Lothar de Maizière

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Lothar de Maizière (2011)Signature2 Two plus four contract.JPG

Lothar de Maizière [ də mɛˈzjɛʀ ] (born March 2, 1940 in Nordhausen ) worked as a German politician ( CDU ) from autumn 1989 to late summer 1991 and was best known for his contribution to German reunification . He was previously and has since returned to practice as a lawyer in Berlin .

From April 12 to October 2, 1990 he was the first democratically elected and at the same time the last Prime Minister of the German Democratic Republic and from October 3 to December 19, 1990 he was one of five Federal Ministers for special tasks from the GDR . On December 17, he asked for allegations to be clarified that he had worked as an unofficial employee under the code name "Czerni" (also "Czerny") with the Ministry of State Security to be released from the ministerial office. In February 1991 he resumed his party posts, which he had left dormant, after Wolfgang Schäuble attempted discharge at a press conference with his investigation report. In the fall of 1991 he resigned as deputy CDU chairman and resigned from his Bundestag mandate . In 1992 he was identified as "Czerni" according to the files.

Since 2009, Lothar de Maizière has been chairman of the board of the Deutsche Gesellschaft e. V. inside.


education and profession

After graduating from high school in Berlin in 1958, de Maizière studied viola from 1959 to 1965 at the "Hanns Eisler" Academy of Music in Berlin . He was then until 1975 as a violist in several orchestras , a. a. also works for the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra . Because of an inflammation of the nerves on his left arm, which hindered him in his professional practice, he studied law at the Humboldt University in Berlin from 1969 to 1975 as a correspondence course . He has been a lawyer since 1975 . From 1987 he was Deputy Chairman of the College of Lawyers in Berlin under the chairman Gregor Gysi . He was also admitted to the bar at the Military Criminal Senate at the Supreme Court of the GDR . As a lawyer, he mainly represented young people in court until 1989 who were persecuted by the GDR judiciary for refusing to do military service or participating in pacifist activities .


Lothar de Maizière is married and has three daughters. He comes from the politically very active de Maizière family , whose members are descendants of Huguenot immigrants.

His father Clemens de Maizière (1906–1980) was a lawyer, a synodal of the Berlin-Brandenburg Church and a member of the Eastern CDU , where he headed a local association. After the fall of the Wall, he was exposed as a long-time Stasi employee. In 1936 he married Christine Rathje (1910–1981), daughter of the historian and politician Johannes Rathje, in Nordhausen . Several children were born from the marriage.

His uncle Ulrich de Maizière served in the Reichswehr , the Wehrmacht and the Bundeswehr and was Inspector General of the Bundeswehr . His son, Lothar de Maizière's cousin Thomas de Maizière , was also Federal Minister from November 2005 to March 2018.

One of his daughters (Henriette) works as a journalist and reporter for ZDF .

Political party

Lothar de Maizière had been a member of the CDU, one of the four bloc parties in the GDR , since 1956 . Although he said he was “not even a cashier” in this party, he was appointed to the top of the peaceful revolution and was chairman from November 1989 to 1990. On November 28, 1989, Lothar de Maiziere announced at a meeting of the democratic bloc that the CDU would leave the bloc on December 5, 1989 and thus take the initiative to dissolve this bogus democratic participation. The exit was seen as a signal for the independence of the bloc parties. The central round table , which met from December 7, 1989, strongly influenced the Modrow government , and paved the way for democratic elections . From October 1990 until his resignation on September 6, 1991, he was first deputy chairman of the all-German CDU . During this time he was also the state chairman of the CDU in Brandenburg .


From March to October 1990 Lothar de Maizière was a member of the People's Chamber of the GDR. He had been elected for the CDU in the Berlin constituency . From March 27 to April 10, 1990, he served briefly as chairman of the CDU and Democratic Awakening parliamentary group until he was replaced by Günther Krause because of his impending election as prime minister . De Maizière was one of the members of the Bundestag in October 1990 who were sent to the Bundestag by the People's Chamber . In the Bundestag election in December 1990 , he entered the Bundestag again via the CDU's Brandenburg State List , from which he resigned on October 15, 1991.

Public offices

Lothar de Maiziere with the chairman of the PDS , Gregor Gysi  (l), in the local elections in the GDR on May 6, 1990 shortly before the start of the election studio in the Palace of the Republic

On November 18, 1989, he joined the GDR government led by Hans Modrow as deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers and as Minister for Church Affairs in the GDR .

