Joachim Gauck

Joachim Wilhelm Gauck (German: [joˈʔaxiːm ɡaʊ̯k]; born 24 January 1940) is a German politician and civil rights activist who served as President of Germany from 2012 to 2017. A former Lutheran pastor, he came to prominence as an anti-communist civil rights activist in East Germany.[1][2][3][4]

During the Peaceful Revolution in 1989, he was a co-founder of the New Forum opposition movement in East Germany, which contributed to the downfall of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) and later with two other movements formed the electoral list Alliance 90. In 1990 he was a member of the only freely elected East German People's Chamber in the Alliance 90/The Greens faction. Following German reunification, he was elected as a member of the Bundestag by the People's Chamber in 1990 but resigned after a single day chosen by the Bundestag to be the first Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records, serving from 1990 to 2000. He earned recognition in this position as a "Stasi hunter" and "tireless pro-democracy advocate", exposing the crimes of the communist secret police.[5][6][7][8]

He was nominated as the candidate of the SPD and the Greens for President of Germany in the 2010 election, but lost in the third draw to Christian Wulff, the candidate of the government coalition. His candidacy was met by significant approval of the population and the media; Der Spiegel described him as "the better President"[9] and the Bild called him "the president of hearts."[10][11][12] Later, after Christian Wulff stepped down, Gauck was elected as President with 991 of 1228 votes in the Federal Convention in the 2012 election, as a nonpartisan consensus candidate of the CDU, the CSU, the FDP, the SPD and the Greens.

A son of a survivor of a Soviet Gulag,[13][14][15][16][17] Gauck's political life was formed by his own family's experiences with totalitarianism. Gauck was a founding signatory of the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism, together with Václav Havel and other statesmen, and of the Declaration on Crimes of Communism. He has called for increased awareness of communist crimes in Europe, and for the necessity of delegitimizing the communist era.[1] As President he was a proponent of "an enlightened anti-communism"[18] and he has underlined the illegitimacy of communist rule in East Germany.[19] He is the author and co-author of several books, including The Black Book of Communism. His 2012 book Freedom: A Plea calls for the defense of freedom and human rights around the globe.[20][21] He has been described by Chancellor Angela Merkel as a "true teacher of democracy" and a "tireless advocate of freedom, democracy, and justice."[22] The Wall Street Journal has described him as "the last of a breed: the leaders of protest movements behind the Iron Curtain who went on to lead their countries after 1989."[23] He has received numerous honours, including the 1997 Hannah Arendt Prize.

Joachim Gauck
2016-10-03 Joachim Gauck (Tag der Deutschen Einheit 2016 in Dresden) by Sandro Halank
President of Germany
In office
18 March 2012 – 18 March 2017
ChancellorAngela Merkel
Preceded byChristian Wulff
Succeeded byFrank-Walter Steinmeier
Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records
In office
4 October 1990 – 10 October 2000
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byMarianne Birthler
Member of the Bundestag
for East Germany
In office
3 October 1990 – 4 October 1990
Member of the Volkskammer
for Rostock
In office
18 March 1990 – 2 October 1990
ConstituencyAlliance 90 List
Personal details
Born24 January 1940 (age 79)
Rostock, Mecklenburg, Germany
Political partyIndependent (1990–present)
Other political
New Forum/Alliance 90 (1989–1990)
Spouse(s)Gerhild Radtke (1959–1991, separated)
Domestic partnerDaniela Schadt (2000–present)
Joachim Gauck's signature

Childhood and life in East Germany (1940–1989)

Joachim Gauck was born into a family of sailors in Rostock, the son of Olga (née Warremann; born 1910) and Joachim Gauck, Sr. (born 1907). His father was an experienced ship's captain and distinguished naval officer (Kapitän zur See – captain at sea), who after World War II worked as an inspector at the Neptun Werft shipbuilding company. Both parents were members of the Nazi Party (NSDAP).[24] Following the Soviet occupation at the end of World War II, the communists were installed into power in what became the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). When Joachim Gauck was eleven years old, in 1951, his father was arrested by Soviet occupation forces; he was not to return until 1955.[25] He was convicted by a Russian military tribunal of espionage for receiving a letter from the West and also of anti-Soviet demagogy for being in the possession of a western journal on naval affairs, and deported to a Gulag in Siberia,[26] where he was mistreated to the extent that he was considered physically disabled after one year, according to his son.[27] For nearly three years, the family knew nothing about what had happened to him and whether he was still alive. He was freed in 1955, following the state visit of Konrad Adenauer to Moscow. Adenauer negotiated the release of thousands of German prisoners of war and civilians who had been deported.[28]

Gauck graduated with an Abitur from Innerstädtisches Gymnasium in Rostock. According to Gauck, his political activities were inspired by the ordeal of his father,[29] and he stated that he grew up with a "well-founded anti-communism".[30] Already in school in East Germany, he made no secret of his anti-communist position, and he steadfastly refused to join the communist youth movement, the Free German Youth. He wanted to study German and become a journalist, but because he wasn't a communist, he wasn't allowed to do so.[10] Instead he chose to study theology and become a pastor in the Protestant church in Mecklenburg. He has stated that his primary intention was not to become a pastor, but the theology studies offered an opportunity to study philosophy and the church was one of the few institutions in East Germany where communist ideology was not dominant.[31] Nevertheless, he did eventually become a pastor. His work as a pastor in East Germany was very difficult due to the hostility of the communist regime towards the church, and for many years he was under constant observation and was harassed by the Stasi (the secret police).[32][33] The Stasi described Gauck in their file on him as an "incorrigible anti-communist" ("unverbesserlicher Antikommunist").[34] He has said that "at the age of nine, I knew socialism was an unjust system."[10]

