmann held that position until 1955. From 1955 to 1957 Hoffmann studied at the Voroshilov General Staff Academy of the Soviet Union. Due to this training he was not in East Germany when the new National Peoples Army was founded.

After his return from the Soviet Union, he served from 1957 to 1960 as the first Deputy Minister of National Defense, and from 1958 to 1960 also serving as the Chief of Staff. In 1959 he was promoted to Colonel-General and in 1961 to Army General. In 1960, Hoffmann was promoted as the successor of Willi Stoph as Minister of National Defense of the GDR serving in that position until his death. With the elevation to the office of the Minister, he also became a member of the National Defense Council.

After his death, the 9th Armored Division of the East German Army named after Heinz Hoffmann, as well Grottkauer Straße in Berlin district of Hellersdorf was renamed Heinz-Hoffmann-Straße a street.

Family

Hoffman married Klavdiya “Klava” Ivanovna Knjazeva whom he met in 1940 while living in Peredelkino. She died on March 28, 1952. They had two sons, Jura and Sascha. The youngest son, Sascha, died 20 years later in a traffic accident soon after graduating from officer training as a Lieutenant in the National People's Army.

In 1954, Hoffmann married a nurse, Halina, who worked in a government hospital. They had two children and divorced in 1964.

Later in 1964 he married his chief secretary, Master Sergeant Gisela Sauer. They had three children and remained married until his death in 1985.

Awards and honors

  • 1954: Fatherland Merit Order in Gold
  • 1965: Order of the Red Banner (Soviet Union)
  • 1970: Karl Marx Order
  • 1974: Lenin Order (Soviet Union)
  • 1974: Scharnhorst Order
  • 1975: Hero of the German Democratic Republic
  • 1975: Honorary doctorate degree (Dr. h.c.) in philosophy from the Party University “Karl Marx”
  • 1980: Hero of the German Democratic Republic
  • 1980: Karl Marx Order
  • 1980: Lenin Order (Soviet Union)
  • 1985: Karl Marx Order

References

  • Mannheim, Madrid, Moskau. Erlebtes aus drei Jahrzehnten. 4. Auflage: Militärverlag der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik, Berlin 1986. ISBN 3-327-00208-8
  • Moskau, Berlin. Erinnerungen an Freunde, Kampfgenossen und Zeitumstände. Militärverlag der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik, Berlin 1989. ISBN 3-327-00888-4
  • Klaus Froh, Rüdiger Wenzke: Die Generale und Admirale der NVA. Ein biographisches Handbuch. 4. Auflage. Ch. Links, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-86153-209-3

External links

Heinz Hoffmann in the German National Library catalogue (German)

This article incorporates information from the German Wikipedia.
Advertisements

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message