Cornelie Sonntag-Wolgast

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Cornelie Sonntag-Wolgast , b. Sonntag (born August 29, 1942 in Nuremberg ) is a political journalist and former German politician ( SPD ).

Cornelie Sonntag-Wolgast around 1980

She was a member of the German Bundestag from 1988 to 2005 and from 1998 to 2002 Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior .


Cornelie Sonntag was born on August 29, 1942 as the daughter of a businessman and a pianist in Nuremberg and grew up in Hamburg . She has been married to the journalist Thomas Wolgast since 1969 and they have no children. She spends her free time in Spain and on the North Sea. She is passionate about playing the violin.

Education and career in journalism

After graduating from high school in Hamburg in 1962, Cornelie Sonntag studied literature , musicology and German in Hamburg and Erlangen . In 1969 she received her doctorate as Dr. phil. at the University of Hamburg with the work Sibotes "Frauenzucht" - critical text and investigations . She then worked as a trainee at the Hamburger Morgenpost , then from 1972 freelance and from 1975 editor for state politics at NDR . Sonntag-Wolgast supervised current programs, was a presenter for political magazines, spoke and wrote comments. At the end of her career, she was deputy head of Zeitfunk in the main politics department of the NDR. In addition to her radio work, she wrote articles for Die Zeit and various women's magazines. She also moderated the WDR show Current Hour . During her election campaign and her political career, she wrote a diary that was published as a book in 2008 under the title "Do you really want to do that to yourself? As a journalist in politics", and published an anonymous story about a wintry election day in Schleswig-Holstein . After her political career she worked as a journalist for the NDR and for various daily newspapers.


She has been a member of the SPD since 1971. She was motivated to go into politics on the one hand by the democratic spirit of optimism in the 1970s and by the political interest of her husband, Thomas Wolgast. In 1979 she was a member of Klaus Matthiesen's shadow cabinet . This was the SPD's top candidate and opposition leader in Schleswig-Holstein. In her constituency, Steinburg / Dithmarschen-Süd, she ran for the first time in 1987, but this election campaign was unsuccessful for the Bundestag. Until the new candidacy and the associated election campaign, she worked again for the NDR, but could only do so with a kind of political declaration of abstinence. So she had to affirm in a document that her own political orientation and opinion did not influence her journalistic activities.

On June 14, 1988, she moved to the German Bundestag for the retired member Heide Simonis . She was a member of the Interior Committee of the Bundestag and became a deputy member of the Transport Committee. Since the local press often did not appear on political dates, Sonntag-Wolgast sent her self-written press releases to the regional media and was thus also active in PR.

She showed particular commitment in the working group on migration policy, immigration policy, asylum law and media policy.

In 1990, after the first all-German election, Cornelie Sonntag-Wolgast became deputy domestic policy spokeswoman for the SPD parliamentary group. In 1991 she was appointed to the post of SPD board spokeswoman, but retained her mandate in the Bundestag. In order to have more time for her constituency and her family again, she resigned from the office of party spokeswoman in 1993.

After the Bundestag election in 1994, she moved into the parliament in Bonn as the SPD top candidate from Schleswig-Holstein and in 1995 took over the chairmanship of the state group of Schleswig-Holstein SPD members of the Bundestag. Cornelie Sonntag-Wolgast became deputy head of the project group on “Combating right-wing extremism and violence” and joined the committee on domestic and legal policy of the SPD party executive. In addition, in 1996 she became a deputy member of the Enquete Commission "Future of the Media in Business and Society - Germany's Way into the Information Society" and in 1997 became a member of the executive committee of the SPD parliamentary group.

After the 1998 Bundestag election and the replacement of the Kohl V cabinet by the Schröder I cabinet , she was appointed Parliamentary State Secretary by Otto Schily on September 27, 1998 . She worked significantly on the law on the reform of citizenship law of July 15, 1999 and campaigned for the " Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance ", which was established in 2000 .

