Who was Erich Honecker?

Erich Honecker (1912-1994) was a German politician during the Cold War.

Honecker led the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) from 1971 until 1989, essentially following the instructions of the Communist Party and the dictates of Russia.

After German reunification in 1990, he fled to the Soviet Union but was extradited by the new Russian government back to Germany, where he was imprisoned and tried for high treason and crimes committed during the partition of Germany. He was accused particularly of ordering East German border guards to kill people trying to cross the Berlin Wall. However, since he was already dying of cancer, he was released from prison and died in exile in Chile.