Thomas Schäfer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Thomas Schäfer
MJK 42980 Thomas Schäfer (Hessischer Landtag 2019).jpg
Thomas Schäfer in 2019
Minister of Finance in Hesse
In office
31 August 2010 – 28 March 2020
Preceded byKarlheinz Weimar
Succeeded byMichael Boddenberg
Personal details
Born(1966-02-22)22 February 1966
Hemer, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany
Died28 March 2020(2020-03-28) (aged 54)
Hochheim am Main, Hesse, Germany
Political partyCDU
Alma materUniversity of Marburg

Thomas Schäfer (German: [ˈtoːmas ˈʃɛːfɐ]; 22 February 1966 – 28 March 2020) was a German lawyer and politician for the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU). He was Minister of Finance of Hesse between 2010 and 2020.

Early life and education[edit]

Schäfer was born in Hemer and grew up in Biedenkopf.[1] After completing the Abitur in 1985, he trained as a banker at the local savings bank [de].[1] He studied law at the University of Marburg, graduating in 1997.[1]

From 1995 to 1998, Schäfer taught private and public law at the Deutsche Angestellten-Akademie [de] in Marburg.[1][2] From 1998 onward he worked as a lawyer for the Commerzbank in Frankfurt am Main.[1] In 1999, he earned a doctorate under the supervision of Werner Frotscher.[1]

Political career[edit]

in 1980, Schäfer joined the CDU/CSU youth organisation Junge Union and was a board member from 1985 to 1999.[3] After the 1999 Hessian state election, Schäfer led the office of Christean Wagner, the minister of justice in Hesse,[1][4] and from 2002 the office of Minister President Roland Koch.[1] From November 2005 until 2009, he was secretary of state for Jürgen Banzer, minister of labour, family and health.[2] During the financial crisis of 2007–08, he coordinated state efforts to rescue Opel, based in Rüsselsheim am Main, in conjunction with the other three states where Opel had plants.[3] In February 2009, he became secretary of state for Karlheinz Weimar [de], the minister of finance.[4]

In August 2010, Schäfer became Hesse's state minister of finance, the head of the Hessisches Ministerium der Finanzen [de], under the new minister president, Volker Bouffier. He was a member of the Hessischer Landtag, the state parliament, from 2014 onward.[2] In 2018, he was re-elected, this time directly.[4] He was regarded as a likely successor to Bouffier.[4][5]

On 27 March 2020, he announced, together with the minister of economy, Tarek Al-Wazir, the state's financial help in the COVID-19 pandemic for freelancers and small businesses. Schäfer stated, "The fight against the Corona crisis will not fail because of money." ("Am Geld wird die Bekämpfung der Corona-Krise nicht scheitern.")[3]


On the morning of 28 March 2020, his body was found next to the Cologne–Frankfurt high-speed rail line near Hochheim am Main, and police speculated that he had killed himself.[6][7][8] Schäfer's death came "as a shock", as days prior he had expressed that his work was "a pleasure and an honour". He was known as a jovial man with good humor, though he had visibly lost weight for "some time".[5] According to Bouffier, Schäfer was concerned about managing the financial response to the coronavirus pandemic.[9][6] He was survived by his wife and two children.[10] His successor as minister of finance is Michael Boddenberg.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Dr. Thomas Schäfer". State of Hesse. 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c Dr. Thomas Schäfer (in German) Hessisches Finanzministerium
  3. ^ a b c Türk, Wolfgang (29 March 2020). "Tod von Finanzminister Schäfer - ein Nachruf / Er wirkte wie ein Fels in der Brandung". Hessenschau (in German). Retrieved 29 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b c d Bebenburg, Pitt von (29 March 2020). "Finanzminister Thomas Schäfer ist tot - Tod des Kronprinzen für Hessen". Frankfurter Rundschau. Retrieved 29 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b Rösmann, Tobias (28 March 2020). "Finanzminister Thomas Schäfer: Dröhnend und sensibel". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 29 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ a b German state finance minister Thomas Schäfer found dead. Deutsche Welle. 28 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Thomas Schäfer, Finanzminister von Hessen, tot aufgefunden". Frankfurter Rundschau. 28 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Online, FOCUS. "Hessens Finanzminister Thomas Schäfer tot an ICE-Strecke gefunden". FOCUS Online (in German). Retrieved 28 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Maus, Robert; Wiesbaden (29 March 2020). "Bouffier über Schäfer: "Ein großer Verlust für unser Land"". FAZ.NET (in German). ISSN 0174-4909. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  10. ^ Arthur, Baaba (29 March 2020). "German finance minister commits suicide after 'virus crisis worries'".
  11. ^ Amtseinführung / Michael Boddenberg wird neuer Finanzminister (in German) Hesse 31 March 2020

External links[edit]