Erardo Cristoforo Rautenberg

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Erardo Rautenberg (2016)

Erardo Cristoforo Rautenberg (born March 10, 1953 as Erhard-Christoph Rautenberg in Comodoro Rivadavia , Argentina ; † July 17, 2018 in Brandenburg an der Havel ) was a German lawyer and publicist . He was a member of the SPD and from March 1996 to March 2018 Attorney General of the State of Brandenburg .


Rautenberg was born in 1953 as the son of the German couple Wilfried and Ingeborg Rautenberg, at that time a farmer on the Estancia Bajo Grande in the Deseado department of the southern Argentine province of Santa Cruz . He therefore had both German and Argentine citizenship . The parents gave Rautenberg the name Erhard-Christoph , which the Argentine officials did not accept when the birth certificate was issued, which is why Erardo Cristoforo was entered. Until his first identity card was issued, Rautenberg was still called by the name given to him by his parents.

In August 1954 the family moved to Hohnstedt near Northeim , the birthplace of his parents, in the Federal Republic of Germany . Erardo Cristoforo was initially tutored by his mother because of an illness that required home care and only attended school in 3rd grade from April 1962. He passed his Abitur in 1972 at the Corvinianum high school in Northeim. His paternal grandfather, Wilhelm Rautenberg, was superintendent in Hohnstedt; his wife Elisabeth Rautenberg kept a diary about the last days of the Second World War .

education and profession

Rautenberg studied law at the University of Göttingen from 1972 . After the first state examination in Celle in 1977 , he went on to study for a doctorate in Göttingen, where he was awarded a Dr. jur. received his doctorate. After his legal clerkship and second state examination in Hanover , Rautenberg worked as a public prosecutor in Lübeck from 1982 to 1987 , then until 1990 as a research assistant at the Federal Public Prosecutor at the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe . A secondment to the general public prosecutor in Schleswig in September 1990 was followed there in January 1991 and promoted to senior public prosecutor . After a renewed secondment in April 1991 back to the Federal Prosecutor General in Karlsruhe, he was transferred there in January 1992 and at the same time promoted to senior public prosecutor at the Federal Court of Justice . July 1992 brought another delegation to the Potsdam public prosecutor's office as head of the specialty department for GDR district crime and justice injustice. In December 1993 he was transferred to Neuruppin in the state of Brandenburg as the chief public prosecutor .

On March 1, 1996, Justice Minister Hans-Otto Bräutigam and the Brandenburg state government appointed Erardo Rautenberg as the state's attorney general. Since April 2007 he has been the longest serving Attorney General in the Federal Republic of Germany. His authority has been based in Brandenburg an der Havel since September 1993 .

He was particularly interested in relations with Poland and the fight against right-wing extremism, which earned him death threats from the bands Landser and White Aryan Rebels . In an interview with Frank Jansen that appeared in Tagesspiegel on July 31, 1996 , Rautenberg called for a broad social alliance against “inhuman right-wing violence” that “not only includes the so-called average citizen, but extends from the staunchly conservative to the autonomous spectrum”. In some cases this provoked sharp opposition. Rolf Henrich accused him of having “talked about a tiny minority of young people and adolescents and their 'violent right-wing extremism' like a newly resurrected SA”.

With his essay on black-red-gold , published by the Brandenburg “Action Alliance against Violence, Right-Wing Extremism and Xenophobia” , he attempted to counter the nationalism of the right-wing extremists with a patriotism of the Democrats, which he linked to the demand, the last Sunday in May to commemorate the Hambach Festival of 1832 as the “birthday of German democracy”. In 2009, Rautenberg acquired a German flag for his office, the third stripe of which is made of gold lurex and thus resembles the main flag of the Hambach Festival and its replica in the plenary hall of the German Bundestag. Now he supported the proposal made by the deputy editor-in-chief of the news magazine Der Spiegel , Dirk Kurbjuweit , to erect a memorial for the Forty-Eighters in Berlin .

Because of his experience as a " political official ", he tried to remove this status for attorneys general from 2000 onwards. This was complied with in Brandenburg when the amended State Civil Service Act came into force on April 9, 2009; since January 2010 no German attorney general has had this status. In December 2012 he published the book The History of the Public Prosecutor's Office in Germany to the Present. A contribution to the elimination of their dependence on the government in criminal proceedings. This involves revising and updating the dissertation published in 1932 by the trainee lawyer at the Superior Court of Justice Ernst Sigismund Carsten (1907-1984), brother of Francis L. Carsten , who emigrated in 1936 before being persecuted by the National Socialists and died in the USA. In his review, Claus Roxin described the book as "the most comprehensive and content-rich representation of the German public prosecutor's office that we have". It is, "as far as the public prosecutor is concerned, a basic work that belongs in the hand of every criminal and interested party". The third edition appeared at the end of 2015.

