Born Oct. 31, 1898, in Elbing, now Elblag, Poland; died Jan. 1, 1977, in Düsseldorf. Figure in the German and international labor movement. Son of a worker.
Reimann joined the Union of Socialist Working-class Youth in 1913 and the Sparticus League in 1916. A member of the Communist Party of Germany (CPG) from its founding, he was an active participant in the November Revolution of 1918. In 1919 he was jailed for a year in the Königsberg Fortress. In 1920 he helped suppress the Kapp putsch. From 1920 to 1928, while working as a miner in the Ruhr, he engaged in political and trade union activity. He served as secretary of the party organization in the city of Hamm from 1928 to 1932. In 1932 he was elected secretary of the Revolutionary Trade Union Opposition of the Ruhr.
After the fascist dictatorship was established in Germany in 1933, Reimann engaged in underground work, first in the Ruhr and later in Berlin and other German cities. In April 1939 he was arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned. He was transferred to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1942 and to the Falkensee camp in November 1944. At the latter camp he headed the Committee of the Underground Organization, under whose leadership the prisoners disarmed the SS guards and turned over the camp to units of the Soviet Army in the spring of 1945.
Between 1945 and 1948, Reimann was first secretary of the CPG organization in the Ruhr and then head of the party organization in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen. From 1948 to 1954 he served as chairman of the administrative committee of the CPG. In 1954 he was elected first secretary of the administrative committee, which in 1956 became the Central Committee. Between 1949 and 1953 he was a deputy in the Bundestag, where he headed the Communist faction. In 1949 a British military tribunal sentenced Reimann to a Düsseldorf prison for criticizing the policy of the Western occupation authorities and the leadership of the Christian Democratic Union.
From 1971, Reimann was the honorary president of the German Communist Party (GCP). In 1973 he became a member of the presidium of the administrative committee of the GCP. He was awarded the Order of the October Revolution in 1968.
WORKSIn Russian translation:
Izbr. stat’i i rechi. Moscow, 1970.
Vliianie Velikogo Oktiabria na trudiashchikhsia Germanii. Moscow, 1967.
V. S. RYKIN