Hans Watzek was born in Czechos­lo­va­kia in 1932. After the end of the war, his family was resett­led in the Soviet Occu­pa­tion Zone in East Germany. There he witnessed the land reform in 1945/46. After helping out on his family’s farm, he studied agri­cul­tu­ral scien­ces in Pots­dam. In the 1960s he first worked as an assistant in a machine trac­tor station (MTS) and in 1965 became chair­man of an agri­cul­tu­ral produc­tion coope­ra­tive (LPG) in Meck­len­burg-Western Pomerania.

In 1950 Watzek joined the Demo­cra­tic Peasants’ Party of Germany (DBD) and in 1963 became a member of the party execu­tive commit­tee and a member of the DDR’s People’s Cham­ber (“Volks­kam­mer”). From Novem­ber 1989 to April 1990 he was Minis­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Forestry and Food­s­tuffs in Hans Modrow’s govern­ment. After the end of the DDR, Watzek was a member of the Party of Demo­cra­tic Socia­lism (PDS) and joined the Coun­cil of Elders of the succee­ding party, DIE LINKE.

The inter­view was filmed on 25 Novem­ber 2021.


More videos from the inter­view are available, but have not yet been trans­la­ted with English subtit­les. If you are able help in this, please cont­act us: kontakt@ifddr.org.