Margot Honecker

East German Politician
Born Apr 17, 1927

Margot Honecker née Feist is a former Communist politician, who was a prominent member of the political elite in East Germany. From 1963 until 1989, she was Minister of Education ("Volksbildung") of the GDR. She was married to Erich Honecker, the head of state of the GDR until its downfall in 1989.… Read More

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1927 Birth Honecker was born Margot Feist in Halle on 17 April 1927, the daughter of a shoemaker, Gotthard Feist (1906–1993), and a factory worker, Helene Feist (c.1906-1940). … Read More
1937 10 Years Old Her father was imprisoned in Lichtenburg concentration camp in the 1930s and from 1937 until 1939 in Buchenwald concentration camp. … Read More


1938 11 Years Old After graduating from elementary school, she was a member of the Nazi Party's girls' organisation Bund Deutscher Mädel from 1938 to 1945, whose membership was obligatory. … Read More
1946 19 Years Old 1 More Event
After April 1946, with the contentious merger of the SPD and KPD, she became a member of East Germany's next ruling party, the Socialist Unity Party (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands / SED), working in Halle as a shorthand typist with the FDGB (Trades Union Federation) regional executive for Saxony-Anhalt.


1947 20 Years Old In 1947 she became the leader of the culture and education department in the FDJ's regional executive and in 1948 secretary of the FDJ's central council as well as chairperson of the Ernst Thälmann Pioneer Organisation. … Read More
1950 23 Years Old In 1950 at the age of 22 she was elected as a representative in the newly founded People's Chamber. … Read More
1952 25 Years Old After she became pregnant and gave birth to their daughter Sonja in 1952, Honecker divorced his second wife Edith and married Margot.


1961 34 Years Old …  There was public and political pressure in Germany for the East German leadership to be held accountable for the killings of people attempting to escape over the Berlin Wall between 1961 and 1989, while Chile had itself only recently emerged from dictatorship: Margot's own son in law was just one among several thousand Chilean political dissidents from the Pinochet years who had reason to be grateful to the old East German political establishment that had welcomed them as political exiles during the 1970s and 1980s. … Read More
1963 36 Years Old In 1963 Honecker became Minister of People's Education, after a period of occupying the office as Acting Minister.
1965 38 Years Old On 25 February 1965 she introduced the law that made "the uniform socialist education system" standard in all schools, colleges and universities throughout East Germany.


1971 44 Years Old …  She was married to Erich Honecker, the leader of East Germany from 1971 until 1989. … Read More


1978 51 Years Old In 1978 Honecker introduced, against the opposition of the churches and many parents, military lessons for 9th and 10th grade high school students (this included training on weapons such as aerial guns and the KK-MPi).


1989 62 Years Old 1 More Event
Her tenure lasted until the fall of the GDR in 1989. … Read More
1990 63 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1990, charges were made against Honecker as Minister of Education. … Read More
1992 - 2001 4 More Events
2008 81 Years Old On 19 July 2008, on the occasion of the 29th anniversary of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua, Honecker received the order for cultural independence "Rubén Dario" from President Daniel Ortega. … Read More
2009 82 Years Old To the day she died, Honecker continued to defend the old East Germany and identified herself as a Communist and Stalinist. In October 2009, Honecker celebrated the 60th anniversary of the founding of the GDR with former Chilean exiles who had sought asylum in East Germany. … Read More
2012 85 Years Old 1 More Event
On 2 April 2012, Honecker gave an interview where she defended the GDR, attacked those who helped to "destroy" it, and complained about her pension. … Read More
2016 89 Years Old Margot Honecker died in Santiago on 6 May 2016, at the age of 89. … Read More
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