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Heinz Kessler

German military officer, Armeegeneral in the former National People's Army of East Germany

Heinz Kessler or Heinz Keßler (26 January 1920 – 2 May 2017) was a former East German communist politician, military officer and a convicted felon. He is known for his role in political repression in East Germany prior to the communist regime's downfall in 1989.


Heinz Kessler
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1988-0704-410, Heinz Keßler.jpg
Heinz Kessler in 1988
Minister of Defence of German Democratic Republic
In office
3 December 1985 – 18 November 1989
PresidentErich Honecker
Prime MinisterWilli Stoph
Hans Modrow
Preceded byHeinz Hoffmann
Succeeded byTheodor Hoffman
Personal details
Born(1920-01-26)26 January 1920
Lauban, Province of Lower Silesia, Weimar Germany
Died2 May 2017(2017-05-02) (aged 97)
Berlin, Germany
Political partyGerman Communist Party (since 2009)
Other political
affiliations
Communist Party of Germany (1945-1946)
Socialist Unity Party of Germany (1946-1989)
Party of Democratic Socialism (1989-1990)German Communist Party (1990–present)
Spouse(s)Ruth Kessler (died 2013)
Awards
GDR Marks-order bar.png GDR Hero of Labor BAR.png

Ehrenspange.png Patriotic Order of Merit GDR ribbon bar gold.png Patriotic Order of Merit GDR ribbon bar silver.png Order october revolution rib.png Order gpw1 rib.png GDR Scharnhorst-Order bar.png GDR Scharnhorst-Order bar.png GDR Scharnhorst-Order bar.png

GDR Combat-Order for Merit for the Nation and Fatherland - Gold BAR.png GDR Order of Banner of Labor 1Class BAR.png GDR Medal for Fighters against Fascism BAR.png GDR Meritorious Member of National People's Army BAR.png GDR Meritorious Member of Border Troops BAR.png

GDR Meritorious Member of Civil Defense BAR.png GDR Meritorious Policeman BAR.png GDR Decoration of German Police BAR.png GDR Medal for Exemplary Border Service BAR.png GDR Engels Prize bar-G.png

GDR Brotherhood in Arms Medal - Gold BAR.png GDR Brotherhood in Arms Medal - Gold BAR.png OrdenZnam.png Order redstar rib.png CombatCooperationRibbon.jpg

100 lenin rib.png 30 years of victory rib.png 40 years of victory rib.png 50 years saf rib.png 60 years saf rib.png
GDR Ehrenmedaille 30 Jahre National Volksarmee BAR.png Order of the Red Banner (CSSR) Rib.png POL Order Zaslugi PRL kl3 BAR.png POL Odznaka Braterstwa Broni BAR.png

Badge GenStaffCol SU.png
Military service
AllegianceFlag of Germany (1935–1945).svg Nazi Germany (1940-1941)
Red Army Badge.svg Soviet Union (1941-1945)
Flag of East Germany.svg East Germany (1950-1989)
Years of serviceWar Ensign of Germany (1938–1945).svg Wehrmacht (1940-1941)
Red Army Badge.svg Soviet Army (1941-1945)
Flag of NVA (East Germany).svg National People's Army (1950-1989)
RankArmeegeneral
CommandsCommander-in-chief of the Kommando LSK/LV
Ministry of National Defence
Battles/warsWorld War II
Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia
Angolan Civil War

In East Germany, he held the rank of Armeegeneral in the National People's Army (Nationale Volksarmee) and was Minister of Defense of the GDR, a member of the Politbüro of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), and a deputy of the GDR's Volkskammer (parliament).

Convicted for his role in the crimes of the communist regime, he was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison after German reunification, and served his sentence in Hakenfelde Prison. He was released from prison in 1998 after serving only five years.

Kessler was expelled from the Party of Democratic Socialism in 1990. In 2009, he joined the German Communist Party (DKP). He was a DKP candidate in the Berlin state election, 2011. Kessler died 2 May 2017 at the age of 97.[1][2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://m.startribune.com/former-east-german-defense-minister-heinz-kessler-dies-at-97/421265583/
  2. "Eiserne Ideale bis zum Schluss: DDR-Verteidigungsminister Heinz Keßler ist tot - Nordkurier.de". www.nordkurier.de. 4 May 2017.

Other websitesEdit

  Media related to Heinz Keßler at Wikimedia Commons