Horst Ehmke

Horst Paul August Ehmke ( born February 4, 1927 in Danzig, Free City of Danzig ) is a German constitutional lawyer and politician ( SPD). He was in 1969 the Federal Minister of Justice, 1969-1972 Federal Minister for Special Tasks and Head of the Federal Chancellery and 1972-1974 Federal Minister for Research and Technology and the Federal Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

Life and career

Ehmke first attended the Gymnasium in Danzig. In 1943 he was Luftwaffenhelfer and came to the Notabitur 1944 to a paratrooper unit of the Wehrmacht. As a 18- year-old he was wounded and fell into Soviet captivity.

Released in 1945, put Ehmke 1946, the High School in Flensburg. He studied law and economics in Göttingen, and from 1949 to 1950 political science and history at Princeton (USA). His studies ended Ehmke in 1951 with the first and the clerkship in 1956 with the second legal state examination. In 1952 his doctorate in law.

From 1952 to 1956 he was a research assistant to the Bundestag Adolf Arndt (SPD). After that, he was a research associate until 1960 the Ford Foundation in Cologne, Berkeley (USA). After his habilitation in 1960, he was appointed associate professor at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau in 1961. From 1963 he was Professor and Chair of Public Law at the same university. Since 1974 he has been admitted to the bar.

Ehmke is dedicated to after his departure from active politics to writing crime novels that play in the political environment ( political thriller ). Ehmke busy at times intensively with the murder case Praun. He holds the judgment against Vera Brühne wrong and suspected illegal arms trade as a motive for the murder.

Horst Ehmke is remarried and has three children.


From 1944, Ehmke was registered as a member of the NSDAP. When this became known in 2007, he claimed to have known nothing of it until now. Since 1947, Ehmke is a member of the SPD. From 1973 to 1991 he was a member of the SPD party executive.

Member of Parliament

From 1969 to 1994 Ehmke was a member of the German Bundestag. Here he was from 1977 to 1990 Deputy Chairman of the SPD Parliamentary Group. Horst Ehmke was last (12th legislature, 1990) drawn over the national list North Rhine-Westphalia to the German Bundestag.

Public offices

From 2 January 1967 to March 26, 1969 was Secretary of State in Ehmke out by Gustav Heinemann Federal Ministry of Justice. Following the resignation of Heinemann for his candidacy for office of President Ehmke was appointed as Federal Minister of Justice in the led of Federal Kiesinger Federal Government of the Grand Coalition on March 26, 1969.

After the general election in 1969, he became in 1969 the Federal Minister for Special Tasks and Head of the Federal Chancellery in now led by Chancellor Willy Brandt government on October 22. After the general election in 1972, he took over the leadership of the Federal Ministry for Research and Technology and the Federal Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications on 15 December 1972. Following the resignation of Willy Brandt during the Guillaume affair also Ehmke retired from the Federal Government on 7 May 1974.


Written estate (1948-1998; . 43.00 lm ) by Horst Ehmke is located in the Archives of Social Democracy ( AdsD ) at the Friedrich -Ebert- Stiftung (FES) in Bonn.

Non-fiction books to politics

  • Limits of the constitutional amendment. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1953.
  • Policy of practical reason. Speeches and papers. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1969.
  • Policy as a challenge. Speeches - Lectures - Papers 1968-1974. Müller, Karlsruhe 1974, ISBN 3-7880-9563-6.
  • Policy as a challenge. Speeches - Lectures - Papers from 1975 to 1979. Müller, Karlsruhe 1979, ISBN 3-7880-9636-5.
  • Contributions to constitutional theory and constitutional politics ( = Monographs on legal research. Public Law. Vol. 6). Athenaeum, Königstein 1981, ISBN 3-7610-6315-6.
  • Right in the middle. From the grand coalition of German unity. Rowohlt, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-87134-089-8.

Political thriller

  • Global player. Eichborn, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 3-8218-0578-1.
  • The Euro - coup. Eichborn, Frankfurt am Main 1999, ISBN 3-8218-0539-0.
  • Sky torches. Eichborn, Frankfurt am Main 2001, ISBN 3-8218-0876-4.
  • Private matter. Eichborn, Frankfurt am Main 2003, ISBN 3-8218-0932-9.
  • In the shadow of violence. edition q in Bebra Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-86124-599- X.


  • Dieter Klama, Horst Ehmke: The power of the large and small animals. Carl Hanser, Munich, etc. 1980, ISBN 3-446-13203-1.