From 2002 to 2014 Rautenberg was a permanent employee of the journal Goltdammer's Archive for Criminal Law , was one of the editors of the journal Neue Justiz and since September 2013 honorary professor at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) .

On March 31, 2018, Rautenberg retired a few months early for health reasons.


Erardo Rautenberg had been a member of the SPD since 1990 .

In August 2002, Rautenberg turned against the legal opinion represented by the Brandenburg Ministry of the Interior under Minister Jörg Schönbohm that the "dissemination of symbols of unconstitutional organizations" (Section 86a, Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code) and the dissemination of incendiary audio carriers according to Section 130, Paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code would then be punishable if this happens to a limited extent, in order to expose the people behind the distribution system. The background to this was the arrest of an undercover agent for the Brandenburg Office for the Protection of the Constitution, who had distributed CDs that sang about the killing of certain public figures, including Rautenbergs. The Berlin district court rejected the legal opinion of the Brandenburg Interior Ministry by sentencing the undercover agent to imprisonment in November 2002. At the annual meeting of the Federal Public Prosecutor General with the German General Public Prosecutors in November 2002, Rautenberg's legal opinion was also approved. The Cottbus regional court was also of this opinion, which finally approved the termination of the proceedings against the V-Mann-Führer of the Brandenburg constitutional protection because of minor guilt in a reasoned decision.

In September 2011, Rautenberg criticized the planned appointment of the District President of Stuttgart, Johannes Schmalzl (FDP), as Attorney General in "an unusually sharp letter" to the Federal Minister of Justice. The day before Schmalzl's appointment by the Federal Council, the Darmstädter Echo reported an offensive email that Schmalzl had then sent to Rautenberg. According to his own information, Rautenberg only released it for publication after waiting three days in vain for Schmalzl's apology for his emotionally charged overreaction. The content of the email gave the SPD reason to reject Schmalzl's support, whereupon Schmalzl withdrew his candidacy. In a publication from December 2012, Rautenberg again criticized the Federal Minister of Justice: At the request of Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger as rapporteur, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe unanimously passed resolution No. 1685 on September 30, 2009, which asked Germany to do so abolish the need for Justice Ministers to give instructions to the Public Prosecutor in individual cases. Rautenberg criticized the fact that since her (renewed) appointment as Federal Minister of Justice - one month later - she had made no move to implement this resolution as the responsible minister. In an article for the magazine for legal policy in 2016, he again criticized the resistance of the Federal Ministry of Justice and the majority of the state ministries of justice against the implementation of the European model of a public prosecutor's office in Germany independent of instructions.

In February 2014, in a guest article for the news magazine Der Spiegel , he spoke out in favor of restricting the political immunity of members of the Bundestag such as the members of the Brandenburg state parliament. This means that when judicial search decisions concerning members of the Bundestag are being carried out, the prosecution will no longer have to obtain the approval of the immunity committee, which means that the number of people confessed to the planned search can be kept small. In contrast to Art. 46 GG, Art. 58 of the Brandenburg state constitution does not provide for any fundamental immunity for members of the parliament; Rather, this is to be established if “parliamentary work is impaired” by a criminal prosecution measure, which, however, has never been the case in the state of Brandenburg. The reason for Rautenberg's advance was the affair involving former member of the Bundestag Sebastian Edathy . After the immunity against the Bundestag member Volker Beck because of a drug discovery, the then President of the Bundestag Norbert Lammert joined this demand.

In a guest contribution for the Thuringian General on January 16, 2015, Rautenberg welcomed the initiative of the Thuringian State Parliament President Christian Carius (CDU) to introduce a nationwide day of remembrance for the victims of the SED dictatorship, and suggested June 17. Although this was not taken up by the Federal President, such a day of remembrance for Thuringia was decided by the state parliament on April 20, 2016 with only one vote against.

On March 10, 2017, with one vote against and three abstentions, Rautenberg was nominated as the successor to Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was elected Federal President, as the SPD direct candidate for constituency 60 for the federal election. In June 2017, a malignant tumor was removed from him, which made subsequent chemotherapy necessary. Therefore, on medical advice, Rautenberg no longer actively participated in the current election campaign and ultimately lost to his CDU competitor. However, he achieved the second-best result for the SPD in the state of Brandenburg, both with the first votes with 25.1% and with the second votes with 20.7%.

Private, commemoration

Rautenberg was baptized Protestant in Argentina in 1954 and was confirmed Protestant-Lutheran in 1968 in St. Nicolai (Alfeld) .

