Jürgen Trittin

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Jürgen Trittin (2014)
Video presentation (2014)
Signature of Jürgen Trittin

Jürgen Trittin (born July 25, 1954 in Bremen - Vegesack ) is a German politician ( Alliance 90 / The Greens ). He is a member of the Bundestag and a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee .

From June 1990 to June 1994 Trittin was Lower Saxony's Minister for Federal and European Affairs under Prime Minister Gerhard Schröder and from October 1998 to November 2005 Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety . From 2005 to 2009 he was one of the deputy chairmen of the parliamentary group of the Greens ; from 2009 to 2013 he and Renate Künast were its chairmen . In the 2013 federal election , he and Katrin Göring-Eckardt were the two top candidates.

Family, studies, work

Jürgen Trittin grew up in a middle-class family with two younger siblings ; his grandfather was a bank director in Delmenhorst . His mother Helene Trittin, his late father Klaus Trittin (1923-1998) was formerly a member of the Waffen-SS and later Managing Director and authorized officer in the Bremer rope factory F. Tecklenborg and co . in Bremen- Vegesack .

During the Second World War , his father served as a volunteer in the Waffen SS from 1941 onwards , most recently as a twenty-two-year-old with the rank of SS-Obersturmführer . He fought until the last day of the war on the Hela peninsula in the Danzig Bay , from which refugees and wounded were continually transported across the Baltic Sea to the west. Until 1950 Klaus Trittin was a Soviet prisoner of war . According to his son, his past never let go of him. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he talked about it openly, including to his children. In an interview, Jürgen Trittin reported on a visit to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp , to which he and his brother had been taken by his father when he was 15. Klaus Trittin said to his sons: “Look at that, we broke that. You must never allow something like that again ”.

Trittin was confirmed and was with the boy scouts . Because of the silence of the church on the My Lai massacre , he left the church as a high school student . Trittin graduated from the Gerhard-Rohlfs-Gymnasium in Bremen-Vegesack in 1973 and began completing six of the fifteen months of his basic military service in the Bundeswehr in Bremen in April 1974 , as his conscientious objection was initially not recognized because it was political and was not justified with conscience. After a successful lawsuit at the administrative court , he was able to do community service in a home for difficult-to-educate boys near Bremen from January 1975 . From 1975 to 1981 he studied social sciences at the Georg-August University in Göttingen , which he completed with a degree in social economics. He then worked as a research assistant at the University of Göttingen.

Trittin has a daughter, whom he adopted in her mid-twenties , and a granddaughter. Trittin suffered a heart attack in 2010 , which left no lasting damage to health and which he attributed to a genetic predisposition . He has been married since December 2013.


Communist League and founding of the Greens

At the age of fifteen he took part in demonstrations in Bremen. During his studies (1977) Trittin was a member of the Social Sciences Student Council for the Socialist Alliance List (SBL), an association of the Maoist Communist League (KB), members of the Trotskyist group International Marxists (GIM) and other radical left-wing students . This formed a coalition with the spontaneous group movement undogmatic spring (BUF) and provided the General Student Committee (AStA) of the University of Göttingen, which in turn published the student newspaper Göttinger Nachrichten , which previously (1977) published the Buback obituary and thus the declaration of sympathy for the murder on then Federal Prosecutor General Siegfried Buback had published. The Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ), the tz and the Abendzeitung made it clear in 2001 that Trittin had never been a member of the editorial team. The then AStA chairman Jürgen Ahrens also denied Trittin's involvement, as the Bild newspaper had claimed. Trittin defended the obituary in the 1970s, which he later described as a "serious mistake". In 1978 he ran for the first time on the list of democratic struggle (LDK) of the Communist League for the AStA. From 1979 to 1980 Trittin was then in a position in the AStA, responsible for the external department. At the same time he was President of the Student Parliament (StuPa) from 1979 to 1980 . There he met the social democrat Thomas Oppermann . In this role he organized demonstrations and the like. a. against recruit vows of the Bundeswehr and worked as a squatter in Göttingen. Trittin moved in the broad environment of the Göttingen K groups and was an active member (until 1980) of the Communist League, which was monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution . According to former fellow students, however, he never became militant or violent. Trittin later described his left Maoist activism as "illegal".

