Wilhelm Pieck

Friedrich Wilhelm Reinhold Pieck was a German politician and a communist. In 1949, he became the first President of the German Democratic Republic, an office abolished upon his death, his successor as head of state was Walter Ulbricht. Pieck was born as the son of the coachman Friedrich Pieck and his wife Auguste in the eastern part of Guben, now Gubin, Poland. Two years his mother died; the father soon married the washerwoman Wilhelmine Bahro. After attending elementary school, the young Wilhelm completed a four-year carpentry apprenticeship; as a journeyman, he joined the German Timber Workers Association in 1894. As a carpenter, in 1894 Pieck joined the wood-workers' federation, which steered him towards joining the Social Democratic Party of Germany the following year. Pieck became the chairman of the party urban district in 1899, in 1906 became full-time secretary of the SPD. In 1914, he moved to a three-room apartment in Berlin-Steglitz. By now he had his own study with many shelves full of books.

In May 1915, he was arrested at the big women's demonstration in front of the Reichstag and kept in "protective custody" until October. As Bremen Party secretary in 1916, Pieck had asked Anton Pannekoek to continue teaching socialist theory in the party school. Although the majority of the SPD supported the German government in World War I, Pieck was a member of the party's left wing, which opposed the war. Pieck's openness in doing so led to his detention in a military prison. After being released, Pieck lived in exile in Amsterdam. Upon his return to Berlin in 1918, Pieck joined. On 16 January 1919 Pieck, along with Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht was arrested while meeting at Berlin Eden Hotel. Liebknecht and Luxemburg were killed while "being taken to prison" by a unit of Freikorps. While the two were being murdered, Pieck managed to escape. In 1922, he became a founding member of the International Red Aid, serving first on the executive committee. In May 1925, he became the chairman of the Rote Hilfe.

On 4 March 1933, one day before the Reichstag election, Pieck's family left their Steglitz apartment and moved into a cook's room. His son and daughter had been in the Soviet Union since 1932. At the beginning of May 1933, he left first to Paris and to Moscow. In Moscow, Pieck served the Communist Party in a variety of capacities. From 1935 until 1943, he held the position of Secretary of the Communist International. In 1943 Pieck was among the founders of the National Committee for a Free Germany, which planned for the future of Germany after World War II. On 22 June 1941 his family were in their country house on the outskirts of Moscow. Pieck came downstairs at six o'clock to his children's bedroom and said: "Children, get up, it was announced on the radio that war is over. Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, but that will be the end". In March 1942 the family was able to return there after the Soviet Armed Forces won the Battle of Moscow. At the conclusion of the war in 1945 Pieck returned to Germany with the victorious Red Army.

A year he helped engineer the merger of the eastern branches of the KPD and SPD into the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. He was elected alongside former SPD leader Otto Grotewohl. In October 1949, the Soviet occupation zone was relaunched as the Soviet sponsored German Democratic Republic. Pieck was elected president of the new country, he served as East Germany's first president until his death in 1960. He lost the chairmanship of the ruling SED in 1950, when Walter Ulbricht became the party's first secretary. Nonetheless, due to Joseph Stalin's trust in him, he retained his other posts. Pieck was 73 years old at the time of his initial election as president. Although he nominally held the second highest state post in the GDR and served as SED co-chairman for the first four years of the party's existence, he never played a major role in the party. On 13 July 1953, he suffered a second stroke, he had progressive liver cirrhosis and existing ascites. A detailed medical report composed before the second stroke mentioned mild paralysis on the right, a slight drooping of the corner of the mouth, breathing wheezing or snoring, slowed down pulse, tone of the limb musculature lowered...".

In August 1960 he moved to new summer residence, the former, converted mansion of the Hermann Göring Leibförsters near "Karinhall". Pieck lived at Majakowskiring 29, East Berlin, he was married to a garments worker whom he met in a large dance hall in Bremen. At first, her parents did not want her to go out with a "red", but once she was pregnant, she was allowed to marry Wilhelm on 28 May 1898, on the condition that a traditional wedding in a church would still take place. On the wedding day Christine waited impatiently for Pieck to arrive at the church. At the last minute, he did, still carrying communist leaflets. In November 1936, his wife contracted pneumonia for the third time, dying on 1 December of the same year; the Piecks' daughter, Elly Winter, held various posts in the East German government. Their son Arthur Pieck served as head of the East-German national airline Interflug from 1955–1965, after having held various administrative posts in East Germany, for instance at the German Economic Commission.

