Jakob Altmaier (November 23, 1889 in Flörsheim, Germany[1] – February 8, 1963 in Bonn, West Germany[2]) was a German journalist and a politician in the Social Democratic Party of Germany.[3] He was one of few German Jews who returned to Germany after World War Two and became active in politics.

Early life

During World War One, Altmaier volunteered for the Germany army and was severely wounded. In 1918, he participated in the German revolution that resulted in the establishment of the Weimar Republic.[4]

From 1917-1919 he was the editor of the Frankfurt paper the Volksstimme, and throughout the 1920s he continued to work as a journalist for various papers, including the Manchester Guardian, and for the Social Democratic Press Agency. As a foreign correspondent, he reported from Belgrade, Paris, and London. With the rise of the Nazi party in 1933, he fled to Paris. After the outbreak of war, he went to the Balkans, Spain, and finally to northern Africa, where was associated with British forces. Until 1948, he was a correspondent for two social-democratic newspapers.

Altmaier lost over 20 relatives during the Holocaust.[2]

Political Life

In 1949, Altmaier returned to Germany. He was a member of the post-World War Two Bundestag from its inception in 1949 until his death, as the Hanau representative. He was intimately involved with the 1952 reparation treaty between West Germany and Israel.[5] Altmaier was also a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 1950 until his death.[6]


The Jakob-Altmaier street in Hanau as well as Altmaier street in Flörsheim am Main are named after Altmaier. The city of Flörsheim made him an honored citizen.

Further reading

  • Willy Albrecht: Ein Wegbereiter: Jakob Altmaier und das Luxemburger Abkommen, in: Ludolf Herbst, Wiedergutmachung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, München 1989, ISBN 3-486-54721-6, pages 205 - 213
  • Willy Albrecht: Jeanette Wolff, Jakob Altmaier, Peter Blachstein. Die drei jüdischen Abgeordneten des Bundestags bis zum Beginn der sechziger Jahre, in: Julius H. Schoeps, Leben im Land der Täter, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-934658-17-2, pages 236 - 253
  • Werner Schiele: An der Front der Freiheit. Jakob Altmaiers Leben für die Demokratie, Magistrat der Stadt Flörsheim, 1991
  • Peter Pirker: Militantes Exil. Antideutscher Widerstand in Jugoslawien 1939 - 1940. in Zwischenwelt. Periodical of the Theodor Kramer Gesellschaft, Vol 27, No 4, February 2011 ISSN 1606-4321 pages 41 – 44
  • Peter Pirker: Gegen das Dritte Reich! Sabotage und transnationaler Widerstand in Slowenien und Österreich 1938 - 1940. Kitab, Klagenfurt 2010 ISBN 390258565X
  • Jay Howard Geller: Jews in Post-Holocaust Germany 1945 - 1953. Cambridge UP 2004 ISBN 9780521541268 ISBN 9780521833530

External links


  1. ^ Friauf, Annette, Als jüdischer Abgeordneter im ersten Bundestag, retrieved 2013-02-03 
  2. ^ a b "Jakob Altmaier", Die Zeit, 1963, retrieved 2013-02-03 
  3. ^ "Jacob Altmaier, Jewish Member of West German Parliament, Dead; Was 73", JTA, 1963, retrieved 2013-02-03 
  4. ^ Christoph Moss (1 January 2003). Jakob Altmaier: ein jüdischer Sozialdemokrat in Deutschland (1889-1963). Böhlau. ISBN 978-3-412-02103-0. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "JAKOB ALTMAIER", Der Spiegel, 7, 1963, retrieved 2013-02-03 
  6. ^ Mr Jakob ALTMAIER, retrieved 2013-02-03