At the beginning of the 1980s, Trittin belonged - like the politicians Thomas Ebermann and Rainer Trampert  - to Group Z , a split from the Communist League that wanted to get involved with the Greens from a left-wing ecological perspective. His future wife, a founding member of the Green Party in Göttingen, brought him to the Greens in 1980. Trittin has officially been a party member since this year. In 1981 he became a research assistant to the city ​​council group of the left-wing Alternative Green Initiatives List (AGIL) in Göttingen. From 1982 to 1984 Trittin was managing director of the AGIL city council group. In 1984 the district association of the Greens in Göttingen elected him to the state list in a vote against Sonja Schreiner as a candidate for the Lower Saxony state parliament .

Member of Parliament and Minister in Lower Saxony (1984–1994)

After Trittin was press spokesman for the Greens parliamentary group in Lower Saxony from 1984 to 1985 , he moved to the Lower Saxony parliament in 1985 due to the rotation principle then practiced by the Greens and was elected parliamentary group chairman that same year. He held the office until 1986 and again from 1988 to 1990.

From June 1990 to June 1994 he was Minister for Federal and European Affairs of Lower Saxony in the Schröder I cabinet . Trittin resigned from the state parliament because of the principle of separation of office and mandate prevailing at the time among the Greens . After the end of the red-green coalition , he returned to the state parliament in 1994 and became deputy chairman of the parliamentary group.

Federal spokesman for Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen (1994–1998)

In December 1994 Trittin and Krista Sager were elected as spokespersons for the federal board of Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen. Trittin received 499 of 584 valid votes without opposing candidates. He therefore resigned from his state parliament mandate.

From 1996 he formed the leadership duo at the top of the party together with Gunda Röstel . With the entry into the Bundestag after the Bundestag election in 1998 he gave up this office.

Federal Environment Minister (1998-2005)

After the federal election in 1998 , the first red and green federal government under Chancellor Gerhard Schröder replaced the previous black and yellow Kohl V cabinet . Alliance 90 / The Greens occupied three departments in the Schröder I cabinet . Joschka Fischer took over the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , Andrea Fischer the Ministry of Health and Trittin the Ministry of the Environment . On October 27, 1998 Trittin was sworn in as Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety ; his predecessor in office was Angela Merkel .

In the first legislative term of the red-green government , Trittin was the preferred target of the opposition and business. Issues in conflict were particularly the nuclear phase-out negotiated by Trittin and the eco-tax . He repeatedly got into arguments with the Federal Chancellor; There have been several speculations about Trittin's resignation. After the intervention of the German car manufacturer, Gerhard Schröder instructed Trittin, with reference to his authority to issue directives , to reject the EU end-of- life vehicle directive in the Council of Ministers . This stipulated that manufacturers would have to take back old vehicles. Trittin pushed through a compromise in the Council of Ministers, which was also passed by the European Parliament . Germany implemented the directive on July 1, 2002 through the End-of-Life Vehicle Ordinance . It is considered likely that Gerhard Schröder would otherwise have dismissed his environment minister from the cabinet. In January 2000, under pressure from the energy industry and the Federal Chancellor , Trittin also had to withdraw the stop on the transport of nuclear waste for reprocessing . One of the guiding principles of the red-green policy was the energy transition . On April 1, 2000, the Renewable Energy Sources Act came into force, which was considered to be the "heart of the red-green energy and climate policy ". The law promoted the generation of electricity through renewable energies in Germany. On June 14, 2000, the nuclear consensus was initiated by a contract between the Federal Republic and the operating companies, which provided for the nuclear phase-out within 32 years. The contract was legally secured through the amendment of the Atomic Energy Act in 2002 . On November 14, 2003 the Stade nuclear power plant was the first to go offline . The nuclear phase-out has been a central and identity-creating goal since the founding of the Green Party. That is why the nuclear phase-out was on the one hand the most important success of the red-green policy, on the other hand it was criticized by the party base as much too hesitant. Trittin as the responsible Federal Minister was blamed for it. In autumn 2001, reactor 2 of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant, for whose operation the state government of Baden-Württemberg ( Teufel IV cabinet ) was responsible, was shut down for several weeks under pressure from Trittins .

