Detlev Karsten Rohwedder

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Detlev Karsten Rohwedder (October 16, 1932 – April 1, 1991) was a German manager and politician, as member of the Social Democratic Party. He was manager of the Treuhandanstalt.

Detlev Karsten Rohwedder (1990)

Rohwedder was born in Gotha. While responsible for the privatisation of state-owned property in the GDR, he was assassinated by a sniper while standing at the window of his highly protected house in Düsseldorf. Though never convicted, several members of the leftist terrorist organisation Red Army Faction are assumed[according to whom?] to be responsible for the murder.


On Monday, April 1, 1991, at 23:30, Rohwedder was shot and killed through a window on the first floor of his house in the suburb of Düsseldorf-Niederkassel (Kaiser-Friedrich-Ring 71) by the first of three rifle shots. The second shot wounded his wife Hergard; the third hit a bookcase.

The shots were fired from 63 m away from a rifle with 7.62×51mm NATO standard calibre. An inspection of the scene found three cartridge cases, a plastic chair, a towel, and a letter claiming responsibility from an Red Army Faction commando named after Ulrich Wessel, a minor Red Army Faction figure who had died in 1975. The shooter has never been identified.

In 2001, a DNA analysis of hair strands found at the scene, suggested that Wolfgang Grams was responsible for the killing. The Attorney General did not name Grams as a suspect and has not evaluated the evidence. Also, there are doubts about the authenticity of the hair as well as issues with the scientific quality of the results obtained eight years after his death.

On April 10, 1991, Rohwedder was honoured in Berlin with a day of mourning by German President Richard von Weizsäcker, Minister-President of North-Rhine Westphalia, Johannes Rau, and Chairman of the Board of Treuhandanstalt Jens Odewald.

Rohwedder, reportedly opposed to an unrestricted sell-off of GDR's public-owned factories, may have occasionally favoured a worker-owned solution. His successor, Birgit Breuel, was more in favour of a speedy sell-off to investors.

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