Christine Bergmann

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Christine Bergmann
Christine Bergmann.jpg
Christine Bergmann
Bettina Flitner, 2010
Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
In office
27 October 1998 – 22 October 2002
Chancellor Gerhard Schröder
Preceded by Claudia Nolte
Succeeded by Renate Schmidt
Mayor of Berlin (deputy to Governing Mayor)
In office
December 1990 – 26 October 1998
Preceded by Ingrid Stahmer
Succeeded by Annette Fugmann-Hessing
Berlin senator
(Portfolio: Work, Professional Training and Women)
In office
December 1990 – 26 October 1998
Preceded by Anne Klein
Succeeded by Gabriele Schöttler
Personal details
Born (1939-09-07) 7 September 1939 (age 78)
Dresden, Germany
Political party SDP (1989-1990)
SPD (since 1990)
Spouse(s) y
Children 2 daughters
Alma mater "Karl Marx" University, Leipzig

Christine Bergmann (born 7 September 1939) is a German politician (SPD).

She grew up in East Germany, embarking on a public political career only at the time of German reunification. During the final months of the German Democratic Republic she served as president of the East Berlin City Council.[1] Moving from city politics to national politics, between 1998 and 2002 she served under Chancellor Gerhard Schröder as Minister for Family, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth.[2] More recently, in 2016 she was appointed a member of the Independent Commission for Dealing with Sexual Abuse of Children ("Unabhängige Kommission zur Aufarbeitung sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs"),[3] having served as the full-time commissioner during 2010/2011.[4]


Early years[edit]

Christine Bergmann, a twin,[5] was born in Dresden.[6] The three siblings with whom she grew up were all brothers.[5] She passed her school final exams ("Abitur") in 1957 and enrolled at the "Karl Marx" University (as it was then known) in Leipzig to study Pharmacy.[2] She passed the relevant exams in 1963 after which, till 1967, she worked as a pharmacist in East Berlin.[1]


Between 1967 and 1977 she worked on a freelance basis, employed on the administrative side for the National Journal for Pharmacy, Pharmacotherapy and Laboratory Diagnostics ("Zentralblatt für Pharmazie, Pharmakotherapie u. Laboratoriumsdiagnostik"). Between 1977 and 1989 she was in charge of the journal's secretarial department.[1] Between 1977 and 1990 she headed up the drugs information department while employed as a research assistant at the National Institute for Drug Administration ("Institut für Arzneimittelwesen der DDR").[2]

It is recorded that in 1977 Bergmann became a member of the Society for German–Soviet Friendship[1] and of the (East) German Trade Union Federation, remaining a member till 1989.[2] During this time she also found time to work on her doctorate which she received from the Humboldt University in July 1989 for a study on qualitative and methodical aspects of the effectiveness of drug information provision in East Germany.[7]

Political career[edit]

In December 1989, following a series of developments which had, as matters turned out, opened the way for German reunification, Bergmann had joined the newly (in East Germany) reconstituted Social Democratic Party (SDP), which would merge with its West German counterpart (the SPD) in September 1990.[1] In 1990 she was elected deputy regional chair of the party,[6] a position she retained till 1994.[1] Between 1991 and 1998 her political career in Berlin was focused on regional politics.[8]

From May 1990 till January 1991 Bergmann was president of the Berlin city council.[6] Between December 1990 and October 1998 she served as junior mayor of Berlin. During this period, the voters having declined to give any one party an overall majority on the Berlin senate,[9] the city was governed by a grand coalition built between the centre-right CDU (party) and the moderate-left SPD.[10] During her seven years as mayor Bergmann accordingly served as deputy to the city's "governing mayor", Eberhard Diepgen of the CDU.[10] Within the Berlin Senate she held the portfolio for Work, Professional Training and Women,[8]

In 1998 she switched to national politics, accepting an appointment in the Schröder government as Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth,[11] in succession to Claudia Nolte. She had already shadowed the portfolio in opposition under the SPD party leadership of Rudolf Scharping.[1] In 1998, less than a decade after reunification, it was striking that, compared to its CDU predecessor, Gerhard Schröder's government was short of leading members from the "New Federal states": Christine Bermann was the only member of the First Schröder cabinet who had grown up in the old German Democratic Republic (East Germany).[2] She oversaw a number of improvements in the tax treatment of families and significant recalibration of Child Allowance ("Kindergelt").[1] She pressed for the legalisation of prostitution and introduced legislation on parental leave.[10] Her reputation was for competence, with a tendency to avoid the limelight.[10] She was once quoted as saying of herself that she was not inclined to self-promotion ("Ich neige nicht sehr zur Selbstdarstellung").[10]

