Martin Sonneborn

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Martin Sonneborn

2014-07-01-Europaparlament by Olaf Kosinsky -122.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Personal details
Born (1965-05-15) 15 May 1965 (age 54)
Göttingen, Germany
Political party German

Martin Sonneborn (born 15 May 1965) is a German politician and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Germany. He is a founder and federal chairman of Die PARTEI.[1] He was editor-in-chief of the satirical magazine Titanic from 2000 to 2005 and works for Spiegel Online and ZDF.

Family and early life[edit]

Sonneborn grew up with his brother as a son of the career counselor and later presidential candidate Engelbert Sonneborn and a housewife.[2] He went to school in Osnabrück, where he successfully passed the Abitur exam. After the selective service and the graduation of an apprenticeship as an insurance merchant he studied Communication, German and Politics in Münster, Vienna and Berlin. His magister thesis covered the satirical magazine Titanic and the range of effectivity of satire. Sonneborn's father was an independent candidate in the 2017 German presidential election.[3]


After undertaking an internship at satirical magazine Eulenspiegel in 1995, Sonneborn started writing for Titanic, whose editor-in-chief he became in 2000. He was superseded by Thomas Gsella in October 2005, but remained column writer until April 2012. He has been co-editor of Titanic since 2006. Sonneborn was staff leader of satirical column SPAM at Spiegel Online since November 2006 and reporter for the satirical TV programme heute-show on ZDF from May 2009 to September 2014.

On August 2, 2004, Sonneborn founded along with other editors of Titanic the satirical political party Die PARTEI, one of whose aims is to rebuild the Berlin Wall. He has been its chairman since 2004 and was top candidate in 2011 Berlin state election. During the election campaign 2005 Sonneborn appeared in a number of TV campaign commercials. Along with director Andreas Coerper, Sonneborn filmed a documentary about the party's development and activities from foundation until 2009.

Martin Sonneborn (2013)

He regularly holds readings both discretely and as part of the trio Titanic Boygroup, together with Thomas Gsella and Oliver Maria Schmitt who preceded Sonneborn as editor-in-chief.

After joining the European Parliament in 2014,[4] he had to quit his jobs at Spiegel Online and ZDF since both companies wanted to stay objective in presenting politics. He is member of the European Parliament Committee on Culture and Education (CULT),[4] member of the Korea-delegation and substitute of the European Parliament Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT).[4]

Martin Sonneborn (2009)


In 2000 he became famous for a bribery affair regarding the 2006 FIFA World Cup assignment to Germany, in which he offered FIFA officials a small gift for their vote in favor of Germany.

In late 2009, he was criticized in a Chinese newspaper for "hurting the feelings of the Chinese people" in a broadcast about the 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair on the heute-show.[5][6]

In September 2011 he was criticized by UK media for a blackface Obama billboard "Ick bin ein Obama." (I am an Obama.) in the Berlin election campaign, a satirical reference to a speech by John F. Kennedy.[7][8][9]


  • "Ich tat es für mein Land." Wie TITANIC einmal die Fußball-WM 2006 nach Deutschland holte: Protokoll einer erfolgreichen Bestechung. Bombus, München 2005, ISBN 978-3-936261-37-0.
  • Das PARTEI-Buch: Wie man in Deutschland eine Partei gründet und die Macht übernimmt. Kiepenheuer & Witsch Verlag, Köln 2009, ISBN 978-3-462-04090-6.[10]
  • Das PARTEI-Hörbuch. Gelesen von Serdar Somuncu, Realisation Pe Simon. WortArt, Köln 2009 (2 CDs + Booklet), ISBN 978-3-8371-0255-0.
  • Heimatkunde: Eine Expedition in die Zone. Ullstein Hc, 29. September 2010, ISBN 978-3-550-08791-2.
  • Ich will auch mal Kanzler werden. Kiepenheuer & Witsch Verlag, Köln 2011, ISBN 978-34-620-4257-3.
  • with Benjamin Schiffner: Quatsch...und mehr. Kiepenhauer & Witsch, 2012, ISBN 978-3-462-04475-1.
  • with Georg Behrend: Beerdigung von Herrn Krodinger im Biergarten: Ein Schild sagt mehr als 1000 Worte. Kiepenhauer & Witsch, Köln 2015, ISBN 978-3-462-04775-2.
  • with Thomas Gsella and Oliver Maria Schmidt: Titanic BoyGroup Greatest Hits - 20 Jahre Krawall für Deutschland. Rowohlt, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-87134-818-1.


  • 2008: Heimatkunde[11]
  • 2009: Die PARTEI[12]
  • 2010: The Final Fax[13]
  • 2013: Sonneborn rettet die Welt[14]
  • 2014: Sonneborn rettet die EU at SpiegelTV