In his memoirs, he writes that "the fate of our father was like an educational cudgel. It led to a sense of unconditional loyalty towards the family which excluded any sort of idea of fraternisation with the system."[35]

Career during and after the Peaceful Revolution of 1989

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1990-1218-302, Joachim Gauck
Joachim Gauck (1990)

During the Peaceful Revolution of 1989, he became a member of the New Forum, a democratic opposition movement, and was elected as its spokesman. He also took part in major demonstrations against the communist regime of GDR. In the free elections on 18 March 1990, he was elected to the People's Chamber of the GDR, representing the Alliance 90 (that consisted of the New Forum, Democracy Now and the Initiative for Peace and Human Rights), where he served until the dissolution of the GDR in October 1990.

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1990-0928-019, Berlin, 37. Volkskammertagung, Diestel, Gauck
Joachim Gauck as a member of the East German People's Chamber in 1990

On 2 October 1990, the day before the dissolution of the GDR, the People's Chamber elected him Special Representative for the Stasi Records. After the dissolution of the GDR the following day, he was appointed Special Representative of the Federal Government for the Stasi Records by President Richard von Weizsäcker and Chancellor Helmut Kohl. As such, he was in charge of the archives of the Stasi and tasked with investigating communist crimes. In 1992, his office became known as the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records. He served in this position until 2000, when he was succeeded by Marianne Birthler.

Gauck served as a member of the Bundestag, the Parliament of Germany, from 3 to 4 October 1990 (the 1990 People's Chamber was granted the right to nominate a certain number of MPs as part of the reunification process). He stepped down following his appointment as Special Representative of the Federal Government. As such, he was the shortest serving Member of Parliament of Germany ever.

Joachim Gauck IGFM 01
Joachim Gauck attending a press conference of the International Society for Human Rights, where he lectured about the Stasi campaign to discredit the Society

He refused the position of President of the Federal Agency for Civic Education as well as offers to be nominated as a candidate for parliament by the SPD. Voices inside the CSU proposed him as a possible conservative presidential candidate (against SPD career politician Johannes Rau) in 1999,[36] and his name was also mentioned as a possible candidate for CDU/CSU and Free Democratic Party in subsequent years. For instance the Saxon FDP state party proposed him as a liberal-conservative candidate in 2004, before the leaders of the parties agreed on Horst Köhler.[37]

Since 2003, he has been chairman of the association Gegen Vergessen – Für Demokratie ("Against Forgetting – For Democracy"), and he served on the Management Board of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia 2001–2004.[38]

Political views and reception

He has written on Soviet-era concentration camps such as the NKVD Special Camp No. 1, the crimes of communism, and political repression in East Germany, and contributed to the German edition of The Black Book of Communism.

Joachim Gauck 2
Joachim Gauck (2008)

In 2007, Joachim Gauck was invited to deliver the main speech during a commemoration ceremony at the Landtag of Saxony in memory of the Reunification of Germany and the fall of the communist government.[39] All parties participated, except The Left (the successor of the communist Socialist Unity Party (SED)), whose members walked out in protest against Gauck's delivering the speech.[40] Gauck supports the observation of The Left by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the corresponding state authorities.[41] Gauck has lauded the SPD for distancing itself from The Left.[42]

Joachim Gauck is a founding signatory of both the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism (2008),[43] with Václav Havel, and the Declaration on Crimes of Communism (2010),[44] both calling for the condemnation of communism, education about communist crimes and punishment of communist criminals. The Prague Declaration proposed the establishment of the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, that was subsequently designated by the European Parliament. In 2010, Gauck criticized the political left of ignoring communist crimes.[45]

Gauck is a supporter of the idea to establish a Centre Against Expulsions in Berlin.[46]

On the occasion of his 70th birthday in 2010, Gauck was praised by Chancellor Angela Merkel as a "true teacher of democracy" and a "tireless advocate of freedom, democracy and justice".[22]

2010-11-29 JoachimGauck 198
Joachim Gauck (2010)

The Independent has described Joachim Gauck as "Germany's answer to Nelson Mandela".[47] The Wall Street Journal has described him as "the last of a breed: the leaders of protest movements behind the Iron Curtain who went on to lead their countries after 1989," comparing him to Lech Wałęsa and Václav Havel.[23] Corriere della Sera has referred to him as the "German Havel."[48]

Gauck is a member of Atlantik-Brücke, an organisation promoting German-American friendship. Gauck supported the economic reforms initiated by the red-green government of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. He also supported the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, to end Yugoslav atrocities in Kosovo. He also supports the German military presence in Afghanistan. Gauck is a proponent of market economy, and is sceptical towards the occupy movement. In 2010, he said SPD politician Thilo Sarrazin had "demonstrated courage" in opening a debate on immigration.[49] However, he criticized several of Sarrazin's views.[50]

In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in 2007, Gauck said that "we have to delegitimatize [the communist era] not only because of the many victims and criminal acts, but [also because] modern politics in the entire Soviet empire was basically taken backward."[1] According to The Wall Street Journal, he "has dedicated his life to showing that the Soviet system's evils were no less than the Third Reich's."[23] In his 2012 book Freedom. A Plea, he outlines his thoughts on freedom, democracy, human rights and tolerance.

