Jürgen Wilhelm Möllemann (15 July 1945 – 5 June 2003) was a German politician of the Free Democratic Party. He served as Minister of State at the Foreign Office (1982–1987), as Federal Minister of Education and Research (1987–1991), as Federal Minister of Economics (1991–1993) and as Vice Chancellor of Germany (1992–1993) in the government of Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
Life and career
Born in Augsburg, he took his Abitur in 1965, served his military service as a paratrooper in the Bundeswehr, and subsequently studied to become a teacher of German, sports and history at the Pädagogische Hochschule (teachers' college) in Münster from 1966 to 1969.
Möllemann was initially a member of the CDU from 1962 to 1969, but later on became a member of the liberal FDP in 1970. He was a member of the Bundestag from 1972 to 2000 and again from 2002 to 2003. Möllemann was President of the FDP in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) from 1983 to 1994 and again from 1996 to 2002, and also was the chairman of the FDP fraction in the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia from June 2000 to October 2002.
He left the cabinet in 1993 after facing criticism for using an official letterhead for advertising a relative's business idea (the so-called Briefbogen-Affäre).
In the 2002 national election, he produced a flyer criticizing Ariel Sharon's actions against Palestinians and Michel Friedman's endorsement of those actions; the flyer was regarded as "antisemitic" by some, and the debate surrounding these events led to Möllemann leaving the FDP in March 2003 and resigning his position as NRW party leader; however, he kept his seat in the Bundestag without party affiliation, despite promises to resign from it. Möllemann, a passionate and experienced skydiver, died on 5 June 2003 in a parachuting incident at Marl-Loemühle. His death was investigated by the Essen district attorney's office, which published a final report on 9 July 2003. While outside interference was ruled out, no definite verdict was reached on whether Möllemann committed suicide or had an accident.
Shortly before his death, Möllemann had been confronted with allegations he had been involved in illegal arms deals and evaded taxes on millions of euros he allegedly earned from those activities. To enable a full investigation on these charges, the Bundestag lifted his parliamentary immunity on 5 June 2003 at 12:28, 22 minutes before his death. The tax evasion charges were dropped after his death, while other investigations are ongoing.
Möllemann was president of the Deutsch-Arabische Gesellschaft (German-Arabic Society) from 1981 to 1991 and from 1993 to 2003, until his death.
He was married to Carola Möllemann-Appelhoff, with whom he had two daughters.
- "German politician 'caused own death'". BBC News. 6 June 2003. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
- "Ermittler: Keine neuen Erkenntnisse durch Möllemann-Video". Hamburger Morgenpost. 29 June 2007. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- "FDP muss mindestens zwei Millionen Euro zahlen". Süddeutsche.de. 25 April 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
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|Vice Chancellor of Germany