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First President of East Germany Wilhelm Pieck (1876 - 1960)
3rd January 2016 - 150th Birthday.

Friedrich Wilhelm Reinhold Pieck, 1876 –1960, East German politician and a communist.

In 1918, Pieck joined the newly founded Communist Party of Germany (KPD). One year later, on 16 January 1919, Pieck, along with Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht was arrested while meeting at the Berlin Eden Hotel. Liebknecht and Luxemburg were then killed by a unit of Freikorps, but Pieck managed to escape.

In 1922, he became a founding member of the International Red Aid, serving first on the executive committee. In May 1925, he became the chairman of the Rote Hilfe.

In May 1933, he left first to Paris and then to Moscow, where he held the position of Secretary of the Communist International.

At the end of the war in 1945, Pieck returned to Germany with the victorious Red Army and in October 1949 he was elected president of East Germany (German Democratic Republic - GDR).

Part of the DDR HISTORY 1949 - 1989