Reinhard Höppner

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Reinhard Höppner (2008)

Reinhard Höppner (born December 2, 1948 in Haldensleben ; † June 9, 2014 in Magdeburg ) was a German mathematician , politician ( SPD ) and author . From 1994 to 2002 he served as Prime Minister of the country Saxony-Anhalt .

Life and work

As the youngest of three children of the Protestant pastor Franz Höppner, Reinhard Höppner grew up in Magdeburgerforth and Prösen . As a pupil he took part in the International Mathematical Olympiads in 1966 and 1967 and received a silver and gold medal there. After graduating from high school in Elsterwerda in 1967 , he studied mathematics at the TU Dresden and graduated in 1971 with a degree in mathematics. In 1976 he received his doctorate externally at the same university with a doctoral thesis on the subject of "Fixed point statements for extended Submarkoff operators ". rer. nat. He was denied access to an academic career due to his activities in the Evangelical Student Community of Dresden.

From 1971 to 1989, Höppner was a lecturer and department head for mathematics literature at the Berlin Akademie-Verlag . Since 1980 he has held leading positions in the area of ​​the Evangelical Church of the ecclesiastical province of Saxony and from 1994 at the German Evangelical Church Congress and from 1990 to 2006 as a politician in various offices. Since 2006 he has mainly devoted himself to his voluntary work and his journalistic activities.

Reinhard Höppner was married to Renate Höppner, the Protestant pastor in the Kreuzgemeinde in Magdeburg , and the father of three children. He died on the night of June 9, 2014 after a long and serious illness of the consequences of cancer and was honored on June 14, 2014 in a memorial service in Magdeburg Cathedral with the participation of church and political figures.

Political career

Political party

In December 1989 Höppner joined the newly founded SDP of the GDR and became a member of the SPD with the union of the East and West German Social Democrats. Höppner stood four times as the top candidate of his party in state elections in Saxony-Anhalt. From 1990 to 2002 he was a member of the party executive committee of the SPD. He was also a member of the board of the East Germany Forum of Social Democracy.

People's Chamber of the GDR

From April 5 to October 2, 1990 Höppner was a member of the first freely elected People's Chamber in the GDR . Contrary to an informal agreement between the parties of the grand coalition consisting of CDU / DA , SPD , DSU and liberals , Höppner was not elected President of the People's Chamber, but rather Vice President. In this role, he mainly chaired the difficult meetings, benefiting from his experience as President of the Synod . Among other things, Höppner led the dramatic special session of the People's Chamber on 22/23. August 1990, on which the accession of the GDR to the Federal Republic of Germany on October 3, 1990 was decided. In his capacity as a member of the Presidium of the People's Chamber, Höppner was also part of the collective head of state of the GDR, since with the decision of the People's Chamber of April 5, 1990, the powers of the State Council of the GDR were transferred to the Presidium of the People's Chamber.

Reinhard Höppner (left) in September 1990 at an election campaign event in Leipzig with Oskar Lafontaine (center) and Anke Fuchs (right).

State of Saxony-Anhalt

From October 28, 1990 to April 23, 2006 Höppner was a member of the State Parliament of Saxony-Anhalt in its first to fourth electoral term . While he won the direct mandate in the electoral district of Magdeburg II in the state elections in 1990 , 1994 and 1998 , he moved into the state parliament at number 1 on the SPD state list in the 2002 election . In the first electoral term he was parliamentary group leader of the SPD parliamentary group. From July 21, 1994 to May 16, 2002 he was Prime Minister of Saxony-Anhalt. In this capacity he was also a member of the Federal Council from July 26, 1994 to May 16, 2002 , from August 26 to October 31, 1994 and again in the 1997/1998 financial year as its second vice-president.

Magdeburg model

In the state elections in 1994 , Höppner ran for the second time as the top candidate of the SPD after 1990. In these elections, the SPD was able to achieve significant gains and achieved 34.0 percent of the valid second votes, only 0.4 percentage points less than the CDU . Since the FDP had left the state parliament with 3.6 percent (-9.9 percentage points), there was no longer a governing majority for the previous Prime Minister Christoph Bergner (CDU). Instead, the SPD and Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen formed a minority government . On July 21, 1994, Reinhard Höppner was elected Prime Minister by the state parliament in the third ballot. The model known as the Magdeburg model of a minority government introduced for the first time at the state level, which was dependent on tolerance by the PDS , was discussed controversially nationwide.

In the 1998 state elections , the SPD was able to increase its share of the vote to 35.9 percent, while the CDU suffered significant losses (22 percent). Since the previous coalition partner Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen failed to enter the state parliament, the minority government of the SPD was continued as sole government with Reinhard Höppner as prime minister.

In the state elections in 2002 the SPD lost almost 16 percentage points, while the CDU gained almost as much. The SPD top candidate Höppner took responsibility for the election defeat and announced his departure from top political positions. He remained a member of the state parliament until the next state election in 2006 and devoted himself mainly to his journalistic and church tasks.


Church in the GDR

Höppner was from 1972 to 1994 a member of the church leadership of the Evangelical Church of the Church Province of Saxony and from 1980 to 1994 President of the Synod of the Church Province of Saxony. During the 1980s he played a key role in shaping the conciliar process and also represented the Church of the GDR at the Ecumenical Assembly in Basel in 1989, which he helped to prepare.