The youngest child, Eleonore Staimer, worked as a party official and, for a time, low level diplomat

Arafundi languages

The Arafundi languages are a small family of related languages in East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. They are related to the Madang languages, they are named after the Arafundi River. Alfendio is an old synonym for Arafundi, from; the Arafundi languages form a dialect continuum. The Arafundi languages are, Nanubae Tapei Andai Awiakay Kassell, et al. recognize Andai and Tapei. Foley cites Hoenigman for'Upper Arafundi' and'Lower Arafundi', as well as listing Awiakay and'Imboin'. However, the scope of these names is somewhat confused. Usher notes, Hoenigman designates Nanubae as Lower Arafundi and Andai–Meakambut as Upper Arafundi, with what we guess to be Tapei labelled Imboin after the name of a village where Tapei as well as Andai and Awiakay are spoken However, she assigns the Tapei-speaking Awim village to the Lower Arafundi language, which contradicts our data from Haberland and Kassell, MacKenzie and Potter An Enga-based pidgin is used by speakers of Arafundi languages. Laycock grouped the Arafundi languages with the Ramu languages, although this grouping was impressionistic and not based on either reconstructive work or lexicostatistics.

Ross retains Laycock's grouping without comment. However, Foley does not include Arafundi within Ramu, Ethnologue shows them as an independent family. Foley has suggested instead that the Arafundi and Piawi languages may be related, a position confirmed by Timothy Usher. Yimas-Arafundi Pidgin Comrie, Bernard. "The recognition of the Piawi language family." In Tom Dutton, Malcolm Ross and Darrell Tryon, eds. The language game: Papers in memory of Donald C. Laycock. 111-113. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, 1992. Foley, William A.. "Linguistic prehistory in the Sepik–Ramu basin". In Andrew Pawley. Papuan pasts: cultural and biological histories of Papuan-speaking peoples. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. ISBN 0858835622. OCLC 67292782. Laycock, Donald. Sepik languages - checklist and preliminary classification. Pacific Linguistics B-25. Canberra, 1973. Ross, Malcolm. "Pronouns as a preliminary diagnostic for grouping Papuan languages". In Andrew Pawley. Papuan pasts: cultural and biological histories of Papuan-speaking peoples.

Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. Pp. 15–66. ISBN 0858835622. OCLC 67292782. Arafundi languages database at

Aharon Becker

Aharon Becker was an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset between 1955 and 1974. Born in Kobryn in the Russian Empire, Becker was educated at a gymnasium, he joined Tze'irei Zion, was a member until it was shut down by Bolshevik authorities in 1920. After Kobryn became part of Poland, he studied bookkeeping at a local trade school. In 1925 he made aliyah to Mandatory Palestine, worked as an agricultural labourer in Petah Tikva, before moving into construction. In 1926 he was amongst the founders of the Hebrew Socialist Youth, became a member of Ahdut HaAvoda. Between 1928 and 1932 he was secretary of the Ramat Gan Workers Committee, before serving as a member of the Tel Aviv Workers Council from 1932 until 1943, he became a member of the Histadrut's central committee, headed its labour union department from 1949 until 1960. From 1961 until 1969 he served as the Histadrut's secretary. In 1948 he travelled to the United States to purchase arms for the IDF. Between 1948 and 1949 he was director of the Ministry of Defense, before becoming Managing Director of the Supply Authority, which supplied civilian equipment to soldiers.

In 1955 he was elected to the Knesset on the Mapai list, but resigned his seat on 1 October the following year. He returned to the Knesset following the 1959 elections, but resigned again on 23 May 1960, he returned to the Knesset for a third time after the 1961 elections and was re-elected in 1965. In 1966 he requested to stand down as Histadrut leader for personal reasons, but was re-elected after Prime Minister Levi Eshkol asked Mapai members to require Becker to remain in post. However, in June 1969 he announced that he would not stand in the Histadrut elections in September that year, was succeeded by Yitzhak Ben-Aharon, he was re-elected to the Knesset again in October 1969, but lost his seat in the 1973 elections after being placed low down the party's list. After leaving the Knesset he became chairman of the Kupat Holim health fund's central committee, he died in 1995 at the age of 90. Aharon Becker on the Knesset website