Günter Nooke

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Günter Nooke

Günter Nooke (born January 21, 1959) is a German CDU politician and a former civil rights activist.


Nooke was born in Forst (Lausitz), Germany, a small town in Brandenburg. He grew up there only 150 km (90 mi) southeast of Berlin, in the communist German Democratic Republic (GDR), near the Polish border.

He was educated in Forst, Cottbus and at the University of Leipzig, where he studied physics from 1980 to 1985. After graduating Nooke worked as a research assistant, latterly as a head of section from 1985 to 1990 at the industrial hygiene inspectorate in Cottbus.

He is married to sociologist Maria Nooke. They have three children.


Since 1987, he had been a member of a church opposition group and got involved in the growing democracy movement in 1989, which led to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Following the first (and only) democratic election in the GDR, he became Member of the People's Chamber for the opposition group named Alliance 90.

From 1990, to 1994 Nooke was a member of the parliament of the state of Brandenburg and was the chairman of the parliamentary group of Alliance 90. In 1996, he joined the CDU with other former civil rights activists.

From 1998 to 2005 he was a member of the German Bundestag, deputy chairman (2000–2002) and spokesperson for cultural and media affairs (2002–2005) of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group.


On March 8, 2006, he was appointed as a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet as the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid.

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