Erich Honecker (25 August 1912 – 29 May 1994) was a German communist politician who led the German Democratic Republic (the GDR, or East Germany) from 1971 until its annexation in 1989. He was the chairman of the National Defense Council and an influential figure in late Soviet politics. Honecker is known for his progressive policies in the GDR, and critiques against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
After the annexation of the GDR, Honecker sought asylum in Chile. He and his wife Margot Honecker (who served as minister of education under the socialist state) defended the cause down to their last breath.