VILNIUS – Former German President Joachim Gauck on Wednesday received an honorary doctorate from Lithuania's Vytautas Magnus University (VMU).
According to the university, Joachim Gauck was honored for his achievements in the fields of international cooperation, peacekeeping and strengthening of democracy, and for his significant contribution to fostering the values of freedom, justice, and solidarity.
Gauck served as Germany's president in 2012-2017.
In 1967, Gauck was ordained an Evangelical Lutheran priest. Because of this, and because of his undisguised anti-communist views, he was under constant surveillance by the East German secret police (Stasi).
In 1989, Gauck took part in anti-communist protests in East Germany and founded the opposition movement New Forum, which contributed to the downfall of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany.
From 1990, he served for a decade as Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records Agency. This institution helped uncover the crimes of the former communist East German secret police.