Heinz Kessler, German politician and military officer, Died at 97

Heinz Kessler or Heinz Keßler was born on January 26, 1920, and died on May 2, 2017.

He was a former East German communist politician, military officer and a convicted felon.

Kessler was known for his role in political repression in East Germany prior to the communist regime’s downfall in 1989.

While in East Germany, he held the rank of Armeegeneral in the National People’s Army (Nationale Volksarmee) and was Minister of Defense of the GDR, a member of the Politbüro of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), and a deputy of the GDR’s Volkskammer (parliament).

However, convicted for his role in the crimes of the communist regime, he was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison after German reunification, and served his sentence in Hakenfelde Prison.

Heinz Kessler was released from prison in 1998 after serving only five years.

Heinz Kessler passed away at 97 years old.