Manfred Lahnstein

Manfred Lahnstein ( born December 20, 1937 in Erkrath ) is a German politician ( SPD), managers and consultants. 1982 he was Minister of Finance and Minister of Economics from 1983 to 2004 for Bertelsmann.


As the son of a country doctor in Erkrath Manfred Lahnstein grew up with three siblings. His father died when he was eight years old. After attending elementary school in Erkrath and graduated High School in 1957 at the Modern Languages ​​School in Dusseldorf Gerresheim Lahnstein began a study of the economic and social sciences at the University of Cologne, which he finished in 1961 as a graduate economist.

Lahnstein is a member of the SPD since 1959. His career began in 1961. Until 1964 he worked as a youth education officer work and learn while DGB district of North Rhine -Westphalia. In 1964 he became deputy mayor of Erkrath. In parallel, he was in 1961 Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, first in Dusseldorf and from 1965 in Brussels as a representative of the German DGB within the jurisdiction of economy.

Beginning of the 60s he was a trombonist Düsseldorf Feetwarmers whose saxophonist Klaus Doldinger brought it to international fame later.

1967 Lahnstein became a member of the bar of EC Vice- President Wilhelm Haferkamp at the EC Commission, which he held until 1973 stood off to the side in 1971 as Head of Cabinet.

As Head of Economics and Assistant Secretary of State in the Federal Chancellery by Chancellor Willy Brandt in 1973, he moved to Bonn. From 1974 to 1977 Lahnstein became head of the Department of Basic Issues in the Federal Ministry of Finance under Hans Apel.

Lahnstein was appointed Secretary of State for Money, Credit, Global Finance and Europe in the Federal Ministry of Finance and after the election in 1980 on 1 December 1980 Head of the Federal Agency in May 1977.

On April 28, 1982, he was appointed as part of a reshuffle to the Federal Minister of Finance in the files kept by Chancellor Helmut Schmidt federal government ( as successor to Hans Matthöfer ). After breaking the social-liberal coalition, he also led from September 17, 1982, the Federal Ministry of Economics. After the election of Helmut Kohl as Chancellor ( no confidence ) Lahnstein retired from the federal government on October 4, 1982.

Lahnstein was from the beginning of the 10th legislature until his resignation on August 31, 1983 for a short time a member of the German Bundestag. He has moved beyond the national list North Rhine-Westphalia in the Bundestag.

1983 Lahnstein was headhunted by Bertelsmann AG in Gütersloh from the Bundestag. At Bertelsmann, he was initially responsible for the area of ​​new media on the board and moved in 1994 as a member of the Supervisory Board. From 1998 to 2004 he worked for the Bertelsmann Group as Special Representative of the Executive Board.

Since 1986 he has been Professor of Economics at the Institute for Cultural and Media Management at the University of Music and Theatre in Hamburg.

Since 1994 he leads of Hamburg from the consulting firm Lahnstein & Partner, International Consultants. In February 2009, he was appointed to the board of the London-based investment company Berger Lahnstein Middelhoff & Partners LLP.

Lahnstein is a consultant to the Saudi conglomerate Olayan Group and the investment bank Rothschild.

Social Activities

Since 1967 member of the German -Israeli Society. There he took over in the early 1990s, the Office of the Treasurer. From 1994 to 2006 he was its president.

From 1993 to 2005 Lahnstein was a member of the Trilateral Commission.

Since 1996 he has been Chairman of the Board of Time Foundation. He is committed to the Hamburg State Opera, the Thalia Theatre, the University of Music and Theatre in Hamburg, the Bucerius Law School and in particular the author Theater Festival, a theater festival in northern Germany.

He is since 2001 the first German and non- Jew Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the University of Haifa ( " Chairman of the Board of Governors " ), the " Governor " he was since 1996.

He is a board member of the Forum Tiberius.

Political positions

Lahnstein is led by the right-wing weekly newspaper Junge Freiheit as an author.

In 2011, Lahnstein said he sees himself as "a liberal social democrat " and criticized the Hamburg Programme of the SPD as an expression of a narrowed understanding of freedom, and as populist as a "dangerous [n ] discharge of a [ ... ] dull need for harmony ." For the future, he sees the main opponents of the SPD in the Green Party.


Manfred Lahnstein is married to Sonja Lahnstein - Kandel. They live in Hamburg and has a daughter and a son from his first marriage Lahnsteins, the financial manager Florian Lahnstein. His niece is actress Miriam Lahnstein.

Honors and Awards

  • Federal Cross of Merit, First Class (2001)
  • Moses Mendelssohn Medal 2006 of the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies
  • Honorary doctorate from the University of Haifa (2007)
  • " Manfred Lahnstein Scholarship " at the University of Haifa ( 2007)
  • Great Federal Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2007)
  • Honorary doctorate from the University of Hamburg ( 2008)


  • The fire department as arsonists, Earthscan 2002
  • Courage to take risks, Gabler Verlag 2002
  • Massel and chutzpah, Hoffmann & Campe in 2004
  • The tethered Chancellor, Luebbe, 2006
  • The open wound, Luebbe bastion, 2007
  • The Asian challenge. Hoffmann und Campe, Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-455-50269-5.