In 2012, Gauck said that "Muslims who are living here are a part of Germany", but refused to say whether Islam was a part of Germany, as asserted by previous president Christian Wulff. The Central Council of Muslims in Germany welcomed the remarks.[51]

In May 2015, Gauck urged Germans to openly acknowledge that "millions of soldiers of the Red Army lost their lives during Nazi internment."[52]

2010 presidential candidate

"Bürger für Gauck"
"Citizens for Gauck," a demonstration in support of Gauck in front of the Brandenburger Tor in 2010

On 3 June 2010, Joachim Gauck was nominated for President of Germany in the 2010 election by the SPD and the Greens.[53] Gauck is not a member of either the SPD or the Greens (although his former party in East Germany eventually merged with the Greens after reunification),[54] and has stated that he would have accepted a nomination by the CDU as well.[55] Gauck once described himself as a "leftist, liberal conservative"[54] and after his nomination, stated: "I'm neither red nor green, I'm Joachim Gauck".[56] The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described him as a liberal conservative.[57]

Gauck is widely respected across the political spectrum,[58] and is very popular also among CDU/CSU and FDP politicians due to his record as an upstanding, moral person during the communist dictatorship as well as his record as a "Stasi hunter" in the 1990s.[59] His main contender, Christian Wulff, and politicians of all the government parties, stated that they greatly respected Gauck and his life and work.[60] Jörg Schönbohm, former Chairman of the CDU of Brandenburg, also supported Gauck.[61]

The only party that in principle rejected Gauck as a possible president was the legal successor of the East German communist party, Die Linke, which interpreted the nomination of the SPD and Greens as a refusal to cooperate with Die Linke.[62] CSU politician Philipp Freiherr von Brandenstein argued that the election of Joachim Gauck would prevent any cooperation between SPD/Greens and the party Die Linke for years to come: "Gauck has likely made it perfectly clear to [Sigmar] Gabriel that he will never appoint any of the apologists of the communist tyranny as government members".[61] Die Linke nominated their own candidate, former journalist Luc Jochimsen,[63] and chose to abstain in the third ballot.[64][65] Die Linke's refusal to support Gauck drew strong criticism from the SPD and Greens.[66][67] Sigmar Gabriel, the SPD chairman, described Die Linke's position as "bizarre and embarrassing," stating that he was "shocked" that the party would declare Joachim Gauck their main enemy due to his investigation of communist injustice.[68] According to Gabriel, Die Linke had manifested itself once again as the successor of the East German communist party.[66] A politician of Die Linke compared the choice between Gauck and Wulff to the choice between Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, drawing strong condemnation from the SPD and Greens.[69]

In the election on 30 June 2010, Gauck was defeated by Christian Wulff in the third ballot, with a margin of 624 to 490.[70]

Gauck was originally proposed as a presidential candidate for the Greens by Andreas Schulze, then communications adviser to the Greens in the Bundestag. Schulze was appointed as Gauck's spokesman in 2010, and again in 2012.[71]

President of Germany


Joachim Gauck (2012) a
Joachim Gauck (2012)

Following the resignation of President Christian Wulff on 17 February 2012, Joachim Gauck was nominated on 19 February as the joint candidate for President of Germany by the government parties CDU, CSU and FDP, and the opposition SPD and the Alliance '90/The Greens. This happened after the FDP, the SPD and the Greens had strongly supported Gauck and urged the conservatives to support him.[72] The SPD chairman, Sigmar Gabriel, said Gauck was his party's preferred candidate already on 17 February, citing Gauck's "great confidence among the citizens."[73] Reportedly, Chancellor Merkel gave in to FDP chairman (and Vice-Chancellor) Philipp Rösler's staunch support for Gauck; the agreement was announced after the FDP presidium had unanimously voted for Gauck earlier on 19 February.[74][75] He was thus supported by all major parties represented in the Federal Convention, except Die Linke, the successor party to the former East German communist party.[1]

According to a poll conducted for Stern, the nomination of Gauck was met with high approval. The majority of the voters of all political parties represented in the Bundestag approved of his nomination, with the Green voters being most enthusiastic (84% approval) and Die Linke's voters least (55% approval); overall, 69% support him, while 15% oppose him.[76] His nomination was "broadly welcomed" by the German media,[77] which were described as "jubilant."[78] However, his candidacy was criticized by Die Linke, and met with some other individual criticism; he was criticized by individual CSU members for not being married to the woman he lives with,[79][80] and by individual politicians of the Greens, notably for his earlier statements on Thilo Sarrazin and the occupy movement.[79] The SPD chairman, Sigmar Gabriel, however, stated that the reason that Die Linke was the only party that did not support Gauck was its "sympathy for the German Democratic Republic."[81][82]

