Markus Meckel

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Markus Meckel, 2007

Markus Meckel (born August 18, 1952 in Müncheberg , Brandenburg ) is a German politician ( SPD ) and former member of the German Bundestag . After the first free election on March 18, 1990 , he was Foreign Minister of the GDR in the grand coalition from April 12 to August 20, 1990 . From October 12, 2013 to September 22, 2016 he was President of the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e. V.


education and profession

In 1969, Meckel had to leave the 2nd Extended Oberschule (EOS) in Berlin-Mitte, the former Gray Monastery , for political reasons and switched to the church college in Potsdam-Hermannswerder , where he graduated from high school in 1971 . In 1970, he refused military service in the NVA total . He then studied theology at church colleges that were independent from the state until 1978 : at the Catechetical College in Naumburg (Saale) and at the Language Convict in Berlin. From 1980 to 1982 he was vicar and from 1982 to 1988 pastor in Vipperow ( Röbel / Müritz district ). From 1988 to 1990 he headed the ecumenical meeting and educational center in Niederndodeleben near Magdeburg . In 1988/1989, Meckel was a delegate of the Ecumenical Assembly in the GDR and the European Ecumenical Assembly in Basel .


Markus Meckel is married to Petra Jürgens and has six children.

Political party

Since the 1970s, Meckel was involved in the GDR opposition . In October 1989 he initiated the founding of the Social Democratic Party of the GDR (SDP) together with Martin Gutzeit , and he was elected its second spokesman on October 7, 1989, when it was founded. From February 23, 1990 until the unification party congress with the West German SPD on September 27, 1990, he was deputy party chairman of the East German SPD. In addition, after the resignation of Ibrahim Böhme from March 26 to June 10, 1990, he was the chairman of the Eastern SPD.


From March 18 to October 2, 1990, Meckel was a member of the GDR's first freely elected People's Chamber . From 1990 to 2009 Markus Meckel was a member of the German Bundestag as a directly elected member of his constituency Uckermark - Barnim I in the north of Brandenburg.

From 1992 to 1994 he was spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group in that it initiates inquiry commission processing of history and consequences of the SED - dictatorship in Germany from 1994 to 1998 Spokesman of the SPD faction in the Commission of Inquiry overcoming the consequences of the SED -Dictatorship in the process of German unity .

In the Bundestag, Meckel's political priorities were foreign and security policy, European policy, relations with the EU's eastern neighbors and dealing with history. Meckel was a full member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and from 2001 to 2009 deputy foreign policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group; Deputy member of the Committee for Culture and Media and deputy member of the EU Committee. From 1994 to 2009 he was chairman of the German-Polish parliamentary group. Since 1991 he has also been a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly . From 1998 to 2006 he was head of the German delegation. From November 2000 to November 2002 he was Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO and from 2004 to 2008 Chairman of the Political Affairs Committee. In the last few years in the Bundestag he was also a member of the “Parliamentary Ring” of the Volksbund .

Public offices

After the first free election in the GDR, he led the coalition negotiations between the SPD and the CDU with Richard Schröder . On April 12, 1990, he became Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Grand Coalition. During his tenure as Foreign Minister, he was together with Hans-Dietrich Genscher one of the representatives of the two German states in the two-plus-four talks with the victorious powers of the Second World War . These talks paved the way for German unity . When the grand coalition in the GDR broke up, Meckel resigned on August 20, 1990 together with the other social democratic ministers.

Meckel is the council chairman of the federal foundation he initiated to come to terms with the SED dictatorship and was also a member of the advisory council of the BStU until 2013 . He is co-chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for German-Polish Cooperation (SdpZ) as well as a board member of the German-Moldovan Forum and of the Association for the Promotion of the “Cold War Center” at Checkpoint Charlie . He is also committed to promoting democracy, is a member of the International Board of the International Center for Democratic Transition (ICDT) and was a member of the Board of Directors of the European Partnership for Democracy Foundation until 2012. He is a member of the board of trustees of the “ European Network of Remembrance and Solidarity ” based in Warsaw. Meckel is a member of the Board of Directors of the Global Panel Foundation .

