Johannes Kahrs

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Johannes Kahrs (2008)Signature Johannes Kahrs.png

Johannes Kahrs (born September 15, 1963 in Bremen ) is a German politician ( SPD ) and colonel in the reserve of the Bundeswehr . From 1998 to 2020 he was a directly elected member of the German Bundestag for the Hamburg-Mitte constituency . For the SPD, he was the spokesman for the parliamentary group in the budget committee and district chairman in Hamburg-Mitte. At the end of May 5, 2020, Kahrs resigned his parliamentary mandate and gave up his political offices.

Family, education and work

The son of the Bremen SPD politician Wolfgang Kahrs (lawyer, Senator for Justice from 1971 to 1987) and Bringfriede Kahrs ( Senator for Education from 1995 to 1999) grew up in Bremen-Nord . His grandparents were already members of the SPD.

After graduating from high school in Bremen, Kahrs did two years of military service as a reserve officer candidate with the armored infantry troops . Since 2012 he has held the rank of Colonel of the Reserve. After nine years, he then completed a law degree at the University of Hamburg with the first state examination. During this time he became a member of the Hamburger Wingolf student association and was national spokesman for the Wingolf Association from 1989 to 1991 . As such, he led the first Wartburg Festival of the Wingolfsbund in Eisenach since the Second World War. After completing his studies, he joined the municipal housing company SAGA , where he most recently worked as a staff unit manager.

Kahrs made his homosexuality public when he was elected to the Bundestag. On September 28, 2018, he married his long-term partner Christoph Rohde. Party friend and district office manager of Hamburg-Mitte, Falko Drossmann , acted as best man . He is of the Evangelical Lutheran denomination.


Political party

Kahrs claims to have joined the SPD shortly after the constructive vote of no confidence in 1982 . He initially got involved with the Young Socialists , whose Hamburg regional executive he was a member of for two years. At that time he was already a member of the right wing of the party and was repeatedly involved in disputes with representatives of the left.

Since 2002 Kahrs has been chairman of the SPD district association Hamburg-Mitte. Thereby he is also a member of the board of the SPD Hamburg . In 2007 he prevailed in a by-election; In 2014 he was re-elected as district representative of Hamburg-Mitte at the state party congress with 65.6% of the delegate's votes.

Since 2004 Kahrs has been one of the three spokespersons for the Seeheimer Kreis , which represents the right wing in the SPD. In the dispute about the successor to Klaus Uwe Benneter as General Secretary of the SPD, Kahrs stood up for Karl-Josef Wasserhövel in 2005 . This was proposed by the party chairman Franz Müntefering with the support of the right wing. The majority of the party executive were against Müntefering and proposed Andrea Nahles , who is part of the SPD left, as the new general secretary. Müntefering then resigned. Kahrs regretted this and accused Niels Annen of “ramming Müntefering's back knowingly and calculatedly with the dagger in the back” in the party executive together with other party members, a formulation that was also criticized in parts of the SPD right.

The conflict between Kahrs and Annen continued in 2008 when the direct candidate was nominated in the Eimsbüttel constituency for the 2009 federal election . Within the party, the Eimsbütteler Juso chairman Danial Ilkhanipour prevailed in November 2008 instead of the previous elected representative Annen . Kahrs was accused (also by parts of the Hamburg SPD) of covertly organizing a majority against Annen with the help of the Jusos working for him and thus thwarting his re-election. The then deputy federal chairman of the party, Andrea Nahles , and the former Juso chairman Björn Böhning publicly called for Kahrs' withdrawal as spokesman for the Seeheimer Kreis.

Kahrs' role as chairman of the SPD district association Hamburg-Mitte is also controversial. According to press reports, he has created a system of personal dependencies that are aimed at him as the top and organize majorities against unpleasant officials and elected officials. He secures loyalty through often unfulfilled promises from posts. This “Kahr system” has been described as “sectarian”; the left-wing SPD member of the Bundestag, Ernst Dieter Rossmann , accused Kahr of “fraternity behavior”, which breaks with “good style in a party”. Kahrs himself denied improper influence; he is an assertive, "excellent district chairman". Its influence extends to local decision-making processes such as the filling of senatorial posts or building uses.


