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Johannes Dieckmann (Fischerhude near Bremen, 19 January 1893 - Berlin, 22 February 1969) held the office of State President of East Germany on an acting basis in 1949 and again in 1960.

Johannes Dieckmann, 1967
Johannes Dieckmann (Stamp, GDR 1973)

Dieckmann, the son of a Protestant Minister studied economics and philosophy in Berlin, Giessen, Göttingen and Freiburg. He studied national economy and philosophy and joined German Union of Students (Verein Deutscher Studenten, VDSt). He was recruited to army in 1915 and was severely injured, declared permanently ineligible. Nevertheless, he was later still mobilised to Italian campaign 1917. In the end of November 1918, he joined German People’s Party and supported Gustav Stresemann’s election campaign.[1]

In March 1919, he became a DVP party secretary in constituency Weser-Ems, and in 1921 he was sent by Stresemann to Duisburg/Oberhausen constituency (in Lower Saxony). During Belgian occupation in 1922, he was briefly imprisoned for publishing journal not approved by the occupation authorities. During the Weimar Republic, Dieckmann held various posts within DVP regional leadership and was a member of Saxon Landtag for DVP from the end of 1929 to February 1933. After Nazi power seizure, Dieckmann lost his office and worked from October 5, 1933 to August 30, 1939 in fuel and oilshale companies. From August 1939 to January 1941 he was mobilised again and participated French campaign; from January 15, 1941 to 1945 he worked in Silesian industrial business. After the failed coup attempt against Hitler, when Johannes Dieckmann’s cousin Wilhelm Dieckmann (1893-1944) was executed for having had connections with the plotters, Johannes Dieckmann was put under cautious surveillance by Gestapo. After the war, Dieckmann established Sächsisches Tageblatt and led Sächsischer Kohlekontor GmbH.[2]

In October 1945, he was a co-founder of Kulturbund. In 1945, he with his Bundesbruder Hermann Kastner (1886-1956) were some of the founders of Demokratische Partei Deutschlands (later renamed Liberal-Demokratische Partei Deutschlands); Dieckmann remained member of party’s central management (Zentralvorstand). From 1946 to 1952 he was a LDPD MP and (chairman of LDPD faction) in Sächsischer Landtag and its Präsidium, a place on which he worked for absorbing his party into Blockparty system of the GDR. Later, from March 10, 1948 to December 11, 1949 he was minister of justice of the state of Saxony and deputy Ministerpräsident of Saxony. In 1948/49 Dieckmann was a member of Commission of German Economy, member of German People’s Council (Volksrat) and its constitution committee. He also acted as the president (chairman) of provisional Volkskammer and Volkskammer der DDR, a place which he held until his death.[2]

As the deputy chairman of the LDPD he was from September 12, 1960 till his death one of the deputies of the Chairman (Vorsitzender) of the Staatsrat of the GDR. From 1950 on, Dieckmann was a member of the Präsidium of the National Front, which included the official political and social organisations and was effectually controlled by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany.

Nominally a liberal, already in 1947 did Dieckmann actively take part in founding Society for Studying the Culture of the Soviet Union (‘’Gesellschaft zum Studium der Kultur der Sowjetunion’’; from 1949: Gesellschaft für Deutsch-Sowjetische Freundschaft). He became one of its leaders and from 1963 to 1968 was the president of the association. He was the Chairman of Permanent Delegation of the GDR for the "International Conference for peaceful solution to German Question" and Chairman of "Foundation of the Veterans for People’s Solidarity". As hinted by M.Zirlewagen[2], he had many times suggested talks for solving the division of Germany.

Honour titles and awards

Ehrendoktor (Honorary doctor) of Universität Leipzig (1953)

For further reading

  • Wandlungen und Wirkungen. Protokoll des Wissenschaftlichen Kolloquiums des Politischen Ausschusses des Zentralvorstandes der LDPD am 17. January 1983 zum Thema "Johannes Dieckmann, sein Verhältnis zur Arbeiterklasse und sein Beitrag zur Bündnispolitik" anläßlich des 90. Geburtstages von Prof. Dr. Dieckmann, Berlin 1983 (Liberal-Demokratische Partei Deutschlands: Schriften der LDPD, Bd. 26)
  • Hübsch, Reinhard: Dieckmann raus - hängt ihn auf! Der Besuch des DDR-Volkskammerpräsidenten Johannes Dieckmann in Marburg am 13. January 1961, Bonn 1995; - DBE, Bd. 2, München 1995, 514
  • Dieckmann, Johannes, in: Müller-Enbergs, Helmut (Hrsg.): Wer war wer in der DDR? Ein biographisches Lexikon, Berlin 2000, 151.

References

  1. ^ Article by Marc Zirlewagen in Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon
  2. ^ a b c Article by Marc Zirlewagen in Biographisch-Bibliographises Kirchenlexikon
Preceded by
New Position
President of the Volkskammer
1949–1969
Succeeded by
Gerald Götting
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