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Mustermann is a frequently used family name of fictional people in Germany. Erika Mustermann and Max Mustermann are placeholder names for any (real) woman and any (real) man. They have been used in samples, templates and fill-in aids, forms, notes and databases since 1978. The names are used as imaginary people - and increasingly as a designation also for the average German citizen - whereby in market research they partially oust the average consumer and Markus Possible . Previously similar names for fictional people are Hans and Grete (short forms of Johannes and Margarethe as the earlier most common baptismal names) and Lieschen Müller .

Erika Mustermann

Erika Mustermann gained nationwide fame through the fictitious identity card and passport with which the German federal government demonstrated the appearance of the machine-readable identity cards introduced on November 1, 1984 to the public . Her predecessor was Renate Mustermann (born August 5, 1958 in Bonn ), who was used in 1978 for the ID card model.

In the Federal Law Gazette , Erika Mustermann appeared for the first time in March 1983 in the ordinance defining the templates for the identity cards of the Federal Republic of Germany   . Personal details are used there as the date of birth September 12, 1945, the place of birth Munich and the maiden name Erika Gabler . In 1983 Ms. Mustermann was 1.76 meters tall, had blue eyes and lived at Heidestrasse 17 in Munich. In the following years, Erika Mustermann's appearance and date of birth changed several times (since 1997 August 12, 1957 and since approx. 2001 August 12, 1964), the place of birth is now Berlin (in the ID card from 1997 and in some passports also Munich) and Birth name continues to be used by Gabler . Ms. Mustermann is now 1.60 meters tall and has green eyes. After she originally lived at Heidestrasse 17 in Munich, she was identified there in 1995 as "unknown" by the post office. In 1986 and 1997 she lived at Nußhaherstrasse 10 in Munich, in 2007 again at Heidestrasse 17, but this time in Cologne , in 2008 in Berlin, and again in Cologne in 2010. In this provisional identity card, she is not married, but her last name is Mustermann. Her religious name , temporarily given in the model ID, is Sister Agnes , which indicates a life as a religious sister after the end of her marriage to Max.

Due to the variety of templates that are now in circulation, the imaginary person of Erika Mustermann is characterized by great versatility. So it is evidenced by the pictures in an administrative regulation of the Federal Ministry of the Interior to electronic ID cards in both the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal busy, their detective badge number is 4711. Born is it is for those patterns on December 1, 1972. In addition, in the business of the Federal Ministry of Defense and also a soldier with the rank of first lieutenant (f). As a soldier she is authorized to carry firearms as long as she is on duty, has brown-green eyes and is 1.72 meters tall. In the Foreign Service clothed in the Consulate General of the offices of both a consular St. Petersburg attachée and a General Consul and has both a service passport and a diplomatic passport . In addition, as evidenced by the illustrations in the Train Driver's License Ordinance (TfV), she is a train driver in rail traffic.

On the refugee ID or proof of arrival presented on December 9, 2015 , Erika Mustermann, b. Gabler, now also registered as a refugee from Damascus ( Syria ).

Real employees of Bundesdruckerei can be seen on the passport photos of the ID card and passport samples as well as the passport photo sample board . So far you are the only person whose photos have been printed in the Federal Law Gazette.

According to the directory assistance, there are at least two people named Erika Mustermann.

Erika Mustermann on the Internet
With the introduction of the new electronic identity card (nPA) on November 1, 2010, Erika Mustermann gained even greater popularity. It was shown on all official information materials and on the internet portal for the new identity card.

Under the motto “Erika has a new one”, she also spent a year providing information on the new ID card in the VZ networks SchülerVZ , StudiVZ and MeinVZ .

The Federal Ministry of the Interior decided to include the personal dialogue between the fictional Erika and her friends from the VZ networks on its official information page about the new identity card and set up a permanent section for Erika Mustermann . Under the motto "Erika moves to her new one", Erika moved to the ID portal on November 30, 2011, "to her new one (identity card)". She appeared there through messages and wall posts.

John Doe

German driver card pattern

In German usage, Max Mustermann has succeeded the average consumer as a fictional person and the epitome of average German. He is a relative, according to the usual assumption, the husband, the much better known, also fictional Erika Mustermann, who adorns many sample ID cards and documents with photos and life data. Identity documents in the name of Max Mustermann are much less common, only the Federal Motor Transport Authority published a sample of the EC driver card introduced in 2006 with the picture of Max Mustermann, born on February 1, 1976, issued by the driving license authority in Musterstadt.

