Joachim Gauck / theologian, politician, Germany
Joachim Gauck, born on January 24th, 1940 in Rostock, studied theology and worked as a pastor in Lüssow (Mecklenburg) and in Rostock. Among other things, he works as a parish priest. In 1983 and 1988 he led two Protestant Church Days in Rostock (GDR).
Gauck, whose parents were already suffering from repression in the GDR, has been under surveillance by the State Security since 1974. In 1988/1989, three of his children emigrated with their families to West Germany because of repression.
In the course of the peaceful revolution, he became involved in the New Forum and became a member of the freely elected People’s Chamber of the GDR in 1990. There he heads the special committee for the dissolution of the Ministry of State Security.
In 1990, he was elected Federal Commissioner for the Stasi documents in the first all-German Bundestag. He heads the “Stasi Records Agency” until 2010. The Federal Assembly elected him as the 11th Federal President on March 18, 2012.
In his farewell speech as Federal President in 2017, he urged “republican willingness to defend”, both against tendencies inside as well as developments outside.
Gauck has been living with journalist Daniela Schadt since 2000.