Other important projects were the climate protection program of October 18, 2000 and an amendment to the Federal Nature Conservation Act in 2001. A power struggle with industry occurred before the introduction of the can deposit .

In the second legislative period of the red-green federal government after the federal elections in 2002 there were significantly fewer conflicts. However, open tensions arose between the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Economics led by Wolfgang Clement . While Trittin supported renewable energies , the former North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Clement relied on local hard coal.

After the Minister of Agriculture Renate Künast was elected chairman of the Bundestag parliamentary group Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, Trittin also briefly took on the business of the Federal Minister for Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture from October 4, 2005 . After the 2005 Bundestag election and Angela Merkel's election as Chancellor , the term of office of the Schröder II cabinet and thus Trittin's term of office ended on November 22, 2005.

In the opposition (since 2005)

Trittin at the Federal Green Party Congress in 2006
Jürgen Trittin, 2019 in the German Bundestag

After the Bundestag election in 2005 , he failed in the election for parliamentary group chairman against Fritz Kuhn and instead became deputy chairman and political coordinator of parliamentary group IV "Foreign Policy, Foreign Cultural Policy, Human Rights, Development Policy, Defense, Europe". As a direct candidate in the Göttingen constituency , he received 7.8% of the first votes in the 2005 federal election .

In November 2008, the Federal Assembly of Delegates of the Greens elected Renate Künast and Trittin as their top candidates for the 2009 federal election . Together with Brigitte Pothmer , he again led the Lower Saxony state list and was also again a direct candidate in the Göttingen constituency, where he received 13.0% of the first votes. After the election, on October 6, 2009, together with Renate Künast, he became chairman of the Bundestag parliamentary group Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen. Trittin is a member of the Committee on European Union Affairs , the United Nations subcommittee and a deputy member of the Foreign Affairs Committee . He also heard from 2000 to 2013 the party council of the Green Party.

In September 2010 he fell victim to a cake toss in Hanover when he took part in a panel discussion in a hut village modeled on the Republic of Free Wendland .

In October 2012, the members of his party selected him and Katrin Göring-Eckardt as the top candidates for the 2013 federal election in a primary election . Due to the disappointing election results of his party in 2013, he announced that he would not run again as group leader.

Trittin has always entered the German Bundestag via the Lower Saxony state list.

Outside employment, income and memberships

Trittin does not generate any income that is notifiable to the President of the Bundestag . He says he donates fees for lectures and television appearances to social projects.

He is a member of the advisory board of the Waldschlößchen Academy , patron of Borneo Orangutan Survival Germany and the German-Polish project for forest ecosystem research Inpine , member of the board of trustees of the Weltfriedensdienst , the Stiftung Initiative Mehrweg and, according to his own statements, a member of fesa e. v. (Freiburg), the ver.di trade union and the European Union parliamentary group of the German Bundestag .

In 1989 he was a co-founder of the anti-fascist magazine The Right Edge .

From March to August 2012, Trittin was SV Werder Bremen's environmental ambassador . He gave up this post when the club signed a sponsorship deal with Wiesenhof and was criticized for it.

Trittin's appearances as a DJ Dosenpfand at the beginning of the 2000s were certainly a curious sideline . According to his own statement, he donated the fees he received .

Political positions

Trittin was included in the party's left wing in 1998. In the party-internal wing battles of the Greens, he therefore long played the role of a left antipole to the " realo " Joschka Fischer . At the same time, he is considered a pragmatic and sober tactician. Unlike the so-called fundamentalists (" Fundis "), he stands for the idea of ​​implementing social and ecological policy goals through the participation of the Greens in government coalitions.