In 2008 she gave the eulogy at the presentation of the " Active for Democracy and Tolerance " of the alliance to a young woman who had claimed to have been injured by neo-Nazis, the injury, however, had taught themselves and ultimately for faking a crime was sentenced .

Public and honorary positions

In 1979 Cornelie Sonntag-Wolgast was a member of the shadow cabinet of Klaus Matthiesen , the SPD's top candidate for the state elections in Schleswig-Holstein in 1979 , who, however, could not prevail against the incumbent Gerhard Stoltenberg ( CDU ). From October 27, 1998 to October 22, 2002, she was Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of the Interior of the Federal Government led by Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder . Since Cornelie Sonntag-Wolgast is no longer politically active, she has taken on several voluntary tasks, including in the common spirit , in the international federation, in the university council, in the Kulturforum Hamburg and the Arbeiterwohlfahrt . In addition, she is still involved in the advisory board of the Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance .

Writings and publications

Articles, presentations and interviews that have appeared in books:

  • From feature pages to politics. In: The hunger for experience - women after 45. Edited by Inge Stolte. JHWDietz publishing house, Berlin-Bonn 1981.
  • Power was never important to me. In: Conversations with female journalists, led by Uta von Steen. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt 1988.
  • Quotation and Policy Content: What Are Women Changing? In: The center left today. Edited by Florian Gerster and Dietrich Stobbe. Verlag JHW Dietz Nachf., Bonn 1989.
  • Pears, beans and Kassler. In: The red cookbook - this is how Oskar Lafontaine and his political friends dine. ReimoVerlag, Oberding 1998.
  • The world refugee problem from the perspective of German politics. In: Germany and the world refugee problem. Edited by Carsten Tessemer. Leske and Budrich Publishing House, Opladen 1994.
  • Resettlers in the country of immigration. In: Sheets for German and international politics. 7/96
  • Media presence, proximity to citizens and popularity. Politics as a struggle for approval of people and programs or: How do politics become media-friendly? In: Evangelische Akademie Loccum / Documentation of a conference on "The staging of politics in the media - The staging of politics for the media." 119/97.
  • Right-wing populism in Germany. In: Evangelische Akademie Loccum / Documentation of a conference on "Causes and consequences of right-wing populism in Europe." 18/03.
  • Considerations for the development of the security architecture in the national and European framework. In: Public Safety Yearbook. Publishing house for police science, Frankfurt 2005.
  • Illegality from the perspective of domestic politics - a repressed problem. In: Illegality - Limits and Possibilities of Migration Policy. Edited by Jörg Alt and Michael BommesVS. Publishing house for social sciences, Wiesbaden 2006.
  • Do you really want to do this to yourself? As a journalist in Boyen's politics , 2008.

See also

Web links

Commons : Cornelie Sonntag-Wolgast  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Munzinger people: Cornelie Sonntag-Wolgast. German politician and journalist; SPD; Dr. phil. ,
  2. Cornelie Sonntag-Wolgast: Do you really want to do that to yourself? As a journalist in politics , p. 21.
  3. Homepage of Cornelie Sonntag-Wolgast: Willkommen ,
  4. Cornelie Sonntag-Wolgast: Do you really want to do that to yourself? As a journalist in politics , p. 27.
  5. Cornelie Sonntag-Wolgast: Do you really want to do that to yourself? As a journalist in politics , p. 31.
  6. The law on the reform of the nationality law of July 15, 1999 ( Memento of February 14, 2017 in the Internet Archive )
  7. Markus Wehner : Swastika-Fall von Mittweida: And at the end the NPD rejoices - FAZ, May 17, 2008
  8. a b Alliance for Tolerance: Advisory Board. Dr. Cornelie Sonntag-Wolgast,
  9. Hamburger Abendblatt: Cornelie Sonntag-Wolgast heads the Hamburg Cultural Forum,