While Max Mustermann only plays a subordinate role on official samples, he is in great demand from issuers of customer, credit and debit cards . He is the virtual owner of dozen of cards that bear his name.

In March 2003 a couple from Quakenbrück gave their son the name Max Mustermann, according to their own statement without knowing the name of the family. In July 2016, the then 13-year-old was on the TV show Hard to believe because of his name ! of the NDR . According to the show, he is the only one who bears this name in Germany.

When the Hessian Prime Minister was elected on January 18, 2014, the state parliament administration mistakenly circulated three voting cards in the first ballot, which instead of the candidate Volker Bouffier had the name Max Mustermann. One of these cards was punched and thrown in the ballot box, so that the election result was: 61 votes for Bouffier, one vote for Mustermann. The ballot was then repeated. In the second round, Bouffier received 62 votes.

Other members of the Mustermann family

German driver's license pattern
  • Erika Mustermann's namesake Erik Mustermann was born on the same day as Erika. But he cannot be her twin brother, because Erika is a born Gabler. However, she has a presumed twin sister who is also called Erika Mustermann. She looks different, but her maiden name is Gabler as well. Both became known in the course of the introduction of the electronic identity card.
  • The person of Markus Mustermann was also used for the electronic identity card. He was born on June 17, 1982 in Berlin. His image is represented by a silhouette .
  • In the passport ordinance of October 19, 2007, a child's passport sample was shown for the first time , issued to Leon Mustermann, who was born on March 15, 2003 in Munich , is 1.40 meters tall, has green eyes and lives in Cologne . His date of birth has been corrected twice. In the amendment to the Passport Ordinance of October 25, 2010, he was born on March 15, 2006 and in that of February 20, 2013 on March 15, 2008. It is not known whether Leon is a son or grandson of Erika Mustermann.
  • A Cleopâtre Mustermann, b. Sodoge holds a travel document for foreigners , a travel document for refugees and a travel document for stateless persons .
  • The German EU driving license models are issued to the twin sisters Desiré Jeanette and Anne Mustermann, both born on February 28, 1964 in Bonn .
  • As the adoptive father of Erika Mustermann, the taz stated in 2010 a Franz-Xaver Gabler, whose identity has not been proven by official documents.
  • Elfriede, Michaela, Ute, Manfred and Prof. Hans Mustermann also appear on EC card samples and on chip card samples from health insurance companies.
  • Christiane, Marianne, Emil, Erwin, Georg, Klaus, Karl, Otto, Ralf and Martin Mustermann can be found on membership, club and customer card samples.
  • In the Regional Association of Westphalia-Lippe (LWL) Petra Smith has held various facilities u. a. in the LWL clinic Dortmund and in the LWL school administration in Münster, Peter Mustermann also works there, for example as commercial director, chief physician or medical director in various LWL clinics.
  • Karin Mustermann, born in Bangkok in Thailand and born in 1966, carried out the naturalization test at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in 2008 .
  • Harald Mustermann is police chief inspector at the Hamburg police.
  • Martina Musterfrau is the holder of a Vorteilscard for the Austrian Federal Railways .

More pattern names

  • A woman named Susanne Muster adorns the ADAC membership card.
  • Maria Musterfrau is the holder of the Austrian EU driving license model. According to ASFINAG, she lives in Vienna and drives a car with registration number W-12345X.
  • The current picture of Erika Mustermann with the name Emine Kartal was   shown on the draft of the electronic residence permit at CeBIT 2011 . After the electronic residence permit came into force, samples with the names Emine Kartal , Shkurte Salihu , Natasha Raskolnikowa and Irina Bulgakowa , all of which show the same image of Erika Mustermann, can also be found as the final version in the Federal Law Gazette ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1530 ).
  • A Mustermann GmbH occasionally appears on business sample papers .


  • In 2003, the German hip-hop band Blumentopf released the song Manfred Mustermann on their album Gernehen happening , which tells the life of a fictitious average man from birth to death.
  • In 2013 Robert Löhr published the novel Erika Mustermann , which tells of the fight of a Green against the Pirate Party .
  • In 2016, Bettina Peters published a fictional biography of Erika Mustermann. In the book, the punctual, orderly Erika Mustermann has a psychological crisis that she wants to overcome with the help of a psychiatrist. The author uses her imagination to combine countless statistical numbers and facts into a fictional résumé.