David Gill was appointed head of Gauck's transition team,[83] and later became head of the Bundespräsidialamt.[84]

On 18 March 2012, Gauck was elected President of Germany with 991 of 1228 votes in the Federal Convention.[85] Upon accepting his election, he assumed the presidency immediately.[86] The new President took the oath of office required by article 56 of Germany's Constitution on Friday 23 March 2012 in the presence of the assembled members of the Bundestag and the Bundesrat.[87][88][89] On 6 June 2016, President Gauck announced he would not stand for re-election in 2017, citing his age as the reason.[90]

Presidential visits to foreign countries

He has visited a significant number of countries as President. In 2014, he boycotted the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in order to make a statement against human rights violations in Russia.[91][92]

On 3 August 2014, he joined French President François Hollande to mark the outbreak of the war between Germany and France in 1914 during World War I by laying the first stone of a memorial in Hartmannswillerkopf, for French and German soldiers killed in the war.[93]

State receptions

25.Jun.2015 Queen Elizabeth II. and Prince Philip's visit to Frankfurt (18964921388)
Gauck with Queen Elizabeth II at Römer, Frankfurt, during the 2015 royal visit to Germany.

Gauck regularly welcomed state officials in different parts of Germany, especially for remarkable events in history.

On 18 September 2014, Gauck welcomed the heads of states of (partly) German-speaking countries Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein to his home region of Mecklenburg. It was the first time Belgium and Luxembourg participated in the annual event. They met in Bad Doberan, Warnemünde and the city of Rostock to address the challenges of demographic change in Europe and to commemorate the peaceful revolution of 1989.[94]

Personal life

Gauck married Gerhild "Hansi" Gauck (née Radtke), his childhood sweetheart whom he met at age ten,[95] but the couple has been separated since 1991.[96] They were married in 1959, at 19, despite his father's opposition, and have four children: sons Christian (born 1960) and Martin (born 1962), and daughters Gesine (born 1966) and Katharina (born 1979). Christian, Martin and Gesine were able to leave East Germany and emigrate to West Germany in the late 1980s, while Katharina, still a child, remained with her parents. His children were discriminated against and denied the right to education by the communist regime because their father was a pastor.[97] His son Christian, who along with his brother decided to leave the GDR in early 1984 and was able to do so in 1987, studied medicine in West Germany and became a physician.[98]

Since 2000, his domestic partner has been Daniela Schadt, a journalist.[99]

Gauck is a member of the Evangelical Church in Germany, and served as a pastor for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mecklenburg—a member church of that federation.[100]

Selected publications

  • 1991: Die Stasi-Akten. Das unheimliche Erbe der DDR. (= rororo 13016) Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1991 ISBN 3-499-13016-5
  • 1992: Von der Würde der Unterdrückten (contributor)
  • 1993: Verlust und Übermut. Ein Kapitel über den Untertan als Bewohner der Moderne (contributor)
  • 1998: Das Schwarzbuch des Kommunismus – Unterdrückung, Verbrechen und Terror (contributor of the chapter "Vom schwierigen Umgang mit der Wahrnehmung", on political oppression in East Germany), Piper Verlag, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-492-04053-5
  • 2007: Reite Schritt, Schnitter Tod! Leben und Sterben im Speziallager Nr. 1 des NKWD Mühlberg/Elbe (contributor), Elisabeth Schuster (ed.), German War Graves Commission, ISBN 978-3-936592-02-3 (on the NKVD Special Camp No. 1, a Soviet NKVD concentration camp)
  • 2007: Diktaturerfahrungen der Deutschen im 20. Jahrhundert und was wir daraus lernen können (Schriftenreihe zu Grundlagen, Zielen und Ergebnissen der parliamentarischen Arbeit der CDU-Fraktion des Sächsischen Landtages; Band 42), Dresden 2007
  • 2009: Die Flucht der Insassen: Freiheit als Risiko (Weichenstellungen in die Zukunft. Eine Veröffentlichung der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.). Sankt Augustin-Berlin 2009. ISBN 978-3-941904-20-0
  • 2009: Winter im Sommer, Frühling im Herbst. Erinnerungen. [Winter in Summer, Spring in Autumn. Memoirs]. München: Siedler 2009 ISBN 978-3-88680-935-6
  • 2012: Freiheit. Ein Plädoyer [Freedom. A Plea]. Kösel, München 2012, ISBN 978-3-466-37032-0.


