Joachim Gauck

Politician

1940 –

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Who is Joachim Gauck?

Joachim Gauck is the President of Germany, serving since March 2012. A former Lutheran pastor, he came to prominence as an anti-communist civil rights activist in East Germany.

During the Peaceful Revolution, he was a co-founder of the New Forum opposition movement in East Germany, which contributed to the downfall of the Soviet-backed dictatorship of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. In 1990 he served as a member of the only freely elected People's Chamber for the Alliance 90. Following German reunification, he was elected by the Bundestag as the first Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Archives, serving from 1990 to 2000. As Federal Commissioner, he earned recognition as a "Stasi hunter" and "tireless pro-democracy advocate," exposing the crimes of the former communist secret police.

He was nominated as the candidate of the SPD and the Greens for President of Germany in the 2010 election, but narrowly lost 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" and the Bild called him "the president of hearts." After Christian Wulff had stepped down, Gauck was elected 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.

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Born
Jan 24, 1940
Rostock
Spouses
Children
Religion
  • Lutheranism
Nationality
  • Germany
Profession
Education
  • University of Rostock

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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