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Secret files: Communist Honecker cheated on wife

The Local · 23 Jan 2012, 13:40

Published: 23 Jan 2012 13:40 GMT+01:00

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According to a report in news magazine Der Spiegel, the German intelligence agency (BND) collected a number of intimate details about Honecker’s marriage during his reign as head of state of the communist German Democratic Republic (GDR) from 1971 to 1989.

He reportedly made sure that Margot, who served as the GDR’s education minister from 1963 to 1989, was invited to Yugoslavia when he made a state visit to Japan in 1981, so that he could find some peace from his wife.

According to the files, the marriage to Margot was apparently already over by this time, and was only being held together “for party and state purposes.” While Erich was reportedly having an affair with one of his co-workers, Margot was linked to one of the country’s top economists Günter Mittag.

The BND also believes that the politburo pressured Erich into marrying Margot in 1953 “so that his frequent affairs with young girls would have an end.” The couple only married after the birth of their daughter Sonja in 1952 – which happened during Erich’s first marriage to Edith Baumann.

The files released by the BND also reveal more banal details. In January 1978, one agent reported that Honecker had accidentally given his grandson two left ski boots for Christmas.

In December 1981, meanwhile, the GDR’s state authorities were apparently charged with scouring the country to find a dog for the leader, who was addicted to game hunting. A three-and-a-half year-old short-haired pointer was eventually found near Erfurt.

Margot was herself a powerful member of the GDR’s political elite, and was feared and mocked as the “lila Drache” (“purple dragon”) for her hair colouring and hardline positions – she famously introduced military training to the GDR’s high school curriculum in 1978.

Despite their marital difficulties, the couple fled to Chile together after the fall of their government in 1989.

Story continues below…

Honecker died of liver cancer in 1994 in his self-imposed exile. The 84-year-old Margot still lives in Santiago, Chile with Sonja. She is said to still have his ashes.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:16 January 23, 2012 by boopsie
When the BND found out about his marrital indiscretions I hope they tried to blackmail him with them. Anything of use to hobble that awful regime would have been valuable.
15:19 January 23, 2012 by freechoice
nothing interesting to report about Germany lately? what is so interesting about old farts hanky pankying with one another?
15:44 January 23, 2012 by derExDeutsche
they say Power is the greatest aphrodisiac. Money, helps as well. I am going to go out on limb here, but my guess is that Herr MegaUpload used some of his sizable fortune to lure his sleep mates. In their defese, I guess you would need an aphrodisiac to have sex with Herr FatsoUpload and Herr Commie Geezer.
20:47 January 23, 2012 by raandy
derExDeutsche thats why they say money can't buy you everything but it is sure ahead of what ever is in 2nd place.
21:43 January 23, 2012 by wood artist

According to many stories, which I believe have been documented, the had of the KGB didn't bother with bribes, he just drove around Moscow and had his driver pick up whomever looked interesting. Perhaps Honecker was a bit more subtle. In any case, I find it amusing that in a country where the STASI had files on everyone, the BND had files on their boss. Surprised? Not at all. Such was the way of things, and might still be today. Who knows?
23:22 January 23, 2012 by Grumpy Old Man
@Wood Artist You are so right. Read today's story about the Linke party's MP's being spied on.
23:24 January 23, 2012 by wxman
Wow, let me write that down. Communists___lie___to___people. OK, got it.
14:37 January 24, 2012 by petenick
I'm not surprised! Men, they're all the same!
00:41 January 25, 2012 by zeddriver
I like the last paragraph!

Oh and he's been in a jar over the fireplace in the Andes for 18 years now. Never mind, move along now.


Seems the commie girls play fast and loose with their knickers too.
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