Dr. Klaus Kinkel
Foreign Minister of Germany
In office
Preceded by Hans-Dietrich Genscher
Succeeded by Joschka Fischer
Chairman of the FDP
In office
Preceded by Otto Graf Lambsdorff
Succeeded by Wolfgang Gerhardt
Personal details
Born (1936-12-17) 17 December 1936 (age 84)
Political party FDP
Alma mater University of Tübingen
University of Bonn
University of Cologne
Religion Roman Catholic

Klaus Kinkel (born 17 December 1936) is a German civil servant, lawyer, and politician of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP). He served as Federal Minister of Justice (1991–1992), Foreign Minister (1992–1998) and Vice Chancellor of Germany (1993–1998) in the government of Helmut Kohl. He was also chairman of the liberal Free Democratic Party from 1993 to 1995. Previously, he was President of the Federal Intelligence Service (1979–1982).

As Foreign Minister, Kinkel took a clear stance to end the atrocities committed during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, and proposed the creation of the ICTY.[1]

Education[edit | edit source]

The son of a doctor, he was born in Metzingen, Baden-Württemberg, into a Catholic family. He took his Abitur at the Staatliches Gymnasium Hechingen and studied law at the universities of Tübingen, Bonn and Cologne. He became a member of A.V. Guestfalia Tübingen, a Catholic student fraternity that is member of the Cartellverband. Kinkel took his first juristic state exam at Tübingen, the second in Stuttgart and earned a doctorate of law in 1964.

Early career as a civil servant[edit | edit source]

He was first employed as a civil servant in the state of Baden-Württemberg, until he was employed at the Federal Ministry for the Interior in 1968. There, he was personal secretary for the Federal Minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, from 1970 to 1974, and eventually the head of the Minister's bureau. After Genscher was appointed Foreign Minister in 1974, Kinkel had senior positions in the Foreign Ministry, as head of the Leitungsstab and the Planungsstab.

President of the Federal Intelligence Service[edit | edit source]

From 1979 to 1982 he was president of the Federal Intelligence Service.

Secretary of state[edit | edit source]

From 1982 to 1991, he was secretary of state in the Federal Ministry of Justice.

Cabinet member and party chairman of the FDP[edit | edit source]

File:Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F063645-0024, Pullach, Besuch Carstens beim BND.jpg

Kinkel as President of the Federal Intelligence Service in 1981, during a visit to President Karl Carstens

He became a member of FDP in 1991. He was Federal Minister of Justice from 18 January 1991 to 18 May 1992, and was then Minister of Foreign Affairs to 26 October 1998. From 21 January 1993, he was also Vice Chancellor of Germany. He resigned as Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor after the government's defeat in the 1998 federal election.

From 1993 to 1995 he was chairman of the FDP.

Tenure as Foreign Minister[edit | edit source]

During his tenure as Foreign Minister, he made substantial efforts to end the atrocities committed by Serbs in the Yugoslav Wars. The former President of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milošević, claimed during his trial in the Hague, that Kinkel's policy was based on a long-standing objective of German foreign policy and the German liberal party in particular to erase Serbia from the map, citing statements by Kinkel that Germany had to accomplish in Yugoslavia what it had "failed to accomplish twice before," and that "the Serbs should be brought to their knees".[2] In 1992, he proposed the creation of the ICTY.

In 1992, he announced Germany's wish for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Member of Parliament[edit | edit source]

He was a member of the Bundestag, the Parliament of Germany, from 1994 to 2002. From 1998 to 2002, he was deputy chairman of the FDP faction. Kinkel was elected from the state of Baden-Württemberg.

Life after politics[edit | edit source]

After leaving government in 1998, he has worked as a lawyer and been engaged in a number of philanthropic activities.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Hazan, Pierre. 2004. Justice in a Time of War: The True Story Behind the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. College Station: Texas A & M University Press
  2. SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC MAKES HIS OPENING STATEMENT, Andy Wilcoxson, August 31, 2004, w...slobodan-milosevic.org
Preceded by
Gerhard Wessel
President of the Federal Intelligence Service
Succeeded by
Eberhard Blum
Political offices
Preceded by
Hans A. Engelhard
Federal Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger
Preceded by
Hans-Dietrich Genscher
Foreign Minister of Germany
Succeeded by
Joschka Fischer
Preceded by
Jürgen Möllemann
Vice Chancellor of Germany
Succeeded by
Joschka Fischer
Party political offices
Preceded by
Otto Graf Lambsdorff
Chairman of the Free Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Wolfgang Gerhardt

Template:GermanJusticeMinisters Template:BNDHeads Template:BRDFMs Template:FDP chairs

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