Born Mar. 28, 1884, in Chemnitz; died Apr. 7, 1936, in Moscow. Figure in the German and international workers’ movement. A worker and stonemason.
In 1902, Heckert joined the Social Democratic Party. During World War I (1914-18) he was a left Social Democrat. He was one of the founders of the Spartacus League. Because of his revolutionary activities, he was expelled from the Social Democratic Party by the social chauvinists in 1917; he was thrown into prison by the kaiser’s forces. During the November Revolution of 1918, he headed the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies in the city of Chemnitz. He was a member of the German Communist Party from the day it was founded and a member of the Central Committee of the German Communist Party from 1919. He was a deputy in the Reichstag in 1920 and from 1924 to 1933. He was a member of the Saxon workers’ government in 1923. Heckert played an important role in the German trade union movement. With E. Thalmänn, he worked hard to turn the German Communist Party into a militant Marxist-Leninist party. He was a participant in the third and subsequent congresses of the Comintern. In 1921 he met V. I. Lenin. From 1928 to 1935 he was a candidate member of the Presidium of the Executive Committee of the Communist International. He was a member of the Executive Bureau of the Red International of Labor Unions from 1920. After the arrest of E. Thälmann by the fascists in March 1933, Heckert continued his active struggle against fascism. He died in Moscow and is buried in Red Square near the Kremlin wall. A Fritz Heckert Medal has been established in the German Democratic Republic.
REFERENCESPieck, W. “Fritz Heckert.” In Die Internationale, 1936, fasc. 3.
Erkämpft das Menschenrecht: Lebensbilder und letzte Briefe antifaschistischer Widerstandskämpfer. Berlin, 1958.
Kücklich, E. “... einer der standhaftesten, rastlosesten und feurigsten Kämpfer für die Sache der Arbeiterklasse” (F. Heckert). Beiträge zur Geschichte der deut Arbeiterbewegung, 1968, fasc. 5, pp. 847-57.
P. V. POLIAKOV