In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2016. Berlin: Metropol Verlag, pp. 1–18
This contribution delineates the political life of the KPD functionary and the Reichstag deputy, Wilhelm Hein. At the 1927 Party Congress in Essen, the former machine operator was not only elected central committee, but was delegated from it as a candidate member of the politburo. He remained a member of the politburo, which was under the leadership of Ernst Thälmann, until 1933. After the Nazis’ “seizure of power”, Hein was arrested and placed in “protective custody”, only to be released a few week later. Thereafter he earned a living as a publican in Wedding, a working-class district in Berlin. Using previously unused records held at the Bundesarchiv in Berlin, it will be shown that Hein not only worked for the Gestapo but was the highest ranking former KPD official from the Weimar Republic to “switch fronts”.