Richard Lipinski

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Robert Richard Lipinski (born 6 February 1867 in Danzig died 18 April 1936 in Bennewitz) was a German unionist, politician (SPD, USPD) and writer.


Lipinski who was born as the third of four children to the bar-cutter and model champion Heinrich Johann Lipinski (1837–75), early on, Richard had to contribute for to livelihood of his family. The separation of the parents and the early death of the father as well as material poverty overshadowed his youth. As a child he had worked in a shipyard. A higher education above elementary school was out of question. Lipinski attended from 1874 to 1881 the primary school at Danzig. At the age of 14 he was offered a short-term contract as gardener, followed by the end of 1881 as a shop assistant in a teaching material goods store with an associated liquor store. The apprenticeship Lipinski broke off in early 1882 because of maltreatment by his instructor. In April 1882 he came with his mother, Christina Charlotte Henriette born Schroeder (1832–85) to Leipzig, where he started a job in the distilling business and later as a bookkeeper in the mirror and frame factory of his brother. From September 1882 to 1894 he was a rapporteur for the Socialist Leipziger Zeitung "The voters' part-time work. During these years he has been convicted several times for offenses against the press legal regulations to fines or prison imprisonment.[1]

In 1886, he joined the union and four years later the SPD. In the following years he was involved as co-founder in establishing several smaller unions, 1890 the Free Association of Merchants, in 1897 the Association of Commercial Employees, in 1900 the Association of Workers Press and in 1901 the Association of Modern Labour Movement Staff. In 1900 he was co-founder and was involved in the founding of the association of the workers' press, Lipinski described himself as the founder of the association. A year later he was co-founder of the "Association of the support on the floor of the modern labor movement staff." From 1894 to 1901 he worked for "passing" as editor of the Newspaper "Leipziger Volkszeitung".[2]

Lipinski married in Kleinmiltiz his wife Selma, born Böttger (1875–1960), with whom he had eight children. His daughter Margaret married in 1921 the politician and convinced socialist Stanislaw Trabalski.

Political career[edit]

In the Leipzig workers' movement was a towering figure and integration from 1907 to 1917 was chairman of the SPD district of Leipzig. Lipinski won his first political office in 1897, during a protest vote against Ernst Grenz when he was first elected to the Leipzig agitation committee. This was a minor sensation because not only the young age, but also the lack of craft training, and not long ago migration from West Prussia against him. In 1898, Lipinski candidate in the constituency Oschatz Grimma, a stronghold of the conservatives, for the first time for the diet and lost the election.[3] From 1903 to 1907, he was a member of the Reichstag, the German parliament. During the First World War, 1917, he joined the USPD to that represented the war in question is different than the majority position of social democracy. It is testament to his leader that the Leipzig SPD almost closed on the USPD joined. In March 1918, Lipinski was on suspicion of "attempted high treason" brought into custody. However, before the process could begin, the revolution broke out. Lipinski was also chairman of the party until 1933 in Leipzig.

Probably no other regional party leader in the history of German social democracy seems to have been confirmed more often in his office. Between 1917 and 1922 he was a member of the Central Committee of the party.

In April 1917 Lipinski with support from Arthur Lieberasch were involved in a strike against the reduction in the food ration. They exercised circumspection as regards the trade union leaders as they were also putting forward political demands: an end to censorship, the introduction of democracy. They also wanted to ensure there were no arrests or conscription of any strikers. They spoke directly with members of the local Kriegamstelle (War Ministry), who agreed to increase food deliveries to Leipzig. This news was relayed to a mass meeting of 10,000 strikers at Leipzig Stoetteritz. Lipinski, Lieberasch and Hermann Liebmann were elected to go and meet with Bethmann-Hollweg, Chancellor of Germany, next day. However, when they went to Berlin, Bethmann-Hollweg refused to meet them and they were dealt with by Wahneschaffe and Wilhelm Groener, head of the Kriegamst, who made sympathetic noises but agreed to nothing. Meanwhile, the local union leaders stepped in to negotiate a series of concessions, including reduction of the working week and the imposition of overtime and Sunday working only in emergencies. The readiness of the union leaders to accept the end of the strike without other concessions contributed to working class disillusion with them, being regarded by many as social patriots.[4]

After the end of the First World War on 10 November 1918 by Hermann Fleissner was in the circus Sarrasani Call Out the Free State of Saxony, Lipinski was from 15 November 1918 to 16 January 1919 Lipinski was people's deputy and chairman of the Council of People's Representatives (equivalent to today's first democratic parliament) and he was the first democratic prime minister in Saxony. One of his first targets was the introduction of universal, equal, direct and secret suffrage ratio for men and women over 21 years. This he carried on 28 November 1918.[5] During the November revolution of the action slowed Lipinski workers and soldiers' council in Leipzig, and represented the 'treacherous' role of an Ebert, Scheidemann and Noske. In the days of the Kapp Putsch told the struggling workers in Leipzig, when he led without their knowledge or consent of the commander of the counter-revolutionary troops, a ceasefire agreement (similar to the "Bielefeld Agreement Severing") completed, the end to stop the fighting.[1]

In December 1918 he was a delegate to the Imperial Council Conference. Between 1919 and 1920 he was member of parliament in Saxony. He was chairman of the Independent Socialists Group and Vice President of the Landtag. From 11 December 1920 to 2 February 1923 he was Interior Minister under Wilhelm Buck. In 1922 he rejoined the SPD and became again, as from 1912–1916, member of the Central Party Committee of the SPD. Between 1920 and 1933, Lipinski was a member of the Reichstag first for the USPD then for the SPD. On 22 March 1933 he voted in the Reichstag against Adolf Hitler's Enabling Act.

