EAST BERLIN — LOTHAR DE MAIZI`ERE squints under the television camera lights. He has a quiet voice and a slight figure. ``He is really not a politician at all,'' says Udo Bartsch, his friend and adviser on cultural affairs.
But Mr. de Maizi`ere will very likely be the next East German prime minister. His party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), received the most votes in his country's first democratic elections on Sunday.
It is his reputation for honesty that led his party to elect him as their leader last Nov. 10. After 40 years of cooperation with the Communists, the CDU needed someone ``clean'' to put the party on a new course. De Maizi`ere really didn't want the job, but took it out of a sense of duty, says Mr. Bartsch. ``He still keeps his law office open.''
Born in 1940, he grew up in a Protestant household ``where there was always a little tension'' because his father identified with French-reformist theology and his mother with the Lutheran tradition, writes de Maizi`ere in a small paper called ``Who am I?''
His loves are family, church, and music. After a career playing the viola, he studied law. He was vice president of the Protestant Synod in East Germany when he was picked to head the CDU. If anything, Bartsch says, de Maiziere sees himself as a transition prime minister. ``He still keeps his law office open.''