Guido Westerwelle

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Guido Westerwelle (2007)Signature G. Westerwelle SVG.svg

Guido Westerwelle ( debate ? / I , * December 27, 1961 in Bad Honnef ; † March 18, 2016 in Cologne ) was a German politician . He was a founding member and from 1983 to 1988 chairman of the Young Liberals , from 1994 to 2001 general secretary and from 2001 to 2011 national chairman of the Free Democratic Party (FDP). Furthermore, from 2006 to 2009 Westerwelle was chairman of the FDP parliamentary group and opposition leader in the German parliament . From 2009 to 2013 he was Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Merkel II cabinet . As such, he was Vice Chancellor from taking office until May 2011 . Audio file / audio sample



Westerwelle was born in 1961 as the son of Heinz Westerwelle (1930–2013), a lawyer and economist from Schötmar , and Erika Westerwelle (1930–2018), a lawyer from Bad Salzuflen , in Bad Honnef . A brother followed in 1964. His parents had also brought a son into the marriage from previous partnerships. Westerwelle's parents divorced when he was eight years old; he grew up with his father on Heerstrasse in Bonn's northern part of the city . Westerwelle attended a grammar school, after the first year switched to the secondary school in Königswinter , since his academic performance at the grammar school was not considered sufficient. He graduated from the Freiherr-vom-Stein-Realschule in Bonn in 1977 with a secondary school leaving certificate . After secondary school, he switched to the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Gymnasium (EMA) in Bonn, where he graduated from high school in 1980 . According to his own statements, he was not called up for military service because he had been retired because of his homosexual orientation .

Then (from 1980) he began studying law at the University of Bonn , which he completed in 1987 with the first state examination in law. After his legal clerkship at Bonn District and Regional Court , he passed his second state examination in 1991. In 1994 he was at the University of Hagen with a dissertation on the subject of the party law and political youth organizations to Doctor of Law (Dr. iur.) Graduated . His doctoral supervisor was Dimitris Tsatsos . Since 1991, as a lawyer admitted Westerwelle worked until his election as General Secretary of the FDP 1994 in Bonn law firm of his father.

Party career

Westerwelle as National Board of Young Liberals (1982)

Westerwelle had been a member of the FDP since 1980. Here he was one of the co-founders of the Young Liberals , who replaced the Young Democrats as the party's official youth organization after the FDP's change of coalition in 1982 . In 1983 he became the national chairman of Hans-Joachim Otto in a runoff election against Andreas Reichel ; an office he held until 1988. From 1988 he was a member of the FDP federal executive committee . From 1993 to 1999 he was also chairman of the FDP district association in Bonn. He named Hans-Dietrich Genscher as his role model .

From 1994 to 2001 he was General Secretary of the FDP under party chairmen Klaus Kinkel and Wolfgang Gerhardt . In this role he played a key role in reformulating the current party program, the Wiesbaden principles , and headed the commission that worked out the program.

On May 4, 2001, he was elected by a large majority to succeed Wolfgang Gerhardt as the youngest federal chairman of the FDP to date at the FDP federal party conference in 2001 in Düsseldorf. He positioned the party primarily in educational and economic policy. His intended course was that of an "independent alternative to CDU / CSU and Red-Green " and the creation of an equidistance to the two people's parties. In the federal election in 2002 , he became the first candidate for chancellor in the history of the FDP. On the initiative of him and Jürgen Möllemann, the FDP entered the election campaign for the first time in many years without a coalition statement. The FDP's share of the vote improved from 6.2 percent, which it achieved in the 1998 federal election , to 7.4 percent. Originally planned was a " Project 18 " election target of 18 percent of the vote, for which Westerwelle fought for votes in the 2002 election campaign with the so-called Guidomobil . The way he campaigned led him to be accused of having too much “fun campaigning”.

In 2003 , Westerwelle was re-elected as party chairman with 79.8 percent of the votes of the delegates and was confirmed in office in 2005 at the federal party conference in Cologne with 80.1 percent of the votes. In 2007, Westerwelle was elected with his best result to date at the federal party conference in Stuttgart with 87.6 percent.

Before the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2005 , Westerwelle was the only top politician to call for a new Bundestag election in the event of a change of government in North Rhine-Westphalia. Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder announced on May 22, 2005, after the NRW election was lost, that he would aim for an early federal election . The following day, the FDP nominated Westerwelle as the FDP's top candidate for the 2005 Bundestag election .