German Evangelical Church Congress and Reformation anniversary 2017

Kirchentag President Reinhard Höppner speaks at the closing service of the Kirchentag in Cologne 2007

Höppner has been a member of the Presidium of the German Evangelical Church Congress since 1994 and a member of the Executive Committee of the Presidium from 2001 to 2007. Höppner was President of the 31st German Evangelical Church Congress in Cologne in 2007. Reinhard Höppner took over the chairmanship of the “Leadership Group Reformation Anniversary 2017”, which the Evangelical Church in Germany and the German Evangelical Church Congress founded on May 27, 2013, and he chaired it until his death held.


Höppner's various other activities included his participation in the advisory board to promote, support and accompany the project “ Bible in Just Language ”. He was a member of the board of the Evangelical Academy of Saxony-Anhalt , a member of the board of trustees of the Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics , deputy chairman of the Martin Niemöller Foundation and, from 2003, chairman of the Adam von Trott Foundation, Imshausen e. V. “, owner of a meeting place for dialogue and reflection in the former property of the resistance fighter Adam von Trott zu Solz in Bebra - Imshausen .

From 1996 on, Höppner was a member of the “ New Wednesday Society ” initiated by Marion Countess Dönhoff and Richard von Weizsäcker .


In recognition of his achievements in communicating science, politics, culture and religion, Reinhard Höppner received an honorary doctorate from the University of Paderborn in 2009 . Höppner was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on ribbon .


The SPD Saxony-Anhalt and the SPD parliamentary group in the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt have been awarding the Reinhard Höppner Engagement Prize since 2018 .


  • Sailing against the wind. Texts and speeches and a conversation with Günter Gaus. Radius-Verlag, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-87173-081-5 .
  • There is only a future together. A solidarity contribution to German unity. Karl Blessing Verlag, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-89667-145-6 .
  • Eight uncomfortable years. Interior views of the Magdeburg model. Mitteldeutscher Verlag, Halle 2003, ISBN 3-89812-175-5 .
  • Walking across the water. Encounters between the Bible and politics. Radius-Verlag, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-87173-257-5 .
  • Stay where God has put us. Contemporary witnesses report on the church in the GDR. Edited by Reinhard Höppner, Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig 2004, ISBN 3-374-02207-3 .
  • Work out, everything out? Politics at the end of the working society. Anderbeck-Verlag, Anderbeck 2005, ISBN 3-937751-27-0 .
  • Try it! 3% is enough to change society. Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 2007, ISBN 978-3-579-06515-1 .
  • You have to try miracles. The way to German unity. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-351-02680-6 .
  • The SPD and DIE LINKE. Insights from East and West. With Egon Bahr. Vorwärts Buch Verlag, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86602-043-6 .


Web links

Commons : Reinhard Höppner  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Reinhard Höppner in the Mathematics Genealogy Project (English)Template: MathGenealogyProject / Maintenance / id used
  2. Klaus Hartung: A master of consensus. In: Die Zeit , No. 30/1994. July 22, 1994, accessed April 21, 2020 .
  3. Matthias Meisner: "He showed his backbone". In: Tagesspiegel Online. Verlag Der Tagesspiegel GmbH, June 10, 2014, accessed on April 21, 2020 .
  4. ^ Forum Ostdeutschland der Sozialdemokratie e. V. - Board of Directors at ( Memento from November 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  5. ↑ Hugging from behind. In: Der Spiegel , No. 15/1990. April 9, 1990, pp. 28-29 , accessed April 21, 2020 .
  6. Christian Bangel, Raphael Thelen: "Suddenly I should advertise myself". In: Zeit Online. Zeit Online GmbH, March 18, 2010, accessed on April 21, 2020 .
  7. Klaus Taubert: The night when the GDR went under. In: Spiegel Online. August 20, 2010, accessed April 21, 2020 .
  8. ^ Sven Thomas: Government practice of minority governments: The example of the Magdeburg model. Deutscher Universitätsverlag, Wiesbaden 2003, ISBN 3-8244-4539-5 , p. 23f
  9. Holger Kulick: CDU election winner wants to "approach the FDP first". In: Spiegel Online. April 21, 2002, accessed April 21, 2020 .
  10. Hans-Joachim Veen, Peter März, Franz-Josef Schlichting: Church and Revolution: Christianity in East Central Europe before and after 1989. Cologne, Böhlau 2009, ISBN 978-3-412-20403-7 , p. 38
  11. Katharina Kunter: Fulfilled hopes and broken dreams: Protestant churches in Germany in the field of tension between democracy and socialism (1980–1993). Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ISBN 978-3-525-55745-7 , p. 58
  12. Archive. In: Association for the promotion of the German Evangelical Church Congress e. V., accessed on April 21, 2020 .
  13. Tobias Thiel: We are grateful and sad to say goodbye to Reinhard Höppner. Report. Evangelical Academy of Saxony-Anhalt V., accessed on April 21, 2020 .
  14. Archived copy ( memento from July 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) website of the Martin Niemöller Foundation
  15. ^ Marion Countess Dönhoff : Citizens and State. In: Die Zeit , No. 14/1998. March 26, 1998, accessed April 21, 2020 .
  16. Honorary doctorate for Prime Minister a. D. Dr. Reinhard Höppner. Press release. University of Paderborn, April 29, 2009, accessed on November 29, 2015 .
  17. Award ceremony of the Reinhard Höppner Engagement Prize 2019 of the Social Democrats in Saxony-Anhalt. SPD parliamentary group in the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt, accessed on April 21, 2020 .