National honour

Foreign honours


  1. ^ a b c d Robert Coalson, Longtime Anticommunist Activist To Become Germany's Next President, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 20 February 2012
  2. ^ "German Presidential Nominee’s Background Seen as an Asset", The New York Times, 20 February 2012
  3. ^ "A crucial test for Angela Merkel". FRANCE 24. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Gauck's civic engagement wins him wide support". DW.DE. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  5. ^ "German media roundup: Little excitement for Wulff presidency". 4 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  6. ^ "Politik Inland : Joachim Gauck, der Stasi-Jäger – Archiv – Westfälische Nachrichten" (in German). 30 June 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  7. ^ "Germany's Next President: 'I'm No Superman' – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International". Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Merkel Names Gauck as Unity Candidate for German Presidency". Businessweek. 8 December 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  9. ^ "DER SPIEGEL 23/2010 – Inhaltsverzeichnis". Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  10. ^ a b c "Profile: Joachim Gauck, Germany's 'President of Hearts' – The Local". 1 January 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  11. ^ "Joachim Gauck: Der "Kandidat der Herzen" – Politik Inland" (in German). Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  12. ^ "Vom Sieger der Herzen zum Bundespräsidenten?". MDR.DE. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  13. ^ Online, FOCUS. "Das Geheimnis um den Onkel". Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Joachim Gauck: Anti-communist pastor who could turn out to be Angela Merkel's nemesis – World news, News". 30 June 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  15. ^ Connolly, Kate (20 June 2010). "Joachim Gauck: the dissident hero who holds the destiny of Germany in his hands". The Guardian. London.
  16. ^ "Eastern Inspiration: Gauck the Therapist Wants to Put Germany On the Couch – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International". 29 June 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  17. ^ "Rival candidate for president new headache for Merkel". Reuters. 6 June 2010.
  18. ^ Sturm, Daniel Friedrich (14 June 2013). "Gedenken: Gauck wirbt für "aufgeklärten Antikommunismus"" – via
  19. ^ "German president slams communism in provocative speech to Shanghai students on his China visit".
  20. ^ "Gauck-Buch: Plädoyer für Freiheit und Menschenrechte". Archived from the original on 14 September 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  21. ^ "Angela Merkel backs 'German Nelson Mandela' for president". Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  22. ^ a b "Presidential Vote 'Could Turn into a Disaster for Merkel'". Der Spiegel. 7 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  23. ^ a b c The Gauck File, The Wall Street Journal, 22 February 2012, p. 14
  24. ^ "Das Geheimnis um den Onkel". Focus Online. 28 June 2010.
  25. ^ "Der Herr der Akten erzählt sein Leben". ZDF (in German). 16 October 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  26. ^ "Profile: Joachim Gauck, Germany's 'President of Hearts' – The Local". Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  27. ^ Gauck 2009, p. 37
  28. ^ Witt, Jan. "Joachim Gauck – Oppositionskandidat für das Amt des Bundespräsidenten". (in German). Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  29. ^ „Wir Deutsche können Freiheit", Interview, Ostseezeitung Rostock, 23/24 January 2010
  30. ^ Eckhard Jesse, Eine Revolution und ihre Folgen: 14 Bürgerrechtler ziehen Bilanz, 2000
  31. ^ "Joachim Gauck: Vom Bürgerrechtler zum Staatsoberhaupt". 21 February 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  32. ^ Baring, Arnulf (8 November 2009). "Unbelehrbarer Antikommunist". Die Welt (in German). Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  33. ^ Cammann, Alexander (24 January 2010). "Joachim Gauck: Eine Freiheitslehre". Die Zeit (in German). Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  34. ^ Nachrichten. "Joachim Gauck – eine patriotische Ich-AG". Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  35. ^ Kate Connolly, Joachim Gauck: the dissident hero who holds the destiny of Germany in his hands, The Guardian, 20 June 2010
  36. ^ "Bundespräsidenten-Kandidat Gauck: "Ich kann zählen"". taz. 5 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  37. ^ Das Gupta, Oliver (8 June 2010). "FDP-Politiker Zastrow – "Gauck ist ein Liberaler wie wir"". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  38. ^ Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Commissioner for Civil Rights Protection in Poland, Government of Poland, 2008
  39. ^ "Sächsischer Landtag feiert Tag der Deutschen Einheit – Festredner Joachim Gauck: "Freiheit wagen – Verantwortung leben"". Landtag of Saxony (in German). 3 October 2007. Archived from the original on 3 March 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  40. ^ "Kandidaten für das Amt des Bundespräsidenten: Warum "Die Linke" Joachim Gauck nicht wählt". Bild (in German). 4 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  41. ^ "Bundespräsident – Warum die Linke Joachim Gauck ablehnt – Politik – Berliner Morgenpost – Berlin". Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  42. ^ Nachrichtenfernsehen, n-tv. "Distanzierung von Linkspartei: Gauck begrüßt Haltung der SPD". Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  43. ^ "Prague Declaration – Declaration Text". 3 June 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  44. ^ "Declaration on Crimes of Communism". 25 February 2010. Archived from the original on 21 May 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  45. ^ Schneibergová, Martina (3 June 2008). "Gauck in Prag: Auch Linke im Westen brauchen Nachhilfeunterricht – Radio Prag". Radio Prague (in German). Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  46. ^ "Zentrum gegen Vertreibungen". Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  47. ^ Paterson, Tony (30 June 2010). "Anti-communist pastor who could turn out to be Merkel's nemesis". The Independent. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  48. ^ "Merkel sceglie Gauck Un pastore luterano a prova di scandali". 24 December 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  49. ^ "Leserdebatte: Als Gauck Sarrazin "Mut" attestierte – Politik – Tagesspiegel" (in German). Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  50. ^ "Designierter Bundespräsident: Das Internet-Märchen vom bösen Joachim Gauck – Nachrichten Politik – Deutschland – WELT ONLINE" (in German). Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  51. ^ "German president sparks debate with Islam comments". 1 June 2012.
