Sincerity Duve

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Freimut Duve (1979)

Freimut Duve (born November 26, 1936 in Würzburg ; † March 3, 2020 in Hamburg ) was a German publicist and politician . From 1980 to 1998 he was a member of the German Bundestag for the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) , but was also known for his diverse literary commitment.


Freimut Duve was the son of Hildegard Duve and the journalist Bruno Herzl. His father († before 1945) came from the Osijek Jewish Herzl family and was a great-nephew of Theodor Herzl , the founder of political Zionism . After the end of the Second World War, Hildegard Duve and Freimut received the news that the paternal family in Osijek had been killed by the Ustasha .

Duve's maternal grandfather was a businessman in Altona . His maternal grandmother came from the wealthy Mildenstein farming family, who lived in Lemkendorf ( Fehmarn ) and who settled as privateers after the sale of their agricultural property in Lübeck. Duve's mother was one of the first women in Germany to pass the tax advisor exam.

Duve leaves behind his wife, the journalist Karin Weber-Duve, and three adult daughters, including the journalist and author Tamara Dietl , who comes from Duve's connection with the teacher Gulnar Abdel Magid.


Freimut Duve grew up in Hamburg, where he also witnessed the air raids of Operation Gomorrah in 1943 . From 1946 to 1951 he attended the Rudolf Steiner School ( Waldorf School ) in Hamburg-Wandsbek. Then Duve first moved to Hamborn Castle and in 1954 to a Waldorf school in Stuttgart, where he was able to do his Abitur. Because Duve originally wanted to be an actor, he was assistant director at the Theater im Zimmer in Hamburg for a short time . Finally, he studied history , English and sociology at the University of Hamburg . To study British colonial history , he completed a research stay in South Africa and Rhodesia in 1961 . He gained experience as a journalist during his studies.

In the early 1960s, Duve was the Hamburg University's representative for foreign students. From around 1965 he took care of the then so-called " guest workers " and began to give language courses for foreigners with his wife at the time, which he called "German for foreigners". Duve is the inventor of this term.

From 1966 to 1969 Freimut Duve was employed as a personal advisor to Hamburg's Senator for Economic Affairs, Helmuth Kern . He then worked as an editor at Stern until 1970 . From 1970 to 1989 Duve worked as an editor at Rowohlt Verlag . Here he was editor of the book series rororo aktuell and in autumn 1974 the founder of the magazine Technologie und Politik . The subject areas included a. Economic growth , technical progress , multinational corporations , energy policy and development policy . Ulrich Albrecht , André Gorz , Ivan Illich , Joachim Israel and Jochen Steffen were part of the magazine's advisory body . From 1990 to 1992 Duve took over the publication of the essay series Luchterhand Essay . Duve was a member of the PEN Center Germany . He died in March 2020 after a long illness at the age of 83.


Eugen Glombig and Freimut Duve (1979)

In 1966 Freimut Duve joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). In the election campaign for the state elections in 1971 , he supported the candidate Jochen Steffen - together with Siegfried Lenz and Günter Grass as part of the Schleswig-Holstein voters' initiative . Duve was a member of the Hamburg SPD state executive from 1974 to 1989.

1979 Duve ran within the party against the social expert Eugen Glombig for a place on the list for the federal election and won by one vote. From 1980 to 1998 he remained a member of the German Bundestag (MdB) for the SPD . In 1998, when Duve was nominated for his previous direct mandate from the SPD in Hamburg, he was subject to the previous district assembly representative, Johannes Kahrs : His followers within the SPD accused Duve of a lack of grassroots background due to his extensive international and professional commitment. Allegedly, he would have " not recognized local club chairmen" at party events .

From 1998 to December 2003 Duve was the first OSCE Representative for Freedom of the Media of the OSCE , based in Vienna . He was succeeded in this position in March 2004 by the Hungarian Miklós Haraszti .



Publications (selection)


  • The race war does not take place. Development policy between fear and poverty. Econ, Düsseldorf 1971, ISBN 978-3-430-12264-1 .
  • From the war in the soul. Regards of a German. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1998, ISBN 3-49960486-8 .
  • Cultural policy, foreign . In: Robert Picht u. a. (Ed.): Strange friends. Germans and French before the 21st century. Piper, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-49203956-1 , pp. 377-383.


  • Cape Without Hope or The Politics of Apartheid. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1965.
  • The Restoration releases its children or The Success of the Right in the Federal Republic. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1968.
  • Technology and politics. The magazine on the growth crisis. Reinbek No. 1/1975 to No. 16/1980.
  • Departures. The Chronicle of the Republic 1961 to 1986. (Together with Friedrich Krotz .) Rowohlt, Reinbek 1988, ISBN 978-3-499-15920-6 .


  • Self-portrait of childhood and youth in: Florian Langenscheidt (Ed.): With us at home. Celebrities talk about their childhood. ECON, Düsseldorf 1995, ISBN 3-43015945-8 .
  • Wolfgang Weirauch: My life began with a lie. Interview with Freimut Duve. In: Flensburger Hefte, No. 88/2005, ISBN 3-935679-23-8 , pp. 66–95.

Web links

Commons : Freimut Duve  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ijoma Mangold: The intellectual as a politician, the politician as an intellectual ,, published and accessed on March 4, 2020.
  2. Freimut Duve: Thoughts of the war? In: Art and Culture. Journal of the trade union ver.di , No. 2/2011, p. 22f.
  3. Freimut Duve: From the war in the soul. Eichborn 1994, p. 25.
  4. Wolfgang Weirauch: My life began with a lie. Interview with Freimut Duve. In: Flensburger Hefte, No. 88/2005, p. 70 and 73.
  7. Madame-Business Talk , Interview in Madame , May 2015, accessed on September 2, 2016.
  8. WDR 5 Experienced Stories with Freimut Duve from December 25, 2016 (audio)
  9. See Wolfgang Weirauch: Bilderkampf - Interview with Freimut Duve. in: Kulturdialog oder Kulturkampf? Flensburg booklets. 92, 2006, p. 10.
  10. see: Axel Schildt : Between hope and fear. South Africa as viewed by West German intellectuals in the 1960s. In: Zeithistorische Forschungen , 13 [2016], pp. 360–364.