Bernhard Vogel (politician)

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Bernhard Vogel (2011)
Bernhard Vogel (1988)

Bernhard Vogel (born 19 December 1932) is a German politician (CDU). He was the 4th Minister President of Rhineland-Palatinate from 1976 to 1988 and the 2nd Minister President of Thuringia from 1992 to 2003. He is the only person to have been head of two different German federal states and is the longest governing Minister President of Germany. He served as the 28th and 40th President of the Bundesrat in 1976/77 and 1987/88.

Life and career[edit]

Vogel was born in Göttingen. His brother is the SPD politician Hans-Jochen Vogel, the former mayor of Munich and Berlin, federal minister of justice and candidate for chancelorship.

From 1965 to 1967, Vogel was a member of the German Bundestag, a position from which he resigned to assume the job of Minister of Culture and Education in Rhineland-Palatinate under Premier Peter Altmeier. He continued in the same cabinet position under Altmeier's successor in 1969, Helmut Kohl. In 1973, when Kohl became chair of the national CDU, Vogel succeeded him as state party chair in Rhineland-Palatinate. His failure to be re-elected to this party office in 1988 led to his resignation as premier in a famous speech which he ended with the often-quoted phrase: "May God protect Rhineland-Palatinate!", an unusual display of public piety for German standards. Vogel is a devout Roman Catholic. He is a single and has no children.


During his premiership in Thuringia he earned the nicknamed Vogelbernie (Vogel translates to bird in English) and therefore his office, the Staatskanzlei Erfurt, got nicknamed Vogelkäfig, which translates to "birdcage" in English.


  • Vogel, Bernhard; Roman Herzog; Michael Borchard; Uwe Spindeldreier (2002). "Lebensstationen". Sorge tragen für die Zukunft: Reden 1998-2002 (in German) (1st ed.). Berlin: Christoph Links Verlag. pp. 237f. ISBN 3-86153-283-2. 

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