Erich Honecker (1912-1994) was a German communist activist. During the Second World War he was persecuted by the Nazis, and after the war he was among the most influential politicians of the German Democratic Republic, being supported and trusted by the USSR. As an activist and later First Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and head of state in 1971-1989, he influenced the GDR for decades.
Who was this man who never moved before overthrowing his protector Walter Ulbricht? What do we know about the politician who on the one hand went hunting with Brezhnev but on the other engaged in dialogue with West Germany? Who was the leader who defended socialism in front of the Berlin Wall and shot at his own citizens?
In the first biography of Erich Honecker available in Polish, Jan Lorenzen tries to answer these questions and understand how it was possible that Honecker for decades was at the height of power despite at least superficially not having any special political talents or charisma.
Erich Honecker. Biografia polityczna ("Erich Honecker: A Political Biography") is now available in Polish from Wydawnictwo Dolnośląskie. For more information on the book, please click here.