Margot Honecker
East German politician
Margot Honecker
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.
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Margot Honecker's personal information overview.
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Margot Honecker, Widow of East German Ruler, Dies at 89
NYTimes - 10 months
Ms. Honecker, who served as the minister of education in her husband Erich Honecker’s Communist regime in East Germany, had been living in exile in Chile.
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NYTimes article
Former East German first lady Margot Honecker dies in Chile
Fox News - 10 months
Former East German first lady Margot Honecker has died in Chile at age 89.
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Fox News article
Despotfruar landar mjukare - Sydsvenskan
Google News - over 5 years
Margot Honecker, Östtyskland. 84 år. Kommunistisk politiker. Fick 1952 barn med partibrodern Erich Honecker. DDR-ledaren Walter Ulbricht tvingade denne att skilja sig och gifta sig med Margot. Efter DDR:s fall 1990 flydde paret till Moskva,
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Google News article
Der Trabi heißt jetzt Phobos - Märkische Allgemeine
Google News - over 5 years
Margot Honecker lebt im Feierabendheim Alpha in Pankow, leidet an Demenz und schmettert den ganzen Tag Biermann-Lieder. Eine Physikerin namens Angela Kasner holt den Nobelpreis. Solch eine Was-wäre-wenn-Welt hat literarische Vorbilder,
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Kein Herz für Fidel - Jungle World
Google News - over 5 years
Auch Margot Honecker oder Kim Jong-un würden sich über Post freuen.« Reinhard Müller unterstellte Lötzsch in der FAZ gar, »das geschundene kubanische Volk« zu verachten. Der Mensch und seine Rechte seien ihr egal: »Sie hat ihren Anspruch verwirkt,
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Google News article
1,2 Millionen-Bau wird 40 - Mitteldeutsche Zeitung
Google News - over 5 years
Sogar die damalige Volksbildungsministerin Margot Honecker sei zu Besuch gekommen. Und Delegationen aus Baschkirien und Korea seien da gewesen, so Birgitt Naumann, die Pädagogin, die heute die Grundschule "Am Weinberg" leitet
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Radikalisierung der Linkspartei: Die SED lässt grüßen - General-Anzeiger
Google News - over 5 years
April 2012 Margot Honecker 85 Jahre alt. Wie wäre es also mit einem Glückwunsch-Schreiben der Linkspartei-Chefs an die Frau des Ex-DDR-Staatsratsvorsitzenden? Vielleicht wollen Gesine Lötzsch und Klaus Ernst nun auch der Dame im chilenischen Exil
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Google News article
Kommentar: Fortsetzung folgt - WELT ONLINE
Google News - over 5 years
Über schöne Geburtstagsgrüße zum 85. freut sich sicher nicht nur der kubanische Freiheitsheld namens Fidel Castro, sondern auch eine Schwester im Geiste: Margot Honecker. Diese Ikone des Sozialismus mit blaustichigem Haar feiert am 17
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Google News article
Otto Schily emigriert in die DDR - WELT ONLINE
Google News - over 5 years
Margot Honecker und Oskar Lafontaine sind empört über diesen Roman. Gregor Gysi droht mit Strafanzeige. Die Handlung, in der sie erwähnt werden, allerdings keine tragende Rolle übernehmen, spielt im Oktober 2011. Im Roman gibt es die DDR immer noch
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Google News article
Woche der Menschlichkeit - Wochenspiegel
Google News - over 5 years
Endstation war der geschlossene Jugendwerkhof in Torgau, der direkt Margot Honecker unterstand: Vergitterte Fenster, Sichtblenden, Einzelhaft für Aufsässige, Demütigungen und körperliche Gewalt waren Alltag, Essensentzug eine Standardstrafe
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Google News article
Neues aus der DDR, die es noch gibt - WELT ONLINE
Google News - over 5 years