Election success in 2009 and consequences

Westerwelle in Hamm (2009)

On May 15, 2009, Westerwelle was confirmed as party chairman with 95.8 percent at the FDP federal party conference in Hanover. Under his chairmanship, the FDP achieved its best result to date in a federal election with 14.6 percent of the vote in the 2009 Bundestag election. In the coalition negotiations with the CDU, Westerwelle was seen by many media representatives as the future Federal Minister of Finance because of the strong financial and economic policy orientation of his party; however, he became Federal Foreign Minister.

One of Westerwelle's internal party critics was the Schaumburger Kreis , a market-liberal internal-party circle. In December 2010 it became known that a member had passed on internal information from discussions of the Schaumburger Kreis about a possible replacement of Westerwelle as party chairman and foreign minister to the press.

In 2011, Westerwelle came under pressure as chairman when the FDP lost massive votes in the state elections in Saxony-Anhalt , Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg and only managed to re-enter parliament in Baden-Württemberg. In addition, Germany abstained from the vote on Resolution 1973 of the UN Security Council , which Westerwelle did not want to agree to because of the military participation. Although this decision promised to resonate with the population, it was criticized in the press. At the federal party convention of the FDP on May 13, 2011, he did not run again and thus gave up his office as party chairman. The previous Minister of Health, Philipp Rösler , became the new chairman . In November 2015, Westerwelle stated that in retrospect he felt that his policy of military restraint had been confirmed and that he no longer saw it as seriously contested since his successor as Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier , had also adopted this policy.

Member of Parliament

Westerwelle in the 2009 election campaign
Westerwelle with Michael Link at an event of the Heilbronn FDP 2013

On February 8, 1996, Westerwelle replaced Heinz Lanfermann , who had left the German Bundestag. On July 2, 2005, Westerwelle was elected FDP candidate for the constituency of Bonn with 48 of 49 votes cast , in which he received around 14 percent of the first votes in the 2002 Bundestag election . On July 10, 2005, the North Rhine-Westphalian state election assembly in Gütersloh voted Westerwelle first on the state list with 93.1 percent of the votes. In the 2005 Bundestag election he received 8.7 percent of the first votes in the Bonn constituency, and 19.1 percent of the first votes in the 2009 Bundestag election in the same constituency.

After the 2005 federal election , he agreed with Wolfgang Gerhardt to succeed him in May 2006 as chairman of the parliamentary group . This decision was confirmed by the parliamentary group in a “reserve election”, but Westerwelle got a significantly worse result than Wolfgang Gerhardt when he was re-elected as group chairman. Westerwelle took office on May 1, 2006 and handed it over to Birgit Homburger on October 26, 2009 when he moved to the Foreign Office .

In the legislative period from 2005 to 2009, Westerwelle gave around 30 lectures in accordance with the information on additional income that is required to be published on the website of the German Bundestag, in which he received remuneration between 7,000 euros and 15,000 euros. As a member of the supervisory board of the insurance group ARAG and as a member of the advisory boards of Deutsche Vermögensberatung AG , Hamburg-Mannheimer Versicherungs AG and the management consultancy TellSell Consulting GmbH , he received between 7,000 euros and 15,000 euros per year .

Due to the failure of the FDP to pass the five percent hurdle , he left parliament at the constituent session of the 18th German Bundestag on October 22, 2013.

On December 17, 2013, his direct predecessor, Frank-Walter Steinmeier , was appointed as his successor as Foreign Minister.

Westerwelle Foundation

After the FDP left the Bundestag in the 2013 Bundestag election , Westerwelle and entrepreneur Ralph Dommermuth founded the non-profit Westerwelle Foundation - a foundation for international understanding . The foundation started operations in January 2014 and Westerwelle took over the chairmanship of the foundation's board of directors. The foundation is based in Berlin .

Further mandates

In 2015, Westerwelle was appointed to the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Board of Trustees , of which he was a member until his death. Westerwelle was also connected to the foundation as a conference participant.

Private life, illness and death

Westerwelle with his partner Michael Mronz (2009)

Westerwelle had a brother, who is also a lawyer, and two half-brothers. He lived in an apartment building in Cologne-Braunsfeld and Berlin-Charlottenburg and was a member of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland . Since 2003 he lived in a partnership with the manager Michael Mronz . On September 17, 2010, both went in Bonner registry office at the Poppelsdorf Allee a partnership one. The partnership was carried out by the then mayor Jürgen Nimptsch . As early as 1997, Westerwelle was named in the first edition of the reference work Out! , in which homosexual personalities of public life are listed, without his having contradicted this mention. His public coming-out , however, Westerwelle had in the summer of 2004 by a headline on July 21, in the image after being together for the first time publicly at a ceremony marking the 50th birthday of the former with his partner CDU / CSU parliamentary group leader Angela Merkel occurred. After Wowereit (2001) and von Beust (2003), he was the third top German politician to make his homosexuality known to a wider public.