In 2006 he married the lawyer Katrin Beck, then head of the presidential office and the press office of the Brandenburg state parliament (until 2014), who took his family name. Katrin Rautenberg was for the SPD from 2010 to 2015 councilor in Brandenburg an der Havel .

In July 2018, Erardo Rautenberg died at the age of 65 from complications from cancer . One year after his death, on July 11, 2019, there was a memorial service for Rautenberg in front of around 150 guests in the Paulikloster in Brandenburg, at which words of honor were given in the presence of his widow Dietmar Woidke , Hans Otto Bräutigam , Eugen Larres and Stefan Ludwig .


  • 1974 - Member of the ETA Hoffmann-Gesellschaft e. V. in Bamberg
  • 1983 - Member of the German Association of Judges
  • 1992 - Member of Amnesty International
  • 2000 - Member of the external advisory board for the Brandenburg penal system
  • 2000 - Member of the advisory board to help victims of human trafficking in the state of Brandenburg
  • 2000 - Individual member of the Brandenburg alliance against violence, right-wing extremism and xenophobia
  • 2001 - Member of the Board of Trustees of the Gollwitz Meeting Center Foundation
  • 2006–2008 - founding board member of the German-Polish Science Foundation
  • 2008–2011 - Member of the board of directors of the Scharwenka Foundation in Bad Saarow
  • 2009 - Member of the ZDK Society for Democratic Culture


Fonts (selection)


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Heinz-Walter Knackmuß: Biography of Prof. Dr. Erardo Cristoforo Rautenberg. Homepage of the support group for the reconstruction of the Sankt-Marien-Andreas-Kirche in Rathenow e. V., September 6, 2017; accessed on December 31, 2017.
  2. ^ Former Attorney General Erardo Rautenberg has died. In: =. July 17, 2018, accessed August 19, 2020 .
  3. Obituaries In: Der Tagesspiegel . July 21, 2018.
  4. ^ Estancia Bajo Grande Santa Cruz Argentina. In: Accessed July 17, 2018 .
  5. ^ Notes for our children. In: Monika Tibbe (Ed.): We live further into the unknown: Diaries and letters from 1945. Klampen Verlag, Springe 2014, pp. 27–62.
  6. ^ Andrea Beyerlein: Erardo Rautenberg, Attorney General of Brandenburg. In: Berliner Zeitung . January 15, 1996. Retrieved July 17, 2018 .
  7. Dialog , German-Polish Magazine, No. 102 (2012/2013), p. 85 f.
    About the love of the Germans for the Poles Brandenburg's Attorney General. In: Der Tagesspiegel . October 2, 2003, accessed July 17, 2018 . Mieczysław Tabor, Erardo Cristoforo Rautenberg: Cooperation between Polish and Brandenburg public prosecutors. In: February 11, 2013, accessed July 17, 2018 . The interview with Dr. Erardo Cristoforo Rautenberg Attorney General of the State of Brandenburg on YouTube , October 4, 2012, accessed on July 17, 2018 (7:24 pm).

  8. ^ Stefan Berg, Markus Deggerich: Right-wing extremists: Patriotic duty . In: Der Spiegel . No. 23 , 2009, p. 42-43 ( Online - May 30, 2009 ). Antje Lang-Lendorff: Nazi hunters on behalf of the state. Erardo C. Rautenberg. In: Kulturland Brandenburg (Hrsg.): Bürgerland Brandenburg. Democracy and democracy movements between the Elbe and the Oder. Leipzig 2009, p. 14 f.
  9. Holger Stark: Extremism: Rambo from office . In: Der Spiegel . No. 33 , 2002, pp. 49 ( online ).
  10. Toralf Staudt: Spy of hatred. In: The time . No. 34/2002.
  11. Der Tagesspiegel , July 31, 1996, p. 14.
  12. Neue Juristische Wochenschrift (NJW) 1996, pp. 3399 ff., 3940. See the replica of Rautenberg, NJW 1997, pp. 920 ff. (“Solidarity against right-wing extremist violence!”), Which ended with an appeal for donations for Noël Martin .
  13. See also Michael Jürgs : Who we were, who we are. How Germans experience their history. Munich 2015, p. 58 f.
  14. ^ Heribert Prantl : Black-Red-Mustard. In: December 22, 2012, accessed March 23, 2016 . Black-red-gold only applies in the Basic Law. In: Vaihinger Kreiszeitung . January 24, 2013, accessed July 17, 2018 .
  15. Der Spiegel No. 14, April 2, 2016, p. 123
  16. Steinmeier supports monument plan. In: Der Spiegel 17/2016. April 23, 2016, p. 115 , accessed July 17, 2018 . Erardo Cristoforo Rautenberg: Memorial for the Forty-Eighters in Berlin. (PDF; 1 MB) In: January 19, 2018. Retrieved July 17, 2018 . Elisabeth Binder: German-American Relations: A “Forty-Eighters” memorial for Berlin. In: Der Tagesspiegel. March 13, 2018, accessed July 17, 2018 .

