Manfred Stolpe
Manfred Stolpe.JPG
Stolpe in 2005
Minister for Transport, Building and Housing
In office
22 October 2002 – 22 November 2005
ChancellorGerhard Schröder
Preceded byKurt Bodewig
Succeeded byWolfgang Tiefensee
Minister-President of Brandenburg
In office
1 November 1990 – 26 June 2002
DeputyAlwin Ziel
Jörg Schönbohm
Preceded byJochen Wolf (as Landesbevollmächtigter)
Succeeded byMatthias Platzeck
Member of the Landtag of Brandenburg
for Cottbus
In office
11 October 1994 – 11 November 2002
Preceded byDyrck Schneidenbach
Succeeded byBritta Stark
ConstituencyCottbus II
In office
26 October 1990 – 11 October 1994
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byHeidemarie Konzack
ConstituencyCottbus I
Personal details
Born(1936-05-16)16 May 1936
Stettin, Pomerania, Nazi Germany (now Szczecin, Poland)
Died29 December 2019(2019-12-29) (aged 83)
Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
Resting placeBornstedt Cemetery, Potsdam
Political partySocial Democratic Party (1990–2019)
Ingrid Stolpe
(m. 1961; div. 2003)
Alma materUniversity of Jena
  • Politician
  • Lawyer
  • Stasi Agent
  • Canonist

Manfred Stolpe (16 May 1936 – 29 December 2019) was Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs of Germany from 2002 until 2005. Before, he was Ministerpräsident of the state Brandenburg from 1990 until 2002. Stolpe was, after the state elections following German reunification, the only Social Democratic Minister-President of a state of former East Germany. Stolpe is thought of as the architect of modern Brandenburg[1] and left office with a 74 % approval rating.[2] He is credited with forging a new identity for the state, among other things, popularizing the Brandenburglied, though controversy surrounding failed projects and his work for the Stasi[3] came up during his tenure. To date, Brandenburg has only had Social Democratic Minister-Presidents.


Early life and education

Stolpe was born in Stettin (today Szczecin in Poland). He studied law at the University of Jena in German Democratic Republic (GDR) (1955–1959). In 1959 he became active in the Protestant Church in Berlin-Brandenburg, then comprising East Berlin and West Berlin and the region of Brandenburg, and was a guest student at the Free University of Berlin until 1961.[4]

GDR career

Between 1962 and 1969 he was Head of the Secretariat of the Conference of Governing Bodies of the Evangelical Churches in the GDR. After this he became Head of the Secretariat of the Federation of Evangelical Churches (GDR), a post which he held until 1981. During this time he was appointed to the World Council of Churches "Commission on International Relations".

In 1982 Stolpe became Consistorial President of the Eastern Region of the then divided Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg and, as such, a member of the Conference of Governing Bodies of the Evangelical Churches in the GDR; at the same time he was one of the two deputy chairmen of the Federation of Evangelical Churches. He gave up these positions in 1990 and 1989 respectively. He was a Stasi informer for 20 years while in the church.[5]

Political career after reunification

In July 1990 he joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and on 14 October of that year he was elected to the Brandenburg Landtag for a riding in Cottbus. Shortly afterwards, on 1 November 1990, he was elected Ministerpräsident of the State of Brandenburg. He was re-elected twice, gaining an absolute majority of seats in the 1994 Brandenburg state election, even though he had been accused of collaborating with the Stasi, chiefly by then-Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records Joachim Gauck. He held the position until his resignation on 26 June 2002. During his time in office, he spearheaded an unsuccessful attempt to unify Brandenburg and Berlin in 1996, though the states cooperate on many matters to this day. From May 1991 to 26 June 2002 he was a Member of the SPD National Executive.

From 22 October 2002 to November 2005, he was Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs.[6]


He married Ingrid Stolpe, a physician (now retired) in 1961. The couple had one child. They both received treatment for cancer, a subject on which they wrote a book and spoke on television.[7]


Stolpe received Honorary Doctorates in Theology from the University of Greifswald (November 1989),[8] from the University of Zurich (April 1991)[9] and in Economics from the University of Szczecin (June 1996).[10]


  1. ^ "Schwesig: Manfred Stolpe war „großartiger Ministerpräsidenten und echter Landesvater"". OZ – Ostsee-Zeitung. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  2. ^ "SPD LV Brandenburg – Index". 21 July 2002. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  3. ^ "Manfred Stolpe – Fakten über den Zuträger des MfS". Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  4. ^ "Manfred Stolpe". Die Chronik der Wende (in German). Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB). Retrieved 28 November 2010.
  5. ^ Protokoll der Enquetekommission, 11. Sitzung vom 24. Juni 2011
  6. ^ "Manfred Stolpe". Who's Who (in German). Retrieved 28 November 2010.
  7. ^ Manfred Stolpe: In der Pflicht der deutsch-deutschen Geschichte Die Zeit, 16 July 2011. "Die Stasi und er hatten schon immer eine verdächtige Beziehung. Nun muss Manfred Stolpe wieder damit umgehen, im Zentrum einer heftigen Debatte zu stehen."
  8. ^ Stude, Luise (26 June 2017). "Manfred Stolpe". Universität Greifswald (in German). Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  9. ^ Redaktion neues deutschland (30 April 1991). "Ehrendoktor für Stolpe (neues deutschland)". neues deutschland (in German). Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Dr. Manfred Stolpe † › Petersburger Dialog" (in German). Petersburger Dialog [de]. 26 September 2018. Retrieved 23 September 2020.