On June 20, 2014, it was announced that Westerwelle was suffering from acute leukemia . The disease was diagnosed by chance as part of a preliminary examination for knee surgery, which showed abnormal changes in the blood count. Immediately after the diagnosis, Westerwelle began chemotherapy at the Cologne University Hospital . Westerwelle made his first public appearance a month later at the CHIO Aachen horse show after being diagnosed with cancer . After four and a half months of inpatient treatment, including a stem cell transplant in September 2014, Westerwelle was discharged from hospital in November 2014.

During this time, Westerwelle published the book Between Two Lives in 2015 together with Dominik Wichmann . To present the book, he made two television appearances in autumn 2015 and gave a detailed interview to Spiegel . From the end of November 2015 he was again treated as an inpatient at the Cologne University Hospital in Lindenthal . There he succumbed to the consequences of his illness on March 18, 2016.

The grave of Guido Westerwelle

Westerwelle was buried on April 2, 2016 after an ecumenical memorial service in the Roman Catholic Basilica of St. Apostles in the Melaten cemetery in Cologne. The Catholic prelate Karl Jüsten , like Westerwelle born in Bad Honnef in 1961 and known with him since early childhood, held the funeral service together with the Protestant prelate Martin Dutzmann . Martin Dutzmann was in charge of the liturgy , and Karl Jüsten gave the sermon .


Comments on unemployment benefit II

In February 2010, Westerwelle took the Hartz IV ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court as an occasion for criticism of the - in his opinion - sprawling German welfare state , which he pushed especially in the Springer press . The opposition and parts of the Union also accused him of social coldness and clientele politics because of the statement "Anyone who promises effortless prosperity to the people is an invitation to late Roman decadence " . These and other formulations have been criticized as inappropriate. According to his own statements, Westerwelle related the allegation of alleged decadence to the system and not to the circumstances of the transfer recipients. "I never said the Hartz IV rates are decadent. The system is decadent." In March 2013 he distanced himself from his choice of words and stated that he had "not criticized people who have had a difficult social fate" with his statement.

Use of nuclear energy

In 2003, Westerwelle declared that the operating life of existing German nuclear power plants should not be terminated early, but should be extended again. This could reduce the consumption of oil and coal. Nuclear power is part of the German energy mix, which also includes solar and wind energy. In the course of the following years, Westerwelle consistently supported this demand. In 2010 the black-yellow coalition decided to extend the terms. As a result of the nuclear accidents in Fukushima , the black-yellow coalition decided on a moratorium on the extension of the service life of German nuclear power plants that it had previously decided, and finally, with the nuclear consensus, the nuclear phase-out by 2022.

Gasoline prices

In April 2008, Westerwelle called for the VAT rate for gasoline to be reduced to 7%, because driving should not become a luxury.

Economic policy

Westerwelle regularly called for an internationally competitive tax system, a fundamental reform of the social security system, the deregulation of the national economy, the promotion of new technologies and more competition in the education system.

During the 2005 election campaign, he repeatedly stated: “I guarantee that a black-yellow coalition will set the course for a simpler system with lower and fairer tax rates in the first 100 days.” Westerwelle categorically ruled out an increase in VAT at this point. In the election campaign that followed, Westerwelle declared that taxes had to be “simple, low and fair”, and concentrated his demands in the formula “more net from gross”.

Plebiscitary decision on European policy

In 2005, Westerwelle called for a German referendum on the EU constitutional treaty . He declared that he considered it a big mistake that in Germany the people were not consulted on such fundamental questions.


In 2005, Westerwelle stated that it was not the "alleged locust entrepreneurs " mentioned by Franz Müntefering , but the Bsirskes and Engelen-Kefers "that were Germany's problem. “The union officials are the real nuisance in Germany.” The unions' policies “cost more jobs than Deutsche Bank could ever cut”. The statements put a lasting strain on Westerwelle's relationship with the DGB .

Nuclear weapons in Germany

In October 2009, Westerwelle called for the withdrawal of all US nuclear weapons from Germany. As Federal Foreign Minister, he started the debate again in February 2010 with a letter to NATO. Büchel Air Base in Rhineland-Palatinate is the last location for nuclear weapons in Germany in the context of nuclear participation .

Euro crisis

Westerwelle and Greece's then Prime Minister Giorgos Andrea Papandreou (2011)

In the euro crisis, Westerwelle took sides for a further deepening of EU integration; especially during the membership decision (2011) in the FDP on the ESM . Even after the turn of the year 2011/12, Westerwelle stuck to this line, saying that Germany needs “not less, but more Europe”. For this reason, Westerwelle set up a future group of European foreign ministers in mid-2012 to develop new concepts for European integration and to present a first report in June. Westerwelle responded to critics of his course like Frank Schäffler with the argument, "Europe not only has its price, it also has its value."

