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Olaf Scholz

Olaf Scholz

German politician (spd), mayor of hamburg

Olaf Scholz, (born June 14, 1958, Osnabrück, West Germany [now in Germany]), German politician who became chancellor of Germany in 2021. A longtime member of Germany’s centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), Scholz served as finance minister and vice chancellor in the “grand coalition” government of Angela Merkel (2018–21) before succeeding her as chancellor.

Early life and education

Scholz was born in Osnabrück in northwestern West Germany, and his parents worked in the textile industry. He was still a child when his family moved to Hamburg, West Germany’s commercial capital, and that city would figure prominently in his personal and political life. In 1975, while still a high-school student, he joined the Social Democratic Party. From 1978 to 1984 he studied law at the University of Hamburg, and throughout this time he was active in the SPD’s youth organization. Identifying himself as a Marxist, he became a prominent member of the party’s radical wing, and he was especially critical of the presence of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe.

Scholz earned a law degree in 1985 and established his own firm in Hamburg, specializing in labour law. The swift and unexpected collapse of the communist regime in East Germany in 1989 paved the way for the reunification of Germany, and the German labour market was radically reshaped almost overnight.

Political career and path to the chancellorship

In 1998 Scholz entered the Bundestag, representing the constituency of Hamburg-Altona, after a general election that saw the SPD capitalize on a faltering economy and general voter weariness to sweep aside the 16-year government of Christian Democratic Union chancellor Helmut Kohl. The SPD was able to form a coalition with the Greens, and Gerhard Schröder was named chancellor. Scholz became something of a protégé of Schröder, and this relationship allowed Scholz to ascend through the SPD ranks relatively quickly. In 2001 Scholz paused his term in the Bundestag to serve a brief stint as interior senator in the Hamburg government.


May 2022
Olaf Scholz | World news | The Guardian
June 14, 1958
Olaf Scholz was born in Osnabrück.


Further Resources


Books Olaf Scholz


Indian PM meets with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz


May 2, 2022

LIVE: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Ukraine | DW News


February 27, 2022

Scholz commemorates WWII as new war rages in Ukraine | DW News


May 8, 2022


September 27, 2021
The Economic Times
Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, who led the Social Democrats' (SPD) campaign, said Europe's biggest power would not be thrown off by the power struggle, stressing that Germany would remain "stable" even as parties scramble for coalition partners.
Kate Connolly in Chemnitz and Potsdam
September 19, 2021
the Guardian
Cheers and jeers greet political rivals trying to succeed Merkel, as they chase green votes in the former DDR
Christopher Condon, Birgit Jennen and William Horobin | Bloomberg
July 10, 2021
The landmark agreement aims to revamp rules that have allowed major companies to save billions by shifting profits to low tax jurisdictions
June 22, 2021
BERLIN (AP) -- German lawmakers presenting a report Tuesday into the collapse of the payment processing company Wirecard accused the country's finance minister and auditors Ernst & Young of numerous oversight failings.
Azmi Haroun
June 14, 2021
"My lab has never conducted or cooperated in conducting gain-of-function experiments that enhance the virulence of viruses," she told The New York Times.


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