Since leaving the office of Minister of the Environment, Trittin has been involved in his parliamentary work, above all in foreign and European policy . In foreign energy policy, he advocated a worldwide expansion of renewable energies and against the global economy being dependent on oil .

Before the 1998 Bundestag elections , he said that he wanted to “replace NATO rather than dissolve”. As a member of the Schröder government, he campaigned for the abolition of conscription in 2000 . B. the then Federal Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping rejected.

During the NSA scandal, Trittin called for a revision of relations with the US in July 2013 and demanded asylum for the whistleblower Edward Snowden .

In the euro crisis policy, Trittin opposes both Peer Steinbrück's and Angela Merkel's positions. So he is open to another haircut for Greece.

Trittin rejected the car toll in the election campaign prior to the 2013 federal election and advocated extending the truck toll to alternative routes.

On the refugee question (during the Kosovo war , numerous migrants came to Germany), Trittin said in 1999 that the CDU / CSU and parts of the SPD gave “a racist answer” to them. Germany is a "racially infected country in all social classes and generations".

In the conflict between the German government on the one hand and the US administration and US Congress on the other hand over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project , Trittin, unlike his party colleagues from the Greens, who oppose a joint resolution by the Bundestag against it, advocates countering the threats of sanctions from the USA a.

public perception

Jürgen Trittin (2012)

During his tenure as Federal Minister, Trittin was described as “hardworking, power-conscious, rhetorically strong, 'stubborn', left-wing, professionally competent, statesmanlike, polarizing, provocative; edgy, combative, man with his own opinion ”. As a party spokesman, he was seen as straightforward, determined and ready for conflict, but also as arrogant, aloof and stubborn. Krista Sager described him as "inside like armored". Joschka Fischer put it more positively: "He can take it easy".

Because of his appearances (including at a rally of the left-wing Gelöbnix initiative in 1998) and his often harsh polemics , such as the designation of a public pledge by the Bundeswehr as “a perverse ritual” or the meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin serving to “militarize the European foreign policy ”, repeatedly criticized by political opponents. Examples of this are insults in the direction of Trittin such as “eco-Stalinist” by the former Federal Minister of Economics Michael Glos or “ Salon Bolshevist ” by the then general secretary of the CSU, Markus Söder .

In 2001, Michael Buback brought Trittin close to the so-called Mescalero letter , which in 1977 spoke of “secret joy” over the death of the RAF victim Siegfried Buback . Trittin explicitly did not adopt the content of the letter as his own and defended his remarks at the time as a representative at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen as a “defiant defense of freedom of expression”. In the same year, the literary scholar and German teacher Klaus Hülbrock identified himself to the taz as the Göttingen Mescalero.

In 2006 the Forum Ecological-Social Market Economy awarded him the Adam Smith Prize for market-based environmental policy .

From conservative and right-wing political opponents, such as For example, the AfD politicians Alexander Gauland and Albrecht Glaser or the CSU local association Landshut -Stadt Ost, Trittin often says "Germany is disappearing more and more every day, and I think that's just great" during the plenary session of the Bundestag on April 23 Subordinated to 1999. There is evidence that Trittin did not say this sentence.

In the summer of 2012, he was a participant in the Bilderberg Conference in Chantilly, Virginia , USA, a meeting of people from business, politics and other areas of society, which aroused divided reactions in his party.

In September 2013, the Göttingen political scientist Franz Walter and Stephan Klecha , commissioned by the board of Bündnis90 / Die Grünen to investigate “pedophile demands in the milieus of the new social movements and the Greens”, announced that Trittin was responsible for the local election program under press law in 1981 of the Alternative Green Initiatives List (AGIL) in Göttingen, in which the group "Homosexual Action Göttingen" called for comprehensive equality of homosexuals as well as paragraphs 174 ( sexual abuse of wards ) and 176 ( sexual abuse of children ) of the Criminal Code so that “only the use or threat of violence or the abuse of a dependent relationship are punishable”. Trittin admitted the incident to the taz and announced a complete clarification of the incident. Walter defended Trittin against criticism expressed by other parties; the "hysteria" surrounding the incident was exaggerated.


