Leaders of East Germany


Leaders of East Germany

The first constitution of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in October 1949 created the office of " _de. Präsident der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik" (President of the German Democratic Republic). Upon the death of President Wilhelm Pieck (the only occupant of that office) on 7 September 1960, the office of President was abolished and replaced by a collective head of state, the " _de. Staatsrat der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik" (State Council of the German Democratic Republic). The " _de. Vorsitzender" (Chairman) of the " _de. Staatsrat" was considered to be the head of state of the GDR. The State Council's role was codified in the GDR's revised constitutions of 1968 and 1974. On 5 April 1990 the body was abolished by a constitutional amendment by the first and only freely elected "Volkskammer" ("People's Chamber" or parliament). From then until the GDR joined with the Federal Republic on 3 October 1990, the president of the " _de. Volkskammer" also served as the GDR head of state.

Other state officials of importance in the GDR included the Chairman of the Council of Ministers (equivalent to a Prime Minister) and the President of the "Volkskammer" (equivalent to a Speaker of the House of Representatives (USA) or Speaker of the House of Commons (UK)). Worthy of note was the National Defense Council of the GDR "(Nationale Verteidigungsrat der DDR)", established by law on 10 February 1960. The Council, and specifically its chairman, held the supreme command of the GDR's armed forces and had unlimited authority over the State in time of war. During the existence of the Council, it was composed exclusively of members of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), with most also being members of the Central Committee's "Politbüro". The chairmen of the Council were Walter Ulbricht, Erich Honecker and Egon Krenz.

In a socialist state such as the GDR, the ultimate power lay not with the formal officials of the state, but rather with the leadership of the Communist party - the SED, specifically, the "Politbüro".

=Heads of State=

President of the GDR "( _de. Präsident der DDR)" (1949-1960)

*Wilhelm Pieck (SED) 11 October 1949 to 7 September 1960 (death)

Chairman of the Council of State of the GDR (" _de. Vorsitzender des Staatsrats der DDR") (1960-1990)

No. Name Took office Left office Party

1.Walter Ulbricht12 September 19601 August 1973 (death) SED

Friedrich Ebert
Deputy Chairman of the Council of State,
acting as head of state.
1 August 19733 October 1973SED

2.Willi Stoph3 October 197329 October 1976 (replaced) SED

3.Erich Honecker29 October 197618 October 1989 (resigned)SED

4.Egon Krenz24 October 19896 December 1989 (resigned)SED

5.Manfred Gerlach6 December 19894 April 1990
(office abolished)
LDPD

President of the People's Chamber of the GDR "(Präsident der Volkskammer der DDR)" (1990)

*Sabine Bergmann-Pohl (CDU) 5 April 1990 to 2 October 1990 (office abolished)

NOTE: The office of "Präsident der Volkskammer der DDR" was created by the GDR constitution in October 1949 and remained throughout the existence of the GDR.

=Leaders of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED)=

Chairman

*Wilhelm Pieck (formerly KPD) and Otto Grotewohl (formerly SPD) (Co-chairmen)(1946–1954)

First Secretary / General Secretary of the Central Committee

German: "Erster Sekretär des Zentralkomitees (ZK) der Sozialistischen Einheitspartei Deutschlands (SED)", "Generalsekretär des ZK der SED".

*Walter Ulbricht (1950–1971)
*Erich Honecker (1971–1989)
*Egon Krenz (1989)

=Heads of Government=

Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the GDR

German: "Vorsitzender des Ministerrats der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik". Also known as Prime Minister / Premier / Minister President "(Ministerpräsident)"

*Otto Grotewohl (SED) (1949–1964)
*Willi Stoph (SED) (1964–1973)
*Horst Sindermann (SED) (1973–1976)
*Willi Stoph (SED) (1976–1989)
*Hans Modrow (SED) (1989–1990)
*Lothar de Maizière (CDU) (1990)

=Heads of Parliament=

President of the People's Chamber of the GDR

German: "Präsident(in) der Volkskammer der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik".

*Johannes Dieckmann (LDPD) (1949–1969)
*Gerald Götting (CDU) (1969–1976)
*Horst Sindermann (SED) (1976–1989)
*Günther Maleuda (Farmers' Party) (1989–1990)
*Sabine Bergmann-Pohl (CDU) (1990)

=See also=
*President of Germany
*Chancellor of Germany

=External links=

*http://www.terra.es/personal2/monolith/gdr.htm Leaders of East Germany


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