Margot Honecker und Oskar Lafontaine sind empört über diesen Roman. Gregor Gysi droht mit Strafanzeige. Die Handlung, in der sie namentlich erwähnt werden, allerdings keine tragende Rolle übernehmen, spielt im Oktober 2011
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Google News article
Cinderella Stamps Commemorate Fiftieth Anniversary of the Berlin Wall - Seattle Post Intelligencer (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The point of the joke is that, if the East Germans had not constructed the Wall, Eric and Margot Honecker would soon have been the only Germans remaining in the Soviet Zone of Germany, and would have been quite alone. Alas, poor Cold War
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WELT-Terrassengespräch: Das "Welt"-Terrassengespräch: Heute mit Ties Rabe ... - WELT ONLINE
Google News - over 5 years
Ich erinnere daran, dass Ex-CDU-Schulsenatorin Dinges-Dierig die lateinische Ausgangsschrift durch die von Margot Honecker in der DDR entwickelte vereinfachte Ausgangsschrift ersetzt hat. Das hat damals niemanden interessiert
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Merkwürdig - Ein Kommentar zum Stalinismusbegriff im Programmentwurf der ... - Scharf-links.de
Google News - over 5 years
Das ist doch eine Passage, die wir Sozialisten fast ausnahmslos unterschreiben können, mal abgesehen von Margot Honecker und Konsorten. Allerdings zwingt sich doch unweigerlich sicherlich nicht nur bei mir die Frage auf, ob das auch so von Teilen
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Google News article
Ein Jahr nach dem Volksentscheid streitet der Senat nun darüber, ob Kinder ... - WELT ONLINE
Google News - over 5 years
Dabei wurde die Schrift unter Margot Honecker in der DDR entwickelt - dem Land der Einheitsschule." Derweil fordert ProSchulreform bei den Schreibschriftanhängern "ein Quäntchen Gelassenheit" ein. Rabe will von der Entscheidung nicht abweichen und
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Venezuela: Nach zwölf Jahren “Bolivarischer Revolution” fast den Abgrund erreicht - latina press
Google News - over 5 years
Das erinnert mich an ein Interview von Margot Honecker. Die haben nach deren Angaben ihre Mauer ja auch gegen die Imperialisten gebaut. Komisch nur, dass die Selbstschußanlagen auf die eigene Bevölkerung zielten. Waren in der Vergangenheit die Dürre
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Google News article
Wuff, wuff - Junge Welt
Google News - over 5 years
Er nagelt gerne Katzen- und Margot-Honecker-Fotos an Wände, reinigt die Wohnstube (und bei Bedarf auch die Barbiepuppensammlung). Aus Kostengründen wird nicht das jW-Zeitungspapier, sondern Kollege Steiniger zuvor in Eau Sauvage getaucht
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Google News article
Vaatz/Kolbe: Leid der DDR-Heimkinder anerkennen - FinanzNachrichten.de (Pressemitteilung)
Google News - over 5 years
Die Einrichtungen unterstanden dem Ministerium für Volksbildung, seit 1963 also der Ministerin Margot Honecker. Die Umerziehung sollte in den Jugendwerkhöfen durch militärischen Drill und erzwungene Einordnung in das Kollektiv erreicht werden
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Google News article
El Partido Comunista demandó unidad y movilización contra la derecha en su 99º ... - Rebelión
Google News - over 5 years
Entre otras personalidades presentes, destacaron Margot Honecker y Angela Jeria viuda del general Alberto Bachelet. El acto contó con la participación del destacado músico nacional Valentín Trujillo, Max Berrú, Carmen Prieto, Sol Domínguez,
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Miez, miez - Junge Welt
Google News - over 5 years
Zum Glück steckt noch immer in jeder Gabi, Cornelia oder Sabine zwischen Fichtelberg und Ostseestrand eine kleine Margot Honecker. Noch deutlicher die Diskrepanz im Internet: Vier von fünf unserer Onlineabonnenten sind Kerle
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Margot Honecker
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2016
    Age 88
    Margot Honecker died in Santiago on 6 May 2016, at the age of 89.
