Born 11th March 1894 in Braunschweig, Germany Otto Grotewohl is most famous for being the chairman of the SPD in the SPZ (Soviet occupied zone), when the SPD was merged with the KPD into the SED, against strong resistance in the SPD. After the merge he and Wilhelm Pieck were from 1946 till 1950 the chairmen of the SED. Additionally he was from 1946 till 1964 member of the Politbüro of the SED and from 1949 till 1964 he was Prime Minister of the DDR.
But his political career did not begin after World War II, but after World War I. In 1919 he joined the USPD (a left winged splinter of the SPD). From 1920 until 1925 he was member of the parliament of Braunschweig and most of the time also a minister. 1925 got elected into the Reichstag for the SPD. He was a member of the Reichstag till the Machtergreifung by the NSDAP. He then also lost his job as the president of an insurance company. 1938 he gets arrested for being a member of a forbidden social democratic group. He is accused at the so called Volksgerichtshof, but is exonerated. After several more arrests and the tried murder of Adolf Hitler on 20th July 1944 which he is suspected of being involved in, he goes into the underground. On 10th July 1945 he becomes the chairman of the refounded SPD.

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