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Margot Honecker

East German politician

Died when: 89 years 19 days (1068 months)
Star Sign: Aries


Margot Honecker

Margot Honecker (née Feist; 17 April 1927 – 6 May 2016) was an East German politician who was an influential member of that country's Communist government until 1989.

From 1963 until 1989, she was Minister of National Education (Ministerin für Volksbildung) of the GDR.She was married to Erich Honecker, the leader of East Germany's ruling Socialist Unity Party from 1971 to 1989 and concurrently from 1976 to 1989 the country's head of state.

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 alleged to have been responsible for the regime's forced adoption of children of jailed dissidents or people who attempted to desert from the 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 a ruling Communist Party leader who held significant power in her own right, as her prominence in the regime predated her husband's ascension to the leadership of the SED.

Following the downfall of the communist regime in 1990, Honecker fled to the Soviet Union with her husband to avoid criminal charges from the government of reunified Germany.

Fearing extradition to Germany, they took refuge in the Chilean embassy in Moscow in 1991, but in 1992 her husband was extradited to Germany by Yeltsin's Russian government to face criminal trial, and was detained in the Moabit prison.

Margot Honecker then fled 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 party in 1990, after her husband's expulsion, and both later became members of the small fringe party Communist Party of Germany, which is considered extremist by the German authorities.

Formed in East Berlin in January 1990, the party claims to be the direct successor of the historical party formed in 1918 and is known for its support for North Korea's government; however, it operates only in the territory of the former East Germany.

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