Günter Pötschke

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Round table at the ADN in January 1989. 2nd from right: Günter Pötschke

Günter Pötschke (born July 28, 1929 in Halle ; † September 11, 2006 in Berlin ) was a German journalist. From 1977 to 1989 he was Director General of the General German Intelligence Service (ADN, a news agency of the GDR Council of Ministers) and since 1986 a member of the Central Committee (ZK) of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) .


After attending primary and secondary school in Halle, Pötschke passed his Abitur there in 1948 . In October 1948 he started working as a freelancer for the ADN branch in Halle, where he worked as a reporter from 1949 . In the same year he became a member of the Association of the German Press and in 1950 he was the deputy district manager of the ADN in Halle. Just one year later Pötschke went to Berlin, where he managing editor was the department Ostredaktion and deputy head of the East German editors.

Pötschke's career developed very quickly: in 1954 he was accepted into the SED. From 1954 to 1956 he completed a distance learning course at the Karl Marx University in Leipzig and one year after graduating he was promoted to head of the foreign editorial department of the ADN. Pötschke worked as a special correspondent at important conferences and events, for example in October 1956 during the Hungarian People's Uprising . In 1959 and 1960 Pötschke worked as an ADN special correspondent in London . He then became editor-in-chief and deputy general director of ADN.

Pötschke took another distance learning course for a degree in history from 1961 to 1968 at the Karl Marx party college in Berlin . In 1963 he became a member of the UNESCO Commission of the GDR. From 1966 to 1974 he was deputy head of the western department of the SED Central Committee and from 1974 to 1977 deputy head of the agitation department of the SED Central Committee.

In 1977 he finally took over the post of General Director of ADN, which he remained until 1989. During this time, he was Vice President and at times also President of the Alliance of National European News Agencies . In 1986 Pötschke became a member of the Central Committee of the SED and a member of the agitation commission at the SED Politburo. In the course of his career, Pötschke received a number of medals and state awards from the GDR, including the Patriotic Order of Merit in Gold (1979) and the Karl Marx Order (1989).

Fall of the wall

Pötschke was possibly one of the factors that caused the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. Riccardo Ehrman , then a correspondent for the Italian agency ANSA , stated in 2009 that someone had given him the tip, Schabowski at the press conference of the SED Central Committee on November 9, 1989 after the new one Ask travel law. And "this person said, 'I'm the man from the submarine. There is a square in Berlin, an office that is under the lake. It is known as a submarine. And this person is the boss in this office '”, which amounts to Pötschke. Ehrman's question led to a question from the then BILD newspaper reporter Peter Brinkmann : "When does this come into effect?" And Schabowski's answer:

"To the best of my knowledge ... it occurs immediately, immediately."

However, Pötschke never confirmed this, and Ehrmann has made a number of at least questionable and demonstrably false statements over the years. Ehrman also later confirmed that he had been called by Pötschke in the run-up to the press conference but had not been explicitly asked to ask about the new travel law.

In 1990 Pötschke retired . He died in 2006.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. When calling the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  2. Ehrman: The tipster was Pötschke ( memento from April 23, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  3. Source: Florian Huber / Marc Brasse (Spiegel TV Media and Monaco Film for ARD): Schabowski's note - The night when the wall fell ; First broadcast November 2, 2009, ARD, 9.00pm / 0:29:15 pm (also as Spiegel TV DVD)
  4. Hans-Hermann Hertle : Chronicle of the Fall of the Wall , Ch. Links, 10th edition, Berlin 2006, p. 145
  5. The Myths of Riccardo Ehrman
  6. Ewald König: The Secret Fall of the Wall , Die Presse , October 31, 2014, accessed on November 6, 2014.