Modrow, Hans hänz môd´rō [key], 1928–, German politician. He served in the German Army, and was a prisoner of war until 1949. Joining the Socialist Unity party (Communists) in East Germany in 1949, he became first secretary of the East Berlin city committee (1953–61) and was a member of the city council until 1971. Rising slowly through the Communist party, he gained a reputation for honesty and open-mindedness as party secretary at Dresden; he refrained from suppressing the antigovernment agitation there in 1989. Taken into the East German Politburo and made prime minister at the height of the agitation against the Communist government, he formed a grand coalition that included 12 non-Communists in the cabinet of 27 (Nov., 1989–Mar., 1990). His government and party were soundly defeated in the momentum for German reunification. Modrow served in the enlarged Bundestag after unification and won reelection in Dec., 1990. In 1993 he was convicted of vote rigging in the municipal elections held in Dresden in May, 1989.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: German History: Biographies