She retired from the government in 2002 but returned to politics in 2004, working with Kurt Biedenkopf as an ombudswoman, observing the impact of the "Hartz" labour market reforms, with a mandate to advise government and parliament on any recommended revisions to it.[12]

Christine Bergmann is a member of the honorary council of AMCHA foundation, an organisation headquartered in Jerusalem which provides practical Psycho-social support for holocaust survivors and their descendants.[13] In March 2010 she was appointed by the government as the Independent Commissioner for Dealing with Sexual Abuse of Children ("Unabhängige Beauftragte zur Aufarbeitung des sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs").[4] She was succeeded in the post at the end of 2011 by Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig who back in the early 1990s had temporarily run her office while she was a Berlin senator.[14]

Since June 2011 Bergmann has been a member of the Berlin Future Foundation ("Stiftung Zukunft Berlin").[15] Since January 2016 she has been a member of the Independent Commission for Dealing with Sexual Abuse of Children ("Unabhängige Kommission zur Aufarbeitung sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs")[3]

Other activities[edit]

Awards and honours (not a complete list)[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Udo Kempf; Hans-Georg Merz (10 May 2008). Kanzler und Minister 1998 - 2005: Biografisches Lexikon der deutschen Bundesregierungen. Springer-Verlag. pp. 134–138. ISBN 978-3-531-90896-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Helmut Müller-Enbergs. "Bergmann, Christine * 7.9.1939 Bundesministerin für Familie, Senioren, Frauen u. Jugend". Wer war wer in der DDR?. Ch. Links Verlag, Berlin & Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur, Berlin. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Mitglieder der Unabhängigen Kommission zur Aufarbeitung sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs" (PDF). Unabhängiger Beauftragter für Fragen des sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs. 3 May 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Petra Bühring (interviewer); Sabine Rieser (interviewer); Christine Bergmann (interviewee) (24 September 2010). "Interview mit Dr. Christine Bergmann, Unabhängige Beauftragte zur Aufarbeitung des sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs "Wir würden gerne die Erfahrungen der Ärzte mit einbeziehen"". Themen der Zeit. Deutsches Ärzteblatt, Köln. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Brigitte Hussein (1 March 1998). "Christine Bergmann: Die feministische Senatorin ... Die Berliner Politikerin Christine Bergmann ist eben unwiderstehlich". EMMA Frauenverlags GmbH, Köln. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c "Dr. Christine Bergmann". Geschichte: Personen A-K. Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD) - Landesverband Berlin. January 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "Zur Effektivität der Arzneimittelinformation in der DDR - qualitative und methodologische Aspekte". Abgeschlossene Promotionsarbeiten seit 1986. Institut für Klinische Pharmakologie, Medizinische Fakultät der Humboldt-Universität/Charité, Berlin. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c "Wowereit überreicht Christine Bergmann Bundesverdienstkreuz". Pressemitteilung (press communication). Senatskanzlei Berlin. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  9. ^ "Senate" is the term used in Berlin for the governing assembly that other cities might term the "city council"
  10. ^ a b c d e Frank Jahn (presenter of associated TV broadcast) (24 March 2010). "Christine Bergmann wird Missbrauchsbeauftragte". Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Hamburg (Tagesschau). Archived from the original on 27 March 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  11. ^ "Dr. Christine Bergmann". DEUTSCHER PRÄVENTIONSTAG gemeinnützige Gesellschaft mbH, Hannover. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  12. ^ Torsten Noe (3 August 2010). 1.2 Forschungsstand ... Footnote 14. Dezentrale Arbeitsmarktpolitik: Die Implementierung der Zusammenlegung von Arbeitslosen- und Sozialhilfe. Springer-Verlag. p. 24. ISBN 978-3-531-92467-0. 
  13. ^ "Benefizveranstaltungen vom 26. 1. – 29. 1. 2006 ... AMCHA Ehrenrat" (PDF). Amcha Deutschland e.V., Berlin. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  14. ^ "Neuer Unabhängiger Beauftragter für Fragen des sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs ernannt (press release)". Bundesministeriums für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend, Berlin. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  15. ^ "Gremien: Stifter". Der Stiftungsrat berät und beaufsichtigt nicht nur die Stiftungsarbeit. Seine Mitglieder beteiligen sich auch aktiv an den Initiativen der Stiftung. tiftung Zukunft Berlin. Retrieved 4 October 2016.