    More Details Hide Details On her death Hubertus Knabe, director of the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, said that "she never critically reflected on what she had done. Up until her death she was a nasty, stubborn woman." Her funeral was described by German media as "bizarre" and featuring "diehard" communists with East German flags. Roland Jahn, Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records criticised her.
  • 2012
    Age 84
    In a 2012 interview she branded Mikhail Gorbachev a "traitor" for his reforms and called the victims of the East German regime "criminals."
    More Details Hide Details
    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.
    More Details Hide Details She felt that there was no need for people to climb over the Berlin Wall and lose their lives. She suggested that the GDR was a perfect country and that the demonstrations were driven by the GDR's enemies. "The GDR also had its foes. That's why we had the Stasi," she said.
  • 2009
    Age 81
    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.
    More Details Hide Details She participated in singing a patriotic East German song and gave a short speech in which she stated that East Germans "had a good life in the GDR" and that many felt that capitalism has made their lives worse. In 2011, author Frank Schuhmann published a book entitled Letzte Aufzeichnungen – Für Margot (Final Notes – For Margot in English) based on the 400-page diary kept by Erich Honecker during his stay in Berlin's Moabit prison beginning in July 1992. The diary was given to the author by Margot Honecker.
  • 2008
    Age 80
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The award was in recognition of Honecker's untiring support of the national campaign against illiteracy in the 1980s. This honor was Honecker's first public appearance since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Honecker was reported to have said she was grateful for the honor; but publicly no words were spoken. The left-wing heads of state of Paraguay and Venezuela, Fernando Lugo and Hugo Chávez, also took part in the celebrations in Managua.
  • 2001
    Age 73
    In 2001, her appeal to ECtHR failed.
    More Details Hide Details She received a survivor's pension and the old-age pension of the German old-age pension insurance federation of about 1,500 euros, which she regarded as insolently sparse. In 2000, Luis Corvalán, the former General Secretary of the Communist Party of Chile, published the book The Other Germany – the GDR. Discussions with Margot Honecker, in which Honecker speaks about the history of the GDR from her perspective.
  • 1999
    Age 71
    In 1999, Honecker failed in her legal attempt to sue the German government for €60,300 of property confiscated following reunification.
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  • 1993
    Age 65
    In January 1993 Erich Honecker's trial back in Berlin, which some felt had by that stage already descended into farce, was cut short because, it was said, of the rapidly deteriorating health of the accused.
    More Details Hide Details He left Berlin for the last time on 13 March 1993, bound for Chile. Erich Honecker lived with his wife and daughter, whose own twenty year marriage ended in divorce the year after her parents moved in. He died of liver cancer at the age of 81 years on 29 May 1994 in Santiago. His body was cremated. Margot Honecker is believed to have kept his ashes.
  • 1992
    Age 64
    After 1992 Margot Honecker lived in Santiago, Chile, with her daughter Sonja Yáñez Betancourt, her daughter's Chilean husband Leo Yáñez Betancourt and their son Roberto Yáñez.
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  • 1990
    Age 62
    A new arrest warrant against Erich Honecker was issued in December 1990, but there was no immediate arrest.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 1990, charges were made against Honecker as Minister of Education.
    More Details Hide Details These included accusations that she had arranged politically motivated arrests, had separated children against their will from their parents and made compulsory adoptions of children from persons deemed unreliable by the state.
  • 1989
    Age 61
    Throughout the Peaceful Revolution of 1989 Honecker briefly remained in office after her husband's ouster as leader of the Communist Party in October 1989, but resigned along with most of the cabinet in November.
    More Details Hide Details Prime Minister Willi Stoph briefly took over the education minister's office. In hopes of improving its image, the Party of Democratic Socialism, successor of the SED, expelled both her and her husband a month later.
    Her tenure lasted until the fall of the GDR in 1989.
