Egon Franke

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Egon Franke, 1976

Egon Franke (born April 11, 1913 in Hanover ; † April 26, 1995 there ) was a German politician ( SPD ). From October 22, 1969 to October 4, 1982, he was Federal Minister for Internal German Relations and from September 17 to October 1, 1982 Vice Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany .

Early years

After attending primary school , Egon Franke completed an apprenticeship as a carpenter and then trained as a cabinet maker at an arts and crafts school.

In 1929 Franke joined the SPD. Until 1933 he was chairman of the socialist youth workers in Hanover.

time of the nationalsocialism

From 1933 until his arrest in 1934 he belonged to the left-wing social democratic resistance organization Socialist Front . In 1935 he was convicted of preparation for high treason and spent two and a half years in prison .

From 1943 to 1945 he took part in the Second World War as a soldier in the penalty battalion 999 and was taken prisoner by the Americans after being on the frontline and being wounded .

Post-war period and state politics

After his release from captivity in 1945 Franke was one of the founders of the SPD in the city of Hanover and in what was then the state of Hanover .

From 1945 to 1947 Franke was councilor of the city of Hanover. From August 23, 1946 to October 29, 1946 he was a member of the appointed Hanover State Parliament (deputy chairman of the SPD parliamentary group there), from December 9, 1946 to March 28, 1947, a member of the appointed Lower Saxony State Parliament and from April 20, 1947 until April 30, 1951 member of the first elected Lower Saxony state parliament .

Party offices

From 1947 to 1952 Egon Franke was a full-time member of the SPD party executive. From 1952 to 1970 he was district chairman of the SPD Hanover and from 1950 to 1970 chairman of the state committee of the SPD Lower Saxony . From 1964 to 1973 Franke was a member of the presidium of the SPD. Within the party, Franke positioned himself with the " Canal Workers " , a group of predominantly non-academic members of the right wing, close to the trade union, who had considerable influence until the 1980s and of which he had been the leader since the early 1960s. His role as the spokesman for the sewer workers earned him the nickname "Canale Grande".

Federal politics

On May 17, 1951 Egon Franke was re- elected to the first German Bundestag in the constituency of Hanover-North for the deceased Bruno Leddin . He was a member of parliament until the end of the 10th parliamentary term on February 18, 1987. With the exception of the Bundestag election in 1957 , he was always directly elected in his constituency: 1953 and 1961 in constituency No. 40 “City of Hanover-North”, 1965 to 1976 in constituency No. 36 “Hanover I”, 1980 and 1983 in constituency No. 36 "City of Hanover I". From December 13, 1966 to 1969, he was deputy chairman of the SPD parliamentary group and from January 26, 1967 to 1969, chairman of the parliamentary committee for all-German and Berlin issues.

Minister for Internal German Relations

Otto Winzer , Willi Stoph , Willy Brandt and Egon Franke (from left to right) at the Erfurt summit .

After the Bundestag election in 1969 , he was appointed Federal Minister for Internal German Relations on October 22, 1969 in the social-liberal federal government led by Chancellor Willy Brandt (SPD) . He kept this office from 1974 under Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt (SPD). With a tenure of 13 years in the Federal Ministry for Internal German Relations , he was the record holder in this department, which from 1949 to 1969 was called "Federal Ministry for All-German Issues" and which lasted until January 18, 1991. In addition, he was the only Federal Minister who held office for the entire term of office of the SPD Federal Chancellors Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt in the same department.

As a minister, he advocated the NATO double resolution conceived by Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, also against opponents within the party.

After the break of the social-liberal coalition , he was also Vice Chancellor from September 17, 1982 . With the election of Helmut Kohl ( CDU ) as the new Federal Chancellor on October 1, 1982, the term of office of the short-term SPD minority government ended . Franke and the other SPD ministers remained in office until the Christian-Liberal cabinet, supported by the CDU / CSU and FDP parliamentary groups, took office on October 4, 1982.

After he left the ministerial office, his handling of public funds came under fire. Between 1979 and 1982 Franke and his ministerial director Edgar Hirt had used almost 6.02 million marks (adjusted for inflation, this corresponds to around 6,300,000 EUR today), which were intended for humanitarian measures in the GDR , in particular for the release of prisoners , for other purposes and withdrawn from parliamentary control through false declaration . Franke was on 17 December 1986 the Bonn Regional Court of charges of infidelity acquitted while Hirt in the same process for breach of trust in coincidence with fraud to a prison sentence was condemned by three and a half years.

Later years

After the general election in 1983 Egon Franke would be in accordance with the tradition as the oldest member presiding been the Bundestag, having already in 1980 by Herbert Wehner ( SPD ) and Franz Amrehn was third oldest (CDU / CSU) deputy. Due to the pending investigations, however, he decided against giving the Bundestag's opening speech in favor of the next youngest MP and SPD party chairman Willy Brandt . For the general election in 1987 Egon Franke came not as a candidate and retired so membership of the Bundestag after about 36 years off.


  • 1968: Cross of Merit 1st Class of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • 1973: Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • 1975: Great Cross of Merit with Star and Shoulder Ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • 1979: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • In Franke's residential district of Bothfeld in Hanover, the Egon-Franke-Weg has been named after him since 2003 .

Office statistics

Party offices

  • Member of the SPD party executive (1947–1952)
  • District Chairman of the SPD Hanover (1952–1970)
  • Chairman of the state committee of the SPD Lower Saxony (1950–1970)
  • Member of the presidium of the SPD (1964–1973)

Seats in parliament

  • Member of the City Council of Hanover (1945–1947)
  • Member of the appointed Hanover State Parliament (1946)
  • Member of the appointed Lower Saxony State Parliament (1946–1947)
  • Member of the elected Lower Saxony state parliament (1947–1951)
  • Member of the German Bundestag (1951–1987)

Government offices

  • Federal Minister for Internal German Relations (1969–1982)
  • Deputy Chancellor (1982)

See also


  • Markus Gloe: Egon Franke. In: Udo Kempf, Hans-Georg Merz (Ed.): Chancellor and Minister 1949–1998. Biographical Lexicon of the German Federal Governments. Wiesbaden 2001, pp. 252-256.

Web links

Commons : Egon Franke  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Barbara Simon : MPs in Lower Saxony 1946–1994. Biographical manual. Edited by the President of the Lower Saxony State Parliament. Lower Saxony State Parliament, Hanover 1996, pp. 103-104.
  2. The sewer workers. In: Places of Remembrance of German Social Democracy. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, accessed on May 19, 2016 .
  3. Announcement of the formation of the federal government. (PDF; 208 kB) In: Plenary minutes 6/4. German Bundestag, October 22, 1969, p. 15 , accessed on May 19, 2016 .
  4. Announcement of the organizational decree of the Federal Chancellor of January 18, 1991. (PDF; 31 kB) (No longer available online.) In: Federal Law Gazette Part I No. 6/1991. Federal Ministry of Justice, February 2, 1991, p. 157 , formerly in the original ; Retrieved May 19, 2016 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  5. "Outside of official regulations" . In: Der Spiegel . No. 7 , 1983, pp. 16 ( online ).
  6. ^ Judgment: Egon Franke . In: Der Spiegel . No. 52 , 1986, pp. 176 ( online ).
  7. Announcement of awards of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In: Federal Gazette . Vol. 25, No. 43, March 9, 1973.