Kahrs at an election party after the Hamburg state election in 2001

From 1993 to 1998 Kahrs was a member of the Hamburg-Mitte district assembly , in which he was chairman of the youth welfare committee from 1994 . At the suggestion of the SPD parliamentary group, he stayed that way even after he left the district assembly until his resignation on February 10, 2012 because of the Chantal-Schreiber affair.

From 1998 to 2020 Kahrs was a member of the German Bundestag . He was always right as MP for the constituency Hamburg-Mitte elected to the German Bundestag. In 2005 he achieved 49.5, 2009 34.6, 2013 39.2 and 2017 30.9 percent of the first votes cast .

In the Bundestag, Kahrs was a member of the Council of Elders , the Budget Committee , the Audit Committee and the Internet and Digital Society Enquete Commission . He was an alternate member of the Defense Committee , the New Media Subcommittee and the Transport Committee.

Since 2009 he has been in the budget committee responsible for the budgets of the Bundestag and the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development. In December 2011, Kahrs took over the chairmanship of the German-Turkish parliamentary group of the 17th Bundestag, was a deputy member of the German-South Caucasian group in the 18th Bundestag and was its chairman in the 19th Bundestag from May 2018 to 2020. Since 2008 he has been the representative for the issues of lesbians and gays in the SPD parliamentary group.

As a committee member, Kahrs repeatedly directed special funds from the federal budget to Hamburg. In his group he has gained increasing reputation with this ability to assert himself; the “warrior” had become “an influential Berlin politician with excellent contacts”, according to the Hamburger Abendblatt . For the 2017 federal election , he ran for the first time on the list of the Hamburg SPD, which the left wing of the party criticized. In December 2016 he was elected to second place on the national list with 69% of the votes behind Aydan Özoğuz . After the 2017 federal election, he publicly criticized the early determination of the party leadership on Andrea Nahles as chairman of the SPD parliamentary group and ensured that it was not Hubertus Heil , but Carsten Schneider - one of his co-speakers in the Seeheimer Kreis - that became the first parliamentary manager .

After Kahrs failed with his application for the office of Defense Commissioner of the German Bundestag in the SPD parliamentary group , he resigned his Bundestag mandate with immediate effect after 21 years as a member and resigned all political offices.

Kahrs made around 200 house calls a year and invited thousands of Hamburgers to Berlin every year as part of the Bundestag visit program. He was active on social media every day; in December 2016 he had 5,000 followers on Facebook and almost 10,000 followers on Twitter . Before the 2017 Bundestag election, Kahrs was the Bundestag candidate who tweeted the most and said in an interview with Tagesspiegel that in the past two years the tone had intensified due to hateful comments on social networks. Kahrs deleted his Twitter account after his resignation in 2020.

Political positions

As the “head of the house” of the SPD parliamentary group, Kahrs campaigned for fiscal policy rigor and against taking on new debts. He advocated periodically lowering German income tax rates in the future depending on the development of price increases in order to permanently avoid the so-called cold progression . In 2015, during the Greek sovereign debt and euro crisis , he supported a tough stance towards the Greek governments ( austerity ). At the beginning of 2015 he warned the SYRIZA government to wait, but declared in June 2015 that the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had “gambled away” and had not done justice to his historic task, that his finance minister Yanis Varoufakis was a “first-rate political aberration” a Grexit can hardly be avoided.

For years, Kahrs campaigned for full legal equality between homosexual partnerships and marriage. During the Bundestag debate on the introduction of same-sex marriage on June 30, 2017, he addressed the Chancellor sarcastically: "Ms. Merkel, thank you for nothing!"

He advocates membership for Turkey in the European Union . On the grounds that “the EU is not a Christian club, but a community of values”, he advocates a dialogue with Ankara and accuses Chancellor Angela Merkel of having “effectively broken off the EU accession talks”.

During the refugee crisis in Germany in 2015 , he called for greater efforts on the part of the refugees and the German administration and called Germany a “essentially Christian country”; He also criticized the role of Angela Merkel, who in this difficult situation leaves "everything in the [unknown]".

