Wolfgang Schäuble

Wolfgang Schäuble

Infobox Politician
name = Wolfgang Schäuble

caption =

office = Federal Minister of the Interior GER
term_start = November 22 2005
term_end =
predecessor = Otto Schily
successor =
office2 = Chairman of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag
term_start2 = November 1991
term_end2 = February 2000
predecessor2 = Alfred Dregger
successor2 = Friedrich Merz
office3 = Federal Minister of the Interior GER
term_start3 = April 21 1989
term_end3 = November 26 1991
predecessor3 = Friedrich Zimmermann
successor3 = Rudolf Seiters
office4 = Chief of the Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Affairs
term_start4 = November 15 1984
term_end4 = April 21 1989
predecessor4 = Waldemar Schreckenberger
successor4 = Rudolf Seiters
birth_date = Birth date and age|1942|9|18|mf=y
birth_place = Freiburg, Germany
nationality = German
death_date =
death_place =
party = Christian Democratic Union (CDU)
relations =
residence =
alma_mater = University of Freiburg
University of Hamburg
occupation =
religion = Protestant [http://www.wolfgang-schaeuble.de/ws-pers.htm]

website = [http://www.wolfgang-schaeuble.de/ wolfgang-schaeuble.de]
footnotes =

Wolfgang Schäuble, MdB (born September 18, 1942) is a German politician. He is a member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). He presently is Minister of the Interior of the Government of Germany.

From 1984 to 1989 he held the position of the Minister for Special Tasks and served as the head of the Chancellery. From 1989 to 1991 he was Minister of the Interior in Helmut Kohl's Cabinet. Between 1991 and 2000, he was chairman of the CDU/CSU faction in the parliament, and from 1998 to 2000 also CDU party chairman. Since November 2005, he has been serving a second term as Minister of the Interior in Angela Merkel's government.

Education and career

Schäuble was born in Freiburg im Breisgau as the son of a tax finance advisor. After completing his "Abitur" (highest German school-leaving examination for university entrance) in 1961, Schäuble studied law and economics in Freiburg im Breisgau and Hamburg, which he completed in 1966 and 1970 by passing the First and Second State Examinations respectively, becoming a fully qualified lawyer.

In 1971 Schäuble obtained his doctorate in law, with a dissertation called "The public accountant's professional legal situation within accountancy firms".

He entered the tax administration of the state of Baden-Württemberg, eventually becoming a senior administration officer in the Freiburg tax office.

Subsequently Schäuble became a practising registered lawyer at the district court of Offenburg, from 1978 to 1984.


Schäuble has been married to economist Ingeborg Schäuble since 1969. They have four children, three daughters, Christine, Juliane and Anna, and one son, Hans-Jörg.His brother Thomas Schäuble was Interior Minister of Baden-Württemberg, and has been executive chairman of the Baden Württemberg state brewery "Rothaus" since 2004.

Political involvement

Schäuble's political career began in 1961 with him joining the "Junge Union" ("Young Union"), the youth division of the CDU. During his studies he served as chairman of the "Ring Christlich-Demokratischer Studenten" (Association of Christian-Democrat Students, RCDS), in Hamburg and Freiburg. In 1965 Schäuble also became a member of the CDU. From 1969 to 1972 he was district chairman of the Junge Union in South Baden. From 1976 to 1984 he served as chairman of the CDU National Committee for Sport.

After the CDU was defeated in the 1998 federal election, Schäuble became chairman of the CDU. He gave up this post in 2000 in the wake of the party financing scandal, over the acceptance of cash donation over DM 100,000 contributed by the arms dealer and lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber back in 1994. Schäuble's successor was Angela Merkel.

Member of Parliament

Schäuble has been a member of the Bundestag since 1972. From 1981 to 1984 he was parliamentary whip of the CDU/CSU coalition and in November 1991 he became the chairman of the coalition. However, Schäuble gave up this position as well in 2000, as another consequence of the financing scandal. Since October 2002 Schäuble has been deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU.

Wolfgang Schäuble has always been elected to the Bundestag by means of winning an electorate seat, rather than through a list placing in Germany’s system of proportional political representation. At the 2005 federal election he received 50.5% of all direct votes cast within his electoral district No. 285 in Offenburg, slightly lower than the 52.2% he received at the 2002 election.

Public office

On 15 November 1984 Schäuble was appointed Minister for Special Tasks and head of the Chancellery by Chancellor Helmut Kohl. In this capacity he was put in charge of the preparations for the first official state visit of Erich Honecker, Chairman of the State Council of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), in 1987.

In a cabinet reshuffle Schäuble was made Minister of the Interior on 21 April 1989. In this role he also led the negotiations on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany for reunification with the GDR in 1990.

In 1997 Helmut Kohl stated that Schäuble was his desired candidate to succeed him as federal Chancellor, but he didn’t want to hand over power until 2002. However, as the CDU/CSU lost the 1998 election, Schäuble never became Chancellor.

After Eberhard Diepgen was voted out as mayor of Berlin, Schäuble was in talks to be the top candidate for the early election on 21 October 2001, but was rejected by the Berlin branch of the CDU in favour of Frank Steffel. Some quarters of the CDU and CSU wanted to put Schäuble forward as their candidate for the office of German President, the largely ceremonial head of state, at the beginning of March 2004, due to his extensive political experience. In spite of support from the Premiers of Bavaria (Edmund Stoiber (CSU)) and Hesse (Roland Koch (CDU)), Schäuble did not receive the party’s nomination in the end because CDU leader Angela Merkel, other CDU politicians and the liberal FDP party spoke out against him. This was because the election contributions scandal involving Schäuble that first came to light in late 1999 had never been entirely resolved.

