Status: 26/09/2023, 14:44 p.m.
Uwe Holmer, theologian and pastor, during a walk in front of his house. © Bernd Wüstneck/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa/Archivbild
After his overthrow as GDR head of state, Erich Honecker found a temporary refuge in a rectory. At the beginning of 1990, the director of the Lobetaler Anstalten near Berlin, Uwe Holmer, took him in for ten weeks. Now the evangelical pastor has died
Serrahn - The pastor and former Honecker host Uwe Holmer is dead. The theologian died at the age of 94, as a spokesman for the North Church said on Tuesday, citing information from the Diakoniewerk in the Mecklenburg Serrahn (Rostock district). Holmer had taken in the overthrown GDR head of state Erich Honecker (1912-1994) and his wife Margot at the beginning of 1990. At that time, the Protestant pastor headed the Hoffnungstaler Anstalten in Lobetal near Berlin, where around 650 employees cared for more than 1000 disabled people, senior citizens and addicts. Honecker and his wife no longer knew where to stay after the dissolution of the Wandlitz housing estate. Holmer's family gave them ten weeks of asylum in the rectory at the request of the church leadership.
"Tatort" star Jan Josef Liefers filmed the story. ZDF broadcast the film "Honecker and the Pastor" in March last year. The role of Holmer was played by the actor Hans-Uwe Bauer. Honecker had lost all offices as head of state and party leader in October 1989 and had just undergone cancer surgery. His wife had been Minister of National Education for decades and was also out of her post.
"At that time, the GDR lawyer Wolfgang Vogel asked the church whether it would take in "Erich and Margot," Holmer told the German Press Agency in 2020. "We then said that the new path can only succeed if change takes place in peace." In retrospect, this proved to be true, Holmer said, adding: "I would do it again and have never regretted it." He described his experiences at that time in the book "The Man with whom Honecker Lived" (2009).
Shortly before the broadcast of Liefers' film, Holmer warned: "You should never despise your political opponents so much that you can't work with them later." He had words of praise for Liefers' work: "The concern of that time is well captured in the film."
In 1994, Holmer, who comes from Wismar, moved to Serrahn. He had several years of contact with Honeckers - after her departure for Chile - but this ended with the death of the former GDR Minister of Education in 2016. For a long time, letters from Margot Honecker from Chile came to Christmas, she had always been grateful for the help at that time. After her death in 2016, according to Holmer, neither a grandson nor the daughter of the family came forward again. Dpa