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  • The basic right to asylum is a cautionary lesson from Anne Frank's diary . (= Series of publications by the Lower Saxony State Center for Political Education, current thinking. Part 5). Lower Saxony State Center for Political Education, Hanover 1992.
  • Danger from the middle. German politics is sliding to the right. Verlag Die Werkstatt, Göttingen 1993, ISBN 3-923478-88-7 .
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  • World after world. Justice and Globalization. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-351-02542-4 .
  • Standstill - made in Germany: Another country is possible! Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 2014, ISBN 978-3-579-07078-0 .


  • Jürgen Trittin. In: Eckart Spoo (Ed.): How next? Plea for a socialist Federal Republic. 2nd Edition. Verlag Am Galgenberg, Hamburg 1988, ISBN 3-925387-39-0 , p. 146 ff.
  • Hans-Werner Kuhn: Trittin, Jürgen . In: Udo Kempf, Hans-Georg Merz (Eds.): Chancellor and Minister 1998–2005 . Biographical Lexicon of the German Federal Governments. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2008, ISBN 978-3-531-14605-8 , p. 359-369 .

Web links

Commons : Jürgen Trittin  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. Jürgen Trittin , Internationales Biographisches Archiv 50/2012 from December 11, 2012 (la), in the Munzinger archive ( beginning of the article freely available)
  2. rolandtichy.de
  3. stern.de
  4. a b c Jens König: The change. Left-wing extremists, bully, eco-Ostalinist - that was yesterday. Today the green top candidate is the statesman. Jürgen Trittin's long march. In: Stern. 47/2012, pp. 53-59.
  5. Trittin's father was with the Waffen SS. on: stern.de , November 14, 2012.
  6. Gordon Repinski, Konstantin von Hammerstein: But that is now unfair . In: Der Spiegel . No. 48 , 2012 ( online ).
  7. ^ Christoph Schult: Community service. Did Joschka Fischer avoid? Spiegel Online , April 17, 2001.
  8. Christoph Hickmann: Me and me. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . No. 96, April 25, 2013, p. 3.
  9. Green parliamentary group leader Trittin: Shocked by the heart attack . Spiegel Online , March 21, 2010; Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  10. mopo.de
  11. Jochen Bölsche: The lost honor of the Apo . In: Der Spiegel . No. 5 , 2001 ( online ).
  12. a b c Saskia Richter : Leadership without power? The spokesmen and chairmen of the Greens. In: Daniela Forkmann, Michael Schlieben (ed.): The party leaders in the Federal Republic of Germany 1949-2005. Wiesbaden 2005, p. 194 ( ISBN 978-3-531-14516-7 ).
  13. a b c d e Hans-Werner Kuhn: Trittin, Jürgen. In: Udo Kempf, Hans-Georg Merz (Eds.): Chancellor and Minister 1998–2005. Wiesbaden 2008, p. 361.
  14. ^ A b c Hans-Werner Kuhn: Trittin, Jürgen. In: Udo Kempf, Hans-Georg Merz (Eds.): Chancellor and Minister 1998–2005. Wiesbaden 2008, p. 362.
  15. spiegel.de: Chronology ("January 26th [2000]: After a year and a half of standstill, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection approves nuclear transports within Germany for the first time")
  16. ^ A b Hans-Werner Kuhn: Trittin, Jürgen. In: Udo Kempf, Hans-Georg Merz (Eds.): Chancellor and Minister 1998–2005. Wiesbaden 2008, p. 363.
  17. ^ Hans-Werner Kuhn: Trittin, Jürgen. In: Udo Kempf, Hans-Georg Merz (Eds.): Chancellor and Minister 1998–2005. Wiesbaden 2008, p. 364.
  18. a b Matthias Geis: The Triumph of the Eternal Second . In: The time. September 13, 2007.
  19. Trittin refrains from reporting. In: Spiegel Online. September 23, 2010.
