01 January, 2013

Luciano Lama

Luciano Lama was an Italian trade unionist, politician and partisan, known for being the secretary of CGIL from 1970 to 1986.

Lama joined the Italian Socialist Party and participated in the Partisan Resistance, initially in the 8th Garibaldi "Romagna" Brigade, to become the Chief of Staff of the 29th GAP Brigade "Gastone Sozzi.” In October 1944 he led the delegation of the Forlì partisan command, who took contact with the allied command to define the tactics for the liberation of the Romagna city. After the war, he left the Italian Communist Party in 1946 and became one of his leaders until he joined the Central Committee in 1956. Two years later he was elected for the first time in the 3rd legislature and confirmed in IV and V. He resigned from the parliamentary term on 2 July 1969, in the name of the incompatibility between the Parliamentarian and the Trade Unionist activity.

Distinguished in the union, responsible for the Forlì Work House, his role as defender of workers' rights contributed to his climb to CGIL, of which he became national secretary in 1970. Working in collaboration with socialist Piero Boni, Lama was the advocate of the union with CISL and UIL, though this strategy was not always crowned by success. On February 17, 1977, the University of Rome was strongly challenged by young adherents to extra-parliamentary positions. This episode went to history as the “Lama’s hunt” and was quoted by Fabrizio De André as the song “Wolf’s tail." The trade unionist would return to Wisdom, in the same places where he was bitterly challenged, about three years later. He was among the speakers of the event, organized in memory of the late disappeared Vittorio Bachelet, in which he strongly condemned red terrorism by the participants.

In January 1978, at an assembly in Rome, Rome proposed workers a policy of sacrifices aimed at restoring the Italian economy by reviewing the union's position on the wage as an independent variable. This choice was defined as the Eur line. Contrary to the direct involvement of PCI and PSI within CGIL, there was a violent confrontation with Gianni Agnelli in 1980 after FIAT expelled, integrating 23,000 employees. At the end of his secretary-ship in 1986, CGIL could be said to be strengthened in terms of political influence as it became the main reference point for most of the employees, especially the private sector; the number of members increased, especially in the three-year period 1975 - 1977.

Lama also led the union to play an increasingly active and important role in national political, economic and social debates. In 1987, Senator was elected as independent in the PCI lists and re-elected in 1992 but at the end of the term he preferred not to recruit for age and health reasons. In 1988 he was elected mayor of Amelia, a town in the province of Terni, where he had long owned a country house. It was reconfirmed in the 1994 elections, the first that included the direct election of the mayor, and remained in office until his death in 1996. He is buried at the Cimitero del Verano in Rome.

Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Douglas Elton Fairbanks, Jr. KBE DSC was an American actor and a highly decorated naval officer of World War II. 

Don Porter

Donald Porter was an American actor who appeared in a number of films in the 1940s, including Top Sergeant and Eagle Squadron, but is perhaps best known for his role as Russell Lawrence, the widowed father of 15-year old Frances "Gidget" Lawrence (Sally Field) in the 1965 ABC situation comedy Gidget. 

Robert Montgomery

Robert Montgomery was an American actor and director.

Heinrich Albertz

Heinrich Albertz was a German Protestant theologian, priest and politician of the Social Democratic Party. He served as Governing Mayor of Berlin (West Berlin) from 1966 to 1967.

Heinrich Albertz was born in Breslau, in the Prussian province of Silesia, to the court preacher and consistorial councilor Hugo Albertz and his second wife Elisabeth, née Meinhof. His elder half-brother was the Resistance fighter Martin Albertz. Having obtained his baccalaureate (Abitur) in 1933, he went on to study theology at the universities of Breslau, Halle and Berlin. Under the Nazi regime, he maintained contact to circles of the banned Social Democratic Party. As a member of the Confessing Church opposing the Nazis, he showed solidarity with the imprisoned pastor Martin Niemöller, was arrested several times and finally conscripted into the Wehrmacht in 1941.

