Heinz Westphal

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Heinz Westphal, 1983

Heinz Westphal (born June 4, 1924 in Berlin ; † October 30, 1998 in Bonn ) was a German politician ( SPD ). In 1982 he was Federal Minister for Labor and Social Affairs and from 1983 to 1990 Vice President of the German Bundestag .


Family, education and work

Westphal is the son of Alice Westphal (née Düsedau) and Max Westphal . Until 1933 Max Westphal was a member of the party executive committee of the SPD. Persecuted by the National Socialists and imprisoned several times, he died in 1942 of the consequences of his imprisonment in a concentration camp .

Westphal left after Obertertia with GCSE school and graduated from 1939 to 1942 an aircraft engine mechanic apprenticeship in the Daimler-Benz engine factory in Genshagen near Berlin, which he finished with the skilled worker examination. He then began to study engineering, but was drafted into the Wehrmacht in 1943 . After training as a radio operator and serving as a tank grenadier in East Prussia , he returned to Berlin, slightly wounded, where he worked as a motor vehicle fitter.

From 1946 Westphal worked full-time as youth secretary of the Berlin SPD, then as chairman of the SJD - Die Falken Berlin. In this function, he was also involved in the 1947 talks to found an all-German youth ring with Erich Honecker , then FDJ chairman . In 1949 Westphal was arrested in East Berlin and sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment for resisting state power, but this was followed by release after eleven days. Westphal was also active in the management of the Socialist Youth in Germany in the 1950s, as youth secretary in the association secretariat in Hanover (1950–1952) and as federal chairman of the SJD - Die Falken from 1953 to 1957 in Bonn and Frankfurt. In addition, he was at that time (1948–1957) a member of the office of IUSY (International Union of Socialist Youth), from 1955–1956 chairman of the DBJR (German Federal Youth Association) and 1958–1965 its chief executive.

Westphal was married and had one child. His estate is in the archive of social democracy in Bonn.


Westphal was a member of the SPD since 1945. He moved into the German Bundestag as a candidate for the constituency Wanne-Eickel - Wattenscheid (from 1980 constituency Herne ) after the Bundestag election in 1965 , to which he was a member until 1990. From 1976 to 1982 he was chairman of the public finance working group of the SPD parliamentary group . From 1983 to 1990 he was Vice President of the German Bundestag.

He was last (11th electoral term 1987 to 1990) with 61.1% of the votes directly elected member of the constituency of Herne.

Public offices

From October 21, 1969 to May 16, 1974 he was Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Minister for Youth, Family and Health .

During the cabinet reshuffle shortly before the end of the social-liberal coalition , he was appointed Federal Minister for Labor and Social Affairs on April 28, 1982 . His term of office ended with the election of Helmut Kohl as Federal Chancellor on October 1, 1982.

Further memberships

His membership in the board of the Archives of the Workers 'Youth Movement and in the Board of Trustees of the Friends of the International Youth Meeting Center in Dachau were part of his extensive commitment to youth policy and the processing of the history of the workers' youth movement. He was the founder and chairman of the Association Creates Apprenticeships ; in his constituency of Herne , where he brought in his pension under the Ministerial Law. A donation tradition that was continued by his widow Ingeborg. From 1972 to 1974 he was chairman of the board of trustees of the European Youth Office and from 1953 to 1975 he was co-editor of the magazine deutsche jugend . From 1990 to 1996 Westphal was a member of the board of directors of the International Association for Social Work / Youth Social Work.

As part of his work for a German-Israeli understanding, which he took up after a trip to Israel in 1961, Westphal had been a member of the DIG (German-Israeli Society) since 1967, of which he was president from 1972 to 1977 and vice-president until 1985 was. In addition, he was chairman of the administrative board of DED ( German Development Service ) from 1974 to 1982 , and from 1964 to 1974 a member of the ZDF television council in Mainz . From 1993 onwards, Westphal was the German member of the International Council of the Auschwitz and Birkenau Memorials on the recommendation of the Federal Government .


  • He was awarded the Marie Juchacz plaque from the Arbeiterwohlfahrt in 1974.
  • The funeral of Heinz Westphal took place on November 19, 1998 as part of an act of mourning in Bonn.
  • The Heinz Westphal Prize of the German Federal Youth Association and the Federal Youth Ministry is named after him and honors outstanding volunteer work every two years.


  • Rudolf Vierhaus , Ludolf Herbst (eds.), Bruno Jahn (collaborators): Biographical manual of the members of the German Bundestag. 1949-2002. Vol. 2: N-Z. Attachment. KG Saur, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-598-23782-0 , pp. 944-945.
  • Hanspeter sheet, Heinrich Eppe (Ed.): Productive unrest. Festschrift Heinz Westphal for his 65th birthday. Bouvier Verlag, Bonn 1989, ISBN 3-416-02213-0 .

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Falco Werkentin : Youth opposition in the early post-war years in Berlin. The "Socialist Youth of Germany - the FALKS". In: Horch and Guck , Volume 18, No. 36 (1/2009), pp. 62–65. Worker: Youth opposition ( Memento of the original from September 21, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.horch-und-guck.info
  2. Previous mourning state files ( memento of the original dated August 8, 2018 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Domestic protocol of the federal government @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.protokoll-inland.de