  52. ^ "Nazis 'merciless' toward wartime Soviets, says Gauck". Deutsche Welle. 6 May 2015.
  53. ^ "Koalition präsentiert Wulff als ihren Kandidaten". tagesschau (in German). 7 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  54. ^ a b Siebert, Sven (4 June 2010). "Rot-Grün setzt auf Joachim Gauck". Sächsische Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  55. ^ Kleine, Rolf (4 June 2010). "Kandidat Joachim Gauck: Für die CDU würde ich auch antreten!". Bild. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  56. ^ "Auftritt des Kandidaten: "Ich bin weder rot noch grün, sondern Joachim Gauck"". Die Welt (in German). 4 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  57. ^ Carstens, Peter (5 June 2010). "Die FDP hatte keine Wahl". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  58. ^ "Merkel nominates Wulff for president". 3 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  59. ^ Solms-Laubach, Franz (4 June 2010). "Kandidaten-Poker um das Präsidenten-Amt: Wackelt Wulffs Mehrheit?". Bild. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  60. ^ Draxler, Alfred; Baldauf, Angi (4 June 2010). "Kandidatfür das Amt des Bundespräsidenten Christian Wulff: Ich will Mut und Optimismus verbreiten!". Bild (in German). Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  61. ^ a b "Der Krimi um die Präsidentenwahl". Die Welt (in German). 6 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  62. ^ "Die Linke sieht ein Signal gegen Rot-Rot-Grün". Die Welt (in German). 5 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  63. ^ ""DDR war kein Unrechtsstaat": Jochimsen definiert Unrecht" (in German). Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  64. ^ Linke verhindert Gauck, Wulff wird Präsident, Manager Magazin.
  65. ^ "Bundespräsidentenwahl: Linke Jochimsen zieht Kandidatur zurück". Der Spiegel (in German). Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  66. ^ a b Gauck-Boykott vertieft die Gräben,
  67. ^ Causa Gauck entlarvt Rot-Rot-Grün als Illusion, Die Welt.
  68. ^ "Bundespräsident: Gabriel: Lafontaine-Kritik an Gauck peinlich – Deutschland – FOCUS Online – Nachrichten". 17 June 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  69. ^ Opposition streitet über Gauck,
  70. ^ "Merkel candidate Wulff wins presidency on third attempt". BBC News. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  71. ^ Der Gauck-Macher, Bild.
  72. ^ "German government, opposition agree on Joachim Gauck as candidate for the country's presidency". Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  73. ^ Gauck Favorit der SPD für Wulff-Nachfolge Archived 23 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine, DTS, 18 February 2012
  74. ^ GmbH, Munich, Germany. "FDP beharrt auf Gauck: Rösler feiert gefährlichen Sieg – Politik". Retrieved 20 February 2012.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  75. ^ "Gauck-Nominierung: Union wirft FDP "gewaltigen Vertrauensbruch" vor – Nachrichten Politik – Deutschland – WELT ONLINE" (in German). Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  76. ^ Applaus für Joachim Gauck,
  77. ^ "German press hails Joachim Gauck presidency nomination". 20 February 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2017 – via
  78. ^ "Germany's 'president of hearts' seeks to restore the faith". Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  79. ^ a b Gauck in der Kritik,
  80. ^ "Joachim Gaucks "wilde Ehe" irritiert die CSU". Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  81. ^ Gabriel greift Linke an: Betonköpfe, die Stasi-Aufklärung unanständig finden, Focus, 26 February 2012
  82. ^ Gabriel: Linke lehnt Gauck wegen Sympathie für DDR ab, Agence France-Presse, 26 February 2012
  83. ^ David Gill – Gaucks Vertrauter fürs Schloss Bellevue, Die Welt vom 25. Februar 2012
  84. ^ Bingener, Reinhard (19 March 2012). "David Gill: Gaucks zielstrebiger Vertrauter". Retrieved 10 January 2017 – via FAZ.NET.
  85. ^ Entscheidung in Berlin, Der Spiegel, 18 March 2012
  86. ^ "Gauck ist neuer deutscher Bundespräsident «". Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  87. ^ " Der Bundespräsident / Startseite". Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  88. ^ " Der Bundespräsident / Terminkalender / Vereidigung von Bundespräsident Joachim Gauck". Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  89. ^ Article on the Bundestag's website with information on the election and on the swearing-in scheduled for 23 March 2012. Retrieved on 19 March 2012. Archived 9 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  90. ^ Kate Connolly (6 June 2016). "Headache for Angela Merkel as German president Joachim Gauck steps down". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  91. ^ Germany, SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg. "Kritik an Russland: Gauck boykottiert Olympische Spiele in Sotschi – SPIEGEL ONLINE – Politik". Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  92. ^ Oltermann, Philip (8 December 2013). "German president boycotts Sochi Winter Olympics". Retrieved 10 January 2017 – via The Guardian.
  93. ^ "French, German Presidents Mark World War I Anniversary". France News.Net. Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  94. ^ "Joachim Gauck welcomes presidents to Mecklenburg to address demographic change and commemorate the Wende". Official Presidential Website. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  95. ^ "Hansi Gauck versteht Trauschein-Debatte nicht – Politik Inland" (in German). 22 February 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  96. ^ Hansi Gauck will von Scheidung nichts wissen, Die Welt, 22 February 2012, retrieved 16 November 2015
  97. ^ "Vater-Sohn-Verhältnis – Bruchstellen – Christian Gauck über seinen Vater – Deutschland – Politik – Hamburger Abendblatt". 28 February 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  98. ^ "Joachim Gauck: Wenn Vater sagt "Gesine, steh doch mal auf!" – Nachrichten Politik – Deutschland – WELT ONLINE" (in German). 25 February 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  99. ^ "Joachim Gauck: Sein Liebespfad nach Nürnberg". Nürnberger Nachrichten (in German). 7 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  100. ^ Gessat, Michael (19 February 2012), Gauck's civic engagement wins him wide support, DW, retrieved 28 February 2012
  101. ^ Nomination by Sovereign Ordonnance n° 3839 of 9 July 2012 (French)
  102. ^ "Nederland eert Duitse president Gauck met Grootkruis en eredoctoraat".
  103. ^ "Iohannis i-a decorat pe preşedintele Germaniei şi pe partenera sa" (in Romanian). Mediafax. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.

