Matthias Platzeck

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Matthias Platzeck (2007)

Matthias Platzeck (born December 29, 1953 in Potsdam ) is a German politician . He has been chairman of the German-Russian Forum since 2014 . In the final phase of the GDR he campaigned as an environmental hygienist with the Green League for environmental protection , before he was accepted into the Modrow government in 1990 as an independent representative of the Green Party in the GDR and then elected to the free and final Volkskammer , where he was elected belonged to the two-party parliamentary group Alliance 90 / Greens.

After German reunification , Platzeck joined the bourgeois party Bündnis 90 and became Environment Minister of the State of Brandenburg from November 1990 to November 1998 in Manfred Stolpe's coalition government . After his rejection of the merger of Alliance 90 and the Green Party in 1993, he was co-founder of the Citizens Alliance free voters and first again no party before he as a minister in a SPD entered -Alleinregierung 1995 in the SPD.

From November 1998 to June 2002, Platzeck was Lord Mayor of Potsdam. On June 26, 2002 he was elected Prime Minister of Brandenburg to succeed Manfred Stolpe . He had been the state chairman of the SPD Brandenburg since July 2000 . From November 15, 2005 to April 10, 2006 he was also federal chairman of the SPD. After two re-elections in 2004 and 2009, Platzeck resigned as SPD state chairman on August 26, 2013 and as prime minister on August 28, 2013 for health reasons.



Platzeck is the son of a doctor and a medical-technical assistant . He married Ute Bankwitz in 1978 and divorced her in 1984. The marriage resulted in three daughters, including a pair of twins. The children grew up at the age of four or six with the single mother, who has been using her maiden name again since 2005.

In 2007, Platzeck married Jeanette Jesorka, who was ten years his junior and with whom he has lived since 2005.

education and profession

After the general school in Potsdam from 1960 to 1966, he attended the extended special high school in Kleinmachnow (today: Weinberg-Gymnasium ) from the 7th grade onwards . After graduating from high school in 1972, he did his basic military service in the NVA . In 1974 he began studying at the Technical and Biomedical Cybernetics Section of the Technical University of Ilmenau , which he completed in 1979 as a graduate engineer for biomedical cybernetics .

In 1979/1980, Platzeck was a research assistant at the district hygiene institute Karl-Marx-Stadt , air hygiene department, and in 1980 he became director of economics and technology (material supply) in the Bad Freienwalde district hospital (Oder) . From 1982 to 1990 he was head of the environmental hygiene department at the Potsdam Hygiene Inspection. From 1982 to 1987 he completed part-time courses on environmental hygiene at the Academy for Medical Training in Berlin .

Political career

Political party

Matthias Platzeck (1990)

Platzeck began his political commitment in 1988 when he became a founding member of the Potsdam citizens' initiative “Working Group for Environmental Protection and Urban Design (ARGUS)” in April . In May 1989 he joined the LDPD , but left it again after a short time. In November 1989 ARGUS was one of the founding members of the Green League , an umbrella organization of environmental groups; Platzeck was sent to the Federal Spokesman's Council of the Green League and from December 1989 to February 1990 he was one of its representatives at the Central Round Table of the GDR in Berlin. From February to April 1990 he was Minister without Portfolio for the Green Party in the GDR in the cabinet of Prime Minister Hans Modrow ( SED ). The Green League sent Klaus Schlueter to the Modrow government.

In 1993 he pleaded as a member of the Brandenburg state association of the Bündnis 90 party in the discussion about the intended merger with the Greens against them. Together with Günter Nooke , among others , he was unable to assert himself and the group then founded - also in 1993 and in contrast to the merger - the Citizens' Alliance - with Günter Nooke, Matthias Platzeck and Wolfgang Pohl at the top.

On June 6, 1995, Platzeck joined the SPD and was elected to the state executive committee of Brandenburg in June 1998 and to the federal executive committee of the SPD on December 8, 1999. From July 8, 2000 to August 26, 2013 he was state chairman of the SPD in Brandenburg.

