Joachim Piefke

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joachim-Gerhard Piefke (born October 5, 1921 ; † August 2, 2003 in Grömitz ) was a German manager and director of the Berlin transport company from 1971 to 1986 .


Joachim Piefke was the son of a lawyer and a former employee of the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG). During the Second World War he was taken prisoner by the French and began training as a bus driver at BVG in 1948 .

Immediately after the split of the Berlin transport company into an East and a West company, he became a department head in 1949 . A few years later he took over responsibility for "surface traffic " and was thus responsible for the omnibus sector , as it was already clear that the BVG would stop tram traffic in the western part .

BVG director (from 1971)

In January 1971 Piefke became the new director of the BVG. He continued to focus his personal focus on expanding the bus network and initially showed little interest in the subway, which is also operated by the BVG . In order to counter internal competition as well as the S-Bahn that ran parallel to the city motorway and operated by the Deutsche Reichsbahn , Piefke forced the use of buses from lines 65 and 84 on the city ​​motorway , which was subsequently discontinued due to the considerable risk during the stops led.

It was only with the politically driven expansion of the underground network that Piefke was unable to maintain the internal competition for the bus network. Ultimately, he had to accept that the subway carried far more people every day than the buses. Finally, in 1984 , the Senate gave Piefke the task of integrating the S-Bahn that had been taken over from the Reichsbahn into the BVG, which the latter only reluctantly did.

Joachim Piefke expanded BVG into one of the largest transport networks in Germany within a few years and was seen as a distinctive figurehead of the growing company , especially because of its strong media presence .

He enjoyed a high reputation among members of the BVG. He personally supported them with the necessary clearance work during the snow chaos of 1978/1979 and also organized the annual BVG ball , the proceeds of which were used for charitable purposes. To this day he is considered to be the only known former bus driver who made it to the top of the Berlin transport company.

At the end of October 1986, Piefke retired .

Social work

In addition to his official position as director, Piefke was also involved as a singer and later as director of the BVG choir . He was also President of the Choirs of the German Transport Company for several years. For his commitment there he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany .


Piefke was born with Ingeborg. Müller married. The marriage produced a daughter and a son.

Due to his personal preference for bow ties , Piefke was known in Berlin as "the man with the fly". In addition, he was one of the first company leaders in the city after the Second World War, who understood early on how to effectively market themselves and their company through the media. He was a regular interview partner for Berlin newspapers and local news programs such as the Berliner Abendschau and thus also contributed to a rapid increase in the BVG's reputation.

Nationwide, he was known when he called "1982 juror " in the ARD - Game show goes on Los Started as a guest of Joachim Fuchsberger occurred.

Grave of Joachim Piefke in the Heerstrasse cemetery in Berlin-Westend

The family had a motorboat they bought in 1957 and were known to be enthusiastic about water sports; Piefke himself was also a passionate sailor . During a vacation in Grömitz on the Baltic Sea , Joachim Piefke died unexpectedly in August 2003 at the age of 81, after having swum out with his son shortly before.

His grave is in the state-owned cemetery Heerstraße in Berlin-Westend (grave location: II-Ur 3-227).



Individual evidence

  1. Former BVG boss Joachim Piefke has died. In: Der Tagesspiegel. August 8, 2003, accessed January 23, 2019 .
  2. Klaus Kurpjuweit: Born 1921. In: Der Tagesspiegel. August 29, 2003. Retrieved January 23, 2019 .
  3. ^ Hans-Jürgen Mende : Lexicon of Berlin burial places . Pharus-Plan, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-86514-206-1 . P. 493.
  4. “They all underestimated him” . In: Der Spiegel . No. 3 , 1989 ( online ).