Egon Rudi Ernst Krenz is a German former politician who was the last communist leader of the German Democratic Republic during the final months of 1989. He succeeded Erich Honecker as the General Secretary of the ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany, but was forced to resign only weeks later when the Berlin Wall fell.
Throughout his career, Krenz held a number of prominent positions in the SED. He was Honecker's deputy from 1984 until he succeeded him in 1989 amid protests against the regime. Krenz was unsuccessful in his attempt to retain the communist regime's grip on power and was forced to resign some weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He was expelled from the SED party on 21 January 1990. In 2000, he was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for manslaughter for his role in the crimes of the communist regime. After his release from prison in 2003, he retired to the small town of Dierhagen in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. He remained on parole until the end of his sentence in 2006.