Matthias Platzeck at the federal party conference in Karlsruhe (2005)

Because the SPD federal chairman, Franz Müntefering, decided not to run again on October 31, 2005, Matthias Platzeck declared himself ready to run after a crisis meeting of the party executive on November 1, 2005. On November 15, 2005, out of 515 valid votes cast, 512 votes in favor, two against and with one abstention, i.e. 99.4% of the votes, he was elected federal chairman by the federal party conference in Karlsruhe. Only Kurt Schumacher achieved a better result before him (244 of 245 votes).

From June 20, 2005 to December 8, 2005 Matthias Platzeck was also chairman of the Forum Ostdeutschland der Sozialdemokratie e. V.

At the turn of the year 2005/2006, Platzeck suffered his first sudden hearing loss , followed by a nervous and circulatory collapse on February 11, 2006 . On March 29, 2006, a second sudden hearing loss followed, in which Platzeck suffered "considerable hearing loss". He had to seek long medical treatment. On April 10, 2006, Platzeck resigned from the office of federal party chairman for health reasons. The office of party chairman of the SPD was initially taken over by his deputy, Kurt Beck , who was then elected chairman of the SPD at the party conference on May 14, 2006.


In March 1990, Platzeck became a member of the GDR's first freely elected People's Chamber as a non-party on the list of the Green Party in the GDR . There he was parliamentary manager of the Bündnis 90 / Greens parliamentary group . From the reunification on October 3, 1990 until the meeting of the first all-German Bundestag in December 1990, he was one of the 144 delegates delegated by the Volkskammer as a member of the Bundestag .

Matthias Platzeck giving a speech (March 2007)

In October 1990, Platzeck was elected to the Brandenburg state parliament via the state list of Bündnis 90 . Even after resigning his state parliament mandate in favor of a successor in September 1992, he retained the right to vote in the Bündnis 90 parliamentary group until the coalition with the SPD and FDP broke on March 22, 1994. The Alliance 90 list was converted into a party in 1991 with a federal council of spokesmen Platzeck was a member until 1993. Since he rejected the merger of Bündnis 90 with the Greens party in 1993, he did not join the new Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen party .

Platzeck did not run again until 2004 as a member of the SPD for the state parliament of Brandenburg. He won the direct mandate in his constituency of Potsdam II , which he repeated in the constituency of Uckermark I in 2009 . He announced that he would no longer run in the 2014 state elections for health reasons.

With the constitution of the state parliament , which was elected on September 14, 2014 , Platzeck left the state parliament.

State Minister

On November 22, 1990, Manfred Stolpe, as Prime Minister of a coalition of the SPD, FDP and Alliance 90, appointed Platzeck to be Minister for the Environment , Nature Conservation and Regional Planning . Only after leaving the Bündnis 90 parliamentary group as a result of the conflict with parliamentary group chairman Günter Nooke about Prime Minister Stolpe's contacts with the Stasi did he retain his ministerial office in 1994. After the state elections in 1994, Prime Minister Stolpe reappointed the non-party as Environment Minister in the SPD's sole government. Platzeck played a major role in the conversion of 40% of the state of Brandenburg into nature and landscape protection areas as well as the creation of the German-Polish National Park Lower Oder Valley , which was inaugurated in September 1995 . He became known nationwide through numerous television appearances during the Oder floods in the summer of 1997. Journalists and former flood helpers since then call him often reeve (following the reeve in the novella Der Schimmelreiter by Theodor Storm ).

As a representative of Brandenburg, he was a member of the Federal Council from November 27, 1991 to October 12, 1994 and then a deputy member until November 4, 1998 .

Lord Mayor of Potsdam

In May 1998 the Lord Mayor of Potsdam, was Horst Gramlich (SPD), as part of a corruption affair surrounding for Construction Detlef Kaminski for a citizens' initiative by a referendum deselected. In order to prevent a PDS candidate from prevailing, the SPD placed Platzeck as a candidate for the successor. In this context, Platzeck turned down an offered place in the shadow cabinet of the SPD chancellor candidate Gerhard Schröders . Platzeck won the election on September 27, 1998 in the first ballot with 63.5 percent of the votes cast. He resigned his ministerial office on November 3rd and was Lord Mayor of Potsdam from November 4th 1998 to June 26th 2002 .

