Lothar de Maizière

Lothar de Maizière

Lothar de Maizière [IPA|də mɛˈzjɛʀ] (born 2 March 1940) is a German conservative politician who served as the first and only democratically elected Prime Minister of the German Democratic Republic in 1990, and as such was the last leader of an independent East Germany.

He was born in Nordhausen and studied viola at the College of Music "Hanns Eisler" in East Berlin from 1959 to 1965. He used to be in the Berlin Symphony Orchestra before he went on to study law (distance learning) at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin from 1969 to 1975.

In 1990 he was elected to the East German Volkskammer as a member of the Christian Democratic Union (East Germany). He then became the successor to Hans Modrow as Premier and held this position from April 12 until October 2, 1990 - on October 3, the East German state was reunified with the Federal Republic of Germany (from 1949 to 1990, West Germany). As premier he had signed the “2+4” treaty which ended the four wartime allied powers' rights and responsibilities in Berlin and Germany, and which preceded the unification. The treaty decreed it would be signed by the four allies and the two Germanys but only the unified Germany and the allies would ratify it.

After German reunification he was appointed Minister for Special Affairs in the CDU government of Helmut Kohl, until his resignation on December 17, 1990 amid rumors that he had worked for the East German Stasi.

He belongs to a noble family who, as Huguenots, had fled France for asylum in Prussia in the late 17th century. He is a son of the lawyer Clement de Maizière. His uncle Ulrich de Maizière was Inspector General of the (West) German Armed Forces and his cousin Thomas de Maizière was minister in the state of Saxony and became Head of the Federal Chancellery (Chef des Bundeskanzleramtes und Minister für besondere Aufgaben) in November 2005.

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