Hans-Dietrich Genscher - speakerbookingagency

Hans-Dietrich Genscher Speaker & Booking Information

Former Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Germany

Category: Government and Political Officials

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About Hans-Dietrich Genscher

Hans-Dietrich Genscher Biography

Hans Dietrich Genscher, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany for 18 years, is one of the most veteran Western politicians, a constant promoter of formulae for cooperation between the nations of the European continent and an outstanding mediator in the process of German reunification.

Born in Reideburg, near Halle, on the 21st March, 1927, he finished his degree in Law and Economy in 1949, in what was then the German Democratic Republic (GDR). From his early days as a student he belonged to the Liberal Democrat party and formed part of the Evangelical Church. He arrived in the German Federal Republic in 1952 and has been a lawyer in a firm in Bremen since 1954.

Also in 1952, he joined the Liberal Party, being appointed vice-president of the Bremen Young Democrats after a few months. Two years later he would begin to work as the technical advisor to this party's parliamentary group, until, in 1959, he was appointed as the executive secretary of the parliamentary group. He was to leave this post in 1965 to be appointed as whip of the parliamentary group. In 1968 he was appointed as deputy chairman of the Party.

A year later, in 1969, he entered Willy Brandt's cabinet as the Federal Minister for Home Affairs until, in 1974, thanks to Helmut Schmidt's taking office as the Federal Chancellor, he was appointed as minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice-Chancellor of the German Federal Republic. He was elected as president of the Liberal Party in 1974.

In September 1982, after a crisis arose in the governing Liberal-Democrat coalition, the four liberal ministers, headed by Genscher, presented their resignations. Genscher then formed closer relations with Helmut Kohl's Christian-Democrat party, leading to a motion of censure against Schmidt. Having won the vote, a centre-right coalition government was formed, in which Genscher kept the portfolio of Foreign Affairs. In February 1985, he transferred the presidency of the Liberal Party to Martin Bangemann.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1974 until 1992, and member of the federal parliament from 1965 until 1998, it was Hans Dietrich Genscher who accepted the inheritance of "Ostpolitik" initiated by Willy Brandt, based on closer relations with Eastern Bloc countries. Genscher made declarations in favour of Mikhail Gorbachev's disarmament proposals on many occasions, and was also a supporter of the prohibition of chemical weapons.

Although frequently ill due to the high rhythm of his activities, he is well known for his inexhaustible capacity for work and his disposition to travel. He was invested as a doctor "honoris causa" of the University of Salamanca in March 1986.

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