Süssmuth on 4 April 2014
|President of the Bundestag|
(West Germany until 1990)
25 November 1988 - 26 October 1998
|Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth|
26 September 1985 - 25 November 1988
|Born||17 February 1937|
|Alma mater||University of Münster|
From 1985 to 1988, she served as Federal Minister for Youth, Family and Health (from 1986 youth, family, women and health) and from 1988 to 1998 as President of the German Bundestag . With close to 10 years, her tenure was the third longest in the history of the Bundestag. Only Eugen Gerstenmaier and Norbert Lammert held the position longer.
In addition to her political work, Süssmuth was involved in many civil society projects, for example as President of the European Movement Germany (1994-1998) and member of the Advisory Board and Board of Trustees of the non-profit Bertelsmann Foundation (1997-2007). Süssmuth has received various honours for her services.
Süssmuth was born and spent her childhood in Wadersloh. After graduating from high school (Emsland-Gymnasium) in Rheine in 1956, she completed a degree in Romance studies and history in Münster, Tübingen and Paris, which she finished on July 20, 1961 with the first state examination (Staatsexamen) for teaching. This was followed by postgraduate studies in educational science, sociology and psychology.
In 1964, she then received her Ph.D. phil. at the University of Münster. Her dissertation was titled "Studies on the Anthropology of the Child in contemporary French literature" ("Studien zur Anthropologie des Kindes in der französischen Literatur der Gegenwart").
Süssmuth graduated as a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Münster in 1964. From 1966 until 1982, she was a faculty member in education at University of Dortmund, Ruhr University, and their predecessor institutions.
From 1963 to 1966, Süssmuth worked as a scientific assistant at the universities of Stuttgart and Osnabrück and from 1966 as a lecturer at the Pädagogische Hochschule Ruhr. From 1969 to 1982, she had a teaching assignment at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum for International Comparative Education.
In 1971, she was appointed professor of Educational Science at the Pädagogische Hochschule Ruhr. In 1973, she accepted the call of the University of Dortmund. In 1971, she also began working on the scientific advisory board of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs.
In September 2000, she was appointed as chairman of an Independent Commission on Immigration, by then Minister of the Interior Otto Schily. The commission which was set up on 12 September 2000 and consisted of 21 members. Deputy Chairman of the commission was Hans-Jochen Vogel. The commission's task was to develop an overall concept for new immigration legislature. The results of the committee were presented in July 2001, in the form of a 323-paged report titled "Crafting Immigration - Promoting Integration" ("Zuwanderung gestalten - Integration fördern").
On September 6, 2005, Süssmuth was appointed as the new President of the state-approved Berlin OTA Private University (OTA Hochschule), today SRH Hochschule Berlin. She was succeeded by de:Peter Eichhorn in January 2010.
From 1985 to 1988, Süssmuth was Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth under Chancellor Helmut Kohl. In late 1989, she joined forces with Lothar Späth, Heiner Geißler, Kurt Biedenkopf and others in an unsuccessful effort to oust Kohl as CDU chairman.
Süssmuth was a member of the German Bundestag from 1987 to 2002. In the federal elections in 1987, 1990 and 1994 she won the direct mandate in the constituency of Göttingen and in 1998, she moved into parliament via the state list of the CDU Lower Saxony.
Her tenure saw West Germany reunified with East Germany.
In December 1989, Süssmuth advocated a joint declaration by both German states on the recognition of the Polish western border.
From 1986 to 2001, Süssmuth was president of the Frauen Union (the organization of the female members of the CDU) and therefore had a strong influence in her party.
In September 2000, Federal Minister of the Interior Otto Schily appointed Süssmuth as head of a high-profile bipartisan commission to overhaul Germany's immigration policies. Since 2005, she has been president of the OTA Hochschule, a private university in Berlin.
After leaving politics, Süssmuth has been involved in a number of philanthropic and business activities, including the following:
Süssmuth is also Member of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation established in 2008 to monitor tolerance in Europe and prepare recommendations to European governments and IGOs on fighting xenophobia and anti-semitism.
Süssmuth is a supporter of the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, an organisation which advocates for democratic reformation of the United Nations.
Since 1964, Süssmuth is married to university professor de:Hans Süssmuth. They have one daughter.
| Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth