Wolfgang Schäuble

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Wolfgang Schäuble
Schäuble in 2004
Father of the Bundestag
In office
26 October 2021 – 26 December 2023
Preceded byHermann Otto Solms
Succeeded byPeter Ramsauer
President of the Bundestag
In office
24 October 2017 – 26 October 2021
Preceded byNorbert Lammert
Succeeded byBärbel Bas
Minister of Finance
In office
28 October 2009 – 24 October 2017
ChancellorAngela Merkel
Preceded byPeer Steinbrück
Succeeded byPeter Altmaier
Minister of the Interior
In office
22 November 2005 – 27 October 2009
ChancellorAngela Merkel
Preceded byOtto Schily
Succeeded byThomas de Maizière
In office
21 April 1989 – 26 November 1991
ChancellorHelmut Kohl
Preceded byFriedrich Zimmermann
Succeeded byRudolf Seiters
Leader of the Christian Democratic Union
In office
7 November 1998 – 16 February 2000
General SecretaryAngela Merkel
Preceded byHelmut Kohl
Succeeded byAngela Merkel
Leader of the Opposition
In office
27 October 1998 – 29 February 2000
ChancellorGerhard Schröder
Preceded byRudolf Scharping
Succeeded byFriedrich Merz
Head of the Chancellery
Minister for Special Affairs
In office
15 November 1984 – 21 April 1989
ChancellorHelmut Kohl
Preceded byWaldemar Schreckenberger (as Secretary of State)
Succeeded byRudolf Seiters
Member of the Bundestag
for Offenburg
In office
13 December 1972 – 26 December 2023
Preceded byHans Furler
Succeeded byTBD
Minor party leadership roles
Leader of the CDU/CSU group in the Bundestag
In office
25 November 1991 – 29 February 2000
First Deputy
Chief WhipJürgen Rüttgers
Joachim Hörster
Hans-Peter Repnik
Preceded byAlfred Dregger
Succeeded byFriedrich Merz
Chief Whip of the CDU/CSU group in the Bundestag
In office
4 October 1982 – 15 November 1984
LeaderAlfred Dregger
Preceded byPhilipp Jenninger
Succeeded byRudolf Seiters
Whip of the CDU/CSU group in the Bundestag
In office
23 June 1981 – 4 October 1982
Serving with Wolfgang Bötsch, Wilhelm Rawe, Dorothee Wilms
LeaderHelmut Kohl
Chief WhipPhilipp Jenninger
Preceded byGerhard Kunz
Succeeded byRudolf Seiters
Agnes Hürland-Büning
Personal details
Born(1942-09-18)18 September 1942
Freiburg im Breisgau, then-Nazi Germany
Died26 December 2023(2023-12-26) (aged 81)
Offenburg, Germany
Political partyChristian Democratic Union
Ingeborg Hensle (m. 1969)
Alma mater
  • Politician
  • Lawyer
  • Civil Servant
WebsiteOfficial website

Wolfgang Schäuble (German pronunciation: [ˈvɔlfɡaŋ ˈʃɔʏblə]; 18 September 1942 – 26 December 2023) was a German lawyer and politician. He was a member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). His political career has spanned more than fifty years. He was a member of the Bundestag from 1972 until his death in 2023. His fifty-one year career in the Bundestag made him the longest serving member of parliament in the country's history.[1]

Schäuble was the Leader of the Christian Democratic Union and Leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2000. During his career, he had several government roles such as Head of the Chancellery, Minister of the Interior and Minister of Finance in the governments of Helmut Kohl and Angela Merkel. He was the President of the Bundestag from 2017 to 2021.

Early life[change | change source]

Schäuble was born in Freiburg im Breisgau in 1942.[2] He was the son of tax finance advisor and politician Karl Schäuble and Gertrud Göhring.[2] Schäuble studied at the University of Freiburg and the University of Hamburg, graduating in 1966 and 1970 respectively.[3] He began a career in law at the district court of Offenburg in 1978.[3]

In 1969, he married Ingeborg Hensle. They had four children.

Political career[change | change source]

His political career began in 1969 as a member of the Junge Union. Schäuble was elected to the Bundestag by winning the constituency seat of Offenburg. His ministerial career began in 1984 when he was appointed Minister for Special Affairs and Head of the German Chancellery by Chancellor Helmut Kohl.[4][5]

Schäuble was the Minister of the Interior from 1989 to 1991 during the Helmut Kohl government. He was seen as Kohl's protege.[6] During his time as Minister of the Interior, Schäuble was one of the most popular politicians in Germany.[6] He was regularly mentioned as a possible future Chancellor,[6] however he was criticized by civil rights activists for his strict law and order policies.[7]

On 12 October 1990, at the age of 48 and just after reunification, Schäuble was the target of an assassination attempt by Dieter Kaufmann, who fired three shots at him after an election campaign event in Oppenau.[8] Kaufmann injured a bodyguard, and severely injured Schäuble's spinal cord and face.[8] Schäuble was left paralysed from the attack and used a wheelchair ever since.