  20. Green base makes Trittin and Göring-Eckardt a top duo. In: Spiegel Online. November 10, 2012.
  21. Green election debacle: Trittin resigns as parliamentary group leader. In: Spiegel Online. September 24, 2013.
  22. a b page at the German Bundestag ( Memento from December 13, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  23. a b Information on www.trittin.de  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.trittin.de  
  24. SPOX (ed.): Trittin resigns as Werder ambassador. August 29, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2012 . taz.de: There are limits. August 30, 2012, accessed December 13, 2012 .
  25. https://www.welt.de/vermischtes/article710427/Eine-Partynacht-mit-Juergen-Trittin-als-DJ-Dosenpfand.html
  26. Claus Christian Malzahn: The strategist's mistake . In: Der Spiegel . No. 12 , 1998 ( online ).
  27. Matthias Geis: Not always. But too often . In: Die Zeit , No. 13/2001.
  28. Fire at will . In: Der Spiegel . No. 20 , 1998, pp. 38 ( online ).
  29. Trittin: Abolish conscription quickly . Spiegel Online , April 23, 2000.
  30. welt.de
  31. wsj.de
  32. focus.de September 9, 2013 focus.de
  33. ^ Minutes of the German Bundestag - 14th electoral term - 36th session. Bonn, Friday, April 23, 1999 (PDF) p. 2916.
  34. Sanctions because of Nord Stream 2: USA blackmail Germany with Iran method August 16, 2020
  35. Trump's extortionate economic policy: Europe, defend yourself! 18th edition 2020
  36. ^ A b Hans-Werner Kuhn: Trittin, Jürgen. In: Udo Kempf, Hans-Georg Merz (Eds.): Chancellor and Minister 1998–2005. Wiesbaden 2008, p. 367.
  37. ^ Franz Walter : Green top candidate Trittin. The shy citizen fright. In: Spiegel online. May 8, 2009.
  38. “Eco-Stalinist” against “take away mentality”. Unwort of the year 2004. In: Spiegel online. December 7, 2004.
  39. According to Trittin in a speech on November 20, 2008  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF)@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.trittin.de  
  40. Michael Buback: My meeting with Jürgen Trittin. About the "Mescalero" text, its fascist language and the momentous conversation on the train to Berlin. In: The time. 06/2001.
  41. Mescalero Obituary: Counterattack
  42. Jürgen Trittin: The stranger on the train. In: Der Tagesspiegel . January 23, 2001.
  43. An encounter with Klaus Hülbrock. A yellow flower blooms on the television . In: taz . February 10, 2001: "Two years ago, Mescalero declared himself for the first time in a letter to Buback's son Michael".
  44. ^ Adam Smith Prize for market-based environmental policy . Website of the Ecological-Social Market Economy forum. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  45. Trittin obtains an injunction against AfD politicians . Zeit Online , November 5, 2015
  46. When politicians are slandered . In: FAZ , October 18, 2015
  47. ^ Trittin and his Bilderberg problem. Spiegel Online .
  48. Matthias Kamann, Michael Stürmer : Stepping after the Bilderberg conference in need of explanation. In: Welt Online . June 5, 2012, Retrieved June 6, 2012 .
  49. ^ AGIL: Wahlprogramm, 1981, p. 33. (Photocopy on Spiegel Online )
  50. ^ Jürgen Trittin approved pedophilia passage in the local election program. In: The time . September 16, 2013, accessed September 16, 2013 .
  51. Johannes Leithäuser: Accusations against Trittin: Irresponsible in terms of press law. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . September 16, 2013, accessed September 16, 2013 .
  52. spiegel.de
  53. tagesspiegel.de
  54. taz.de
  55. focus.de