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.