Kahrs spoke out against an election of Andrea Ypsilanti with votes from the left in Hesse and against a possible red-red-green coalition at the federal level. In October 2015 he said that he did not consider a “trusting cooperation” with the new chairman of the Left Bundestag faction, Sahra Wagenknecht, to be possible and saw the party divided into “pragmatists” and “irrational ones”.

Time and again, Kahrs has spoken out in favor of a complete move of the federal government to Berlin (see Berlin / Bonn law ) in order to enable efficient governance.

Kahrs campaigned for Hamburg to be the venue for the 2024 Summer Olympics and had secured advance funding of 30 million euros from the federal government in the Bundestag budget committee in 2015, as he saw the application as a “national task”. In addition, Kahrs campaigned for the interests of interest groups that play a major role in his constituency, such as the German Customs and Finance Union .


Telephone harassment litigation

In 1992, Kahrs faced his internal party competitor Silke Dose (member of the Hamburg Juso board) in court. Can had ad reimbursed because they had been harassed by anonymous late-night phone calls. During these phone calls, according to her, a caller had partly hung up, partly remained silent for a long time and partly threatened (“I'll get you, you bitch”). At a later requested grabber two night calls were registered by Kahrs. Kahrs stated that he only called Dose these two times, so the alleged threat did not come from him. Because of the upcoming “Juso election in Hamm ” he was “interested” in finding out Dose's “actual place of residence”. The criminal proceedings against Kahrs, in which Ole von Beust represented him, ended with a settlement in which Kahrs apologized, paid the court costs and paid 800 DM. After the trial, in August 1992 over 50 Hamburg Social Democrats around the left wing Jörg Kuhbier , Angelika Mertens and Hans-Günter Mertens asked him to resign from his political offices.

Donations from the arms industry

In the 2005 Bundestag election campaign , according to the Frankfurter Rundschau, a total of more than 60,000 euros in donations from the arms industry flowed to Kahrs' SPD district association Hamburg-Mitte; including donations below the publication limit of 10,000 euros from the arms companies Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann , which Transparency International criticized among others . After the general election in 2005, Kahrs joined the budget committee and became the SPD rapporteur for the defense budget. As a result, the project approach for the Puma infantry fighting vehicle , manufactured among other things by the donating armaments company, was increased from two to three billion euros. In December 2009, Der Spiegel reported that, as a member of the budget committee, Kahrs had shown “great interest” in “delaying the 'Eagle IV' decision” and that it was linked to the donations made by German tank builders to Kahrs' district association. The Eagle IV is an armored military vehicle from a Swiss manufacturer, which was considered to be procured because no equivalent vehicle from a German armaments company was available without delay. Kahrs was the only SPD politician who on July 8, 2011 voted against the application No approval for the delivery of war weapons to Saudi Arabia .

Malte Lühmann from the Militarization Information Center sees Kahrs as an "obvious conflict of interest" in armaments issues, which is a cause of criticism even in his own parliamentary group.

Donations from the Warburg Bank

In February 2020, the NDR reported on the diary entries of the banker Christian Olearius , according to which Kahrs wanted to “get a perspective ” in Berlin after a conversation with Olearius in December 2017 on tax reclaims for cum-ex transactions against MMWarburg & CO . Kahrs denied having had such a conversation. The Hamburger Abendblatt then reported that the SPD district association Hamburg-Mitte, led by Kahrs, received donations of 38,000 euros from the Warburg Bank in the same year.

Disregard as military commissioner and resignation from all offices

In 2020, Kahr's ambitions to become the defense commissioner of the German Bundestag and thus successor to Hans-Peter Bartels (SPD), whom he prevented from running again. Previously, as a budget politician, he had already managed to increase the office of the Commissioner for Defense by four new posts. However, instead of Kahrs, the top SPD parliamentary group proposed Eva Högl as his successor. Shortly thereafter, on May 5, 2020, Kahrs resigned from his Bundestag mandate and all political offices. Dorothee Martin moved up for him .

