Havemann joined the German Communist Party in 1932 and worked for the resistance until his arrest by the Gestapo in 1943. He received a death sentence, but due to his knowledge he was instead forced to do research whilst in jail.
In 1963 he lectured on 'Scientific Aspects of Philosophical Problems' (published as 'Dialectic without Dogmatism - Natural Sciences against Communistic Ideology' and was expelled from the Ruling Socialist Party and dismissed from the University - officially because he gave an interview to a newspaper from West Germany.
He continued his work as a socialist critic and was put under house arrest in 1976, at his home in the village of Grüneheide. This continued until his death in 1982, after a long time suffering from lung disease.
In 1989 he was rehabilitated by the Communist Party.