Werner Teske (24 April 1942 – 26 June 1981) was a Hauptmann (Captain) of the Ministry for State Security of East Germany who was executed after having been found guilty of "planned treason". He was the last person to be executed in the German Democratic Republic, and the last person to be executed in Germany.[1]

Life[edit | edit source]

Werner Teske was recruited by the Ministry as a student. After obtaining his doctorate in economics, he became responsible for economic espionage in foreign countries for the General Reconnaissance Administration (Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung), the intelligence arm of the German Democratic Republic's Ministry for National Security. Starting in the mid-1970s, Teske considered a defection into West Germany. He planned to use some Stasi information and materials as an "entrance fee".[1] After some irregularities in his work had come to attention of the Ministry, he was seized and the documents cache was found. He was tried at the 1st Military Criminal Division of the Supreme Court of the DDR[2] and, despite the defence counsel's argument that the defection had never been realized and no information had reached the West, Teske was sentenced to death in 1981. The severity of the sentence might be because another Stasi senior officer, Werner Stiller, had indeed succeeded in defecting to the West two years earlier, disclosing some highly sensitive information.[1] The sentence was carried out shortly thereafter, by a neck shot in the basement of the prison in Alfred-Kästner-Straße, Leipzig. Both the trial and the execution were kept secret by the East German authorities and were concealed even from Teske's closest relatives. His wife did not know about the execution until the German Reunification; she assumed her husband was being held somewhere in custody.

The sentence against Teske was overturned in 1993, and two of the jurists involved were sentenced for perversion of justice in 1998. These rulings were justified by the fact that the original decision had been disproportionate even according to East German law, since the plans of Teske had never been more than an attempt.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]


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