| President of the People's Chamber |
12 May 1969 –29 October 1976
|Preceded by||Johannes Dieckmann|
|Succeeded by||Horst Sindermann|
|Born||9 June 1923|
Nietleben, Province of Saxony
|Died||19 May 2015 91) (aged|
|Political party||Christian Democratic Union|
Gerald Götting (9 June 1923 – 19 May 2015) was a German politician and chairman of the East German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) from 1966 until 1989.He served as President of the People's Chamber (Volkskammer) from 1969 to 1976 and deputy chairman of the State Council of East Germany from 1960 to 1989.
The Christian Democratic Union of Germany was an East German political party founded in 1945. It was part of the National Front with the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) and a bloc party until 1989.
The State Council was the collective head of state that governed East Germany from 1960 to 1990.
Götting was born in Nietleben, in the Prussian Province of Saxony, today part of Halle/Saale. During World War II, he served in the Reichsarbeitsdienst, an auxiliary support and supply organization, and later in the Wehrmacht. He was briefly held as a prisoner of war by US forces in 1945.
The Province of Saxony, also known as Prussian Saxony was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and later the Free State of Prussia from 1816 until 1945. Its capital was Magdeburg.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
The Wehrmacht was the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer (army), the Kriegsmarine (navy) and the Luftwaffe. The designation "Wehrmacht" replaced the previously used term Reichswehr, and was the manifestation of the Nazi regime's efforts to rearm Germany to a greater extent than the Treaty of Versailles permitted.
In 1946, Götting joined the East German Christian Democratic Union, a Christian-democratic party. He then spent two years at the Martin Luther University of Halle, where he studied German studies, history and philology.
German studies is the field of humanities that researches, documents, and disseminates German language and literature in both its historic and present forms. Academic departments of German studies often include classes on German culture, German history, and German politics in addition to the language and literature component. Common German names for the field are Germanistik, Deutsche Philologie, and Deutsche Sprachwissenschaft und Literaturwissenschaft. In English the terms Germanistics or Germanics are sometimes used, but the subject is more often referred to as German studies, German language and literature, or German philology.
History is the study of the past as it is described in written documents. Events occurring before written record are considered prehistory. It is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Scholars who write about history are called historians.
Philology is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the intersection between textual criticism, literary criticism, history, and linguistics. Philology is more commonly defined as the study of literary texts as well as oral and written records, the establishment of their authenticity and their original form, and the determination of their meaning. A person who pursues this kind of study is known as a philologist.
In 1949, Götting became General Secretary of the CDU and, after the establishment in the Soviet Zone of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), was elected as a member of the People's Chamber (Volkskammer), the East German legislative body, in which he served for the next forty years. A loyal supporter of the Communist Socialist Unity Party, Götting helped push out those CDU members not willing to do the SED's bidding in the 1950s.
East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic, was a country that existed from 1949 to 1990, when the eastern portion of Germany was part of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. It described itself as a socialist "workers' and peasants' state", and the territory was administered and occupied by Soviet forces at the end of World War II — the Soviet Occupation Zone of the Potsdam Agreement, bounded on the east by the Oder–Neisse line. The Soviet zone surrounded West Berlin but did not include it; as a result, West Berlin remained outside the jurisdiction of the GDR.
The Socialist Unity Party of Germany, established in April 1946, was the governing Marxist–Leninist political party of the German Democratic Republic from the country's foundation in October 1949 until its dissolution after the Peaceful Revolution in 1989.
Over the years, Götting came to hold a number of influential positions within the East German state: from 1949 to 1963, he served as the Chairman of the CDU faction in the People's Chamber; from 1958 to 1963 as Deputy Prime Minister of the GDR; and from 1963 to November 1989 Götting served as Deputy Chairman of the Council of State, a position equivalent in rank to the vice-presidency of the GDR. Götting also served as Chairman of the People's Chamber from 1969 to 1976 and as its Vice-Chairman from 1969 to 1989. Finally, Götting was elected Chairman of the CDU at its 1966 party congress. As chairman, he worked closely with the other parties that formed the National Front, the SED-dominated alliance that governed East Germany. During his party leadership, he published brochures exploring the relationship between Christianity and socialism.
The National Front of the German Democratic Republic was an alliance of political parties (Blockpartei) and mass organisations in East Germany, controlled by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, which stood in elections to the East German parliament, the Volkskammer.
Christianity is a religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament.
Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be public, collective or cooperative ownership, or citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms.
Götting held a number of other positions in East German society. From 1961 to 1969, Götting was Vice-President of the German-African Society, and from 1963 he was a member of the Albert Schweitzer Committee. He visited with Schweitzer twice, which meetings he recorded and publicized in his book “Begegnungen mit Albert Schweitzer“. In 1976, Götting was elected Chairman of the People's Friendship League of the GDR.