Further memberships

Kahrs is chairman of the Kurt-Schumacher-Gesellschaft , the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold and the helpers' association of the technical relief organization in Hamburg. It belongs to the Arbeiterwohlfahrt , the German Aid Community , the SC Hamm 02 , the Scouting Association Nordmark , the Association of Reservists of the German Armed Forces , the FC St. Pauli , the SC Vorwärts-Wacker 04 , the St. Georg citizens' association from 1880 , the Germans Atlantic Society (as treasurer), the German-Israeli Society , the European Union parliamentary group of the German Bundestag , the legal aid police e. V., the German National Committee for Monument Protection , the trade union ver.di , the non-defeating Christian student association Hamburger Wingolf , the Lassalle-Kreis and as deputy chairman of the Froebel group . In February 2002 Kahrs was elected honorary member of the Young European Federalists Hamburg . As a member of the advisory board for Youth Against AIDS , Johannes Kahrs supports an initiative for awareness-raising and prevention work initiated and led by young people.

Kahrs is a member of the Presidium of the German Army Support Group , which he had not reported to the Bundestag until 2009. He is also a member of the Presidium of the German Society for Defense Technology .

honors and awards

  • In 2015, Kahrs was made honorary captain of the Hamburg museum ship Rickmer Rickmers .


  • Ed. (With Sandra Viehbeck): In the middle of the party. Foundation, history and work of the Seeheimer Kreis. Seeheimer eV, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-00-016396-4 . (PDF).
  • The need for a targeted immigration policy. In: Garrelt Duin , Petra Ernstberger , Johannes Kahrs (Ed.): Right in the middle: future designs for an aging society. Rotation, Berlin 2011, pp. 51–58.