In November 2005, Schäuble once again became Federal Minister of the Interior, this time in the Grand Coalition under Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Political views

In 1999 Schäuble initiated a CDU/CSU petition campaign against the reform of German citizenship law under the slogan "Integration: yes - double citizenship: no".

During the Iraq War in 2003 Schäuble, in contrast to many German politicians, strongly defended the United States' decision to invade Iraq.

He accused the then Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of lacking an appropriate historical conscience because he accepted alleged human rights violations by the Russian Government without criticism.

Schäuble is also of the view that Europe's problem is not the European Union, but rather certain national governments that cannot resist the temptation to make the EU and Europe the scapegoat for their own national problems. Examples pointed out by Schäuble include the EU's Stability and Growth Pact and the Ministry of Finance's view that the introduction of the Euro would damage the German economy.

In March 2007, Schäuble declared in an interview that the application of presumption of innocence should not be relevant for the authorization of counter-terrorist operations. [ [http://www.tagesschau.de/aktuell/meldungen/0,1185,OID6637218_TYP6_THE_NAV_REF1_BAB,00.html Schäuble will Unschuldsvermutung nicht gelten lassen] , www.tagesschau.de, April 18, 2007]

Later the same year (2007), Schäuble proposed the introduction of legislation that would allow the German Federal Government to carry out preventive assassinations of what Schäuble labels terrorist suspects, as well as outlawing the use of the Internet and cell phones for people suspected of being terrorist sympathizers. [ [http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=3&art_id=nw20070709114743331C698330 "German minister's proposal causes uproar"] , AFP ("IOL"), July 9, 2007.]

In February 27, 2008, he called all European newspapers to print the Muhammad cartoons with the explanation, "We also think they're pathetic, but the use of press freedom is no reason to resort to violence." [ [http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,3153390,00.html German Minister Calls on EU Press to Publish Mohammed Cartoon, Deutsche Welle, February 27, 2008] ]


Schäuble is criticised by some for his strong conservative views and his pursuit of law and order politics; his remarks about the 2006 FIFA World Cup's security (demanding to put tanks in front of the stadiums if necessary) and his decision to opt out of the Schengen agreement during the World Cup were frowned upon by many. He is—together with Otto Schily and Günther Beckstein—seen by some civil rights activistsWho|date=December 2007 as one of the most rigid, authoritarian politicians in Germany. His declared attendance of LinuxTag 2007 drew a boycott from parts of the open-source software community. [ [http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/05/19/2149231 Slashdot | German Linux Community Boycotting LinuxTag ] ] The latest decisions of his ministry have led to a campaign dubbed Stasi 2.0 by its initiators, claiming intentional resemblance to the communist Ministerium für Staatssicherheit of the former German Democratic Republic which was well known for human rights abuses. [ [http://www.taz.de/1/politik/deutschland/artikel/1/der-mann-hinter-der-schaeublone/?src=SE&cHash=10c91b80e3 taz.de | The Man Behind the Schäuble Stencil (German)] ]

Yet more controversy was sparked by Schäuble's recommendation in a 2007 interview of a book by Otto Depenheuer, who defended the Guantanamo Bay detention camp as a "legally permissible response in the fight of constitutional civilisation against the barbarity of terrorism".cite news |author= Gunter Hofmann |title= Schäubles Nachtlektüre |url=http://www.zeit.de/2007/33/Schaeubles_Nachtlektuere?page=all |publisher=Die Zeit issue 33/2007 |location=Hamburg |page=7 |date= 9 August 2007 |accessdate=2007-12-29 |language=German]

As a protest against his support for the increasing use of biometric data, the influential hacker group Chaos Computer Club published one of Wolfgang Schäuble's fingerprints in the March 2008 edition of its magazine "Datenschleuder". The magazine also included the print on a film that readers could use to fool fingerprint readers. [ [http://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/105728 CCC publishes fingerprints of Wolfgang Schäuble, the German Home Secretary] , "Heise Online", published 2008-03-31, accessed 2008-04-17]

Assassination attempt and its consequences

On 12 October 1990, Schäuble was the target of an assassination attempt by 32-year-old Dieter Kaufmann, who took the Smith and Wesson of his father and fired three shots at Schäuble after an election campaign event in Oppenau, injuring a bodyguard and Schäuble's spinal cord and face severely. Schäuble has been paralysed and confined to a wheelchair ever since. The assassin later stated, his shots would have been "self defence" because Germany "is a terror state" but he was declared "mentally ill" by the judges and committed to a clinic because of psychoneurosis.


External links

* [http://www.axisglobe.com/article.asp?article=443 Germany's New Government: Wolfgang Schauble - The Comeback of United Germany's Architect]
* [http://www.wolfgang-schaeuble.de Wolfgang Schäuble's homepage] , in German.
* [http://www.dhm.de/lemo/html/biografien/SchaeubleWolfgang Biography of Wolfgang Schäuble at the German Historical Museum] , in German
* [http://www.bundestag.de/mdb15/bio/S/schaewo0.html Biography of Wolfgang Schäuble at the Bundestag (German parliament) website] , in German.
* [http://www.fr-online.de/_img/_cnt/_hermes/071219_2029_muslime_in_deutschland.pdf Controversied study on immigration ordered by Schauble] in German

NAME = Schauble, Wolfgang
SHORT DESCRIPTION = German politician
DATE OF BIRTH = September 18, 1942
PLACE OF BIRTH = Freiburg im Breisgau

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