Prime Minister

Platzeck laying the foundation stone for the Niederfinow Nord ship lift on March 23, 2009

After the resignation of Prime Minister Stolpe, Platzeck was elected Prime Minister of Brandenburg on June 26, 2002. He also acted as a crisis manager during the Elbe floods in summer 2002 , which further increased his popularity. The SPD-CDU coalition government led by Platzeck and Jörg Schönbohm ( CDU ) had to struggle with the heavy indebtedness of the state of Brandenburg and a stagnating or declining economic development.

On November 1, 2003, he first became the second vice-president, and from November 1, 2004 to October 31, 2005, he was appointed President of the Federal Council for one year .

In the state election on September 19, 2004 , he won the direct mandate in his constituency and was again a member of the Brandenburg state parliament. Despite losses of 7.4 percentage points, the SPD remained the strongest force in the state parliament, so that Platzeck was re-elected as prime minister of an SPD-CDU coalition.

After the state elections on September 27, 2009 , Platzeck formed a coalition with the left . On November 6, 2009 he was confirmed in the office of Prime Minister by the Brandenburg state parliament.

On June 27, 2013, ten days after a stroke , Platzeck went back to work. On July 29, 2013, he announced his resignation from all political offices for health reasons on August 28, 2013. He proposed State Interior Minister Dietmar Woidke as his successor.

Further commitment

Matthias Platzeck, Jens Bullerjahn and Holger Hövelmann in Halle (2006)

Platzeck had been a member of the ZDF Board of Directors since July 4, 2007 , as a representative of the federal states.

Since October 21, 2003 he was one of four representatives of the state of Brandenburg on the supervisory board of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH . On January 16, 2013, Platzeck was elected as the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the airport company, succeeding Berlin's Governing Mayor Klaus Wowereit . Previously, he had put the vote of confidence in the Brandenburg state parliament for this management task and decided it for himself with 55 votes from 87 MPs present. The red-red government coalition spoke out in favor of Platzeck, who, according to his own statements, had linked his political fate to the success of the airport. It was the first time that a Brandenburg Prime Minister asked the vote of confidence in the state parliament. In August 2013, Platzeck left the Supervisory Board.

According to the Brandenburg Ministerial and Officials Act, Platzeck, as a politician, is not liable for errors in his function as a supervisory board.

Matthias Platzeck was the chairman of the German-Russian friendship group in the Federal Council from 2010 to 2013.

On March 19, 2014, after a successful candidacy and unanimous election at the general assembly, Platzeck took over the chairmanship of the German-Russian Forum e. V. He succeeded the previous chairman Ambassador a. D. Ernst-Jörg von Studnitz , who gave up his post after more than 10 years of work due to age. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported on November 22, 2014 on a key issues paper supported by the Chancellery and the Foreign Office. It demands that the St. Petersburg Dialogue “must also provide space for critical discussion of Russian politics”. The connection to the German-Russian Forum is to be terminated, as there are large personal overlaps in both bodies: the Eastern Committee of German Business is well represented. As part of the reform, the former Brandenburg Prime Minister Matthias Platzeck is to lose influence in the forum. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) “wrested” this concession from Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) on November 19, 2014. This was preceded by a statement by Platzeck on November 18, 2014, that Russia and Kiev should "legalize" the annexation of Crimea under international law: "The annexation of Crimea must be retrospectively regulated under international law so that it is acceptable to everyone." Based on the reactions, Platzeck repeated his Utterance without using the term "legalize". Matthias Platzeck was also criticized for calling for a policy of understanding with Moscow that ignored Ukraine, and for drawing a parallel between the stationing of the Bundeswehr in Lithuania and Hitler's campaign in the east.


The formation of the coalition with the Left in Brandenburg sparked heated public and intra-party discussions. The main point of criticism was that the coalition partner's leading politicians were former Stasi employees. In an essay for the news magazine Der Spiegel , Platzeck compared the - from his point of view necessary - reconciliation with those responsible in the GDR with the reconciliation between Kurt Schumacher and former members of the Waffen SS after the Second World War. An interview statement by Platzeck, in which he described the GDR's accession to the Federal Republic in analogy to Austria in 1938 as an “Anschluss”, also caused criticism .

Climate protectors and those committed to the environment criticize that Platzeck has strayed far from his original environmental and development policy positions, especially through his commitment to the climate-damaging lignite-based power generation .

