Regine Hildebrandt

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Regine Hildebrandt at SPD-convention in Nürnberg in 2001

Regine Hildebrandt (April 26, 1941 – November 26, 2001), born as Regine Radischewski in Berlin, Germany, was a German biologist and politician (Social Democratic Party of Germany). From 1959 to 1964, she studied biology at the Humboldt-Universität in East Berlin.[1]

In 1978 she was awarded a doctorate for research on medicines. This was completed while she was working for the pharmaceutical industry. She was then appointed to a leading position at the centre for the study of diabetics.[2]

The summer of 1989 brought a dramatic change in her life when she, together with her husband, Jörg, was among the co-founders of Democracy Now, which sought an alliance of Christians and critical Marxists "to think about our future, to think about a society based on solidarity".[2] In October 1989 she joined the Social Democrats (till September 1990 Social Democratic Party (East Germany)) and became a key figure of the party in Brandenburg. After the first free elections in the GDR, Hildebrandt became Labour Minister in the coalition government of Lothar de Maizière. From November 1990 onwards[3] she served as Labour Minister in Brandenburg. When the Social Democrats lost their absolute majority in the 1999 state elections[4] and minister president Manfred Stolpe indicated to form a grand coalition with the conservative CDU, Hildebrandt left the cabinet, because she had strongly campaigned for an alliance with the left-wing PDS.[1][5]

She was awarded the Fritz Bauer Prize in 2000. On her 60th birthday, she was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.


She died at the age of 60 on November 26, 2001 in Berlin of breast cancer.


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