(b. Nordausen, 2 Mar. 1940)
German; head of government of GDR April–Oct. 1990 The son of a lawyer, de Maizière studied music and, after successfully pursuing this career, he gave it up to become a lawyer. An active evangelical Christian, he specialized in defending dissidents including Christians and those refusing to do military service. He joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in 1957. The CDU was then a satellite of the SED. Once the party decided to break with the SED in November 1989 de Maizière was elected its chairman. He was also elected deputy head of government in Modrow's interim administration leading to the March 1990 election.
De Maizière headed the Alliance for Germany at the first free elections held in the GDR in March 1990, when the Alliance won 47.9 per cent of the vote. De Maizière then led the coalition government which negotiated with West Germany and France, the Soviet Union, the UK, and the USA, to restore Germany unity. Once unity was achieved on 3 October 1990, de Maizière served as Minister for Special Assignments in the government of Helmut Kohl. He was forced to resign in 1991, because of accusations of having worked for Mielke's secret police, the Stasi. He denied the accusations but left political life to return to his law practice.