Volkskammer Elections: Rainer Eppelmann casts his Ballot at a Polling Station in East Berlin (March 18, 1990)
The politically active priest and civil rights activist Rainer Eppelmann was one of the founders of the Democratic Awakening (DA) party in 1989. At first, he was their speaker; later, he represented the party at the Central Round Table and then became DA party chairman in 1990. In February of that year he had already been named minister without portfolio in the second government under Hans Modrow. After the “Alliance for Germany” (to which the DA belonged) scored a clear victory in the Volkskammer elections, Eppelmann became a member of the East German parliament. In the new government under Lothar de Maizière, he served as minister for disarmament and defense. After the reunification, Eppelmann joined the CDU and served as a Bundestag representative from 1990 to 2005. He is still actively engaged in the investigation of the SED-dictatorship and remains an advocate for the victims thereof. Photo: Wolfgang Eilmes.