Council of Ministers of the GDR

Council Of Ministers Of The GDR

Council of Ministers of the GDR

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The Council of Ministers of the German Democratic Republic (German: Ministerrat der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik) was the chief executive body of East Germany from November 1950 until the GDR 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.

Under the Constitution of East Germany, the Council of Ministers was the official government of East Germany. In practice, the Council was ultimately answerable to the General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party, and thus was not de facto the highest power in the country.

Structure

The Council was led by a chairman (Vorsitzender), equivalent to a Prime Minister. There were two first deputy chairmen and nine other deputy chairmen. Together with some key ministers they formed the presidency (Präsidium) of the Council. The Präsidium prepared all decisions in consultation with the responsible departments of the Central Committee (Zentralkomitee) of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) and especially the Politbüro of the SED Central Committee. The Präsidium managed the day-to-day affairs of the Council between its weekly meetings, which took place regularly on Wednesdays to execute the resolutions of the Politbüro’s weekly meetings (on Tuesdays). The secretaries and department managers in the Central Committee were authorized to give instructions to the ministers as necessary.

Until the Wende in the fall of...
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