Siegfried Lorenz (politician)

Siegfried Lorenz (born 26 November 1930) is a former senior party functionary of the ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED / Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands) in East Germany. He was a member of the Politbüro of The Party's Central Committee in Berlin and First Secretary of the party's Karl-Marx-Stadt regional leadership team. During his career held a number of positions with the country's FDJ (Free German Youth movement).

Siegfried Lorenz
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1986-0520-411, Siegfried Lorenz.jpg
Siegfried Lorenz (1986)
Personal details
Born (1930-11-26) 26 November 1930 (age 90)
Annaberg, Saxony, Germany
NationalityGerman
OccupationPolitician

On 6 August 2004, fifteen years after the Wall came down, Lorenz, now aged 73, was one of two senior party officials found guilty by the Berlin regional court as accessories to murder. The case involved Michael Bittner, Lutz Schmidt and Chris Gueffroy, three citizens of the former German Democratic Republic who had been shot dead while trying to escape to West Berlin.[1]

LifeEdit

Early yearsEdit

The son of a dyer and a seamstress, after leaving school Lorenz worked as an agricultural assistant and an errand boy between 1944 and 1945.

Politics and The PartyEdit

He joined the SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany/Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands) in 1945 and the FDJ (Free German Youth/Freie Deutsche Jugend) in 1946. This part of Germany was occupied by the Soviet military in 1945 and the Soviet Union took a hands-on approach to reconfiguring the political landscape. The Soviets favoured a one-party political structure. The SPD, along with the KPD (German Communist Party/Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands) were forcibly merged into the SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany/Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands), of which Siegfried Lorenz now became a committed member.

In 1946 he was employed in a clerical capacity by the SED party leadership in Annaberg. From 1946 to 1947 he was secretary to the local leadership of the FDJ (youth movement).

Further educationEdit

In 1947 he attended the Economics School at Annaberg, moving on for 1948/49 to the ABF (literally "Workers and Farmers Faculty" / "Arbeiter-und-Bauern-Fakultät") at Chemnitz and Leipzig universities. Then he studied Social Sciences at Leipzig University. After this, till 1953, he was the Students' Section Leader with the Central Council of the FDJ.

Following a further period of study at the Berlin Region Party School, in 1954 he was appointed Secretary for Agitation and Propaganda for the Berlin Region FDJ, a position he held till 1956. Yet more study followed, this time at the prestigious Karl Marx High School, from which he emerged with a diploma in Social sciences.

Political promotionsEdit

In January 1958 he was appointed Second Secretary of the Berlin region FDJ, becoming First Secretary from 1961 till 1968. Additionally, between 1958 and 1967 he was a Berlin city councilor and a candidate-member of the Berlin SED Party leadership.

National politicsEdit

From 1961 right through till 1976 Lorenz was a member of the Central Council of the FDJ, where between 1963 and 1967 he represented Berlin. From 1963 till 1990 he was a deputy in the National Legislature where his positions included membership and chairmanship of the Youth Committee.

In 1965/66 he held leadership of the party's Media department for the regional Berlin leadership. From 1966 till 1976 he headed up the Youth Department of The Party, while simultaneously holding the position of Youth Commissioner with the Central Committee of the party's Politburo. He was himself a candidate for membership of the Central Committee in 1967, becoming a member of it in 1971.

Away from Berlin, between March 1976 and November 1989 Siegfried Lorenz was First Secretary of the SED regional leadership for Chemnitz in the south of the country. (It was in an outer suburb of Karl-Marx-Stadt, which has subsequently reverted to its earlier name, Chemnitz, that Lorenz had been born and started out on his political career.) In 1985 he gained candidature for the Politburo of the party's central committee, becoming a Politburo member in 1986.

RecognitionEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Mario Niemann, Andreas Herbst (Hrsg.): SED-Kader Die mittlere Ebene. Biographisches Lexikon 1946 bis 1989. Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 2010, ISBN 978-3-506-76977-0, S. 316-318.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Schuldspruch im letzten Politbüro-Prozess". Berliner Zeitung (online record). 7 August 2004. Retrieved 6 October 2014.