On February 5, 1990, Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl presented the “ Alliance for Germany ” in Berlin as the future partner of his party in the GDR. The electoral alliance consisted of the newly founded opposition groups Democratic Awakening (DA) and German Social Union (DSU) as well as the GDR CDU as the determining force. De Maizière was still largely unknown when he ran in the first free Volkskammer election in 1990 as Allianz's top candidate for Germany . He fought with the election slogans “Prosperity for all” and “ We are one people ” for the office of the first freely elected Prime Minister of the GDR.

The high election victory of 48.1% for Allianz was mainly due to the expectations of the GDR population for German reunification and the D-Mark , which the East CDU advocated, and also to the popularity of Chancellor Kohl, de Maizières Campaigned.

After the election, he was elected Prime Minister of the GDR on April 12, 1990 , and his cabinet was confirmed at the same time . On April 19, 1990, he made his first government statement. From August 1990 he was also Foreign Minister of the GDR . During his tenure as the last GDR Prime Minister, reunification with the Federal Republic of Germany was negotiated. These negotiations comprised three international treaties ( treaty on the creation of a currency, economic and social union (signed on May 18, 1990 in Bonn), unification treaty (signed on August 31, 1990 in East Berlin), and two-plus-four treaty (signed on September 12, 1990 in Moscow)). Other tasks were the restoration of local government ( law for municipalities and counties from 17.05.1990) and the states ( ländereinführungsgesetz from 07.22.1990), return to the rule of law and market economy structures as well as the withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact (signed. On 9/24 1990 in East Berlin). As a condition for the reunification, Lothar de Maiziere made the maintenance of the land and industrial reforms. The uniform agreement was negotiated accordingly, the joint declaration was added as an annex and the constitution was amended in Section 143 (3) of the Basic Law after consulting Roman Herzog . The reasoning that maintaining the expropriations was a mandatory condition of the Soviet Union, presented by Lothar de Maiziere, Helmut Kohl and others, was only partially confirmed in retrospect. After inspection of the files, memories of Michael Gorbatschow , Eduard Shevardnadze and Günther Krause , the Soviet Union wanted to rule out criminal aspects against the USSR for 1945-1949. A possible retransfer, adequate compensation or administrative rehabilitation was not the subject of the top-level negotiations. For Michael Gorbatschow, the solution of the open property issues was an internal German matter. The different representations can be explained by political motives in East and West Germany as well as that, depending on the level of the conversation, there were different answers on the Soviet side. So was the aide-mémoire of April 28, 1990 from the Russian Foreign Ministry for the maintenance of the expropriations. However, this assessment was not discussed with Michael Gorbachev. Within the Soviet Union there were not only different views on the expropriations, but also on the effects of glasnost and perestroika in general, which led to the August coup in Moscow . The land and industrial reform was viewed by Lothar de Maiziere as a socialist achievement. The criticism that it was not possible to find an appropriate balance between 40 years of GDR home law and human rights violations for 45-49 was accepted. Effects to this day are the weakly developed middle class in the East German states as well as the refusal or difficulty of moral, administrative and criminal rehabilitation , different treatment of the expropriation groups (especially the victims 1945-49) and minimal compensation payments based on the market value.

On the day of German unity - October 3, 1990 - de Maizière was appointed Federal Minister for Special Tasks in the federal government led by Kohl .

On March 22, 1990, De Maizière denied the content of the rumors that he had been an Unofficial Officer (IM) at the Ministry of State Security . On December 10th, a few days after the 1990 Bundestag election , the news magazine Der Spiegel published the result of research that de Maizière had been listed as an IM under the code name "Czerni" by the State Security. De Maizière denied these allegations, which were later confirmed, but resigned as Federal Minister on December 19, 1990. In his last press conference he warned against releasing all prisoners in GDR prisons as part of a general amnesty as part of a reunification. He left his CDU party offices on hold until he was resumed after a press conference given by Wolfgang Schäuble on February 22, 1991, at which he attempted to exonerate. In September 1991 he gave up the CDU deputy chairmanship and other honorary positions as well as his mandate in the Bundestag. In 1992, the new Stasi Records Act published files that identified him as IM Czerni. In 1994, he turned down the offer of the Berlin CDU for a place on the list for the federal election . Lothar de Maiziere denies to have been IM or IMB Czerni / Czerny to this day. The Czerni file was destroyed by the Stasi. From 1989 to 1990, many Stasi files were torn up and put in sacks until they were finally destroyed. 16,000 bags could be secured. The reconstruction of the files has not yet been completed and is ongoing.

Further work

From 1986 to 1990 he was Vice-President of the Synod of the Federation of Evangelical Churches in the GDR and worked there, like other Evangelical Christians, for example Manfred Stolpe , on the dialogue between the churches and the government and the SED .

From 1993 de Maizière was a representative of Hunzinger Information AG in Berlin, in March 2004 he was chairman of the supervisory board .

