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Encyclopedia > Joschka Fischer
Joschka Fischer
Joschka Fischer

Joseph Martin "Joschka" Fischer (April 12, 1948 – ) was German foreign minister and Vice Chancellor in the government of Gerhard Schröder from 1998 to 2005. He was a leading figure in the German Green Party and according to opinion polls [1], he was the most popular politician in Germany for most of the government's duration. Following the September 2005 election, in which the Schröder government was defeated, he left office on 22 November 2005. Joschka fischer from wiki. ... Joschka fischer from wiki. ... April 12 is the 102nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (103rd in leap years). ... 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ... The Minister of Foreign Affairs is the member of the Cabinet of Germany in charge of the Foreign Office. ... The Deputy Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor (Vizekanzler) in Germany is often the Minister of Foreign Affairs. ...   [] (born April 7, 1944), German politician, was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (literally: Alliance 90/The Greens), the German Green Party, is a political party in Germany whose regional predecessors were founded in the late 1970s as part of the new social movements. ... German federal elections took place on September 18, 2005 to elect the members of the 16th German Bundestag, the federal parliament of Germany. ... November 22 is the 326th day (327th on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Early life

Fischer was born in Gerabronn in Baden-Württemberg, the third child of a butcher, whose family had lived in Hungary for several generations, but had to leave the country in 1946 after Hungary was occupied by the Soviet Union. His name "Joschka" is derived from the Hungarian Jóska, diminutive of Joseph (Hungarian József). Fischer dropped out of high school in 1965, and started an apprenticeship as a photographer which he quit in 1966. Gerabronn is a small city in the district Schwäbisch Hall, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. ... Baden-Württemberg is a federal state in southwestern Germany to the east of the Upper Rhine. ... 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ...


In 1967 he became active in the German student movement and left-wing movement (post-)1968 (Spontis), first in Stuttgart but after 1968 in Frankfurt am Main. Later Fischer had several unskilled worker jobs, among others in the largest left-wing bookstore in Frankfurt, the "Libresso" in Opera Square. During this period he also began attending leftist university events as a guest student, such as the lectures, de rigueur for revolutionary students, of Theodor W. Adorno, Jürgen Habermas and Oskar Negt. Such meetings had audiences of up to 2000. He studied the works of Marx, Mao and Hegel here. He was a member of the APO (German: Außerparlamentarische Opposition; English: Extra-Parliamentary Opposition), as well as a militant in a group called Revolutionary Fight. He was the leader of several street battles fought by the anarchist Putzgruppe which systematically attacked the police, injuring some of them severely. 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... The German student movement was a protest movement that took place during the late 1960s in Germany. ... In politics, left-wing, the political left or simply the left are terms that refer to the segment of the political spectrum typically associated with any of several strains of, to varying extents, socialism, green politics, anarchism, communism, social democracy, progressivism, American liberalism or social liberalism, and defined in contradistinction... Stuttgart [], a city located in southern Germany, is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg with a population of approximately 590,000 (as of September 2005) in the city and around 3 million in the metropolitan area. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... Frankfurt am Main [ˈfraŋkfʊrt] is the largest city in the German state of Hessen and the fifth largest city of Germany. ... Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund Adorno (September 11, 1903 – August 6, 1969) was a German sociologist, philosopher, musicologist, and composer. ... Jürgen Habermas Jürgen Habermas (born June 18, 1929 in Düsseldorf) is a German philosopher, political scientist and sociologist in the tradition of critical theory, best known for his concept of the public sphere. ... Oskar Negt (born August 1, 1934 in Kapkeim) is a philosopher and social theorist in the tradition of critical theory. ... Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818, Trier, Germany – March 14, 1883, London, England) was an immensely influential philosopher from Germany, a political economist, and a socialist revolutionary. ...   (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976) (also Mao Tse-Tung in Wade-Giles transliteration) was a Chinese Marxist military and political leader, who led the Chinese Communist Party to victory against the Kuomintang (KMT) in the Chinese Civil War, leading to the establishment of the People’s Republic of China... History teaches us that man learns nothing from history. ...


