Liselotte Funcke
Liselotte Funcke in 1974
Member of the Bundestag
In office
17 October 1961 – 23 November 1979
Personal details
Born(1918-07-20)20 July 1918
Hagen, German Empire
Died1 August 2012(2012-08-01) (aged 94)
Hagen, Germany
Political partyFDP

Liselotte Funcke (20 July 1918 – 1 August 2012) was a German liberal politician of the Free Democratic Party (FDP). She was a member of the German Bundestag parliament from 1961 to 1979, serving as its vice president from 1969. She then was appointed state Minister of Economy in North Rhine-Westphalia, the first woman in the position. Funcke is remembered for her engagements to integrate foreigners in German society, as the Federal Commissioner for Foreigners (Ausländerbeauftragte) from 1981 to 1991, and afterwards.


Funcke was born in Hagen to a liberal-leaning family,[1] the fourth child of a factory owner.[2] Her father was member of the board and president of the Reichsverbandes der Deutschen Industrie from 1919 to 1933, and became a member of the Bundestag for the FDP in the 1950s.[2] Her mother came from the Osthaus family of bankers.[2] She attended the Realgymnasium, where she achieved the Abitur in 1937.[3] She served in the Arbeitsdienst and attended the Kaufmannsschule Dortmund. She then studied Betriebswirtschaftslehre (business administration) in Berlin, where she earned her diploma in 1941.[2] Funcke worked for three years for a Wirtschaftsprüfer (statutory auditor) in Wuppertal; from 1944 she was responsible for balance, taxes, and finance in the company Schraubenfabrik und Gesenkeschmiede Funcke & Hueck, which her great-grandfather had founded in Hagen.[2]

Funcke's political career began after World War II,[1] joining the FDP in 1946.[2] She was a member of the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia state parliament from 1950 to 1961,[4] when she was elected to the German Bundestag.[4][5] Funcke was the parliament's vice-president from 1969 to 1979.[4][1] From 1972 to 1979 she was chairman of the Bundestag's Finance Committee, having already been its deputy chairman from 1965 to 1969.[6]

Funcke served as state Minister of Economy [de] (Wirtschaft, Mittelstand und Verkehr) in North Rhine-Westphalia from 1979,[4] the first woman in the position.[6] She had to leave the post a year later because her party was no longer part of the Landtag. She was the Ausländerbeauftragte der Bundesregierung [de] (Federal Commissioner for Foreigners) from 1981 to 1991, working for the federal government for the integration of foreigners and their families,[2] again the first woman to hold the position.[6] She understood the position as "interpreter" of the problems of the foreigners, especially the large group of Turkish workers who brought their families with them; it earned her the respectful name Mutter der Türken (Mother of the Turks), and she continued to serve their interests in public after her official term.[4]

Funcke died in Hagen at the age of 94.[1]




  1. ^ a b c d Frölich, Jürgen (20 July 2018). "Für Gleichberechtigung und Integration. Liselotte Funcke, erste Ausländerbeauftragte der Bundesregierung, wäre heute 100 Jahre alt geworden". Friedrich Naumann Foundation (in German). Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Liselotte Funcke". (in German). 1991. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  3. ^ Weiske, Martin (2 August 2012). "Nachruf: Hagener trauern um ihre Ehrenbürgerin Liselotte Funcke". Der Westen (in German). Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Liselotte Funcke". (in German). Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Die Mitglieder des Deutschen Bundestages – 1.-13. Wahlperiode: Alphabetisches Gesamtverzeichnis; 28 February 1998" [The members of the German Bundestag – 1st – 13th term of office: Alphabetical complete index] (PDF). (in German). Deutscher Bundestag, Wissenschaftliche Dienste des Bundestages (WD 3/ZI 5). 28 February 1998. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "Superheldin / Liselotte Funcke: Die beständige Visionärin". Friedrich Naumann Foundation (in German). 17 January 2019. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Vierhaus, ed. (2011). Funcke, Liselotte. Biographisches Handbuch der Mitglieder des Deutschen Bundestages 1949–2002 (in German). Walter de Gruyter. p. 227. ISBN 978-3-11-096905-4.
  8. ^ Grande Dame. In: General-Anzeiger, 19 July 2008, p. 2.
  9. ^ "Dr. h.c. Liselotte Funke – die große Liberale".

Further reading