Norbert Blum - Fighter For The Welfare State Has Died

German computer scientist Norbert Blum

Fighter And German computer scientist Norbert Blum Has Died:


In the CDU, Norbert Blüm was suspected of being a leftist. He was independent, social and loyal to Helmut Kohl - even when he rejected him.

Yes, it belonged to the Bonn Republic, perhaps the last archetypal figure after the death of Hans-Dietrich Genscher. But what does that say? All yesterday's snow?

I have had Norbert Blüm in mind, who has now died at the age of 84, since the early 1970s: as managing director of the CDA's (Christian Democratic Workers') Social Committee in Königswinter, he began to interfere in Bonn's politics.

Until then, the CDU had set the tone, as it were as a state party, and at the end of 1969, there was the first major change of power and a social-liberal coalition. Norbert Blüm, a worker child, soon became the head of the social committees.

Even if the Christian Democrats found themselves on the opposition banks - the social committees have had a considerable influence on the course since Adenauer's time, especially as an intellectual, union-friendly stimulus and as a counterweight to the conservative majority.

He gladly invited us younger journalists - carried away by the spirit of optimism of the SPD / FDP government under Willy Brandt and Walter Scheel - to his home:

high above the Rhine, in Remagen, discussed our small discussion in the living room of Marita and Norbert Blüm, back then framed by an unusually large number of books, caricatures and pictures of clowns on the walls, which the landlord collected.

Later, in the Weberstrasse in Bonn's very bourgeois founding quarter, it looked like this again with Norbert Blüm, only the bookshelves were now overgrown by the whole apartment.

He conceded that he hadn't read all of the books at all, but he found it difficult to resist in bookstores.

The only one who belonged to all of Kohl's cabinets:


This Bonn from back then appears as a very polarized world, even between journalists.

After the next change of power in 1982, the lively, always curious Norbert Blüm moved into the first cabinet of Kohl as Minister of Labor and was the only one to be a member of all the cabins of the Kohl era until 1998.

For this reason alone, like his boss, the Palatinate, he was part of the typical inventory of the old Federal Republic.

But clearly, it was also his crop. The young flower had already urged his party in 1970 to seek dialogue with East Berlin.

What a taboo break! The GDR was not yet recognized as a state. Chancellor Kiesinger spoke of a "phenomenon".

This man of the social committees sympathized with Brandt's Ostpolitik against the tight party course, similar to Richard von Weizsacker.

Even more: against the line of the Union, he also afforded a touch of criticism of capitalism when arguing about classic welfare state issues, about the bottom and top of society.

At the age of just fifteen, 1950, Norbert Blüm joined the CDU, but at the same time, he also joined IG Metall - at that time as a toolmaker at Opel in Rüsselsheim.

Of course, this mixture - it was mockingly said "Sacred Heart Socialist" - certainly not. Norbert Blüm took it calmly. Popular parties and unions, he thought, were the cornerstones of the old republic.

Anyone who wanted to have a say found his chance here. This flower was soon heard as a voice of its own from the opposition - one that pragmatically opposed the tendency towards fundamental resistance to the Brandt and Schmidt coalitions and a conservative turnaround.

Then the minister under Kohl: very popular, highly valued by his employees, who liked to be carried away by him. The matter was more than the party book.

The Opel apprentice of yore, later Dr Phil. The doctorate was one of the species of discursive politicians who did not want to prescribe politics but struggled for arguments, explanations, comprehensibility.

Former Minister of Social Affairs - Norbert Blüm is dead:


Norbert Blüm was Minister under Helmut Kohl for 16 years and was responsible for the introduction of long-term care insurance. In the CDU he was known as a defender of the welfare state.


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