His close friendship with Daniel Cohn-Bendit dates from this time. In 1971 he began working for the car manufacturer Opel and attempted to organise his fellow workers for a coming communist revolution. (This was not organising on behalf of an ordinary labour union: the vast majority of Opel's workers had already been organised by IG Metall, the German metalworkers' union, decades earlier.) Six months later he was fired because of these political activities. He then made a living with unskilled work while continuing his activism. He worked as a taxi driver from 1976 to 1981, and later on as a bookshop clerk in the Karl Marx Bookshop in Frankfurt. Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Ash Wednesday 2004 at Biberach/Riss Daniel Marc Cohn-Bendit (born Montauban, France, April 4, 1945) is a European politician and was a leader of the student protesters during the May 1968 riots in France. ... 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1971 calendar). ... Opel is an automobile maker in Germany. ... IG Metall (Industriegewerkschaft Metall - German Metalworkers Union) is the dominant metalworkers union in Germany. ... 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ... 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Joschka Fischer with former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Joschka Fischer with former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

In the so-called Deutscher Herbst ("German Autumn") of 1977, Germany was confronted with a series of left-wing terrorist attacks by the Red Army Faction (RAF). According to Fischer's own account, witnessing these events, particularly the kidnapping and murder of Hanns-Martin Schleyer, made him renounce violence as a means of effecting political change. Instead, he became involved in the social movements and later in the newly-founded German Green Party, mainly in the state Hessen. Image File history File links Joschka_Fischer_und_Colin_Powell_2005. ... Image File history File links Joschka_Fischer_und_Colin_Powell_2005. ... General Colin Luther Powell, United States Army (Ret. ... For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ... Terrorist redirects here. ... Red Army Faction Insignia The Red Army Faction (or Red Army Fraction; also commonly known as Baader-Meinhof Group [or Gang]; in German: Rote Armee Fraktion or simply RAF), was postwar West Germanys most active and prominent left-wing terrorist organization; it described itself as an urban guerrilla group. ... Hanns Martin Schleyer (May 1, 1915 (Offenburg) - October 19, 1977 (assassinated by the Red Army Faction near Mulhouse, France)) was a German manager and employer representative. ... Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (literally: Alliance 90/The Greens), the German Green Party, is a political party in Germany whose regional predecessors were founded in the late 1970s as part of the new social movements. ... Hesse is also the name of the German writer Hermann Hesse, as well as the German mathematician Otto Hesse. ...


In May 1981 the Hessian Secretary of Commerce Heinz-Herbert Karry was murdered with a firearm that in 1973 had been transported, among other weapons stolen from an American army base, in Fischer's car. Fischer maintained he had given the car to the later terrorist Hans-Joachim Klein only for the purpose of having him install a new engine. Only later had he learned that the car had been used to transport stolen weapons. 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ...


As Foreign Minister, Fischer apologised for the violence of his Putzgruppe days, without disassociating himself from the radical movement. Some critics continue to charge Fischer with leading a 1976 discussion where participants decided to use Molotov cocktails in an upcoming demonstration for RAF member Ulrike Meinhof. Fischer was supposedly arrested on May 14 of that year as a suspect in Molotov cocktail attacks on police, but was released after two days. Fischer has stated that he never used Molotov cocktails against the police. Ulrike Marie Meinhof (October 7, 1934 – May 9, 1976) was a German radical left-wing militant who started out as a journalist. ...


Fischer has also been criticised for attending a 1969 conference of the Palestine Liberation Organization, where Yasser Arafat called for an all-out war on Israel "until the end". The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (Arabic: ‎;   or Munazzamat al-Tahrir al-Filastiniyyah) is a political and paramilitary organization regarded by Arab states as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. ... Yassir Arafat (Arabic: ) August 24 or August 4, 1929 – November 11, 2004), born in Cairo[1] to Palestinian parents Mohammed Abdel-Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini and also known by the kunya Abu `Ammar (أبو عمّار), was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (1969–2004); President[1] of the Palestinian...


Green politician

From 1983 to 1985, Fischer was a member of the Bundestag, the lower house of Germany's federal parliament, for the Green party. In 1985, he became Minister for the Environment in Hessen in the first state Social Democrat-Green coalition (1985-1987). Fischer caused a stir when he appeared at his swearing-in ceremony wearing sports shoes. These shoes are now on display in a museum in Bonn. A notable situation which characterizes his attitude at the time occurred on Oct. 18, 1984, when he addressed Richard Stücklen, current vice president of the parliament, with the words: "With respect, Mr. President, you are an asshole" (german: "Mit Verlaub, Herr Präsident, Sie sind ein Arschloch."). 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Bundestag (Federal Diet) is the parliament of Germany. ... 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... SPD redirects here. ... 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany, located about 20 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia. ...


