Leadership of East Germany

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Leadership of East Germany
Coat of arms of East Germany.svg
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1984-0622-026, Egon Krenz.jpg
Last General Secretary
Egon Krenz
18 October 1989 – 6 December 1989
ResidenceSchönhausen Palace
Majakowskiring
Waldsiedlung
Formation7 October 1949
First holder
Final holder
Abolished
  • 6 December 1989 /
  • 18 March 1990
    (Communist rule ended)
  • 3 October 1990
    (German reunification)

The political leadership of East Germany was in the hands of several offices.

Leaders of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED)[change | change source]

Logo of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany
No. Name Took office Left office Time in office Party
Joint Chairmen of the Socialist Unity Party
Vorsitzende der Sozialistischen Einheitspartei Deutschlands
.
Wilhelm Pieck
Pieck, WilhelmWilhelm Pieck
(1876–1960)
22 April 194625 July 19504 years, 94 daysSED
.
Otto Grotewohl
Grotewohl, OttoOtto Grotewohl
(1894–1964)
22 April 194625 July 19504 years, 94 daysSED
General Secretary of the Central Committee
(First Secretary of the Central Committee 1953–1976)
Generalsekretär/Erster Sekretär des Zentralkommitees
1
Walter Ulbricht
Ulbricht, WalterWalter Ulbricht
(1893–1973)
25 July 19503 May 197120 years, 282 daysSED
2
Erich Honecker
Honecker, ErichErich Honecker
(1912–1994)
3 May 197118 October 198918 years, 168 daysSED
3
Egon Krenz
Krenz, EgonEgon Krenz
(born 1937)
18 October 19896 December 198949 daysSED
(Honorary) Chairman of the Central Committee
Vorsitzender des Zentralkommitees
1
Walter Ulbricht
Ulbricht, WalterWalter Ulbricht
(1893–1973)
3 May 19711 August 1973 †2 years, 90 daysSED

On 1 December 1989, the People's Chamber removed the section of the East German Constitution granting the SED a monopoly of power—thus ending Communist rule in East Germany. Before the month was out, the SED transformed from a Leninist cadre party into a democratic socialist party, renaming itself first to Socialist Unity Party — Party of Democratic Socialism and later in the same year, to Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS). Hence, the party's subsequent leaders were no more leaders of East Germany than the leaders of other parties.

Heads of state[change | change source]

No. Picture Name
(Birth–Death)
Took office Left office Political Party
President of the Republic
Präsident der Republik
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-F0711-0037-001, Johannes Dieckmann.jpg Johannes Dieckmann
(1893–1969)
Acting President
7 October 1949 11 October 1949 LDPD
1 Fotothek df roe-neg 0002793 004 Portrait Wilhelm Piecks im Publikum der Bachfeier.jpg Wilhelm Pieck
(1876–1960)
11 October 1949 7 September 1960 SED
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-F0711-0037-001, Johannes Dieckmann.jpg Johannes Dieckmann
(1893–1969)
Acting President
7 September 1960 12 September 1960 LDPD
Chairman of the State Council
Vorsitzender des Staatsrats
1 Fotothek df pk 0000079 077.jpg Walter Ulbricht
(1893–1973)
12 September 1960 1 August 1973 SED
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-83285-0029, Friedrich Ebert.jpg Friedrich Ebert Jr.
(1894–1979)
Acting Chairman
1 August 1973 3 October 1973 SED
2 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R0430-0305A, Willi Stoph.jpg Willi Stoph
(1914–1999)
3 October 1973 29 October 1976 SED
3 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R0518-182, Erich Honecker.jpg Erich Honecker
(1912–1994)
29 October 1976 18 October 1989 SED
4 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1984-0622-026, Egon Krenz.jpg Egon Krenz
(born 1937)
18 October 1989 6 December 1989 SED
5 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-83285-0015, Manfred Gerlach.jpg Manfred Gerlach
(1928–2011)
6 December 1989 5 April 1990 LDPD
President of the People's Chamber of the GDR
Präsident der Volkskammer
1 Sabine Bergmann-Pohl.jpg Sabine Bergmann-Pohl
(born 1946)
5 April 1990 2 October 1990 CDU

Heads of government[change | change source]

No. Picture Name
(Birth–Death)
Took office Left office Political Party
Chairman of the Council of Ministers
Vorsitzender des Ministerrats
1 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-19204-3150, Otto Grotewohl.jpg Otto Grotewohl
(1894–1964)
12 October 1949 21 September 1964 SED
2 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R0430-0305A, Willi Stoph.jpg Willi Stoph
(1914–1999)
21 September 1964 3 October 1973 SED
3 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-M1030-0315, Horst Sindermann.jpg Horst Sindermann
(1915–1990)
3 October 1973 29 October 1976 SED
(2) Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R0430-0305A, Willi Stoph.jpg Willi Stoph
(1914–1999)
29 October 1976 13 November 1989 SED
4 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1989-1117-019, Hans Modrow.jpg Hans Modrow
(born 1928)
13 November 1989 12 April 1990 SED / PDS
5 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1990-0318-046, Berlin, Volkskammerwahl, Lothar de Maizière.jpg Lothar de Maizière
(born 1940)
12 April 1990 2 October 1990 CDU

Heads of parliament[change | change source]

No. Picture Name
(Birth–Death)
Took office Left office Political Party
President of the People's Chamber
Präsident der Volkskammer
1 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-F0711-0037-001, Johannes Dieckmann.jpg Johannes Dieckmann
(1893–1969)
7 October 1949 22 February 1969 LDPD
2 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1986-0617-033, Gerald Götting.jpg Gerald Götting
(1923–2015)
12 May 1969 29 October 1976 CDU
3 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-M1030-0315, Horst Sindermann.jpg Horst Sindermann
(1915–1990)
29 October 1976 13 November 1989 SED
4 Manfred Gerlach.jpg Günther Maleuda
(1931–2012)
13 November 1989 5 April 1990 DBD
5 Sabine Bergmann-Pohl.jpg Sabine Bergmann-Pohl
(born 1946)
5 April 1990 2 October 1990 CDU

Heads of the military[change | change source]

Coat of arms of the National People's Army
No. Chairman of the National Defense Council
Vorsitzender des Nationalen Verteidigungsrates
Took office Left office Time in office Party
1
Walter Ulbricht
Ulbricht, WalterWalter Ulbricht
(1893–1973)
10 February 19603 May 197111 years, 82 daysSED
2
Erich Honecker
Honecker, ErichErich Honecker
(1912–1994)
3 May 197118 October 198918 years, 168 daysSED
3
Egon Krenz
Krenz, EgonEgon Krenz
(born 1937)
18 October 19896 December 198949 daysSED

Other websites[change | change source]