Johannes Kahrs (politician)

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Johannes Kahrs
Johannes Kahrs Dezember 2008.jpg
Member of the Bundestag
Assumed office
Personal details
Born (1963-09-15) 15 September 1963 (age 54)
Bremen, West Germany
(now Germany)
Citizenship German
Nationality  Germany
Political party  German:
Social Democratic Party
Party of European Socialists

Johannes Kahrs (born 15 September 1963 in Bremen) is a German politician. He is a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.

Early life and education[edit]

Kahrs' parents are Wolfgang and Bringfriede Kahrs who were both senators in Bremen on the ticket of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. After visiting school in Bremen, Kahrs joined the Bundeswehr and became an officer. Later, he began to study German jurisprudence. During his university studies, Kahrs became a member of Wingolfs, a student fraternity, in Hamburg and was speaker of the organization from 1990 to 1992. After he finished university, he worked for the state-owned housing company Siedlungs-Aktiengesellschaft Altona (SAGA). Kahrs is an openly gay person.[1]

Political career[edit]

Kahrs became a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1982. He first worked for the Young Socialists in the SPD (Jusos).

In the 1998 elections, Kahrs was elected to the Bundestag. He is the speaker of the Seeheimer Kreis of the Social Democratic Party of Germany and represents the Hamburg Mitte constituency.

During his first term between 1998 and 2002, Kahrs served on the Defence Committee. Since 2002, he has been a member of the Budget Committee and the Audit Committee. In addition, he joined the parliament’s Council of Elders in 2002, which – among other duties – determines daily legislative agenda items and assigning committee chairpersons based on party representation. Since 2009, he has been leading the Bundestag group of SPD parliamentarians from Hamburg, one of the smaller delegations of the SPD parliamentary group. In this capacity, he is part of the parliamentary group's leadership under its chairman Thomas Oppermann.

From 2003, Kahrs served as member of the German-Turkish Parliamentary Friendship Group, first as deputy chairman (2003-2011) and then as chairman (2011-2013). Since 2014, he has been serving as deputy chairman of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with the States of the Southern Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia).

In the negotiations to form a Grand Coalition of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU together with the Bavarian CSU) and the SPD following the 2013 German elections, Kahrs was part of the SPD delegation in the working group on banking regulation and the Eurozone, led by Herbert Reul and Martin Schulz.

In 2015, Kahrs served on the supervisory board of the Bewerbungsgesellschaft Olympia 2024 GmbH, the agency in charge of Hamburg's unsuccessful bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Other activities[edit]

  • Helmut Schmidt Foundation, Member of the Board of Trustees (since 2017)
  • Rebuild and Relief International (RRI), Member of the Supervisory Board
  • German Association for Defence Technology (DWT), Member of the Presidium
  • Association of the German Army (FKH), Member of the Presidium
  • German Military Reserve Association, Member
  • Tarabya Academy, Member of the Advisory Board
  • Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation, Member of the Board of Trustees (since 2011)
  • Jugend gegen AIDS, Member of the Advisory Board[2]
  • Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD), Member
  • German National Committee for Monument Preservation (DNK), Member
  • Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold, Member
  • FC St. Pauli, Member
  • ver.di, Member

Political positions[edit]

Kahrs has described Gustav Noske as one of his political role models.[3] He is a proponent of an accession of Turkey to the European Union.[4]


In 1992, Kahrs had a conflict with Juso member Silke Dose in which he threatened her by calling her phone anonymously at nights. He was identified by a trap installed by the police and was asked to resign from all posts by 50 members of his party but stayed on after paying a fine.[5]

He is known for receiving large sums from the arms industry and for being the center of a political network in Hamburg politics which has allegedly used its power to hinder and promote careers in a way that many journalists have called inappropriate.[5]


  1. ^ Acht Homos im neuen Bundestag,, 19 September 2005, retrieved 2007-09-17  (German)
  2. ^ Advisory Board Jugend gegen AIDS.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Lewis Gropp (13 June 2013), Germany urges calm in Turkey Deutsche Welle.
  5. ^ a b Markus Wehner: Das System Johannes Kahrs. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 19 April 2009.

External links[edit]