Walter Arendt

Walter Arendt ( born January 17, 1925 in Heessen; † 7 March 2005 in Bornheim ) was a German trade unionist and politician ( SPD). He was from 1969 to 1976 Federal Minister for Labour and Social Affairs.


Family, education and vocational

Arendt was the son of a miner, who died early in a dust - lung; an important motive for his later struggle for an earlier retirement of miners. After attending elementary and vocational school he trained as a miner and was then from 1939 to 1947, interrupted by work and military service and subsequent captivity, engaged in mining. From 1947 to 1949 he attended the Academy of working in Frankfurt am Main and the Academy of Social Economy in Hamburg one year.

From 1948 to 1955 he was then at the press office of the Mining and Energy (now the Mining - Chemical - Energy ) in Bochum, most recently from 1954 served as acting director of the press office. In 1955 he moved then to the Executive Board of the Mining and Power and was elected in 1964 as its chairman. In 1967 he was also President of the International Miners' Union. With the appointment to the Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Arendt retired in 1969 from his union offices from.


Arendt was a member of the SPD since 1946. From 1968 to 1979 he was a member of the SPD Federal Executive Committee and from 1973 to 1979 also a member of the Presidium of the SPD. From 1961 to 1980 he was a member of the German Bundestag, in addition of 29 November 1961 to January 21, 1970 Member of the European Parliament. From 1976 to 1980 he was deputy chairman of the SPD parliamentary group.

Public offices

After the formation of the social-liberal coalition Arendt was appointed on 22 October 1969 as the Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs in the cabinet of Willy Brandt. He held that office, first under Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. After a conflict between the government and the SPD to a pension increase Arendt declared immediately after the election in 1976 and re-elected as chancellor Schmidt resigned and retired on 14 December 1976 by ​​the Federal Government.


  • He was awarded with Star and Sash the Great Federal Cross of Merit.
  • The Marie Juchacz Medal of workers' welfare was awarded to him in 1974.
  • The Walter Arendt -Straße in Rösrath was named after him.