Erich Honecker

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Erich Honecker
Born25 August 1912
Neunkirchen, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
Died29 May 1994 (aged 81)
Santiago, Chile
Political orientationMarxism–Leninism
Political partySocialist Unity Party of Germany

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 by the West 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 of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Political career

On 9 October 1989, Egon Krenz failed to meet with Honecker, who was in meetings all day, but he told the Stasi to allow a counterrevolutionary demonstration in Leipzig. On 18 October, Egon Krenz replaced him as leader.[1]

Later life

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.[2]

Further reading


  1. Austin Murphy (2000). The Triumph of Evil: 'A Detailed Autopsy of the Collapse of the Superior System in the Divided Germany' (pp. 143–5). [PDF] Fucecchio: European Press Academic Publishing. ISBN 8883980026
  2. "Interview with the GDR’s Margot Honecker — ‘The past was brought back’" (2015-11-16). Workers World. Archived from the original on 2021-10-20.