Meckel in his time as President of the Volksbund with his predecessor Reinhard Führer

German War Graves Commission

On October 12, 2013 he was elected President of the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge eV . "It is important to me that we remember the victims of war and violence from a European perspective," said Markus Meckel. Meckel tried to establish the Volksbund as an important actor in the national and European culture of remembrance and to secure its future through structural reforms. He developed this perspective in a memorandum. In an intensive process, a mission statement was developed that led to much controversy. The clear statement on the assessment of the Second World War led to intense disputes that ended with his resignation on September 22, 2016. "I see no chance for the reform I am striving for in the Volksbund and therefore resign", Meckel justified this step. In the summer of 2016, the press reported on a long-running dispute in the management bodies about the future direction of the Volksbund.


Lasse Lehtinen , Markus Meckel (Tallinn, 2012)

The German Society for Foreign Policy (DGAP) named him a Senior Associate Fellow .


  • Self-confident in German unity - retrospectives and reflections. Verlag Arno Spitz, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-8305-0151-X .
  • with Martin Gutzeit (ed.): Opposition in the GDR - Ten Years of Church Peace Work. Bund Verlag, Cologne 1994.
  • "How I experienced November 9, 1989". In: Petra Heß , Christoph Kloft (ed.): The fall of the wall. 20 years later ... Rhein-Mosel-Verlag, Zell / Mosel 2009.
  • “Christ set us free to be free”. In: Arnd Brummer (Ed.): From prayer to demo. 1989 - The Peaceful Revolution began in the churches. edition chrismon, 2009.
  • Ehrhart Neubert : Our revolution. The history of the years 1989/90 . With a foreword by Markus Meckel and Rainer Eppelmann. Piper Verlag, Munich 2008.
  • Ilko-Sascha Kowalczuk : Endgame. The 1989 revolution in the GDR. Beck-Verlag, Munich 2009.
  • Security and risk . In: Christoph Kleßmann (Hrsg.): Children of the opposition - reports from rectories in the GDR . Gütersloh 1993, pp. 95-108.
  • The pastor . In: Sandra Pingel-Schliemann, The State Commissioner for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania for the documents of the State Security Service of the former GDR (ed.): Paths of life ... in the shadow of the State Security Service ., Schwerin 2008, ISBN 978-3-933255-27-3 , p. 137-157.
  • With Rainer Eppelmann and Robert Grünbaum : The whole of Germany. Reports on unity. Structure paperback, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-7466-7050-0 .
  • With others: the party was always right - coming to terms with the history and consequences of the SED dictatorship. Klartext-Verlag, Essen 1994.
  • Markus Merkel: Speech on 50 years of the EKD's Ostdenkschrift in 1965; Warsaw 2015
  • To change the times: memories. Evangelische Verlagsanstalt , Leipzig 2020. ISBN 978-3374063550



  • Parish book of the ecclesiastical province of Saxony . Volume 6: Leipzig 2007, p. 11.
  • Ehrhart Neubert : History of the opposition in the GDR 1949–1989 . Bonn 1997.

Web links

Commons : Markus Meckel  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b VDK press release of October 12, 2013
  2. ^ In the shadow of the cathedral: Theological training in Naumburg 1949–1994. Ev. Publishing house, Leipzig 2012, ISBN 978-3-374-03048-4 .
  3. Stephen Brown: From dissatisfaction to contradiction: The conciliar process for justice, peace and the integrity of creation as a pioneer of the peaceful revolution in the GDR. Lembeck, Frankfurt am Main 2010, ISBN 978-3-87476-619-7 .
  4. Markus Meckel, Steffen Reiche (ed.): Nothing has to stay as it is. Thoughts on founding the East SPD. Forward book publisher, 2010, ISBN 978-3-86602-480-9 .
  5. Materials from the Enquete Commission 'Processing the History and Consequences of the SED Dictatorship in Germany', Suhrkamp-Verlag, 1995, ISBN 3-518-09162-X .
  6. Board of Directors ( Memento from September 20, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  7. Markus Meckel: PAPER ON THE REFORM PROCESS OF THE PEOPLE'S BUND (PDF) Zukunft-der-kriegsgräberfü March 20, 2016. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  8. ^ Conflict in the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge - Markus Meckel resigned. Retrieved on March 2, 2018 (German).
  9. Markus Merkel: Speech on 50 years of the EKD's Ostdenkschrift in 1965; Warsaw 2015 [1]