Hans Modrow was born in 1928 in the former German province of Pomerania. At the age of 17, he was drafted into the Nazi “Volkssturm” and subsequently taken prisoner by the Red Army. He attended a Soviet antifa school and returned to Germany in 1949 to work as a machinist. He became involved in the Free German Youth (FDJ), became a member of the Socialist Unity Party (SED) and also of the Free German Trade Union Federation (FDGB). From 1954 to 1957 he completed a correspondence course in Marxism-Leninism and in 1961 competed a graduate degree at the College for Economics in Berlin. In 1958 Modrow became a member of the People’s Chamber and from 1967 to 1989 he was a member of the Central Committee of the SED. On 13 November 1989, he was elected the last chairman of the DDR Council of Ministers.
From 1990 to 1994, Modrow was a member of the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) in the German Federal Parliament and from 1999 to 2004 in the European Parliament. He is still Chairman of the Council of Elders of DIE LINKE.