Margot Honecker

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Margot Feist
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Margot Honecker, Margot Feist
Communist, Communist Party worker, Minister, Politician, Repression organizer, supporter
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Margot Honecker (née Feist; April 17, 1927 – May 6, 2016) was a former East German politician, who was an influentual member of the East German communist party and the East German regime until 1989. From 1963 until 1989, she was "Minister of People's Education" (Ministerin für Volksbildung) of the GDR. She was married to Erich Honecker, the dictator of East Germany from 1971 until 1989.

Margot Honecker - Der Sozialismus kommt!

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. She was responsible for the enactment of the "Uniform Socialist Education System" in 1965 and mandatory military training in schools. Margot Honecker was also responsible for the regime's kidnapping and forced adoption of children of jailed dissidents or people who attempted to flee the communist dictatorship, and she is considered to have "left a cruel legacy of separated families." 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.

Following the downfall of the communist regime in 1989, Honecker fled to the Soviet Union with her husband to avoid criminal charges from the Government of Germany. Fearing extradition to Germany, they took refuge in the Chilean embassy in Moscow in 1991, but in 1992 her husband was nevertheless extradited to Germany by Yeltsin's Russian government to face criminal trial, and was incarcerated in the Moabit prison. Margot Honecker then escaped directly from Moscow to Chile to avoid a similar fate. At the time of her death, she lived in Chile with her daughter Sonja. She left the East German communist party in 1990, after her husband had been expelled by the party, and later became a member of the small fringe party Communist Party of Germany (1990), which is considered extremist by German authorities and which is openly stalinist, which condemns the De-Stalinization in the Soviet Union as "revisionist" and which supports the North Korean regime. The private property of Honecker and her husband was confiscated by the German government, and she lost a lawsuit she filed against the German government from abroad in 1999.

Early life

Honecker was born Margot Feist in Halle on 17 April 1927, the daughter of a shoemaker and a factory worker. After graduating from elementary school, she was a member of the Nazi Party's girls' organisation Bund Deutscher Mädel from 1938 to 1945. Her mother died in 1940 when Margot was 13 years old.

Honecker's brother, Manfred Feist, was the department leader for foreign information within the central committee of the East German Communist Party.


In 1945 Honecker joined the KPD. A year later, with the coerced merger of the SPD and KPD, she became a member of East Germany's new state party, the SED, working as a shorthand typist with the land board of directors FDGB in Saxony-Anhalt.[22]

In 1946 Honecker became a member of the secretariat for the board of directors of the FDJ in Halle. She then began a meteoric rise through various departments. In 1947 she was the departmental leader of the FDJ's culture and education in the land board of directors and in 1948 secretary of the FDJ's central council as well as chairperson of the Ernst Thälmann Pioneer Organisation.

By 1949/1950 Honecker was a member of the GDR's temporary People's Parliament. In 1950 at the age of 22 she was elected as a representative in the newly founded People's Chamber (German: Volkskammer).

Honecker met her future husband, Erich Honecker, at FDJ meetings when he was the director of the Freie Deutsche Jugend. Honecker was 15 years older and married. When she became pregnant and gave birth to their daughter Sonja in 1952, Honecker divorced his wife and married Margot in 1953.

Education minister

In 1963 Honecker, after a period as acting Education Minister (German: Volksbildungsministerin) became the Minister in her own right. On 25 February 1965 she enacted the law that made "the uniform socialist education system" standard in all schools, colleges and universities throughout East Germany.

In 1978 Honecker introduced, against the opposition of the Church and many parents, military lessons (German: Wehrkunde) for 9th and 10th grade high school students (this included training on weapons such as aerial guns and the KK-MPi). Her tenure lasted until the fall of the GDR in 1989.

Peaceful revolution in 1989

Honecker briefly remained in office after her husband's ouster as leader of the SED in October 1989, but resigned along with most of the cabinet in November. 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.

In 1990, charges were made against Honecker as Minister of Education. 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.

Honecker then fled to Moscow with her husband to avoid possible criminal charges in 1991. However, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the new non-Communist leadership in Russia forced her and her husband to leave.

Post-GDR exile

After 1992 Honecker lived in Santiago, Chile with her daughter Sonja Yáñez Betancourt, and her daughter's Chilean husband Leo Yáñez Betancourt and their son Roberto Yáñez. Erich Honecker lived with his wife after being released by German authorities on the grounds of ill health in January 1993. 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.

In 1999, Honecker failed in her legal attempt to sue the German government for €60,300 of property confiscated following reunification. In 2001, her appeal to ECtHR failed. She receives a survivor's pension and the old-age pension of the German old age pension insurance federation.

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.

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. 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.

Honecker continued to defend the GDR 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. 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.

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. 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.



Source: wikipedia.org

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        Relation nameRelation typeBirth DateDeath dateDescription
        1Erich HoneckerErich HoneckerHusband25.08.191229.05.1994
        2Хавьер ПересХавьер ПересFamiliar19.01.192004.03.2020
        3Edith  BaumannEdith BaumannFamiliar01.08.190907.04.1973
        4Walter UlbrichtWalter UlbrichtFamiliar30.06.189301.08.1973
        5Nicolae CeaușescuNicolae CeaușescuFamiliar26.01.191825.12.1989
        6Elena  CeaușescuElena CeaușescuFamiliar07.01.191625.12.1989
        7Georgi  DimitrovGeorgi DimitrovFamiliar18.06.188202.07.1949
        8Josip Broz  TitoJosip Broz TitoFamiliar25.05.189204.05.1980
        9Yuri AndropovYuri AndropovFamiliar15.06.191409.02.1984
        10Wojciech  JaruzelskiWojciech JaruzelskiFamiliar06.07.192325.05.2014
        11Viktoria  BrezhnevaViktoria BrezhnevaFamiliar11.12.190705.07.1995
        12Leonid BrezhnevLeonid BrezhnevFamiliar, Idea mate19.12.190610.11.1982
        13Boris YeltsinBoris YeltsinOpponent01.02.193123.04.2007

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