In the end of the eighties of the past century Fischer used to express his thoughts very frankly in the periodical of the Hessian Green party "Stichwort Grün". He for example confessed in the edition "Dezember/Januar 1988" who in his eyes was the partys protective saint: "Oh Heiliger Dzhugashvili! Hat eine solche grüne Partei überhaupt eine Zukunft?" (Holy Dzhugashvili, does such a Green party have a future? - See:Josef Stalin). And in the edition of October 1989, one month before the Berlin Wall fell, he published an article with the big heading: "Der Wiedervereinigung die Schnauze verbieten!" (shut up re-unification!) (Russian, in full: Ио́сиф Виссарио́нович Ста́лин [Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin]; December 18 [O.S. December 6] 1878[1] – March 5, 1953) was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s to his death in 1953 and General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922-1953...


Fischer was again Environment Minister in Hessen from 1991 to 1994, and, later on, became co-chairman of the Greens parliamentary party in the Bundestag. During his years in opposition, Fischer was respected for his oratory, as well as for the charisma he exuded on the political stage. For a large part of the 1990s, with the SPD languishing in the opinion polls, Fischer was referred to by his admiters as the "real" Leader of the Opposition. He leveraged this status into political success, as he moved the Green Party to the centre ground of German politics, paving the way for participation in the nation's federal government. 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ...


Foreign Minister

Fischer with Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer in 2005.
Enlarge
Fischer with Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer in 2005.

In September 1998 the Social Democrats, led by Gerhard Schröder, decisively defeated the Christian Democrat government of Helmut Kohl. With the SPD's 42% and the Greens' 7%, a coalition government could be formed. Schröder, the election victor, stated his preference for such a coalition, as did an overwhelming majority of the SPD. After several weeks of negotiations between Social Democrats and Greens, the new government was sworn-in on 27 October 1998. Fischer became Minister of Foreign Affairs. Download high resolution version (854x919, 135 KB)Photo by User:Adam Carr This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (854x919, 135 KB)Photo by User:Adam Carr This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... The Hon. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... The Christian Democratic Union (CDU - Christlich-Demokratische Union) is a political party in Germany. ... Template:Infobox Chancellor Dr. Helmut Josef Michael Kohl (born April 3, 1930) is a Catholic German conservative politician and statesman. ... October 27 is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 65 days remaining. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ...


In 1999 Fischer supported German participation in the Kosovo War. This was an extremely controversial stance within the largely pacifist Green Party, because it meant that, for the first time since World War II, German soldiers would actively participate in combat. He justified this war with allegations that Serbia was planning to commit genocide against the Kosovo Albanians. 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Old Farts by the Sometimes-United Nations. ... The term Kosovo War or Kosovo Conflict is often used to describe two sequential and at times parallel armed conflicts (a civil war followed by an international war) in the southern Serbian province called Kosovo (officially Kosovo and Metohia), part of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. ... Pacifism is the opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes. ... Combatants Major Allied powers: United Kingdom Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Major Axis powers: Nazi Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Harry Truman Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead... Motto: none Anthem: Bože pravde (English: God of Justice) Capital Belgrade Largest city Belgrade Official language(s) Serbian1 Government Republic  - President Boris Tadić  - Prime Minister Vojislav KoÅ¡tunica Formation and independence    - Formation of Serbia 814   - Formation of the Serbian Empire 1345   - Independence from the Ottoman Empire July 13, 1878... Look up Genocide in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Fischer was also in favour of stationing German troops in Afghanistan, but he advised Schröder not to join the war in Iraq. He is known as a good friend of the head of the United Nations, Secretary-General Kofi Annan. By 2005 he was the second longest-serving foreign minister in German postwar history (after Hans-Dietrich Genscher). The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate co-operation in international law, international security, economic development, and social equity. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... George H. W. Bush and Hans-Dietrich Genscher, November 21st, 1989. ...


