Dictionary of East European History since 1945

By Joseph Held | Go to book overview

received an East German ambassador, and established its own diplomatic mission in East Berlin. When the government of South Yemen extended diplomatic recognition to East Germany, relations were also suspended by West Germany. When Somalia established diplomatic relations with East Germany, West Germany simply recalled its ambassador for consultation in 1970. After this incident, however, the West German government simply ignored such recognition; in other words, West Germany abandoned the Hallstein doctrine.


Bibliography

Brandt Willy, A Peace Policy for Europe ( New York, 1969); Kaiser Karl, German Foreign Policy in Transition: Bonn Between East and West ( New York, 1968); Keesing Research Report. Germany and Eastern Europe Since 1945: From the Potsdam Agreement to Chancellor Brandt's Ostpolitik ( New York, 1973); Moreton Edwina, East Germany and the Warsaw Alliance: The Politics of Détente ( Boulder, CO, 1978).

Honecker, Erich ( 1912-). Honeeker's father was a coal miner in NeunkirchenSaar. He joined the Young Pioneers of the German Communist party in 1922, preparing for party membership when he came of age. Two years later, Honecker was promoted as a member of the Communist Youth Association. Three years later, he became a full-fledged member of the Communist party. In 1931, he was elected secretary of the Communist Youth Association for the Saar Valley, and in 1934, he became a member of the underground party's Central Committee. Honecker went to the Soviet Union in 1930 and spent a year in Moscow. He returned in 1931 and continued his organizational activities after Adolf Hitler came to power. In 1935, he was arrested by the Gestapo and spent ten years in a concentration camp.

After the collapse of Hitler's Third Reich, he was freed and was appointed chairman of the East German Free German Youth (see Free German Youth Organization). In 1956, Honecker went to the Soviet Union once again in order to study at the MarxEngels Institute in Moscow. A year later, he returned to East Germany. In 1946, Honecker was appointed a secretary of the Socialist Unity party. Four years later he was appointed a candidate (nonvoting) member of the party's Politburo, and in 1958, he was promoted to full membership in that institution. In the same year, he was also appointed a member of the secretariat of the Central Committee. His responsibilities included the control of internal security and national defense.

In 1971, Honecker reached the highest office in his party. He replaced Walter Ulbricht (see Ulbricht Walter) as secretary general. Until the collapse of the communist system in East Germany, Honecker remained the head of the party and of the government.

In 1989, Honecker was already a communist politician out of line with the rest of the statesmen of Eastern Europe. He was a hard-line, dogmatic communist. He lived in a villa reserved for high party officials and was guarded by Soviet KGB troops. In 1991, he was secreted out East Germany by the KGB and taken to Moscow against the protestations of the government of united Germany. Mikhail Gorbachev protected

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