Kurt Schumacher

He was born on 13th October 1895 in Chelmno. He attended elementary school and later the Royal Catholic High School in Chelmno. After the outbreak of the World War I in 1914 he passed his early maturity exam and since October 1914 he served in the 21st Infantry Regiment. As a result of serious injuries suffered in the area of Lodz in 1914 his left arm had to be amputated. After his discharge from the Army he decided to study law in Halle, Leipzig and Berlin and practiced as a lawyer in the District Court in Chelmno and the Land Court No. 1 in Berlin. After the incorporation of Chelmno into Poland in 1920 he moved to Berlin together with his parents. In 1926 he defended his doctoral dissertation in Münster. Since 1918 he was an active member of Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). In 1930 he became an SPD MP in Reichstag at the age of 35.
He was known as an outstanding speaker and started to play an important role in the party authorities. After Hitler took over the power and delegalized SPD Kurt Schumacher was arrested on 6th July 1933.
He spent 10 years in concentration camps in, among others: Heuberg, Ober Kuhberg and Dachau. After the end of the World War II he started to rebuild the political structures of SPD. After the party convention in 1946 he was elected the chairman. In 1949 he was a candidate for the chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany but it was Adenauer who won by only 1 vote.
Kurt Schumacher died on 20th August 1952 in Bonn and was buried in Hanover.