    More Details Hide Details She was, allegedly but never proven, responsible for the regime's kidnapping and forced adoption of children of jailed dissidents or people who attempted to desert from GDR, and she is considered to have "left a cruel legacy of separated families." Margot dismissed the allegations that she had directed a program of forced adoptions: "It didn’t exist". She also established prison-like institutions for children, including a camp at Torgau known as "Margot's concentration camp." Margot Honecker was widely known as the "Purple Witch" for her tinted hair and hardline Stalinist views, and was "hated and feared" in East Germany. Former Bundestag president Wolfgang Thierse has described her as "the most hated person" in East Germany next to Stasi chief Erich Mielke.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1978
    Age 50
    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).
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  • FORTIES
  • 1971
    Age 43
    She was married to Erich Honecker, the leader of East Germany from 1971 until 1989.
    More Details Hide Details Margot Honecker was widely known as the "Purple Witch" for her tinted hair and hardline Stalinist views, and was described as "the most hated person" in East Germany next to Stasi chief Erich Mielke by former Bundestag president Wolfgang Thierse. She was responsible for the enactment of the "Uniform Socialist Education System" in 1965 and mandatory military training in schools to prepare pupils for a future war with the west. She was responsible for the regime's forced adoption of children of jailed dissidents or people who attempted to desert from GDR, and she is considered to have "left a cruel legacy of separated families." She also established prison-like institutions for children, including a camp at Torgau known as "Margot's concentration camp." She was one of the few spouses of ruling Communist leaders who held significant power in her own right, though her prominence in the regime predated her husband's ascension to the leadership of the SED.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1965
    Age 37
    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.
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  • 1963
    Age 35
    In 1963 Honecker became Minister of People's Education, after a period of occupying the office as Acting Minister.
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  • 1961
    Age 33
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Formally, the negotiations between Kohl and Aylwin were defined by tensions between the Chilean determination to uphold the Honeckers' right to political asylum and Germany's legal agreements on extradition: for some months the discussions were characterised by mutual intransigence. In the end, on 29 July 1992, Erich Honecker was sent on a special flight to face trial in Berlin, but his wife did not accompany him. Margot Honecker instead flew to Santiago to join her daughter Sonja and her family, who had been living in Chile since 1990.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1952
    Age 24
    After she became pregnant and gave birth to their daughter Sonja in 1952, Honecker divorced his second wife Edith and married Margot.
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  • 1950
    Age 22
    In 1950 at the age of 22 she was elected as a representative in the newly founded People's Chamber.
    More Details Hide Details Margot Feist met her future husband, Erich Honecker, at FDJ meetings when he was the chairman of the Freie Deutsche Jugend. Honecker was 15 years older and married. The relationship between them nevertheless moved on when Margot Feist (as she was then), in her capacity as leader of the "Ernst Thälmann young pioneers", was a member of the delegation that traveled to Moscow for the celebration of Stalin's official birthday. The East German delegation was led by Erich Honecker. Intimacy ensued.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1947
    Age 19
    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.
    More Details Hide Details By 1949 Feist was a member of the GDR's precursor parliament.
  • 1946
    Age 18
    In 1946 she also joined the regional secretariat of the Free German Youth (FDJ) – effectively the youth wing of the ruling party - in Halle.
    More Details Hide Details She then began a meteoric rise through its various departments.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1938
    Age 10
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Her mother died in 1940 when Margot was 13 years old. Her brother, Manfred Feist, later became the leader of the Foreign Information department within the party's Central Committee. In 1945 Margot Feist joined the KPD.
  • 1937
    Age 9
    Her father was imprisoned in Lichtenburg concentration camp in the 1930s and from 1937 until 1939 in Buchenwald concentration camp.
    More Details Hide Details Gestapo agents searched their apartment for evidence of subversive activities on several occasions.
  • 1927
    Born
    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).
    More Details Hide Details Her parents were members of Communist Party of Germany (KPD).
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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