Björn Engholm

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Björn Engholm

Björn Engholm (born 9 November 1939) is a Lübeck born German SPD politician. He was Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein from 1988 to 1993 and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany between 1991 and 1993.

Engholm was elected Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein in 1988, in the wake of the Barschel affair/Waterkantgate: he had been spied on and was a victim of severe defamation (HIV infection, tax evasion, etc.) by the Barschel campaign. The Social Democrats won an impressive 54.2% (up almost 10%) and gained an absolute majority for the first time ever.[1] Engholm served as President of the Bundesrat in 1988/89.

While Engholm was popular with the electorate, he was forced to resign as party leader and Minister-President in 1993 after discrepancies surfaced over the testimonies he gave in the Barschel affair (Schubladenaffäre, drawer affair). A party official had paid DM 50.000 (kept in a kitchen drawer) to the spy of the Barschel affair to keep the espionage a secret for several weeks, to reveal the scandal on election weekend with a bigger impact and the present Engholm as a victim.

He was succeeded by Rudolf Scharping as party chairman and by Heide Simonis as Minister-President.

His wife is the painter Barbara Engholm.

References[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Hans-Jochen Vogel
Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany
1991–1993
Succeeded by
Rudolf Scharping