Kurt Schumacher

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Kurt Schumacher

Kurt Schumacher (born 13 October 1895 in Kulm, West Prussia (now Chełmno in Poland) - died 20 August 1952 in Bonn) was a German politician. He was leader of the SPD from 1946 to 1952 and speaker of the SPD in the Bundestag 1949-1952.

Schumacher was the son of a salesman. When World War I started, he left school to join the German army. In December 1914, he was badly hurt. His arm had to be removed. After this, he went back to school in Berlin to study Law and politics. While there, he became a socialist. In 1924, he was elected to the legislature in Württemberg. He became the SPD leader for Württemberg in 1928. In 1930, he was elected to the national legislature, the Reichstag.

After the Nazis took control of Germany, Schumacher was arrested. He was beaten badly in prison. He was put into concentration camps for the next ten years. In 1943, Schumacher was set free because of his bad health. He was arrested again in 1944 and stayed in the concentration camps until the British set them free in April 1945.

After the World War II, Schumacher put the SPD back together. He was first chief of the Social democrats in West Germany after the WWII. He was also their first speaker in the federal parliament (Bundestag) and first leader of opposition in the Bundestag.

In 1952, Schumacher died in Bonn.