Heinrich Albertz

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Heinrich Albertz and Heinrich Lübke, 1966

Heinrich Albertz (22 January 1915 – 18 May 1993) was a German clergyman, theologian and politician. He was born in Breslau, today Polish: Wrocław, to a pastor as the younger half brother of Resistance fighter Martin Albertz. As a member of the Confessing Church he opposed the Nazis, was arrested several times and conscripted into the Wehrmacht in 1941.

In 1946 Albertz joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and was minister in the cabinet of Lower Saxony under Minister-President Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf from 1948 to 1955. In 1961 he became Senator (minister) of the interior in West Berlin under Mayor Willy Brandt, whom he succeeded as mayor in 1966. Nevertheless he was forced to resign one year later after an investigation into the police's role in the killing of Benno Ohnesorg, a 28 year-old German literature student at a protest against the Shah of Iran, an incident that became a turning point in the devolution of the German student movement.

From 1970 to 1979 he worked as a pastor in Berlin. When on 27 February 1975 the Movement 2 June militant group (named after the obit of Benno Ohnesorg) abducted the Christian Democrat candidate for Mayor of West Berlin Peter Lorenz, Albertz agreed to accompany the exchanged prisoners, among them Verena Becker and Gabriele Kröcher-Tiedemann, on their flight to the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen. In the 1980s he joined the German peace movement and several protests against the 1979 NATO Double-Track Decision.

Political offices
Preceded by
Willy Brandt
Mayors of Berlin
1966 – 1967
Succeeded by
Klaus Schütz