Web links

Commons : Johannes Kahrs  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Homepage Johannes Kahrs.
  2. Johannes Kahrs resigns from all offices and Bundestag mandate - DER SPIEGEL - Politics. Spiegel Online , accessed on May 5, 2020 .
  3. Sebastian Pfeffer, Julia Korbik: SPD: What is political stance, Mr. Kahrs? "Always in there with hurray". In: The European . January 28, 2015.
  4. a b biography at the German Bundestag .
  5. ^ Markus Wehner: SPD Hamburg: The Johannes Kahrs system . In: FAZ.NET . ISSN  0174-4909 ( [accessed September 19, 2018]).
  6. ^ Wingolf sheets. Issue 3, 2017, ISSN  1432-4776 ; SPD: Fraternity members should stay outside. In: Spiegel Online , November 16, 2005; SPD and fraternities: "Influence of old men up to the party executive". In: Spiegel Online , January 17, 2006.
  7. Johannes Kahrs marries his partner , from September 29, 2018, accessed on September 29, 2018
  8. ^ German Bundestag - MPs. Retrieved July 22, 2020 .
  9. Johannes Kahrs: Could Helmut Schmidt still be Chancellor today? In: , December 31, 2008; Sebastian Pfeffer, Julia Korbik: SPD: What is political stance, Mr Kahrs? "Always in there with hurray". In: The European . January 28, 2015.
  10. District Board. In:
  11. State Executive Committee of the SPD Hamburg elected for the next two years ( Memento from February 8, 2015 in the Internet Archive ). In: SPD Hamburg , June 23, 2014.
  12. Jump up wings in the SPD. In: Die Tageszeitung , November 2, 2005.
  13. Florian Gathmann: Leftists are calling for the “Seeheimer” boss Kahrs to withdraw. In: Spiegel Online , November 17, 2008.
  14. ^ Markus Wehner : The Johannes Kahr system. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , April 19, 2009; Markus Schreiber's rescue package is called Kahrs. In: Hamburger Abendblatt , February 4, 2012; Christoph Twickel, Matthias Rebaschus: House of Kahrs. In: Die Zeit , January 8, 2015.
  15. ^ Sven-Michael Veit: Resignation in Hamburg: decline after methadont death. In: Die Tageszeitung , February 10, 2012.
  16. ^ Tiemo Rink: Wing beatings for Johannes Kahrs. In: , November 19, 2008.
  17. a b Markus Wehner : The Johannes Kahrs system. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , April 19, 2009.
  18. ^ A b Peter Ulrich Meyer: Hamburger SPD: How Johannes Kahrs wants to secure his re-election. In: Hamburger Abendblatt , June 11, 2016.
  19. Geli Tangermann: Feldstrasse Bunker: Is the roof garden on the bunker threatened? In: Die Welt , June 13, 2016.
  20. ↑ On this report on the methadone death by Chantal: A long list of failures. In: Die Tageszeitung , June 20, 2012.
  21. a b Study Commission Internet and Digital Society. In: , accessed on October 11, 2012; Committee members ( memento of September 28, 2017 in the Internet Archive ). In: .
  22. Boards of the parliamentary groups in the 17th electoral term. ( Memento from November 2, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) In: .
  23. Boards of the parliamentary groups in the 18th electoral term. ( Memento from August 4, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) In: ; Johannes Kahrs. In: .
  24. Hamburg's SPD elects Özoguz as the top candidate. In: , December 10, 2016.
  25. ^ Hans Monath, Stephan Haselberger: Clear the way for Andrea Nahles as parliamentary group leader. In: Der Tagesspiegel , September 26, 2017.
  26. DER SPIEGEL: Johannes Kahrs resigns from all offices and parliamentary mandate - DER SPIEGEL - politics. Retrieved May 5, 2020 .
  27. n-tv NEWS: Kahrs quits and gives up all offices. Retrieved May 5, 2020 .
  28. Jens Meyer-Odewald: Encounters: Politics around the clock - out of passion. In: Hamburger Abendblatt , August 29, 2015; Leif Neugebohrn: Interview with Johannes Kahrs. In: Workshop persuasion , March 8, 2016.
  29. Hendrik Lehmann: SPD candidate Johannes Kahrs: "If you criticize the AfD on Twitter, you are flooded with hatred". In: Der Tagesspiegel , September 23, 2017.
  30. ^ Dietmar Neuerer: Johannes Kahrs: The anti-Schäuble. In: Handelsblatt Online , January 17, 2014.
  31. Manuel Bewarder , Karsten Kammholz: SPD politician Kahrs: “I want to be treated like a hetero”. In: Die Welt , October 20, 2014.
  32. Jochen Gaugele, Olaf Gersemann, Martin Greive, Karsten Kammholz: Kalte Progression. Now Schäuble is really under pressure. In: Die Welt , May 10, 2015.
  33. Peter Kapern in conversation with Johannes Kahrs: Greece: “Reality will catch up with the government”. In: Deutschlandfunk . February 2, 2015.
  34. Tim Braune: Analysis: Anger and bewilderment in Berlin ( Memento from September 24, 2015 in the Internet Archive ). In: Ruhr-Nachrichten , June 28, 2015.
  35. Martin Greive, Karsten Kammholz: Greece crisis: SPD man calls Varoufakis "political aberrations". In: Die Welt , June 14, 2015.
  36. Thorsten Jungholt, Thomas Sebastian Vitzthum: Coalition to Grexit: "Humanitarian aid could come to us". In: Die Welt , June 28, 2015.