External links

Civic offices
New office Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records
Succeeded by
Marianne Birthler
Political offices
Preceded by
Christian Wulff
President of Germany
Succeeded by
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
2010 German presidential election

An indirect presidential election (officially the 14th Federal Convention) was held in Germany on 30 June 2010 following the resignation of Horst Köhler as President of Germany on 31 May 2010. Christian Wulff, the candidate nominated by the three governing parties, the Christian Democratic Union, the Christian Social Union of Bavaria and the Free Democratic Party, was elected President in the third ballot. His main contender was the candidate of two opposition parties, the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance '90/The Greens, independent anti-communist human rights activist Joachim Gauck.

2012 German presidential election

An early indirect presidential election (officially the 15th Federal Convention) was held in Germany on 18 March 2012, the last possible day following the resignation of Christian Wulff as President of Germany on 17 February 2012. Joachim Gauck was elected on the first ballot by a Federal Convention, consisting of the 620 members of the Bundestag and an equal number of members selected by the states of Germany based on proportional representation.On 19 February 2012, Joachim Gauck was nominated as the joint presidential candidate of the governing coalition (CDU, CSU, and FDP) and the opposition (SPD and Greens). He also had the support of the Free Voters and the South Schleswig Voter Federation.

2012 in Germany

Events in the year 2012 in Germany.

2017 German presidential election

The 2017 German presidential election (officially the 16th Federal Convention) was held on 12 February 2017 to elect the 12th President of Germany. Incumbent President Joachim Gauck announced on 6 June 2016 that he would not stand for re-election, citing his advancing age.The President is elected by the Federal Convention, an electoral body that consists of all members of the current Bundestag and an equal number of electors, who are elected by the sixteen state parliaments. Frank-Walter Steinmeier of the Social Democratic Party was chosen as the single candidate of the ruling coalition in November 2016 and, with the Christian Democratic Union choosing not to field a candidate against him, his election was seen as guaranteed. Steinmeier was elected on the first ballot, and took office on 19 March 2017.

Anne Patzwald

Anne Patzwald (born 2 July 1989, Guben, East Germany) is a German 1.0 point wheelchair basketball player, who played for the German national team at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, winning silver. President Joachim Gauck awarded the team Germany's highest sporting honour, the Silbernes Lorbeerblatt (Silver Laurel Leaf).

Annegret Brießmann

Annegret Brießmann (born 28 July 1972) is a 1.0 point wheelchair basketball player, who plays for the Frankfurt Mainhatten Skywheelers. She has also played with the German national team which won a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London. President Joachim Gauck awarded the team Germany's highest sporting honour, the Silbernes Lorbeerblatt (Silver Laurel Leaf).

Barbara Gross

Barbara Gross (born 20 November 1993) is a 4.5 point wheelchair basketball player, who played for the German national team at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, winning silver. President Joachim Gauck awarded the team Germany's highest sporting honour, the Silbernes Lorbeerblatt (Silver Laurel Leaf).

Christian Wulff

Christian Wilhelm Walter Wulff (German pronunciation: [ˈkʁɪsti̯an ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈvaltɐ vʊlf]; born 19 June 1959) is a German politician and lawyer. He served as President of Germany from 2010 to 2012. A member of the Christian Democratic Union, he served as Prime Minister of the state of Lower Saxony from 2003 to 2010. He was elected President in the 30 June 2010 presidential election, defeating opposition candidate Joachim Gauck and taking office immediately, although he was not sworn in until 2 July.On 17 February 2012, Wulff resigned as President of Germany, facing the prospect of prosecution for allegations of corruption relating to his prior service as Minister-President of Lower Saxony. In 2014, he was acquitted of all corruption charges by the Hanover regional court.

Daniela Schadt

Daniela Schadt (born 3 January 1960 in Hanau, West Germany) is a German journalist, and, since 2000, the domestic partner of Joachim Gauck, former President of Germany, who has been legally married since 1959 to Gerhild Radtke. She has sometimes been referred to by the media as "First Lady".

