Born Feb. 24, 1902, in Hamburg. Figure in the German workers’ movement. Political and public figure of the German Democratic Republic (GDR).
Warnke was born into a worker’s family. He joined the Communist Party of Germany in 1923. He was a deputy of the Reichstag during 1932 and 1933. After the establishment of the fascist dictatorship in Germany, he went underground, continuing to participate actively in the antifascist struggle. He was in exile from 1936 to 1945. After fascism was crushed Warnke returned to Germany and became involved in active political life. He has been a member of the United Socialist Party of Germany (USPG) since 1946. In 1948 he became chairman of the central board of the Association of Free German Trade Unions. He became a member of the Central Committee of the USPG in 1948, a candidate in 1953, and a member of the Politburo of the central committee of the USPG in 1958. In 1953 he became vice-chairman of the World Federation of Trade Unions. Since 1950 he has been a deputy of the People’s Chamber of the GDR. He is a Hero of Labor and was awarded the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Between Nations in 1967.