|Member of the German Bundestag|
7 June 1939 |
Halle, Province of Saxony
|Political party||Alliance '90/The Greens|
|Alma mater||Free University of Berlin|
Ströbele studied law and political science in Heidelberg and at the Free University of Berlin. Has practiced law since 1969 in Berlin. He was a member of the "Socialist Lawyers' Collective" for ten years, and has defended political activists for thirty years, including members of the urban guerrilla group Red Army Faction. In 1983, he was convicted by the Berlin District Court of supporting terrorist groups through his smuggling of information between members serving in prison. The Court concluded that Ströbele had helped decisively to keep the groups active during their time in prison.
In the late 1960s he was involved in the student movement. From 1970 to 1974, he was a member of the SPD. He co-founded the "Alternative List for Democracy and Environmental Protection," a predecessor to the Berlin chapter of the Greens. He was a member of the Bundestag from 31 March 1985 until 1987 (the end of the term). On the Berlin state level he helped with the red-green coalition of 1989/1990.
He became the party spokesman in June 1990 but he stood down in February 1991 after opposing the Persian Gulf War. This included opposition to the delivery of Patriot missiles to Israel during an official visit of the party in the country. As of 1992 he continued as assemblyman of the Greens in the Tiergarten borough of Berlin.
In 1998 he entered the German parliament again through his place on the Green's electoral list. During the following years he became opposed to the politics of Green foreign minister Joschka Fischer, in particular the troop deployments in the Kosovo War (1999) as well as Operation Enduring Freedom (2001). During the pre-elections of the Greens to the German federal election, 2002 he was not given a place on the Green Party list, at that point generally assumed to be the only way a Green candidate could gain a seat in parliament according to Germany's proportional representation electoral system.
In that situation he chose to campaign for a direct mandate in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Prenzlauer Berg East constituency holding positions that were remarkably different to the Green's official political campaign. Unexpectedly he won the direct mandate with 31.6% plurality vote becoming the first and only Green to hold a direct seat in parliament since 2002. In the federal elections of 2005 he won another direct mandate, now with a 43.2% plurality of the votes. Given his local reputation, other parties tried to counter him with creative campaigns (notably Vera Lengsfeld "we have more to offer") for the federal elections of 2009 but again Ströbele won the direct mandate, now by 46.8% of the vote and again with 39.9% in 2013.
He was one of the vice-leaders of the Green caucus in the Bundestag.
On 31 October 2013, Ströbele met with Edward Snowden in Moscow to discuss the possibility of the NSA whistleblower testifiying before a German parliamentary committee set to investigate the claims of American intelligence services obtaining access to cell phone calls on German government officials, including Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Notes and references