More placeholders


Web links

Commons : Mustermann / Musterfrau (generic names)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Erika Mustermann  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Max Mustermann  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. See Hans and Grete in the Traubüchlein (1529) by Martin Luther , the Cologne saga of Jan and Griet or Hansel and Gretel in the children's and house tales (1812) by the Brothers Grimm .
  2. ^ Fourth law amending the law on identity cards of February 25, 1983 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 194 ).
  3. passport card 1978 image on Commons .
  4. Federal Law Gazette 1983 I p. 291 .
  5. Federal Law Gazette 1983 I pp. 291, 292 .
  6. ↑ Identity card model 2007, image on Commons .
  7. ↑ Identity card sample 2010, image on Commons .
  8. On September 2, 1995 Munich, Heidestraße 17 dead letter ( Memento of 7 October 2010 at the Internet Archive ).
  9. BGBl. 1986 I p. 1009, 1010 .
  10. BGBl. 1997 I pp. 33, 34 .
  11. BGBl. 2010 I p. 1460, 1470 .
  12. Sample of the temporary identity card, image on Commons .
  13. ^ A b Anne-Kattrin Palmer: A real example for 30 years. On the trail of Erika Mustermann. In: Express , September 20, 2012, accessed April 5, 2019.
  14. a b General administrative regulation for the electronic ID card dated May 7, 2008 (O 1 - 131 234-1 / 2), Annex A.
  15. Second ordinance amending the Passport Ordinance and amending the Residence Ordinance of February 15, 2017, Annex 1 (to Article 1), Federal Law Gazette 2017 I p. 162 , Annexes 4 and 5.
  16. Ordinance on the granting of driving authorization to train drivers and the recognition of persons and positions for training and testing (Train Driver License Ordinance - TfV) of April 29, 2011 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 705 ), Annex 1.
  17. Federal government decides proof of arrival . Press release by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, December 9, 2015.
  18. a b European farewell to Erika Mustermann. ( Memento from August 10, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) In: Berliner Morgenpost , January 12, 1999.
  19. Search at for Mustermann Erika , executed on May 19, 2014.
  20. Erika Mustermann in the StudiVZ.
  21. Erika Mustermann in MeinVZ.
  22. Erika moves to the ID portal. ( Memento of October 21, 2012 in the Internet Archive ).
  23. a b Peter Maxwill: Passport photo phantom. Who is Erika Mustermann? In: Spiegel Online . April 2, 2012.
  24. Stefan Biestmann: Not just an official model. Max Mustermann lives! n-tv , November 12, 2007.
  25. Hard to believe XXL - 07/27/16. In: July 29, 2016, accessed April 4, 2018 .
  26. a b Hessian State Parliament, 19th electoral period, plenary minutes 19/1, January 18, 2014, p. 15 (online)
  27. And then there is Max Mustermann. In: , January 18, 2014.
  28. BMI: Everything you need to know about the new identity card. ( Memento of March 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 1.8 MB) 5th edition. November 2010, p. 2, 30.
  29. Federal Ministry of the Interior: Application test of new identity card. Image on Commons .
  30. Federal Law Gazette 2007 I p. 2386, 2411 .
  31. BGBl. 2010 I p. 1440 .
  32. Federal Law Gazette 2013 I p. 330, 333 , image on Commons .
  33. Second ordinance amending the Passport Ordinance and amending the Residence Ordinance of February 15, 2017, Annex 1 (to Article 1), Federal Law Gazette I p. 162 , Annexes D4c, D7a, D8a.
  34. The truth. The German Musta Hari. In: , November 9, 2010.
  35. a b Saturday, September 12, 2009: Erika Mustermann is 64. ( Memento from August 10, 2010 in the Internet Archive ).
  36. Congratulations cards received. ( Memento of October 6, 2010 in the Internet Archive ).
  37. ^ Regional Association Westphalia-Lippe: Corporate Design Handbook. Graphic appearance of the fiber optic cable. (PDF; 2.5 MB) December 2010 edition.
  38. Sample questionnaire naturalization test. BAMF, accessed on November 20, 2019 .
  39. ^ Hamburg police: ID cards .
  40. Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology: Sample of the Austrian EU driving license. Image on Commons .
  41. Digital-Vignette Shop Screenshot . Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  42. Open questions about electronic residence permits.
  43. Robert Löhr: Erika Mustermann. Novel. Piper Verlag, Munich / Zurich 2013, ISBN 978-3-492-05452-2 .
  44. Bettina Peters: Erika Mustermann. The secret life of the most famous average German. Eden Books, Hamburg 2016, ISBN 978-3-95910-077-9 .
  45. Ute Krebs: The unknown life of a known woman. In: Free Press . 13th September 2016.