Martin Sonneborn

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Martin Sonneborn
2014-07-01-Europaparlament by Olaf Kosinsky -122.jpg
Member of European Parliament
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Constituency Germany
Personal details
Born (1965-05-15) 15 May 1965 (age 52)
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 member 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.

He became famous for a bribery affair in 2000 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.

Early life and career[edit]

Sonneborn went to school in Osnabrück and 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".

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 He was superseded by Thomas Gsella in October 2005, but remained column writer until April 2012.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.

In August 2004, Sonneborn founded the satirical political party Die PARTEI, one of whose aims is to rebuild the Berlin Wall around Germany. He has been its chairman since 2004 and was top candidate in Berlin state election, 2011. Along with director Andreas Coerper, Sonneborn filmed a documentary about the party's development and activities from foundation until 2009.

Martin Sonneborn (2013)

Sonneborn is 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.

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,[2] 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),[2] member of the Korea-delegation and substitute of the European Parliament Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT).[2] His father Engelbert Sonneborn is a German retired career counselor and independent candidate at the 2017 German presidential election.[3]

Martin Sonneborn (2009)


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 "heute-show".[4][5]

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.[6][7][8]


  • 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.[9]
  • 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.


  • 2008: Heimatkunde[10]
  • 2009: Die PARTEI[11]
  • 2010: The Final Fax[12]