- 30 June 1893 – 1 August 1973) was a German Communist politician. Ulbricht played a leading role in the creation of the Weimar-era Communist Party of Germany (KPD) and later (after spending the years of Nazi rule in exile in France and the Soviet Union) in the early development and establishment of the German Democratic Republic (GDR or, in informal, colloquial circumstances, East Germany). As the First Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party from 1950 to 1971, he was the chief decision maker in East Germany. From President Wilhelm Pieck's
death in 1960 on, he was also the East German head of state until his own death in 1973. Ulbricht had worked very closely with Joseph Stalin in the early years of the GDR to ensure that the regime was as close as it could be to the Soviet Union, joining the Warsaw Pact upon its foundation in 1955.