»With Herbert Mies, I lost a friend and political father. The German Communist Party lost a working class politician of the working class who has shaped it for decades. German imperialism lost an opponent who has shown the way to resist this system«, Patrik Köbele, Chairman of the German Communist Party (DKP), said on Monday. »The DKP, led by Herbert Mies, was a party that was both on the side of the German Democratic Republic and a driving force in the West German peace movement.
It was a party that could win intellectuals and artists because it focused on factories and in the workers’ living quarters. It was a Marxist-Leninist party, that was in contact to the masses of the working class. This is the road of todays DKP – Herbert Mies is a model for us,« Köbele noted.
Herbert Mies died on January 14th at the age of 87. He was Chairman of the DKP from 1973 till 1989. Born in 1929, he grew up in a communist working-class family, and as a young person he refused to pursue a career as a reserve officer in fascist Germany. Before the ban of the “Free German Youth” (FDJ) by the Adenauer government, Mies became a member of its Central Committee, after the ban in 1953 he led the illegal youth organization as chairman. Since 1963 he belonged to the Politbureau of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), which had also been forced into illegality.
He fought against the KPD ban and for a legal communist party. When the political situation in the Federal Republic began to change in 1968, the opportunity arose for the clandestine operating communists to form a legal party. Herbert Mies was one of the leaders in the reconstitution of the DKP. First as deputy chairman, from
1973 as chairman he shaped the policy of the DKP. He organized the policy with which the DKP formed broad alliances in unions and in the peace movement and convinced people of the necessity of socialism.
He struggled for peace and international understanding. International solidarity was of great importance to him. He was well respected by revolutionaries and in the communist movement all over the world. To him, the struggle for the legal recognition of the GDR, the defense of the socialist achievements in the socialist countries and the Soviet Union was a constituent part of Communist identity.
His work has laid the foundations that the DKP continued to exist as a communist party.
Herbert Mies remained active in the DKP and the Left, as far as his health allowed, until he died. At the event organised by the DKP memorating the ban of the KPD in September, 2016, Herbert Mies made his last public appearance. He looked back on the experiences of illegality and the formation of the DKP, recalling that »being a member of the Communist Party is not a picnic«.
Source: German Communist Party via Solidnet / RedGlobe