Human rights and democracy

About Aljaksandr Lukashenka : “The last dictator in Europe”, whose answer was “Better dictator than gay”.




Web links

Commons : Guido Westerwelle  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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  2. Father dies - Westerwelle breaks off trip to Asia . In: The world . February 11, 2013. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  3. Lisa Inhoffen: Guido Westerwelle celebrates 50th birthday . In: General-Anzeiger Bonn . December 26, 2011. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  4. Remembering the keychain that was flying . In: General-Anzeiger Bonn , March 21, 2016.
  5. a b Cf. Sit, Six! - School stories from Germany (3/3). Experiment school . Documentary by Susanne Bausch on behalf of SWR. German premiere on December 22, 2005.
  6. Sven Becker et al. a .: The unliked one . In: Der Spiegel . No. 41 , 2009 ( online ).
  7. Ulrike Demmer : Superfluous and unjust . In: Der Spiegel . No. 31 , 2009 ( online ).
  8. Dr. jur. Guido Westerwelle's doctoral thesis. The former JuLi boss did his doctorate on party-affiliated youth organizations . In: Telepolis , February 19, 2011.
  9. ^ Federal Government: Curriculum Vitae of Guido Westerwelle , accessed on November 29, 2017.
  10. Westerwelle attacks. In: Der Tagesspiegel . June 15, 2007, accessed March 18, 2016 .
  11. Dream result for party leader Westerwelle. In: Focus . May 15, 2009, accessed June 27, 2014 .
  12. ^ Result of the 2009 Bundestag election . In: Der Spiegel . Retrieved July 27, 2014.
  13. Experts want Westerwelle as Minister of Economics and Finance . In: Hannoversche Allgemeine . September 30, 2009. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  14. The holy three question marks - Quo Vadis, FDP? In: Cicero , January 4, 2011, accessed June 27, 2014.
  15. Severin Weiland: Top liberals advise on Westerwelle replacement . In: Spiegel Online . December 16, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  16. FDP front against Westerwelle is getting wider . In: Zeit Online . March 31, 2011. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  17. Security Council 6498th meeting ( English ) United Nations. March 17, 2011. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  18. Remember the end! . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . April 27, 2011. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  19. ^ Hanns Maul: Foreign policy decision-making processes in times of crisis. In: From Politics and Contemporary History. 2012, issue 10, p. 35.
  20. Black and yellow isolated Westerwelle . In: Spiegel Online . August 27, 2011. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  21. Foreign Minister on probation . In: Stern . May 13, 2011. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  22. Westerwelle sees a U-turn in Steinmeier. In: Spiegel Online . November 7, 2015, accessed March 18, 2016 .
  23. ^ Federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia constituency 097 - Bonn . Federal Returning Officer. September 27, 2009. Archived from the original on October 1, 2009. Retrieved on August 16, 2014.
  24. Dr. Guido Westerwelle, FDP . German Bundestag. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  25. Activities and income in addition to the mandate . German Bundestag. August 22, 2005. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  26. Westerwelle creates the "Westerwelle Foundation" . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . December 18, 2014. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  27. Severin Weiland: Westerwelle founds the “Westerwelle Foundation” . In: Spiegel Online . December 18, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  28. Bertelsmann Foundation appoints Westerwelle . In: New Westphalian . 5th April 2014.
  29. Westerwelle goes to the Bertelsmann Foundation . In: Handelsblatt . April 7, 2014, p. 46 .
  30. We mourn Guido Westerwelle. Bertelsmann Stiftung, March 18, 2016, accessed on May 15, 2020 (obituary).
  31. Bernhard Hänel: For a coffee with the revolutionaries . Bertelsmann Foundation conference analyzes Germany's and Europe's role in change in the Middle East. In: New Westphalian . May 23, 2011.
  32. Tobi Thomsen: Homes of the Promis , ISBN 978-3-7412-9073-2 .
  33. ^ "Charity not a state service" . Evangelical Church District Bonn. October 23, 2006. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  34. Secret marriage: Westerwelle and Mronz said "Yes" in Bonn . In: General-Anzeiger . September 18, 2010. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  35. Westerwelle and Michael Mronz got married . In: The world . September 17, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  36. Hans-Hermann Kotte: Helga, Guido and the genius from Weimar . In: Berliner Zeitung , October 7, 1997.
  37. Westerwelle: Outing perfectly staged . In: Focus Online . July 22, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2004.