After World War II Albertz moved to Celle, where the British occupation authorities entrusted him with the reception of expellees and displaced persons. He joined the SPD and in 1946 became a member of the Landtag of Lower Saxony. In 1948 he was appointed minister for expellee affairs in the Lower Saxon state cabinet under Minister-President Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf; in 1951 he became state minister of social affairs. Since 1950 he was also a member of the SPD federal board.

He was a Christian pacifist and opposed the production and placement of nuclear weapons on German soil.

When the Kopf cabinet was succeeded by the right-wing government of Minister-President Heinrich Hellwege upon the 1955 state elections, Albertz continued his career as a state secretary under the West Berlin mayor Otto Suhr. In 1961 he became Senator (minister) of the Interior under Mayor Willy Brandt and deputy mayor in 1963. When Brandt joined the German grand coalition government of Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger, Albertz succeeded him and was elected governing mayor of West Berlin by the Abgeordnetenhaus parliament on December 14, 1966.

Albertz, standing in the shadow of his popular predecessor, led the Social Democrats into the following state election held on March 12, 1967. Nevertheless, the SPD was able to maintain its absolute majority. Albertz' term in office was characterized by the rising student revolts culminating during the state visit by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his wife Farah Pahlavi. On June 2, 1967 Pahlavi was received in West Berlin, accompanied by violent clashes of protesters with Iranian secret police collaborators and massive police forces, whereby the student Benno Ohnesorg was shot by police officer Karl-Heinz Kurras, an incident that became a turning point in the devolution of the German student movement. On 28 September Mayor Albertz was forced to resign after an investigation into the police's role in the killing. The Abgeordnetenhaus elected Klaus Schütz his successor.

From 1970 he worked as a pastor, from 1974 to 1979 in Berlin-Zehlendorf. When on February 27, 1975 the Movement 2 June militant group abducted the Christian Democrat candidate for Mayor of West Berlin Peter Lorenz, Albertz agreed to accompany the exchanged prisoners, among them Verena Becker and Gabriele Kröcher-Tiedemann, on their flight to South Yemen. Retired in 1979, he joined the German peace movement of the 1980s and several protests against the NATO Double-Track Decision.

Albertz died in a Bremen nursing home on May 18, 1993.

Helmut Gollwitzer

Helmut Gollwitzer was a Lutheran theologian and author. 

Born in Pappenheim, Bavaria, Gollwitzer studied Protestant theology in Munich, Erlangen, Jena and Bonn (1928–1932); he later completed a doctorate under Karl Barth in Basel (1937), writing on the understanding of the eucharist in Martin Luther and John Calvin.

During the period of the Nazi regime in Germany, Gollwitzer was a well-known member of the Confessing Church movement, which resisted the regime's attempt to control the churches. He took over as the pastor of the congregation at Berlin-Dahlem after the arrest of Martin Niemöller.

During World War II, Gollwitzer served as a medic at the Eastern Front, and was a Prisoner of War in the Soviet Union from 1945-1949. He wrote a book about his experience of being a POW which became a bestseller in Germany in 1950 (Unwilling Journey: A Diary from Russia); the then President of West Germany, Theodor Heuss, called it "a great historical document".

Gollwitzer was appointed professor of systematic theology at the University of Bonn (1950–1957), and then as professor of Protestant theology at the Free University of Berlin; he retired in 1975. He had been Karl Barth's first choice as his successor in Basel, but the University authorities turned him down due to what they called 'his unclear attitude to the Soviet Union'.

Known as a close friend of Rudi Dutschke, whose wife studied with Gollwitzer, and a pastor to Ulrike Meinhof, he was prominently involved in the political debates ensuing in the late 1960s and 1970s. Gollwitzer was a pacifist and well-known opponent of nuclear weapons, the US engagement in Vietnam and the arms race, as well as a staunch critic of capitalism.

Gollwitzer died in Berlin on October 17, 1993.