He is chairman of the private foundation for monument protection Berlin and second chairman of Werkstatt Deutschland e. V., on whose initiative the Quadriga Prize goes back. Since the death of his predecessor Peter Boenisch , de Maizière has been chairman of the German-Russian St. Petersburg Dialogue . As such, he called the annexation of Crimea a breach of international law, but criticized the Western economic sanctions against Russia . The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported on November 22, 2014 on a key issues paper supported by the Chancellery and the Foreign Office. It demands that the St. Petersburg Dialogue “must also provide space for critical discussion of Russian politics”. The Chancellery and the Foreign Office see no possibility that a reform under De Maizière's leadership could be successful.

De Maizière is also co-founder and chairman of the German Society .

He has been working in his law firm in Berlin since 1996, specializing in questions relating to reunification. De Maizière represents, among other things, two torture victims in the case of Rakhat Aliyev , Peter Afanasenko and Sazhan Ibrajew, who worked as bodyguards for ex-Prime Minister Akeschan Kaschegeldin . Aliyev is also charged with the murder of two Kazakh bankers , extortion, bribery and money laundering .

In addition, Lothar de Maizière is chairman of the steering committee of the Petersburg Dialogue and managing director of TU-Campus EUREF gGmbH, which the Berlin project developer Reinhard Müller is developing on the grounds of the Schöneberger Gasometer in Berlin.

When he presented his memories of the history of German unity , his former deputy government spokeswoman Angela Merkel said of him: His "political goal of pouring the striving for freedom and what has been achieved with the peaceful revolution into the rule of law has given shape to German unification."


"My professional career was a single descent - from musician to lawyer and then to politician."

- Süddeutsche Zeitung No. 144 of June 26, 2015, p. 23


  • Unity advocate. A conversation with Christine de Mazières. Argon Verlag, Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-87024-792-4 .
  • With the help of Volker Resing : I want my children no longer to have to lie. My story of German unity. 2nd edition, Herder Verlag, Freiburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-451-30355-5 .
  • Has what belongs together grown together? In: Anwaltsblatt (Berlin) Volume 53, October 2003, pp. 568-571.




  • Thomas Grimm : The de Maizières - a German-German family - ARTE - documentary, 45 min, 1999.

Web links

Commons : Lothar de Maizière  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Notes and individual references