He was the leader of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany from 1998 to 2000 and was the Opposition Leader during this time period.

When Angela Merkel became Chancellor of Germany, he worked under her government. He was the Minister of the Interior from 2005 to 2009, having served the same role in the Helmut Kohl government. He was then the Minister of Finance from 2009 to 2017.

During his time as Finance Minister in the Merkel government, he was described as "Germany's second most powerful person" after Merkel.[9] He took a hard line towards Southern European countries during the eurozone crisis[10] such as not supporting the International Monetary Fund stance to give Greece more time to fix their deficit issues.[11] He was a supporter of austerity policies and his 2014 budget allowed Germany to take on no new debt for the first time since 1969.[12][13]

When Federal President Joachim Gauck announced in June 2016 that he would not stand for reelection, Schäuble was seen by German and international media as likely replacement;[14][15] however the job soon went to Frank-Walter Steinmeier instead.[16]

On 27 September 2017 the CDU/CSU group in the Bundestag announced Schäuble’s nomination as President of the Bundestag[17] and assumed office on 24 October 2017. In October 2021, Schaüble left office as President of the Bundestag and was replaced by Bärbel Bas. He became the Father of the Bundestag shortly afterwards since he was the longest sitting member of the Bundestag at the time.

Illness and death[change | change source]

In May 2010, on his way to Brussels for an emergency meeting at the European Parliament, he was hospitalized for an allergic reaction to a new antibiotic.[18] At the time, Schäuble thought about resigning, however, Chancellor Angela Merkel declined his offer to step down twice during a period of bad health in 2010.[19]

Schäuble died of cancer at the age of 81 on 26 December 2023 in Offenburg, Baden-Württemberg.[20][21]

References[change | change source]

  1. Hanno Müller. "Zeitzeuge Wolfgang Schäuble spricht über die Einheit" (in German). thueringer-allgemeine.de. Retrieved 27 December 2023.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Quentin Peel (12 March 2010), Man in the News: Wolfgang Schäuble Financial Times.
  3. "Unification Treaty is Signed Without Reference to Nazi Era". JTA. Bonn. 4 September 1990. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  4. "Günther Krause: Wir machen aus Hausmüll Erdöl". Focus (in German). Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  5. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Kinzer, Stephen (12 October 1992). "Bonn Journal; Kohl's Protege Turns Into Kohl's Challenger". The New York Times.
  6. "German Linux Community Boycotting LinuxTag – Slashdot". slashdot.org. 19 May 2007.
  7. 8.0 8.1 Ray Moseley (13 October 1990). "German Cabinet Member Shot, Seriously Wounded By Attacker". Chicago Tribune. Berlin. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  8. Troianovski, Anton; Walker, Marcus (23 May 2014). "Q&A With German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660.
  9. Jack Ewing (12 December 2010), Germany Signals Support for Euro-Zone Members The New York Times.
  10. Alan Cowell and Nicholas Kulish (12 October 2012), Nobel Committee Gives Peace Prize to European Union The New York Times.
  11. Paul Taylor (4 March 2013), Jolt From Italy's Elections May Not Be Enough The New York Times.
  12. Erik Kirschbaum and Michelle Martin (9 September 2014), No new debt for Germany in 2015, first time since 1969 Reuters.
  13. Stefan Wagstyl (6 June 2016), German presidency jostling begins as Gauck prepares to quit Financial Times.
  14. Kate Connolly (6 June 2016), Headache for Angela Merkel as German president Joachim Gauck steps down The Guardian.
  15. "The world according to Wolfgang Schäuble – POLITICO". 24 June 2021.
  16. Emma Anderson (September 27, 2017), Schäuble to be nominated as German parliament president: report Politico Europe
  17. Quentin Peel (19 May 2010), Schäuble interview: Berlin's strictures Financial Times.
  18. Rainer Buergin and Birgit Jennen (20 September 2013), Schaeuble Seen Keeping Finance Post Even in SPD Coalition Bloomberg News.
  19. (27 December 2023), Früherer Bundestagspräsident WolfgaNr Schäuble gestorben Tagesschau
  20. "Πέθανε ο Βόλφγκανγκ Σόιμπλε - Έδινε επί χρόνια μάχη με τον καρκίνο". ProtoThema (in Greek). 2023-12-27. Retrieved 2023-12-27.

Other websites[change | change source]