Platzeck's position on the Russian annexation of Crimea was criticized by Andreas Heinemann-Grüder as approving and as a linguistic, normative and strategic trivialization of the military power of Russia.


See also


  • Matthias Platzeck: The future needs a past. German questions, East German answers. Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-455-50114-8 .
  • Matthias Platzeck: We need a new Ostpolitik: Russia as a partner . Propylaea Verlag 2020. ISBN 978-3-549-10014-1 .


Web links

Commons : Matthias Platzeck  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. Markus C. Hurek: The Deichgraf and the women. In: Cicero Online. November 23, 2005, accessed June 17, 2012 .
  2. Platzeck for a short time in the LDPD
  3. Jan Brunzlow: Vision and illusion of the responsible citizen . Potsdam Latest News, May 8, 2008
  4. In two weeks it should be clear whether Dreher works. In: Retrieved December 11, 2014 .
  5. ^ Constanze von Bullion: SPD: Matthias Platzeck suffers a stroke. In: June 25, 2013, accessed December 1, 2014 .
  6. Matthias Platzeck resigns - Woidke becomes his successor. In: July 29, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2017 .
  7. ^ The members of the ZDF Board of Directors
  8. Daniel Delhaes, Silke Kersting: The advice of the clueless . In: Handelsblatt . January 10, 2013, p. 46 .
  9. rtr: Platzeck unanimously elected BER chief controller. In: January 16, 2013, accessed December 11, 2014 .
  10. Platzeck wins a vote of confidence . In: Die Welt , January 15, 2013
  11. Who will inherit Matthias Platzeck? In: Zeit Online . July 31, 2013, accessed April 21, 2017 .
  12. H. Anger, D. Delhaes, FM Drost, D. Fockenbrock, F. Gartmann, M. Murphy: Loss of control of the controllers . In: Handelsblatt . January 8, 2013, p. 1, 4 .
  13. Press release No. 02/2014, baton handover in the German-Russian Forum e. V. - Platzeck takes over as chairman of the board . ( Memento from March 23, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 42 kB) The German-Russian Forum e. V., March 19, 2014; accessed on March 23, 2014.
  14. Bund für Wechsel at the head of the Petersburg Dialogue. In: November 22, 2014, accessed December 11, 2014 .
  15. Merkel boots out of Platzeck. In: Spiegel Online. November 22, 2014, accessed December 11, 2014 .
  16. Platzeck: Retrospectively legalize the annexation of Crimea. In: November 18, 2014, accessed December 11, 2014 .
  17. ( Memento from December 25, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  18. Platzeck warns against demonization and war of monologues. In: November 23, 2014, accessed December 11, 2014 .
  19. platzeck-errt-russia-brandts-ostpolitik. Forward, February 24, 2017; Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  20. ^ Brandenburg: Further criticism of red-red. In: Focus Online. November 17, 2009, accessed December 11, 2014 .
  21. Platzeck re-elected head of government. In: Spiegel Online. November 6, 2009, accessed December 11, 2014 .
  22. Take reconciliation seriously . In: Der Spiegel . No. 45 , 2009 ( online ).
  23. Matthias Platzeck causes irritation with his historical thesis on the integration of the left . ( Memento from November 5, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Märkische Allgemeine, November 1, 2009
  24. Stefan Berg, Frank Hornig: I demand respect . In: Der Spiegel . No. 35 , 2010 ( online - Aug. 30, 2010 ).
  25. dho / AFP: Trouble with Matthias Platzeck: "Anschluss" statement triggers outrage. In: August 31, 2010, accessed December 14, 2014 .
  26. Martin Reeh: Platzeck: Lobbying for brown coal . , May 20, 2011, accessed on October 31, 2014.
  27. ^ Matthias Platzeck: The secret of failure of development policy . Opening speech at the conference "Brandenburg and the Third World" in November 1994, viewed on October 31, 2014.
  28. Matthias Platzeck: Brown coal - a central location factor in the energy state of Brandenburg . (PDF) Lecture on Lignite Day 2003, May 8, 2003, viewed on October 31, 2014.
  29. ^ Andreas Heinemann-Grüder: Putin's War in the East. Appease or deter? In: Journal for Foreign and Security Policy . 8, No. 4, October 2015, pp. 573-588. doi: 10.1007 / s12399-015-0535-z .