  1. Honest, loyal, reliable . In: Der Spiegel . No. 50 , 1990, pp. 30-38 ( Online - Dec. 10, 1990 ).
  2. a b Humanly moved . In: Der Spiegel . No. 52 , 1990, pp. 20-23 ( Online - Dec. 24, 1990 ).
  3. As a so-called top source . In: Der Spiegel . No. 12 , 1991, pp. 41-48 ( Online - Mar. 18, 1991 ).
  4. a b Not disgraceful. The Union is rehabilitating de Maiziere - what is supposed to relieve him actually burdens him . In: Der Spiegel . No. 9 , 1991, pp. 20-22 ( Online - Feb. 25, 1991 ).
  5. Christmas Eve 1945, Festival of Peace . In: Berliner Morgenpost
  6. Contemporary witnesses: Lothar de Maizière - daughter Henriette , accessed on September 26, 2015.
  7. Henriette de Maizière - ZDF Yearbook 2013 from September 26, 2015.
  8. ^ Reading on March 23, 2011 in Erfurt (writings: L. de Maizière, 2010). Interview: Thüringer Allgemeine , March 19, 2011.
  9. KAS : Lothar de Maiziere , accessed on January 17, 2020.
  10. MDR, Time Travel: Participants at the central round table , accessed on January 16, 2020.
  11. For the preparatory meeting of the “ Democratic Bloc ” on November 11, de Maizière (2010, pp. 88–90) reported on the first personal encounter with Egon Krenz and his criticism of his “old-style court reports”. He then dictated an alternative text to him and was whispered by a neighbor: "You see, this is how a secretary general becomes a secretary."
  12. Uwe Müller : De Maizière attacks Helmut Kohl's memories . Welt Online , February 5, 2010.
  13. ^ Deutsche-einheit-1990.de Government declaration by the Prime Minister Lothar de Maizière.
  14. Deutsche Welle: Lothar de Maiziere - expropriation measures have a "highly unjust character" , January 30, 2004
  15. KAS: Lothar de Maiziere - government declaration , section exchange, property rights and land reform, April 19, 1990
  16. Basic Law Article 143
  17. Michael Naumann: At the beginning of the unit there was a lie, Zeit Online, January 29, 2004, number 6
  18. Welt: Files prove GDR prevented withdrawal of expropriations , 03/11/1999
  19. ^ Spiegel: "A very complicated time" , letter from Mikhail Gorbatschow to Rudolf Augstein, March 16, 1998
  20. MDR, Madlen Benthin: Land reform in the SBZ , 4.6.2012
  21. Henning Köhler: Helmut Kohl - A life for politics. The biography. Quadriga Verlag and Bastei Lübbe AG, Cologne 2014, ISBN 978-3-86995-076-1 , pp. 731, 732
  22. Lothar de Maiziere: I want my children no longer to have to lie. My history of German unity , Herder Verlag, Freiburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-451062728 , explanation of the subject of expropriation, pp. 148, 149, 291, 292
  23. ^ Peter Hefele: The relocation of industrial and service companies from the Soviet Zone / GDR to West Germany. With special consideration of Bavaria (1945-1961) , Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-515-07206-3
  24. ^ Margarethe von Schnehen: Im Strom der Zeit, Volume 2, Displaced medium-sized companies - lost jobs , CA Starke Verlag, Limburg an der Lahn 2006, ISBN 978-3-7980-0578-5
  25. Ulrich Blum, Frank Leibbrand: Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurship, Thought Structures for a New Era , Business Management Verlag Dr. Th. Gabler GmbH, Wiesbaden 2001, ISBN 978-3-409-11872-9
  26. Udo Madaus: `` ... so that the truth is not forgotten !: Collection of quotes on the expropriations / confiscations 1945-1949 in the Soviet occupation zone of Germany and the consequences after 1990 '' Frieling & Huffmann Verlag, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3828031807 , Pp. 27, 40, 50, 55, 64, 85, 115, 119, 177, 230
  27. ^ FAZ, Peter Krause: Review of non-fiction book compensation and compensation (EALG), Verlag CH Beck, Munich 1995, explanation of compensation for 45-49, after 49 there is compensation
  28. March 22, 1990. Tagesschau (ARD) , March 22, 1990, accessed on October 1, 2018 .
  29. a b Helmut Müller-EnbergsMaizière, Lothar de . In: Who was who in the GDR? 5th edition, volume 2nd Ch. Links, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86153-561-4 .
  30. Leslie Collit in the Financial Times, September 27, 1990, p. 6
  31. Robert Leicht : News from "Czerni" . In: Die Zeit No. 5/1992.
  32. 20 years ago: Lothar de Maizière alias "Czerni" , Spiegel TV Magazin, November 22, 2010.
  33. BStU : Explanation of the term IMB , accessed January 17, 2020
  34. Lothar de Maiziere: I want my children no longer to have to lie. My history of German unity , Herder Verlag, Freiburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-451062728 , statement on the Czerni case, p. 321
  35. ^ New Germany: De Maiziere was an MfS informant, but the files were destroyed in 1989 , 23.03.1993, explanation of the Czerny case
  36. Welt, Stefan Aust : What drove Lothar de Maizière to become IM , October 4, 2015
  37. Deutschlandfunk, Silke Hasselmann: Torn Stasi files: Why the reconstruction is stalling, March 26, 2018
  38. BStU : Reconstruction of torn Stasi files, explanation and justification for the reconstruction of the Stasi files, accessed on January 20, 2020
  39. hunzinger.de (PDF; 1.9 MB).
  40. Moritz Hunzinger: MORITZ Hunzinger .
  41. Website of the Berlin Monument Protection Foundation .
  42. ^ Board of Directors and members of Werkstatt Deutschland ( Memento from March 17, 2005 in the Internet Archive ).
  43. ^ "Sanctions against Russia are not in Europe's interest" , interview in the FAZ on November 21, 2014, p. 2.
  44. ^ Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH: Current news online .
  45. Today's hearing awaits clarification from Tonio Borg at EurActiv.de, November 13, 2012 (accessed October 27, 2013).
  46. L. de Maizière 2010. The quote is taken from the speech of the Federal Chancellor on September 2, 2010 ( memento of September 24, 2010 in the Internet Archive ).
  47. On October 3, 1991, at the end of the German Democratic Republic, Richard Schröder presented Lothar de Maizière together with a present with a “plaque” from old collections with the inscription “For exemplary achievements in honor of the GDR”; illustrated by de Maizière (Schriften) 2010, p. 317, with the comment: "I could hardly imagine a nicer award that day."
  48. ^ Lothar de Maiziere awarded the Order of Friendship , RIA Novosti, March 2, 2010.
  49. On the biblical passage from the end of the video (from the 13th minute) commented on from a German-German point of view, see also Craig Whitney: Instead of Barbed Wire, Resentment Now Divides Germans . In: New York Times , October 14, 1994, p. A6. Reproduced in the English language Wikipedia: en: Lothar de Maizière #Famous quotation .