Peter Florin and Kurt Waldheim
|President of the United Nations General Assembly|
|Preceded by||Humayun Rashid Choudhury|
|Succeeded by||Dante Caputo|
2 October 1921|
|Died||17 February 2014
|Parents||Wilhelm Florin (1894-1944)
Therese Althammer/Florin (1902-1990)
Peter Florin (2 October 1921 – 17 February 2014) was an East German politician and diplomat.
Florin left Germany with his parents in 1933, when Adolf Hitler came to power and began persecuting Communists, moving first to France and then to the Soviet Union, where he attended the Karl Liebknecht School. There, he studied chemistry at the University of Mendeleyev.
During the Second World War, he fought with the Soviet partisans in Belarus. In 1944, Florin became editor of Freies Deutschland, a weekly anti-Nazi newspaper. At the end of the war, he returned to Germany as a member of the Ackermann Group, one of the regional groups sent to lay the groundwork for the Soviet Military Administration in Germany.
Following the war, Florin entered politics in the German Democratic Republic and served as vice-president of the regional parliament of Wittenberg, while working as chief editor of the daily newspaper Freiheit. Then, from 1949 to 1952, he was an advisor for the East German ministry of foreign affairs. In 1953, he was promoted to the head of the department of foreign affairs of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany's central committee. From 1954 to 1971, he was a member of the country's parliamentary committee on foreign affairs, which he presided over for a time.
From 1967 to 1969, Florin was East Germany's ambassador to Czechoslovakia. He openly supported the Russian crushing of the Prague Spring uprising in 1968. In 1969, he was named secretary of state and first deputy foreign minister.
From 1973 to 1982, Florin was the German Democratic Republic's permanent representative to the United Nations. In 1982, he became president of the national commission for UNESCO in East Germany. In 1987 and 1988, he presided over the forty-second session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Florin spoke fluent German, Russian and English, and good French. During his presidency of the United Nations General Assembly, he was, according to the New York Times, "nicknamed 'Comrade Glasnost' by delegates, who s[aw] him as him a symbol of the modern Communist of the Gorbachev era".
He died aged 92 in 2014.
- Biography on the website of the United Nations
- "MAN IN THE NEWS; A German In Charge: Peter Florin", New York Times, 22 September 1987
- "Florin, Wilhelm * 16.3.1894, † 5.7.1944". Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur: Biographische Datenbanken. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
- "Namensliste der drei KPD-Einsatzgruppen vom 27. April 1945" German Federal Archives. BArch NY 4036/517. Retrieved November 22, 2011 (German)
- "DDR-Diplomat Peter Florin gestorben (German)". Die Welt. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
- "Forty-second General Assembly opens in hopeful atmosphere of increasing multilateral co-operation", UN Chronicle, November 1987
Humayun Rashid Choudhury
|President of the United Nations General Assembly