Leaders of East Germany
(German Democratic Republic, 1949-1990)
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See also the Federal Republic of Germany (formerly West Germany) as well as a detailed page on East German Governments, 1989-1990 to know more about the ruling parties.

Parties: SED: Socialist Unity Party of Germany (Communist); LDPD: Liberal Democratic Party of Germany; CDUD: Christian Democratic Union of Germany; DBD: Democratic Peasant's Party of Germany; NDPD: National Democratic Party of Germany; SED-PDS: Socialist Unity Party of Germany-Party of the Democratic Socialism; SPD: Social Democratic Party of Germany; DA: Democratic Awakening


Leaders of SED and SED-PDS
Co-Chairmen
Wilhelm Pieck     +                            (+1960) 
Otto Grotewohl       22 Apr 1946 - 25 Jul 1950 (+1964) 

General Secretaries
Walter Ulbricht      25 Jul 1950 -  3 May 1971 (+1973) 
Erich Honecker        3 May 1971 - 18 Oct 1989 (+1994) 
Egon Krenz           18 Oct 1989 -  3 Dec 1989         

Chairman
Gregor Gysi           9 Dec 1989 -  4 Feb 1990         

SED was founded on 22 Apr 1946 by the merger of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). On 15 Dec 1989 the party was renamed to SED-PDS and on 4 Feb 1990 to PDS.


Heads of State
Presidents of the Republic
Johannes Dieckmann    7 Oct 1949 - 11 Oct 1949 (+1969) LDPD (acting)
Wilhelm Pieck        11 Oct 1949 -  7 Sep 1960 (+1960) SED
Johannes Dieckmann    7 Sep 1960 - 12 Sep 1960 (+1969) LDPD (acting)

Chairmen of the Council of State
Walter Ulbricht      12 Sep 1960 -  1 Aug 1973 (+1973) SED
Friedrich Ebert       1 Aug 1973 -  3 Oct 1973 (+1979) SED (acting)
Willi Stoph           3 Oct 1973 - 29 Oct 1976 (+1999) SED
Erich Honecker       29 Oct 1976 - 24 Oct 1989 (+1994) SED
Egon Krenz           24 Oct 1989 -  6 Dec 1989         SED
Manfred Gerlach       6 Dec 1989 -  5 Apr 1990 (+2011) LDPD (acting)

State president 
Sabine Bergmann-Pohl  5 Apr 1990 -  2 Oct 1990         CDUD

Chairmen of the Council of Ministers
Otto Grotewohl       12 Oct 1949 - 21 Sep 1964 (+1964) SED
Willi Stoph          24 Sep 1964 -  3 Oct 1973 (+1999) SED
Horst Sindermann      3 Oct 1973 - 29 Oct 1976 (+1990) SED
Willi Stoph          29 Oct 1976 - 13 Nov 1989 (+1999) SED   
Hans Modrow          13 Nov 1989 - 12 Apr 1990         SED, SED-PDS 
Lothar de Maizière   12 Apr 1990 -  2 Oct 1990         CDUD 

Presidents of the People's Chamber (Volkskammer)
Johannes Dieckmann   1949-1969 (+1969) LDPD
Gerald Götting       1969-1976         DUD
Horst Sindermann     1976-1989 (+1990) SED
Günther Maleuda      1989-1990 (+2012) DBD
Sabine Bergmann-Pohl 1990              CDUD

(List courtesy of Alexander Kunde)


Ministers of Foreign Affairs
Georg Dertinger      1949-1953 (+1968) CDUD
Anton Ackermann      1953      (+1973) SED (acting)
Lothar Bolz          1953-1965 (+1986) NDPD
Otto Winzer          1965-1975 (+1975) SED
Oskar Fischer        1975-1990         SED
Markus Meckel        1990              SPD
Lothar de Maizière   1990              CDUD

(List courtesy of Alexander Kunde)


Ministers of Defence
Willi Stoph          1956-1960 (+1999) SED
Heinz Hoffmann       1960-1985 (+1985) SED
Heinz Kessler        1985-1989         SED
Theodor Hoffmann     1989-1990         SED
Rainer Eppelmann     1990              DA, CDUD

s(List courtesy of Alexander Kunde)


