Freimut Duve
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Freimut Duve

Freimut Duve
Freimut Duve in 1979
Member of Bundestag

Personal details
Born(1936-11-26)26 November 1936
Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany
Died3 March 2020(2020-03-03) (aged 83)
Hamburg, Germany
Political partySPD
EducationUniversity of Hamburg
  • Journalist
  • Writer
  • Human rights activist

Freimut Duve (26 November 1936 - 3 March 2020) was a German journalist, writer, politician and human rights activist. From 1980 to 1998 he was a member of the Bundestag for the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). He was the first OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media from 1998 to 2003. Duve was also a well-known personality in the German literary scene.


Born in Würzburg on 26 November 1936,[1][2] Duve grew up in Hamburg.[1] He studied history, English literature and sociology at the University of Hamburg.[1][3] In 1961, he studied Britain's colonial history in South Africa and Zimbabwe.[1] He was the supervisor of foreign students at the University of Hamburg in 1965.[1]

Freimut Duve (right) with Eugen Glombig [de] in 1979

In 1966, Duve joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and became a personal assistant of Helmuth Kern [de], the Hamburg senator for business.[4] He campaigned for the party together with Günter Grass and Siegfried Lenz.[5] He worked as a political journalist for Stern magazine from 1969, and as an editor for Rowohlt Verlag from 1970 to 1989, responsible for a series of political books, among others.[1][6] He published political writings by Václav Havel, a manifesto against dictatorship in Portugal by Mário Soares, and yearbooks on human rights in Central and East Europe, among others.[3] Duve was a member of the Bundestag for the SPD, directly elected by the Hamburg Mitte electoral district, from 1980 to 1998.[1]

He was the first OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media until 2003,[4] being succeeded by Miklós Haraszti.[7]

Duve died in Hamburg on 3 March 2020.[2][4]


Duve's publications include:[1][3][8]

As author

  • Der Rassenkrieg findet nicht statt. Entwicklungspolitik zwischen Angst und Armut. Econ, Düsseldorf 1971, ISBN 978-3-430-12264-1.
  • Vom Krieg in der Seele. Rücksichten eines Deutschen. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1998, ISBN 3-49960486-8.
  • Kulturpolitik, auswärtig. In: Robert Picht u. a. (ed.): Fremde Freunde. Deutsche und Franzosen vor dem 21. Jahrhundert. Piper, München 2002, ISBN 3-49203956-1, pp. 377-383.

As editor

  • Kap ohne Hoffnung oder Die Politik der Apartheid. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1965.[9]
  • Die Restauration entläßt ihre Kinder oder Der Erfolg der Rechten in der Bundesrepublik. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1968.
  • Technologie und Politik. Das Magazin zur Wachstumskrise. Reinbek No. 1/1975 to No. 16/1980.
  • Aufbrüche. Die Chronik der Republik 1961 bis 1986. (together with Friedrich Krotz [de]). Rowohlt, Reinbek 1988, ISBN 978-3-499-15920-6.


Duve was presented the Hannah Arendt Award for Political Thought in 1997, together with Joachim Gauck.[3] He was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2004.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Freimut Duve / Publizist". Bundestag (in German). Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ a b Mangold, Ijoma (4 March 2020). "Der Intellektuelle als Politiker, der Politiker als Intellektueller". Die Zeit (in German). Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d "Freimut Duve". OSCE. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Wunder, Olaf (4 March 2020). "Freimut Duve / Einer der herausragendsten Politiker Hamburgs ist tot". Hamburger Morgenpost (in German). Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ Simsek, Melahat (4 December 2016). "Erlebte Geschichten mit Freimut Duve". WDR (in German). Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ Désir, Harlem (5 March 2020). ""Stay strong and dedicated to this great idea!"- In memoriam: Freimut Duve (1936-2020), First OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media". OSCE. Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ World Report 2000: The Events of 1999 Human Rights Watch Staff - 1999 - Page 249 "The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Freimut Duve, much to his credit, actively pushed for greater press freedom in Azerbaijan. He visited Azerbaijan in February, urging reform of libel laws and intervened in the Gakhramanly ..."
  8. ^ Publications by Freimut Duve German National Library
  9. ^ Axel Schildt [de]: Zwischen Hoffen und Bangen. Südafrika im Blick westdeutscher Intellektueller der 1960er-Jahre. In: Zeithistorische Forschungen [de], 13 [2016], pp. 360-364.
  10. ^ "Freimut Duve ausgezeichnet / Früherer OSZE-Medienbeauftragter erhält in Deutschland das Bundesverdienstkreuz". Der Standard (in German). 31 January 2004. Retrieved 2020.

External links

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