Petra Kelly

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Petra Kelly
Petra Kelly.jpg
Kelly in 1987
Born Petra Karin Lehmann
29 November 1947
Günzburg, Bavaria, Allied Occupation Zones in Germany
Died 1 October 1992(1992-10-01) (aged 44)
Bonn, Germany
Nationality German
Occupation Activist, politician
Joseph Beuys with Petra Kelly. Photographed by Rainer Rappmann (de)

Petra Karin Kelly (29 November 1947 – 1 October 1992) was a German politician and activist. She was instrumental in founding the German Green Party, the first Green party to rise to prominence worldwide.

Early life[edit]

Kelly was born in Günzburg, Bavaria (then American Occupation Zone, Germany), in 1947, as Petra Karin Lehmann. She changed her name to Kelly after her mother married John E. Kelly, a US Army officer. She was educated in a Roman Catholic convent in Günzburg and later attended school in Georgia and Virginia after her family relocated to the United States in 1959. She lived and studied in the United States until her return to West Germany in 1970. She retained her (West) German citizenship throughout her life.

An admirer of Martin Luther King, Jr., she campaigned for Robert F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 U.S. elections. She studied political science at the School of International Service at American University (Washington, DC), from which she graduated in 1970. She graduated from the European Institute at the University of Amsterdam in 1971.

While working at the European Commission (Brussels, Belgium, 1971–83), she participated in numerous peace and environmental campaigns in Germany and other countries.

Die Grünen[edit]

Petra Kelly was one of the founders of Die Grünen, the German Green Party in 1979. In 1983 she was elected to the Bundestag via the landeslist as a Member of Parliament representing Bavaria. She was subsequently re-elected in 1987 with a higher vote share.

Kelly received the Right Livelihood Award in 1982 "...for forging and implementing a new vision uniting ecological concerns with disarmament, social justice, and human rights."[1]

Kelly wrote the book Fighting for Hope in 1984, published by South End Press. The book is an urgent call for a world free from violence between North and South, men and women, ourselves and our environment.[2]

Murder[edit]

In 1992, according to police, she was shot dead in Bonn while sleeping by her partner, ex-general and Green politician Gert Bastian (born 1923), who then killed himself. She was 44, he was 69.[3][4] Her body was discovered on 19 October, and it was determined she had died on 1 October.[5][6] Petra Kelly was buried in the Waldfriedhof in Würzburg, near the village of Heidingsfeld in Lower Franconia, Bavaria.

Honors[edit]

  • 1982: Right Livelihood Award
  • In 2006 Kelly was placed 45th in the UK Environment Agency's all-time list of scientists, campaigners, writers, economists and naturalists who, in its view, have done the most to save the planet. Kelly was positioned between the tropical ecologist Mike Hands and the national parks visionary John Dower.[7]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The Right Livelihood Award recipient 1982". rightlivelihood.org. 
  2. ^ Kelly, Petra (1984). Fighting for Hope. South End Press. 
  3. ^ "Who Killed Petra Kelly". Mother Jones. Jan–Feb 1993. 
  4. ^ "The Death of Petra Kelly". People In Action. December 2004. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ Hilton, Isabel (24 October 1992). "What killed Petra Kelly?". The Independent. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Adam, David (28 November 2006). "Earthshakers: the top 100 green campaigners of all time". The Guardian. 

References[edit]

  • Parkin, Sara. The Life and Death of Petra Kelly, Rivers Oram Press/Pandora, 1995 (ISBN 0-04-440940-0)
  • Kelly, Petra K. Thinking Green! Essays on Environmentalism, Feminism, and Nonviolence, Parallax Press, Berkeley, California, 1994 (ISBN 0-938077-62-7)
  • Kelly, Petra K. Nonviolence Speaks to Power, online book, almost complete text (also, out of print, published by Matsunaga Institute for Peace, University of Hawaii, 1992, ISBN 1-880309-05-X)

External links[edit]