As a prominent Social Democrat and former Saxony Interior Minister Lipinski was imprisoned during the National Socialist regime from 1933 to 1935 in prison, he died in 1936 as a consequence of this detention.[6] Under the eyes of the Gestapo about a thousand people gathered to pay him their last respect. Lipinski's grave is located on the southern cemetery Leipzig.


Lipinski Street in Leipzig
Plaques at the Reichstag

Since 1992 reminds in the Berlin district of Tiergarten park at the corner Scheidemannstaße / Republic Square, one of the 96 plaques to Lipinski. In the lobby of the Board Room of the SPD party in the Bundestag a text panel recognises the Social Democratic parliamentarians against the Enabling Act of the National Socialists on 23 March 1933.

Since 6 November 1996 the Leipzig SPD-house, in the Rosa-Luxembourg Strasse 19-21, is named Richard Lipinski's house. The renovated office, retail and residential building were inaugurated by Inge Wettig-Daniel Meier in memory of the leading Social Democrats in Leipzig and Saxony. In 1945, a part of today's Kähte Kollwitz street was named after Richard Lipinski, but disappeared in 1962. In July 2000, the Leipzig city council renamed the Ethel and Julius Rosenberg St (Großzschocher) in Lipinskistraße.


Parallel to his journalism, has developed his literary activity. Social policy issues were initially in the foreground. Lipinski was the author of numerous political and socio-political writings, such as:

  • The industrial employment, 1894
  • The rights and obligations of the tenant, 1900
  • The employment of clerks, law and the courts of clerks, 1904
  • The kingdom of Associations Act, 1908
  • The police in Saxony, 1909
  • The social democracy from its beginnings to 1913.
  • The People's Law School in Saxony, 1919
  • Out of the church, 1919
  • The struggle for political power in Saxony, 1926
  • Documents on Socialist Law, October 1928
  • The struggle for political power in Saxony, 1929
  • The social democracy from its beginnings to the present (2 volumes, 1926-1929)

and from 1899 to 1933 editor of the year: "The leader of Leipzig"

In 1893 he wrote a play titled, "Peace on Earth"


... And finally, a personal touch. If one speaks out of the party movement in Leipzig, then it always has a strange aftertaste. The Leipzig is always something offensive in the German labor movement. This is because we have been in Leipzig now trying to drive a fundamental policy. We have done everything to achieve this goal, and therefore we are of course often tainted with many. But after you have stopped off here after you learn the Leipzig even know personally, not just hear from say, you will find that there are quite nice guys can get along with those in. ...

— Richard Lipinski, opening speech of the SDP party congress in 1909 in Leipzig


  1. ^ a b Sächsisches Staatsarchiv, Leipzig. Akte 21079 lfdn.: 125
  2. ^ Zitat aus: Leipziger Internet Zeitung; Zeitreise: SPD ehrt den ersten demokratischen Regierungschef Sachsens
  3. ^ Michael Rudloff, Thomas Adam (unter Mitarbeit von Jürgen Schlimper): Leipzig. Wiege der deutschen Sozialdemokratie. Leipzig 1996, S. 74.
  4. ^ Dobson, Sean (2001). Authority and Upheaval in Leipzig, 1910-1920: The Story of a Relationship. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0231120760. 
  5. ^ Sachsen gestern und Heute
  6. ^ Wolfgang Stärcke (1985), "Lipinski, Richard", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 14, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 643–644 


  • Wolfgang Stärcke (1985), "Lipinski, Richard", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 14, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 643–644 
  • Manfred Hötzel, Karsten Rudolph:Richard Lipinski (1867-1936). Democratic socialist organizer and political power. In: Helga Grebing, Hans Mommsen, Karsten Rudolph (eds):democracy and emancipation between the Elbe and Saale. Contributions to the History of the Social Democratic Labour Movement till 1933.Essen 1993, pp. 237–262.
  • Michael Rudloff, Adam Thomas (in collaboration with Jürgen Schlimper):Leipzig. Cradle of German social democracy.Leipzig 1996, p. 72 ff
  • Mike Schmeitzner, Michael Rudloff:History of Social Democracy in the Saxon parliament. Presentation and documentation 1877-1997.P. 204 f.
  • Jesko bird:The Social Democratic Party district of Leipzig in the Weimar Republic. Saxon democratic tradition.Two volumes. Hamburg 2006th

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