Ernst Niekisch

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Ernst Niekisch

Ernst Niekisch (23 May 1889 – 27 May 1967) was a prominent German exponent of National Bolshevism.


23.05.1889: Ernst August Karl Niekisch is born, as son of a craftsman in Trebnitz near Brezlau.

1912 Niekish grew up in his home region Swaben, Bavaria. After studying at a teaching seminar, and completing a one-year voluntary military service, he was appointed a public school teacher in Augsburg.

1914-1917 Military service

1917 Was requested by the city of Augsburg to work as a teacher. He decides to become politically active and joins the SPD (Social-Democratic Party of Germany).

1919 Niekisch is elected Chairman of the Central Council of Workers, Peasants and Soldiers in Bavaria. After the defeat of the communist republic Niekisch is arrested and joins the USPD (Independent Social-Democratic Party of Germany), disappointed by the undecidedness of the SPD.

1919-1921 Two years of imprisonment and removal from state service. After being released from prison by the end of August 1921 he becomes chairman of the USPD national parliamentary faction.

1922 Reunification of the USPD and the SPD. At the end of the year Niekisch turns his back on Bavaria. He moves to Berlin.

1922-1926 Niekisch overtakes the youth office of the board of German Textile Workers’ Union, is journalistically active and is among other things editor in chief of the weekly newspaper “The Firn. Socialist Observations”, publishes his first own writings.

1926 After the break with the SPD and the trade unions, Niekisch commits himself to the Oldsocialists (ASP), directs its organ The People's State (Der Volksstaat) (until 1928) and founds his own monthly magazine Resistance (Widerstand).

1929-1934 After his departure from the ASP, Niekisch focuses his work on Resistance, and the group, which has formed around him. Organisational experiments, efforts of collaboration and active alliances all ultimately failed. As early as April 1933 his national-revolutionary weekly magazine Decision (Entscheidung) – (initially Erscheinen: October 1932), was banned, and from December 1934 an onwards the ban also included Resistance.

1934-1937 Underground journalistic activities and foreign travels to for example Mussolini in Rome.

1937 Arrested by the Gestapo.

1939 Because of ‘high treason’ and for violating the law against the formation of new parties, the People’s Court in January 1939, sentences Niekisch to life long imprisonment.

1945 Soviet soldiers liberate him from the Brandenburg-Görden prison. In the summer, he joined the Communist Party (KPD).

1945-1948 Head of the Adult Education Center Wilmersdorf in Berlin (West).

1948 Niekisch becomes professor at the Humboldt University, East-Germany, is a member of the People's Congress, and from there tried to help neutralist, pan-German tendencies in West Germany.

1950 The SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany) member is part of the presidium of the national council for the National Front, and is a member of the People’s Chamber.

1953-1967 The rest of his life he spends fighting for reparation claims for himself. Finally he got DM 1500. 1963 he moves to West-Berlin, Wilmersdorf, from the GDR. On the 23rd of June 1967 Niekisch dies at age 78, celebrating his birthday alone and forgotten in Berlin.