Ministers of the Interior
Karl Steinhoff        1949-1952 (+1981) SED
Willi Stoph           1952-1955 (+1999) SED
Karl Maron            1955-1963 (+1975) SED
Friedrich Dickel      1963-1989 (+1993) SED
Lothar Ahrendt        1989-1990         SED
Peter-Michael Diestel 1990              DSU                                

(Source: Rulers)


Heads of the State Security Service (Stasi)
Ministers
Wilhelm Zaisser      1950-1953 (+1958) SED         
Ernst Wollweber      1953-1957 (+1967) SED
Erich Mielke         1957-1989 (+2000) SED

Director
Wolfgang Schwanitz   1989-1990         SED                

(Source: Rulers)


Presidents of the National Council of the Nationale Front (NF)
Erich Correns        1950-1981 (+1981)
Lothar Kolditz       1981-1989 
The NF was formed in 1950 by five parties, SED, LDPD, CDUD, DBD and NDPD, plus the following mass organizations: Free German Trade Unions' Association (FDGB), Free German Youth (FDJ), Democratic Women's Association (DFD), Culture Association (KB), Union of Mutual Peasants' Help (VdgB), Society of German-Soviet Friendship (DSF), Committee of the Anti-Fascist Resistance Fighters (KAW), People's Solidarity (VS), (Young) Pioneer Organization Ernst Thälmann (JP) and the Writers' Association of the GDR. Nevertheless, the SED retained in fact the monopoly of power. (List courtesy of Alexander Kunde)
Chairmen of DBD
Ernst Goldenbaum     1948-1982 (+1990)
Ernst Mecklenburg    1982-1987
Günther Maleuda      1987-1990 (+2012)       
Ulrich Junghanns     1990              (acting)

(--> merged into West German CDU on 15 Sep 1990)
(List courtesy of Alexander Kunde)
Chairmen of CDUD
Andreas Hermes       1945      (+1964) 
Jakob Kaiser         1946-1947 (+1961)
Otto Nuschke         1948-1957 (+1957)    
August Bach          1957-1966 (+1966)
Gerald Götting       1966-1989
Wolfgang Heyl        1989      (+2014) (acting)
Lothar de Maizière   1989-1990         

(--> merged into West German CDU on 1 Oct 1990)
(List courtesy of Alexander Kunde)
Chairmen of LDPD
Waldemar Koch        1945      (+1963)
Wilhelm Külz         1945-1948 (+1948)      
Arthur Lieutenant    1948      (+1968) (acting) 
Karl Hamann          1948-1952 (+1973) (acting to 1949)
 Hermann Kastner     1949-1952 (+1957)
Hans Loch            1952-1960 (+1960)
Max Suhrbier         1960-1967 (+1971)
Manfred Gerlach      1967-1990 (+2011)        
Reiner Ortleb        1990 

(--> merged into West German FDP on 11 Aug 1990)
(List courtesy of Alexander Kunde)
Chairmen of NDPD
Lothar Bolz          1948-1972 (+1986)
Heinrich Hofmann     1972-1989 (+1994)
Günter Hartmann      1989-1990
Wolfgang Glaeser     1990
Wolfgang Rauls       1990              

(--> merged into West German FDP on 11 Aug 1990)
(List courtesy of Alexander Kunde)
Chairmen of SPD
Stephan Hilsberg     1989-1990         
Ibrahim Böhme        1990      (+1999) 
Markus Meckel        1990              (acting)
Wolfgang Thierse     1990                  

(--> merged into West German SPD on 27 Sep 1990)
The Social Democratic Party in the GDR (SDP) was restablished as an independent party on 7 Oct 1989. On 13 Jan 1990 it was renamed to Social Democratic Party (SPD) and on 27 Sep 1990 it was merged into the West German SPD. (Source: Rulers)
Chairmen of DA
Wolfgang Schnur      1989-1990        
Rainer Eppelmann     1990              (acting to 22 Apr 1990)

(--> Founded on 29 Oct 1989, merged into West German CDU on 5 Aug 1990)                

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