Jörg Schönbohm

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Jörg Schönbohm (2009)

Jörg Schönbohm (born September 2, 1937 in Neu Golm , Beeskow-Storkow district ; † February 7, 2019 in Kleinmachnow ) was a German politician ( CDU ) and lieutenant general ret. D. of the army of the Bundeswehr . From 1991 to 1992 he was inspector of the army , after his retirement in 1992 he was State Secretary for Security Policy, Bundeswehr Planning and Armaments in the Federal Ministry of Defense until 1996 and then from 1996 to 1998 Senator for the Interior in Berlin. From 1999 to 2009 he was Minister of the Interior of the State of Brandenburg.



Schönbohm grew up with four siblings after fleeing in 1945 in the Federal Republic of Germany . He was Protestant, married, had three children and lived in Kleinmachnow in the Potsdam-Mittelmark district . In March 2012 he suffered a stroke . He died in February 2019 at the age of 81 after a heart attack in his home in Kleinmachnow. His brother Wulf Schönbohm (* 1941) is also a CDU politician; his son Arne Schönbohm has been President of the Federal Office for Information Security since February 2016 .

Military career

Lieutenant General Schönbohm taking command on October 4, 1990

After Schönbohm had graduated from high school in Kassel in 1957, on April 1, 1957, he entered the service of the newly created Bundeswehr as an officer candidate and was trained with the artillery force in Niederlahnstein . From 1959 he worked as platoon leader in the armored artillery battalion 55, in the rocket artillery battalion 22 and as a lecture hall officer at the Army Officer School I in Hanover . From 1964 to 1968 he served in the Hanoverian field artillery battalion 11 as battery chief .

In 1968 Schönbohm completed general staff training at the command academy of the Bundeswehr in Hamburg until 1970 . Then he was staff officer ( G1 ) of the 11th Panzer Grenadier Division in Oldenburg until 1973 . He was then in the Dutch Brunssum added and served there from 1973 to 1975 under General Ernst Ferber as a staff officer for combat exercises at the headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe of NATO .

After these staff deployments, a troop command followed from 1975 to 1978, this time as commander of the 85th Panzer Artillery Battalion in Lüneburg . Schönbohm was then transferred to Bonn , where he served as a consultant in the personnel department of the Federal Ministry of Defense . After a year there, in 1979, he became head of department in the command staff of the armed forces under Inspector General Jürgen Brandt and, after the new Defense Minister Manfred Wörner (CDU) took office in October 1982, his adjutant. From October 1983 to March 1985, he was appointed Brigadier General and took command of the 21st Panzer Brigade in Augustdorf . Back in Bonn he served again under Wörner from 1985 to 1988, this time as deputy head of the planning staff in the Ministry of Defense.

On March 11, 1988 Schönbohm took over command of the 3rd Panzer Division in Buxtehude and led it until January 5, 1989. After that, he served for a year and a half, appointed Lieutenant General, under Defense Minister Gerhard Stoltenberg (CDU) as head of the planning staff in Bonn.

In the course of German reunification , he was appointed commander of the Bundeswehr Command East in Strausberg on October 3, 1990 . His task was to coordinate the dissolution of the 90,000-strong National People's Army (NVA) of the former GDR and to integrate the remaining soldiers into the Bundeswehr.

After almost a year, Schönbohm was appointed inspector of the army on September 27, 1991 , but only remained in this office for five months and was appointed permanent state secretary for security policy, Bundeswehr planning and armaments on February 18, 1992 by Defense Minister Stoltenberg . Schönbohm filled this post under Stoltenberg and his successor Volker Rühe (CDU) until 1996. Then he went fully into politics.


Political career

Schönbohm had been a member of the CDU since 1994. After the election to the Berlin House of Representatives in 1995 , Schönbohm officiated from January 25, 1996 as Interior Senator of the Grand Coalition under the Governing Mayor Eberhard Diepgen . He gave up his office in 1998 to (successfully) run for the state chairmanship of the CDU in Brandenburg.

In the state elections in Brandenburg in 1999 , Schönbohm stood for the first time as the top candidate for the CDU, which rose from 18.7 to 26.5 percent. In contrast, the SPD lost an absolute majority. From October 13, 1999, the SPD and CDU jointly established the state government under the leadership of Prime Minister Manfred Stolpe (SPD). Schönbohm joined the cabinet as interior minister and deputy prime minister of the state. In the vote on the Immigration Act 2002 in the Federal Council, Schönbohm voted "No" and his Prime Minister Stolpe "Yes", since a federal state cannot split its votes, Brandenburg's votes should have been counted as undecided. Federal Council President Wowereit interpreted, however, that Brandenburg would have voted "Yes". In a judgment of December 18, 2002 , the Federal Constitutional Court declared the law that had been passed to be unconstitutional and therefore null and void for formal reasons. In the state elections in September 2004 , Schönbohm ran again as the top candidate. This time the CDU fell to 19.4 percent and was only the third strongest force in the state parliament after the SPD (31.9 percent) and the PDS (28.0 percent). The coalition continued, however, and Schönbohm retained his offices as Minister of the Interior and Deputy Prime Minister.

