Reinhold Zundel

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Heidelberg market square 1965

Reinhold Zundel (born April 9, 1930 in Brackenheim im Zabergäu ; † January 21, 2008 in Heidelberg ) was a German local politician ( SPD , later non-party) and mayor of Heidelberg from 1966 to 1990 .



The honor grave Reinhold Zundel on the Heidelberger Bergfriedhof in the (Abt. O). His wife and son, who died at a young age, rest here next to him

Reinhold Zundel grew up with ten siblings. After graduating from high school in 1949 in Heilbronn he studied in Frankfurt Jura . After six semesters, he passed the first state examination and completed his training in 1957 with the second state examination. He then worked as a judge in different places, was councilor and provisional director of the public utilities in Langen / Hessen and ministerial councilor in the Hesse Judicial Examination Office under Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Georg August Zinn .

Reinhold Zundel joined the SPD in 1963 .

Lord Mayor

Zundel was elected Lord Mayor of Heidelberg on July 3, 1966. Since the result of the election was contested in court, he initially only held office on a provisional basis. Therefore, his official inauguration took place on September 14, 1968.

The first years of his tenure were mainly devoted to urban redevelopment. The changes he initiated (ban of tram and car traffic from the main street , redesign of Bismarckplatz ) still shape the cityscape today. At the beginning of the 1980s, he initiated a reduction in driving speeds through 30 km / h and traffic-calmed areas in order to increase traffic safety in Heidelberg.

His first re-election took place on May 9, 1976. Zundel fell out in 1980 after lengthy arguments with his party, the SPD. When the latter asked him to withdraw criminal charges against squatters, Zundel left the SPD on May 31, 1981 and continued to serve as a non-party. In the mayor election on May 6, 1984, the SPD nominated Albrecht Müller as an opposing candidate. Zundel, now supported by the Free Voters and the CDU , prevailed clearly against his challenger (40.8 percent) in the first ballot with 54.9 percent and was thus re-elected as Lord Mayor. Despite the clear election victory, it became more and more difficult for the now non-party Zundel to find majorities in the Heidelberg municipal council . After 24 years of service, he resigned on June 30, 1990, two years before the end of his regular term, and asserted health reasons.

After the reunification of Germany in 1990, he mainly worked as a consultant and expert in the new federal states . When the position of Mayor of Heidelberg had to be filled again in 2006, he supported the Green candidate , Caja Thimm , as financial adviser during the election campaign .

Balance of the OB time

Heidelberg market square 2003

The changes brought about by Zundel, especially with regard to urban redevelopment, polarized the opinions of Heidelberg citizens for a long time. On the part of his opponents, Zundel was mainly accused of having modernized the townscape, which was one of the few in Germany to have survived the Second World War almost unscathed (many buildings in the regional sandstone style typical of Heidelberg were demolished and replaced by modern buildings) to have changed for the worse. The renovated apartments in the old town were often no longer affordable for their former residents, which resulted in a fundamental sociological change in the population of this area. The conversion of the main street, which was used by trams and cars up until 1976 and was the most important traffic route in the old and inner city, to the pedestrian zone was also highly controversial at the beginning.


  • In 1995 the city of Heidelberg made Reinhold Zundel an honorary citizen .
  • The organ of the Heiliggeistkirche in Heidelberg contains a register called "Zundel". It's actually a cymbal . During Reinhold Zundel's tenure, the city of Heidelberg made a substantial contribution to organ building.

See also


  • Mario Damolin, Manfred Metzner (ed.): My Heidelberg. A Lord Mayor tells. An interview. Verlag Das Wunderhorn, Heidelberg 1980, ISBN 3-88423-012-3 .

Individual evidence

  1. Heidelberg - your Lord Mayor: Reinhold Zundel (1930 - 2008). June 5, 2015, accessed on May 31, 2020 (German).