  38. Matthias Gebauer: Guido's staged unveiling . In: Spiegel Online . July 21, 2004. Retrieved August 25, 2004.
  39. Serious illness made public Westerwelle has acute leukemia. (No longer available online.) In: June 20, 2014, archived from the original on March 18, 2015 ; accessed on March 18, 2016 .
  40. Westerwelle was diagnosed with cancer by chance . In: Spiegel Online . June 21, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  41. ^ Appeals to a great fighter . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . June 22, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  42. Westerwelle watches a horse show in Aachen . The world. July 20, 2014. Retrieved July 23, 2014.
  43. Westerwelle Foundation in Berlin: Mandela's grandson wants to end extreme poverty by 2030 . In: Berliner Zeitung , November 21, 2014
  44. Jörn Thomann: Writing in order to remain human . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . November 8, 2015. Accessed December 8, 2015.
  45. On November 8, 2015 with Günther Jauch and on November 12, 2015 with Markus Lanz .
  46. "And then you died" . In: Der Spiegel , No. 46/2015.
  47. Severin Weiland: Westerwelle is back in the hospital. In: Spiegel Online. March 10, 2016, accessed March 18, 2016 .
  48. The grave of Guido Westerwelle. In: Klaus Nerger, accessed on August 11, 2019 .
  49. "Lived by faith" . in: Domradio , March 18, 2016, accessed on April 3, 2016
  50. Sad farewell . in: Domradio , April 2, 2016, accessed on April 3, 2016.
  51. ^ "A happy politician" . in: Domradio , April 1, 2016, accessed April 3, 2016
  52. BVerfG: 1 BvL 1/09 . February 9, 2010 ( [accessed March 29, 2010]).
  53. Guido Westerwelle: Nobody thinks of the German middle class. In: The world. February 11, 2020, accessed February 20, 2020 .
  54. And the alpha animal greets you every day . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . May 17, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  55. Merkel calls Westerwelle's advances strange . In: The time . February 23, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  56. Lucas Wiegelmann: Westerwelle: "I would also go to work". In: The world. February 23, 2010, accessed February 19, 2020 .
  57. Westerwelle regrets the "late Roman decadence". In: WeltN24 . March 22, 2013, accessed June 25, 2015 .
  58. FDP wants to operate nuclear power plants longer . Mirror online. June 4, 2004. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  59. Politicians appeal: Merkel should cap fuel prices . Focus Online. April 27, 2008. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  60. Horror of Guido . In: Der Spiegel . No. 24 , 2005 ( online ).
  61. ^ Coalition interim balance sheet - More net - a Chancellor's tale . Spiegel Online . July 12, 2010. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  62. Westerwelle calls for a referendum in Germany too . Spiegel Online . May 29, 2005. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  63. ^ Trade unions: Westerwelle speaks of a "plague" . Focus Online. April 30, 2005. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  64. DGB unloads Westerwelle . In: Spiegel Online . February 23, 2006. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  65. Westerwelle wants all US nuclear missiles to be withdrawn . Handelsblatt. October 24, 2009. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  66. Westerwelle takes on Clinton . In: Spiegel Online . February 25, 2010. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  67. ^ Guido Westerwelle, Walter Scheel , Hans-Dietrich Genscher , Klaus Kinkel : Das Europäische Deutschland. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . November 11, 2011, accessed August 21, 2012 .
  68. Guido Westerwelle: Trust in Europe. Atlantic Initiative , February 8, 2012, accessed August 21, 2012 .
  69. ^ Foreign Ministers' Group on the Future of Europe: Declaration by the Presidency - Interim Report. (PDF; 53 kB) Federal Foreign Office , June 15, 2012, accessed on August 21, 2012 .
  70. Guido Westerwelle († 54): His life in quotations. On: from March 18, 2016
  71. Lukashenko insults Westerwelle . Spiegel Online . March 4, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  72. European Craft Prize . North Rhine-Westphalian Crafts Day. October 23, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  73. Dr. Guido Westerwelle, FDP . German Bundestag. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  74. Order Zasługi RP dla szefa MSZ Niemiec. (No longer available online.) Oficjalna strona Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, November 26, 2013, archived from the original on November 29, 2014 ; Retrieved December 2, 2014 (Polish).
  75. Deep friendship with Spain. Federal Foreign Office , December 9, 2013, accessed December 9, 2013 .
  76. Prime Minister Hannelore Kraft awards the Order of Merit of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to eleven citizens . State government of North Rhine-Westphalia. September 16, 2015. Accessed September 17, 2015.