Heiner Geißler

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Heiner Geißler
2017-06-14-Heiner Geißler-Maischberger--2225.jpg
Heiner Geißler (14 June 2017)
Born (1930-03-03)3 March 1930
Oberndorf am Neckar, then Free People's State of Württemberg, Germany
Died 11 September 2017(2017-09-11) (aged 87)
Gleisweiler, Germany
Nationality German
Known for Federal Minister for Youth, Family and Health 1982 – 1985
Website www.heiner-geissler.de

Heiner Geißler (3 March 1930 – 12 September 2017)[1] was a German politician with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party and a federal minister from 1982 to 1985.

Career[edit]

Born Heinrichjosef Georg Geißler[2] in Gleisweiler,[3] he studied law and philosophy in Munich and Tübingen, where he graduated in 1960.

From 1967 to June 1977, Geißler was minister of the state government of Rhineland-Palatine, serving prime ministers Peter Altmeier, Helmut Kohl and Bernhard Vogel. During that time, he implemented the first law concerning kindergartens, and introduced the state's first welfare stations.[4]

From 1982 to 1985 Geißler served as federal minister, heading the Bundesministerium für Jugend, Familie und Gesundheit (youth, family, and health) for Chancellor Kohl.

From 1977 to 1989, Geißler was Secretary General of the CDU under the leadership of Kohl, shaping strategy and running election campaigns.[5] He was widely regarded as a principal architect of Kohl's rise to the chancellorship in 1982.[6] In the following years, he kept the party on a centrist track, hoping to attract moderate voters among the opposition Social Democrats alarmed by the gains of the Republicans and the environmentalist Green Party.[7]

Despite becoming a major figure in the CDU, differing and increasingly left-leaning views eventually strained relations with Kohl.[8] Reports that Geißler would be replaced cropped up after the Christian Democrats lost elections in West Berlin and Frankfurt in 1989 and polled only 37.6 percent in the European elections that year, a drop of 8.2 percentage points from the 1984 elections.[9] In late 1989, he joined forces with Kurt Biedenkopf, Lothar Späth, Rita Süssmuth and others in an unsuccessful effort to oust Kohl as CDU chairman.[10] Geißler was subsequently forced to resign as Secretary General.

Geißler remained a member of the Bundestag until 2002 as a member of parliament for his home state Rhineland-Palatinate.[11] From 1991 until 1998, he served as deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group under the leadership of chairman Wolfgang Schäuble.

In addition to his parliamentary work, Geißler also served as Vice-President of the Christian Democrat and People's Parties International from 1986 until 1993.

Geißler later became a sought-after arbitrator in wage and other disputes.[12]

Political positions[edit]

During the 1991 parliamentary vote to move the seat of federal government from Bonn to Berlin, the country's historic capital, Geißler proposed a two-city capital as a compromise.[13]

From being a conservative right-winger until the early 1990s, he also became increasingly leftist in his views as far as social policy and globalization are concerned. In 2007, he announced he had become a member of the attac network.[14] This happened weeks before the 2007 G8 summit, which Germany, holding the 2007 G8 presidency, was hosting. Geißler himself said that his joining of attac had to be seen in the context of the upcoming G8 summit.[15]

Other activities[edit]

  • Aktion Courage, Chairman (2002-2005)
  • Barmenia Versicherungen, Member of the Advisory Board

Personal life[edit]

Geißler was married and had three children. Since 1980 he lived in Gleisweiler. He died on 11 September 2017, aged 87.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Heiner Geissler, top aide to Germany's Kohl, dies at 87 Omaha World-Herald 12 September 2017
  2. ^ "Heinrichjosef Heiner Geißler", Der Spiegel, 12 September (50), p. 250, 1987 
  3. ^ "CDU-Politiker Heiner Geißler ist tot" (in German), sueddeutsche.de, 2017-09-12, ISSN 0174-4917, http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/eil-cdu-politiker-heiner-geissler-ist-tot-1.3659139. Retrieved 2017-09-12 
  4. ^ Heiner Geissler, political force who shaped German Cold War relations, dies Deutsche Welle, September 12, 2017.
  5. ^ Heiner Geissler, top aide to Germany's Kohl, dies at 87 Miami Herald, September 12, 2017.
  6. ^ Ferdinand Protzmann (August 22, 1989), Kohl Replaces Party Official After Losses to the Far Right New York Times.
  7. ^ Ferdinand Protzmann (August 22, 1989), Kohl Replaces Party Official After Losses to the Far Right New York Times.
  8. ^ Heiner Geissler, political force who shaped German Cold War relations, dies Deutsche Welle, September 12, 2017.
  9. ^ Ferdinand Protzmann (August 22, 1989), Kohl Replaces Party Official After Losses to the Far Right New York Times.
  10. ^ Harry Luck (January 28, 2010), Biedenkopf: „König Kurt“ und Kohls Rivale Focus.
  11. ^ Heiner Geissler, political force who shaped German Cold War relations, dies Deutsche Welle, September 12, 2017.
  12. ^ Heiner Geissler, top aide to Germany's Kohl, dies at 87 Miami Herald, September 12, 2017.
  13. ^ Stephaen Kinzer (June 21, 1991), Berlin to regain full capital role New York Times.
  14. ^ "G-8-GIPFEL Heiner Geißler tritt Attac bei". Spiegel.de (in German). Der Spiegel / asc/AFP. 2007-05-16. Retrieved 2007-05-26. 
  15. ^ interview with Björn Hengst (2007-05-16). "ATTAC-NEUMITGLIED HEINER GEISSLER "Die Globalisierung läuft aus dem Ruder"". Spiegel.de (in German). Der Spiegel. Retrieved 2007-05-26. 
  16. ^ Prantl, Heribert (2017-09-12). "CDU-Politiker Heiner Geißler ist tot". sueddeutsche.de (in German). ISSN 0174-4917. Retrieved 2017-09-12. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Heiner Geißler at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Anke Fuchs
Federal Ministers for Youth, Family and Health
1982 – 1985
Succeeded by
Rita Süssmuth