In 2005 Fischer was accused by critics of carelessly relaxing controls on visa regulations for Ukraine, thus allowing many illegal immigrants to enter Germany with fake identities. A parliamentary committee was established to examine the case, and unlike in other such committee hearings, Fischer's statement (and that of other top officials) was shown live on public TV. Fischer's appearance before the committee took twelve hours. (See German Visa Affair 2005). Joschka Fischer The visa affair is the name given by German newspapers to the controversy which arose in early 2005 over the issuing of visas to tourists entering Germany. ...


After the defeat of the coalition government in the 2005 election, Fischer announced that he would retire to the backbench. "After 20 years of power, now I want my freedom back", he was quoted as saying. On 13 October 2005, it was announced that Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) would succeed Fischer as Foreign Minister. German federal elections took place on September 18, 2005 to elect the members of the 16th German Bundestag, the federal parliament of Germany. ... October 13 is the 286th day of the year (287th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Steinmeier and Condoleezza Rice in Berlin Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier (born 5 January 1956 in Detmold, Germany) is a German politician and, since November 22, 2005, Foreign Minister of Germany in the Grand Coalition of Angela Merkel. ...


Life after Politics

At the beginning of September 2006 Fischer will be a senior fellow of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Robertson Hall, which houses the Woodrow Wilson School. ... Princeton University is a coeducational private university located in Princeton, New Jersey in the United States of America. ...


Private life

Fischer has consistently been the most popular German politician, leading the opinion polls for several years, even among supporters of other parties. This popularity may be attributed to his personal integrity as much as to his political points of view.


Until 1996, Fischer had been an outspoken connoisseur of good wines and food (regularly betting cases of expensive wine with opposition politicians on the outcome of elections), and had been overweight. Within a relatively short time he managed to lose an enormous amount of weight. He claimed that this was due to his giving up alcoholic drinks completely and changing his diet. He had also been doing fitness training and even running marathons. He cashed in on his weight loss by writing the book My long race towards myself on his experience, which became an immediate bestseller. Recently he has been putting on weight again. 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... A bestseller is a book that is identified as extremely popular by its inclusion on a list of top-sellers. ...


Fischer has been married five times: his first four marriages, to Edeltraud Fischer (1967-1984), Inge Vogel (1984-1987), Claudia Bohm (1987-1999), and Nicola Leske (1999-2003), all ended in divorce. In October 2005 he married (in Rome) Minu Barati, who was his common-law wife for 2 years. With Inge, his second wife, he has two children: David and Lara. In April 2005 Fischer became a grandfather for the first time. 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Nickname: The Eternal City Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 8th century BC Mayor Walter Veltroni Area    - City 1,285 km²  (496. ... Minu Barati (* 1976 in Iran) is a movie producer in Berlin and wife of German foreign minister Joschka Fischer. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Further reading

  • Boston Review article reviewing Fischer's biography
  • Biography at the German Historic Museum (German)
  • Photographs of Joschka Fischer 1991 - 1998 at the German Historic Museum (German)
  • Joschka Fischer, la retraite ou pas ? (french biography)
  • Joscka Fischer : les discours d’un Vert aux affaires étrangères (french speeches)

The following sources reflect the views of U.S. adversaries of Fischer and his policies, especially Germany's decision not to participate in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

  • Why Germany Isn't Convinced by Paul Berman in Slate
  • Power and the Idealists : Or, The Passion of Joschka Fischer, and Its Aftermath by Paul Berman. ISBN 1-932360-91-3 (Originally appeared as a 25,000 word essay in The New Republic, September 3, 2001)
  • The last rock 'n' roller of German politics In an interview with the taz given in September 2005, Fischer reflects on what his coming retirement means for his party, his country and himself. At signandsight.com
Preceded by:
Klaus Kinkel
Foreign Minister of Germany
1998–2005
Succeeded by:
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Joschka Fischer

  Results from FactBites:
 
International Crisis Group - Joschka Fischer (388 words)
Joschka Fischer was born in Gerabronn in Baden-Württemberg, Germany on April 12, 1948, the third child of a German family, which had for many generations settled in Hungary.
From 1987 to 1991, Fischer was Head of the Green Party Parliamentary Fraction in the State Legislature of Hesse and from 1991 to 1994 he served a second tenure as Hessian Minister of the Environment and Energy and held the additional portfolios of Federal Affairs and Deputy Minister President.
Joschka Fischer’s tenure was also characterised by his Government’s critical stance on the war in Iraq.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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