  37. SPD politician for civil gay marriage - Kahrs pushes for equality. In: n-tv .de , July 30, 2011; Manuel Bewarder , Karsten Kammholz: SPD politician Kahrs: “I want to be treated like a straight person”. In: Die Welt , October 20, 2014; Jens Schneider: Bundestag: battles for gay marriage. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , June 11, 2015.
  38. Marriage for all: breach of coalition! Confetti rain! In: Spiegel Online , June 30, 2017.
  39. Dietmar Neuerer: SPD tears up Merkel's Turkey policy - the EU is not a Christian club. In: Handelsblatt Online , June 12, 2013.
  40. Andreas Dey, Peter Ulrich Meyer: Hamburg: "Perhaps nature conservation must give way to housing". In: Hamburger Abendblatt , October 14, 2015.
  41. ^ Christian Tretbar: After appearing at Anne Will. The new fans of Angela Merkel. In: Der Tagesspiegel , October 8, 2015.
  42. ^ Wagenknecht criticizes Gabriel-SPD. In: Neues Deutschland , October 14, 2015.
  43. Among other things: stern: SPD MP Kahrs wants to quickly bring the six ministries that have remained in Bonn to Berlin. In: Presseportal .com , August 30, 2000; Hasnain Kazim: New capital city debate: 500 years commute over 500 kilometers. In: Spiegel Online , September 4, 2006; Bonn / Berlin law: The bond with the old Bonn is noticeably decreasing. In: Hamburger Abendblatt . 4th August 2014.
  44. Robert Kempe: Olympia 2024. 30 million euros for the Hamburg Olympic application. In: Deutschlandfunk , May 21, 2015. See also Philipp Woldin, Jana Werner: The poker for the Olympics has begun. In: Die Welt , October 14, 2015.
  45. ^ Constructive exchange of views with the SPD budget politician Johannes Kahrs. In: , German Customs and Finance Union , May 13, 2016.
  46. ^ A b Marco Carini : Candidate with a past. In: Die Tageszeitung , December 1, 1995, online on a private website.
  47. Kahrs' depiction in Parliamentary Watch .
  48. A woman strikes back. ( Memento from July 31, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) In: Hamburger Morgenpost , September 4, 1998.
  49. Party donations: In Kahrs' subdistrict, the arms industry is generous. In: Frankfurter Rundschau , October 13, 2006.
  50. Jens Meyer-Wellmann: Armaments company donates to Kahrs. In: Hamburger Abendblatt , June 14, 2006, p. 12 (PDF) .
  51. ^ Vortex over donations from armaments companies for the SPD center. In: Die Welt , September 21, 2006.
  52. Ulrike Winkelmann: Berlin's political city guide: Tell me where the lobbies are…. In: Die Tageszeitung , December 17, 2008; Otto Köhler : In the second link: Beck's departure. How Johannes Kahrs accompanied the end of the SPD chairman. In: Friday , September 19, 2008.
  53. Ulrike Demmer, John Goetz, Andreas Wassermann: Lobbyists: Screw loose . In: Der Spiegel . No. 50 , 2009, p. 43-44 ( Online - Dec. 7, 2009 ).
  54. No authorization for the delivery of war weapons to Saudi Arabia. BT-Drs. 17/6529 , July 8, 2011 (PDF); Roll-call votes: No authorization to deliver war weapons to Saudi Arabia. In: , July 8, 2011.
  55. Malte Lühmann: Networks of (military) power. Interrelationships between the arms industry and politics in Germany and the EU. In: IMI analyzes. Volume 14, 2013, pp. 26–28, here p. 27 (online March 18, 2014).
  56. Cum Ex: Hamburg waived 47 million from Warburg Bank NDR, February 13, 2020
  57. Donation from the Warburg Bank brings the SPD into need of explanations Tagesspiegel, February 18, 2020
  58. Dispute over the office of the Armed Forces Commissioner: SPD politician Kahrs resigns offices and mandate , Welt, May 5, 2020.
  59. Dorothee Martin: This woman from Hamburg replaces Johannes Kahrs in Berlin , Hamburger Morgenpost May 7, 2020, accessed May 7, 2020
  60. ^ Federal chairman since 1968. In: .
  61. German Atlantic Society e. V.
  62. ^ Extract of all resolutions and elections from the register of associations in file 69 VR 5904 (JEF Hamburg e.V.) at the Hamburg registry court.
  63. Advisory Board. In: Jugend gegen AIDS , accessed on July 9, 2016.
  64. ^ Members of parliament hid contacts to the arms lobby. In: Handelsblatt Online , August 6, 2009.
  65. German Society for Defense Technology e. V.
  66. Award for Hamburg member of the Bundestag - Johannes Kahrs receives the Maltese Order of Merit. ( Memento from April 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Press release from the Hamburg Maltese. September 13, 2010; Personal details. In: Malteser eNews No. 8, April 20, 2016.
  67. Markus Decker: Federal Cross of Merit: Flood of orders floods factions. In: Mitteldeutsche Zeitung , December 14, 2010; A medal as a laughing stock. In: Hamburger Morgenpost , December 16, 2010; Claudia Lepping: Award according to the party book. The cross with the medals. In: Welzheimer Zeitung , January 16, 2011.
  68. Axel Tiedemann: Museum ship: Why two members of the Bundestag are now captains. In: Hamburger Abendblatt , October 9, 2015.