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Margot Honecker, widow of former East German leader, dies at 89

Margot Honecker, the widow of the former head of East Germany, Erich Honecker (1976-1989), attends a celebration marking the 29th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution which overthrew the Somoza dictatorship in 1979, in Managua, on July, 19, 2008Margot Honecker, the widow of former East German leader Erich Honecker and a steely politician in her own right, died Friday in Chile at the age of 89, her family said. Honecker, who had lived in Chile since 1992, died of cancer at home in the capital Santiago, media reports said. Nicknamed “The Purple Witch” for her brightly dyed hair — which she allowed to go a more natural white later in life — Honecker was a feared hardliner who overhauled the high school curriculum to include communist doctrine and military training.

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