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Henning Scherf
Henning Scherf
President of the Senate and Mayor of Bremen
In office
4 July 1995 – 8 November 2005
DeputyUlrich Nölle
Hartmut Perschau
Peter Gloystein
Thomas Röwekamp
Preceded byKlaus Wedemeier
Succeeded byJens Böhrnsen
Deputy President of the Senate and Mayor of Bremen
In office
18 September 1985 – 11 December 1991
PresidentKlaus Wedemeier
Preceded byMoritz Thape
Succeeded byClaus Jäger
Personal details
Born (1938-10-31) 31 October 1938 (age 83)
Bremen, Germany
Political partySPD
Spouse(s)Luise Scherf

Henning Scherf (born 31 October 1938 in Bremen) is a German lawyer and politician (SPD) who served as President of the Senate and Mayor of Bremen[1][2] from 4 July 1995 to 8 November 2005.


After studying law and social sciences from 1958 until 1962 in Berlin, Hamburg and Freiburg Scherf worked for a Protestant students association (Evangelisches Studentenwerk) until 1964. In 1968 he received his law doctorate from University of Hamburg.

Political career

Scherf has been a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany since 1963.

Scherf went into politics after practicing as a lawyer in Bremen, and was elected to the Bremer Bürgerschaft (parliament) in 1971. From 1978 until 2005 he was a member of Bremen Senate (government) in various functions, including Senator for Finances, Senator for Youth and Social Issues, Senator for Health and Sport, Mayor, Senator for Education and Sciences and Senator of Law and Constitution. In 1995 Scherf was elected President of the Senate and Mayor of Bremen.

Scherf accepts an Indiana flag from members of the town council of Bremen, Indiana – 1986
Scherf accepts an Indiana flag from members of the town council of Bremen, Indiana – 1986

He was also the head of the "Vermittlungsausschuss" (negotiations-committee) which resolves conflicts concerning legislation between "Bundesrat" and "Bundestag", the two houses of the German parliament at the federal level.

Scherf has been re-elected twice due to his popularity in Bremen. He is well known for his warm and friendly character despite his looks (he is 2 m tall). His diplomatic skills, especially in forging compromises and running negotiations, are considered legendary, not only by members of his own party.

For some time Scherf was urged by the people to run for the German Presidency (Bundespräsident) which he declined because of family reasons.

Other activities

Personal life

Henning Scherf married his wife Luise in 1960. The couple has three children and nine grandchildren.[5]

He is well known for going to work by bicycle and refusing to accept a car and a driver provided by the city. He also has the habit of only drinking warm water with his meals.


  1. ^ "Ruling German Party Scores Unexpected Victory". New York Times. 26 May 2003. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  2. ^ James, Peter (2004). Elections and electoral systems in Germany. Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-7546-1740-2. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  3. ^ Board of Trustees Archived 2017-06-18 at the Wayback Machine Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
  4. ^ Board of Trustees Gustav Heinemann Civic Award of the SPD.
  5. ^ Nicolai, Birger (7 September 2015). "Henning Scherf: "Heute können viele mit 60 Jahren Bäume ausreißen"". DIE WELT (in German). Retrieved 28 July 2021.