|Parliamentarian State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Defense|
27 October 1998 – 22 November 2005
|Preceded by||Christian Schmidt|
|Member of the Bundestag|
5 October 1980 – 27 September 2009
|Born||27 April 1944|
Spittal an der Drau
|Political party||Social Democratic Party of Germany|
|Alma mater||University of Würzburg|
Early life and career
After primary school in Ingolstadt and Ochsenfurt (Bavaria), Kolbow graduated from Röntgen-Gymnasium Würzburg in 1964 and subsequently served his compulsory military duty until 1966 at the German Air Force. Today he is Captain of the reserve. Afterwards, Kolbow studied law at the University of Würzburg and the German University of Administrative Sciences in Speyer. In 1970 he obtained the Erstes Juristisches Staatsexamen and in 1974 the Zweites Juristisches Staatsexamen. The year after, Kolbow started working for the local administration of Frankfurt. Between 1978 and 1980 he did scientific research for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
Kolbow joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in 1967. Until 2008 he was chairman of the regional section of Unterfranken (Bavaria). Today he is its honorary chairman.
Between 1972 until 1976 Kolbow was member of the city council of Ochsenfurt, as well as between 1978 until 1981 of Würzburg.
In the 1980 West German elections, Kolbow became a Member of the German Bundestag. Between 1994 until 1998 he was his parliamentary group's spokesperson for defense policy. As a result of the 1998 elections, he joined the Federal Government of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and was appointed as Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Defense under the leadership of successive ministers Rudolf Scharping and Peter Struck until 2005. During his time in office, he also served as Germany´s "Humanitarian Representative to Macedonia" coordinating humanitarian aid in Macedonia. Moreover, Kolbow is well respected for his commitment for injured German soldiers because of radar radiation and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Between 2005 and 2009, Kolbow was vice chairperson of the SPD parliamentary group, responsible for foreign and development politics, defense matters and human rights since 2005. After 29 years of parliamentary work Kolbow retired from the German Bundestag in 2009.
After leaving active politics, Kolbow became counsel of the Berlin Consulting Group  supporting public and private institutions in the field of health in Europe. He also serves as chairman of the "Commission on Security and Bundeswehr Issues" which gives advice to SPD´s federal steering committee.
- Federal Academy for Security Policy (BAKS), Member of the Advisory Board (since 2015)
- Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), Member
- 2009 – Constitutional Medal in silver
- 2009 – "Honoris Causa"-Medal for being "Upfront with the audience" by Carneval Club Versbach (Würzburg)
- 2009 – Honorary Ring of the City of Würzburg
- 2012 – Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
Kolbow is married and has two children. His son, Alexander Kolbow (SPD), is city councillor of Würzburg.
- (de) http://webarchiv.bundestag.de/cgi/show.php?fileToLoad=1365&id=1118%7C Biography at German Bundestag
- (de) http://www.munzinger.de/search/portrait/walter+kolbow/0/22832.html%7C Munzinger Archiv
- (de) http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-14115582.html%7C DER SPIEGEL 31/1999
- (de) http://www.morgenpost.de/printarchiv/politik/article500026/Radar-Opfer-Bundeswehr-lenkt-ein.html%7C Berliner Morgenpost, "Radaropfer: Bundeswehr lenkt ein"
- (eng) https://www.theguardian.com/profile/walter-kolbow%7C The Guardian, Profile of Walter Kolbow
- Advisory Board, Federal Academy for Security Policy (BAKS).
- Members Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES).
- (de) http://www.bundespraesident.de/SharedDocs/Berichte/Bekanntgabe-Ordensverleihung/1210-bekanntgabe-der-verleihungen.html%7C German Federal President
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