David Gill (civil servant)

David Gill (born 1966) is a German civil servant and politician, currently serving as German Consul General in New York. Previously, he had been the Secretary of State and head of the Bundespräsidialamt, the administration of the President of Germany. He was appointed on 19 March 2012 by President Joachim Gauck. He is a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.

He grew up in East Germany, where he initially studied theology, the only subject he was allowed to study. After the German reunification, he worked for the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records and became a close aide of Joachim Gauck, serving as his press secretary. In 1991, he was one of six individuals, one of them also being Gauck, who were awarded the Theodor Heuss medal by the Theodor Heuss Foundation, on behalf of the peaceful protesters of 1989 in then-East Germany.

In 1992, he left the Federal Commissioner's office to study law, and earned an LL.M. at the University of Pennsylvania in 1998. In 2000, he passed the second state examination, qualifying as a lawyer. He then worked as an adviser to the Federal Ministry of the Interior. From 2004, he worked for the Evangelical Church in Germany.Following Gauck's nomination for President of Germany, Gill became head of his transition team and the designated head of the Bundespräsidialamt.He is married to Sheila Gill, an American. They have two daughters.

Johanna Welin

Johanna Welin (born 24 June 1984) is a Swedish-born German 2.0 point wheelchair basketball player. She played for USC Munich in the German wheelchair basketball league, and for the national team that won the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, after which President Joachim Gauck awarded the team with the Silbernes Lorbeerblatt (Silver Laurel Leaf).

List of presidential trips made by Joachim Gauck

This is a list of presidential visits to foreign countries made by Joachim Gauck, the former President of Germany. Gauck was elected and assumed the office for a five-year term on 18 March 2012, following the resignation of Christian Wulff and served until 18 March 2017.

Maria Kühn

Maria Kühn (born 14 February 1982) is a 1.0-point wheelchair basketball player who plays for SV Reha Augsburg in the German wheelchair basketball league. She has also played in the German national team, with which she won two European titles, was runner-up at 2010 World Championships, and won a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London. Having won the gold medal, President Joachim Gauck awarded the team the Silbernes Lorbeerblatt (Silver Laurel Leaf), Germany's highest sporting honour.

Max Rendschmidt

Max Rendschmidt (born 12 December 1993) is a German Olympic canoeist. He represented his country at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and won two gold medals, in K-2 1000 metres and K-4 1000 m events. He is triple world champion and five-time European champion. On 1 November 2016, Rendschmidt received the Silver Laurel Leaf, the highest award for an athlete in Germany, from the german Federal President Joachim Gauck in Berlin. He works for the German Federal Police.

Maya Lindholm

Maya Lindholm (born 20 December 1990) is a 2.5 point wheelchair basketball player, who played with the German national team that won a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London. It also won a European title in 2011 and was runner-up in 2013. President Joachim Gauck awarded the team Germany's highest sporting honour, the Silbernes Lorbeerblatt (Silver Laurel Leaf).

Stiftung Lesen

Stiftung Lesen (Reading Foundation) is a non-profit organization based in Mainz, Germany under the patronage of Joachim Gauck. Stiftung Lesen acts as a stakeholder for reading promotion on a national and international level. It contributes to reading promotion and reading education through programmes, scientific research, and political recommendations.

To create a basis for the development of reading skills, and to enhance the overall level of literacy, Stiftung Lesen established adequate and accessible programmes for every member of society – regardless of financial, cultural or social background.

In 2006 Stiftung Lesen established its own Institute for Research on Reading and Media in order to align its projects with the latest scientific findings. The institute is tasked with conducting scientific research on the use of media, reading and reading socialisation, the supervision and evaluation of the foundation’s projects and the organisation of conferences on topics concerning literacy and media research (including reading in the digital age), publishing some of its reports for the German government.

The Black Book of Communism

The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression is a 1997 book by Stéphane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Andrzej Paczkowski and several other European academics documenting a history of political repressions by Communist states, including genocides, extrajudicial executions, deportations, killing population in labor camps and artificially created famines. The book was originally published in France as Le Livre noir du communisme: Crimes, terreur, répression by Éditions Robert Laffont. In the United States, it was published by Harvard University Press,:217 with a foreword by Martin Malia. The German edition, published by Piper Verlag, includes a chapter written by Joachim Gauck. The introduction was written by Courtois. Historian François Furet was originally slated to write the introduction, but was prevented from doing so by his death.:51 The book has been translated into numerous languages, sold millions of copies and is considered one of the most influential, although one of the most controversial, books written about communism.The book's title was chosen to echo the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee's Black Book, a documentary record of Nazi atrocities written by Ilya Ehrenburg and Vasily Grossman.:xiii

University of Augsburg

The University of Augsburg (German: Universität Augsburg) is a university located in the Universitätsviertel section of Augsburg, Germany. It was founded in 1970 and is organized in 8 Faculties.

The University of Augsburg is a relatively young campus university with approx. 18,000 students in October 2012. About 14% of its students come from foreign countries, a larger percentage than at comparable German universities.In October 2011 Sabine Doering Manteuffel succeeded Alois Loidl as rector of the university. She is the first female rector of a Bavarian university.

The former President of Germany Joachim Gauck holds a Doctor honoris causa of the University of Augsburg.

by location
Later events
Acting heads of state
Presidential candidates of the CDU/CSU


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.