Albert Schweitzer, OM was an Alsatian theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician. A Lutheran, Schweitzer challenged both the secular view of Jesus as depicted by the historical-critical method current at this time, as well as the traditional Christian view. His contributions to the interpretation of Pauline Christianity concern the role of Paul's mysticism of "being in Christ" as primary and the doctrine of Justification by Faith as secondary.
On 2 November 1989, just days before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Götting was forced to resign as Chairman of the CDU. Five days later he stepped down from his position as a member of the Council of State, too. In December Götting was arrested, but released in February 1990.
On 19 May 2015 Götting died in Berlin, aged 91.
The Volkskammer was the unicameral legislature of the German Democratic Republic.
The German Democratic Republic was founded in 1949 and was absorbed into the Federal Republic of Germany on 3 October 1990. Its original constitution was promulgated on 7 October 1949. It was heavily based on the "Weimarer Reichsverfassung", such that the GDR would be a federal and democratic republic. Because the original version did not accurately reflect the actual political climate of the GDR, it was decided in 1968 to replace the old constitution with a new version.
The Democratic Farmers' Party of Germany was an East German political party. The DBD was founded in 1948. It had 52 representatives in the Volkskammer, as part of the National Front. The DBD participated in all GDR cabinets. According to DBD Deutsche Bauernpartei from chronik der wende the founding of the DBD was an attempt by the SED to weaken the influence of CDU/LDPD in the rural community by establishing a party loyal to the SED. The leadership cadre came mainly from the ranks of the SED. In the late 1980s, the party had 117,000 members.
The Liberal Democratic Party of Germany was a political party in East Germany. Like the other allied bloc parties of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) in the National Front, it had 52 representatives in the People's Chamber.
The political leadership of East Germany was in the hands of several offices.
Horst Sindermann was a Communist German politician and one of the leaders of East Germany.
The President of the Republic was the head of state of East Germany from 1949 until 1960. The office was created by the Constitution of 1949. The President of the Republic was elected by the People's Chamber (Volkskammer) and the Chamber of States (Landerkammer), the two chambers of parliament. The office was more ceremonial in nature. If necessary, the President of the People's Chamber acted as the President of the Republic.
Manfred Gerlach was a German jurist and politician (LDPD). He served as Chairman of the Council of State and was thus head of state of East Germany from 6 December 1989 to 5 April 1990.
August Bach was an East German Christian Democratic politician.
The German Democratic Republic was created as a socialist republic on 7 October 1949 and began to institute a government based on that of the Soviet Union. The equivalent of the Communist Party in East Germany was the Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, which along with other parties, was part of the National Front of Democratic Germany. It was created in 1946 through the merger of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in the Soviet Occupation Zone of Germany. Following German reunification, the SED was renamed the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS).
Wilhelm Külz was a German liberal politician of the National Liberal Party, the German Democratic Party (DDP) and later the Liberal Democratic Party of Germany (LDPD). He held public office both in the German Empire and in the Weimar Republic. In 1926, he served as interior minister of Germany in the cabinets of chancellors Hans Luther and Wilhelm Marx.
The Council of Ministers was the chief executive body of the German Democratic Republic from November 1950 until the country was unified with the Federal Republic of Germany on 3 October 1990. Originally formed as a body of 18 members, by 1989 the council consisted of 44 members.
Harald Ringstorff is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and was the 3rd Minister President of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. He headed a coalition government of the SPD and PDS from 1998 until 2006, and subsequently headed a coalition between the SPD and CDU. He was the 61st President of the Bundesrat in 2006/07.
The Social Democratic Party in the GDR was a reconstituted Social Democratic Party existing during the last phase of the East German state. Slightly less than a year after its creation it merged with the West German Social Democratic Party of Germany.
Horst Heintze was a German trades union official and politician. Through the union movement he rose to become a member of the People's Chamber (Volkskammer) in the German Democratic Republic and, from 1963, a member of the powerful Party Central Committee. He was unusual in rising this far through the power structure of the country despite having been a Nazi Party member in his youth.
Christa Schmidt is a retired German politician (CDU) who served as a minister in the last East German government. She built an earlier career as a teacher and educationalist.
Bertram Wieczorek is a German physician and former politician (CDU).
Hans Rietz was an East German politician who became a top official in the country's Democratic Farmers' Party , which was one of five so-called bloc parties controlled by the ruling Socialist Unity Party . For many years Rietz served as a member of the National parliament ("Volkskammer") and he was also a long-standing deputy chairman of the State Council.
| President of the People's Chamber |