  17. Rautenberg, DRiZ 2000, p. 141 ff .; Carsten / Rautenberg (2015), p. 435 ff.
  18. New Justice 2013, p. 461 f.
  19. ^ Igor Göldner: Erardo Rautenberg is retiring. In: Märkische Allgemeine . April 2, 2018, accessed July 9, 2018 .
  20. ^ Protection of the Constitution: Scolding for Schönbohm . In: Der Spiegel . No. 34 , 2002, p. 17 ( online ). See in detail Rautenberg. In: Goltdammer's archive for criminal law. 8/2003, pp. 623-632.
  21. ^ Josef Hufelschulte: Affair: The notes of hatred. In: Focus 31/2002. July 29, 2002, p. 28 , accessed July 18, 2018 . Josef Hufelschulte: Appeal for murder: Descent of the decent. In: Focus 32/2002. August 5, 2002, p. 48 , accessed July 18, 2018 . Holger Stark: Extremism: Rambo from office . In: Der Spiegel . No.

     33 , 2002, pp. 49 ( online ). Toralf Staudt:
    Spy of hatred. In: The time . No. 34/2002. Josef Hufelschulte: Scandal: V-man Toni trapped. In: Focus 34/2002. August 19, 2002, p. 46 , accessed July 18, 2018 .

  22. Stefan Berg, Holger Stark: Secret Services: Rules for the gray area . In: Der Spiegel . No. 48 , 2002, pp. 37 ( online ).
  23. ^ Rautenberg, Goltdammer's Archive for Criminal Law. 8/2003, p. 624.
  24. Neue Justiz , 8/2005, pp. 377–379.
  25. ^ Justice: Protest against Schmalzl . In: Der Spiegel . No. 38 , 2011, p. 15 ( online ).
  26. Carsten, Rautenberg (2015), p. 438, footnote 2240.
  27. Robert Birnbaum: One email too many. In: Der Tagesspiegel . September 23, 2011, accessed on July 18, 2018 (the item on the agenda was deleted from the Federal Council meeting on September 23, 2011).
  28. Carsten, Rautenberg (2015), p. 375 f.
  29. ZRP 2016, p. 38 ff.
  30. Erardo Rautenberg: Sources of Indiscretion . In: Der Spiegel . No. 9 , 2014, p. 64-65 ( Online - Feb. 24, 2014 ). Dear, Rautenberg: Against the prevailing immunity law . In: Deutsche Richterzeitung 2003, p. 56 ff.
  31. Jost Müller-Neuhof: After the Volker Beck case: Lammert wants to abolish the immunity of MPs. In: March 19, 2016, accessed July 18, 2018 . See also the positions of Lieber / Hartmann, NJW-aktuell 17/2016, p. 17.
  32. Erardo C. Rautenberg: Guest contribution: Prof. Dr. Erardo C. Rautenberg calls for a revival of June 17th. In: Thuringian General . January 16, 2015, p. 3 , accessed July 18, 2018 . Critical Carl-Wolfgang Holzapfel : June 17th: A day of remembrance for the victims of the GDR dictatorship? In: Association's blog June 17, 1953 on wordpress. January 16, 2015, accessed July 18, 2018 .
  33. Ute Rang: June 17th a day of remembrance? Waltershäuser writes to Gauck. (No longer available online.) In: Thüringer Allgemeine. June 17, 2015, archived from the original on April 22, 2016 ; accessed on July 18, 2018 .
  34. ^ Rene Wernitz: Rautenberg is a candidate for the SPD. In: Märkische Oderzeitung . March 19, 2017. Retrieved July 18, 2018 . Ronja Ringelstein: Brandenburg before the federal election: Erardo Rautenberg: The Patriot in Red. In: Der Tagesspiegel. May 19, 2017. Retrieved July 18, 2018 .
  35. ^ André Wirsing: Bitter defeat for Erardo Rautenberg. In: Märkische Allgemeine . March 30, 2018, accessed July 18, 2018 .
  36. Bundestag election in Brandenburg on September 24, 2017: Final result. First and second votes in constituency 60 - Brandenb. adH - Potsdam-Mittelmark I - Havelland III - Teltow-Fläming I. State Returning Officer for Brandenburg, accessed on July 18, 2018 .
  37. On the person. In: Website of Katrin Rautenberg. Retrieved July 18, 2018 .