He was also CDU regional chairman from 1998 to 2007. At the party congress on January 27, 2007, Schönbohm gave up his position as state chairman, and later also that of deputy prime minister, to Ulrich Junghanns , and since then has only been interior minister. From April 10, 2000 to November 2006, he was also a member of the Presidium of the Federal CDU .

After the state elections in 2009 , for which Johanna Wanka ran this time as the CDU top candidate, Prime Minister Matthias Platzeck and the SPD decided to form a red-red coalition with the left . The members of the new state government took office on November 6, 2009, including the successor of Schönbohm in the office of interior minister, Rainer Speer (SPD).

At the beginning of July 2017, Schönbohm was at the establishment of the Freedom-Conservative Awakening - the Brandenburg Values ​​Union , but distanced himself from it at the state party conference on July 15, 2017.

Jörg Schönbohm was Vice President of the Weikersheim Study Center and a member of the Advisory Board of the Federal Academy for Security Policy .

Jörg Schönbohm was buried in the Zehlendorf cemetery. (Field 006-96)

Political positions

On immigration and the dominant culture

Since 1998, Schönbohm established the political catchphrase of the “ leading German culture ”. He, like the CDU parliamentary group leader at the time, Friedrich Merz , demanded that immigrants should respect the “German dominant culture”. They would have to make their own contribution to integration by approaching the basic cultural ideas that have grown in Germany and in particular by learning the German language. His “no” in the turbulent vote on the immigration law ultimately prevented the creation of this law in its original version.

Schönbohm was a regular guest at the Day of the Homeland of the East Prussian Landsmannschaft . In July 2006 he sparked public criticism with his proposal to rename Radio Multikulti to Radio Schwarz Rot Gold . In his speeches, he repeatedly warned that Germany needed a leading culture in which the foundations of the Christian Occident could be incorporated.

About crime in the new federal states

In his controversial remark in connection with the case of a mother who presumably killed nine of her newborn children ( neonaticide ), he had the cause of “the increase in neglect and violence” in Brandenburg “the proletarianization forced by the SED regime” as the cause in August 2005 responsible ". After criticism from his own party, he emphasized that he did not want to offend the East Germans and apologized, but stuck to his statements. Schönbohm later relativized his statements: They were "misleading". It is "not about blaming the people in the East". He rejected requests for resignation.

About the criticism of Günther Oettinger

Schönbohm criticized the public criticism of the CDU party chairman Angela Merkel of Günther Oettinger's statements about Hans Filbinger as "public wiping off" and "harmful to the party". "I have the impression that some who are now blaming Oettinger have not dealt with the story in such a way," said Schönbohm on April 16, 2007 in the N24 broadcast Was allow Strunz . The reactions to the controversial statements made by Prime Minister Oettinger in the funeral speech for his deceased predecessor Hans Filbinger (CDU) were “partly very flat”. Filbinger also "helped others" as a naval judge in World War II . Schönbohm demanded that the debate about Oettinger's statements be ended after his apology. It is better "not to hit it, but to take a pause for thought".

Love Parade

As the responsible interior senator, Schönbohm was positive about the Love Parade , for example, he was given a whistle during a 1-Live interview at the Love Parade, which he was able to show at the interview the following year. In 1997 he defended the route through the zoo, as people there could quickly part in all directions in the event of a panic. This knowledge was not taken into account at the Love Parade in Duisburg, which led to the catastrophe .

Honor and awards

Grave site in the Zehlendorf cemetery



Web links

Commons : Jörg Schönbohm  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b The "Brandenburg General" Jörg Schönbohm is dead. Accessed on February 8, 2019 .
  2. Schönbohm shows himself again in public after a stroke Schönbohm after a stroke in the clinic, pnn / dpa of April 26, 2012
  3. Deutschlandradio Kultur Schönbohm defends the term Leitkultur
  4. Schönbohm unequivocally "I avoid leading culture" n-tv April 20, 2006
  5. What does German mean here? National conservatism defines its “leading culture” , Die Zeit July 16, 1998
  6. Schönbohm wants “Radio Schwarz-Rot-Gold” ( Memento from May 21, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Netzeitung , July 21, 2006
  7. IDEA (news agency) : Schönbohm calls for Leitkultur in Germany April 23, 2007
  8. Yesterday's taz , January 27, 2007
  9. Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder criticizes Schönbohm's statements ( memento of September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Märkische Allgemeine , August 6, 2005
  10. Schönbohm: The SED regime is to blame for the neglect - Berliner Kurier , August 4, 2005
  11. Schönbohm criticizes “public washing away”. Süddeutsche Zeitung , April 17, 2007.
  12. ^ Criticism of Oettinger “partly very flat” N24 from April 16, 2007
  13. https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Love-is-in-the-air-3439861.html
  14. https://taz.de/Schoenbohm-wieder-fuer-Love-Parade-im-Tiergarten/!1391659/
  15. See Brandenburg Ministry of the Interior: Schönbohm receives “Capo Circeo” award .
predecessor Office successor
Ministerial Director Hans Rühle Head of the Planning Staff of the Federal Minister of Defense
Ministerial Director Peter Wichert