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Björn Engholm
Ministerpräsident a. D.
Engholm Björn Museum Angerlehner BHO-8355 (cropped).jpg
Leader of the Social Democratic Party
In office
29 May 1991 – 3 May 1993
Federal Manager Anke Fuchs
Karlheinz Blessing
Preceded by Hans-Jochen Vogel
Succeeded by Johannes Rau (interim)
Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein
In office
31 May 1988 – 3 May 1993
Deputy Marianne Tidick
Eva Rühmkorf
Günther Jansen
Heide Simonis
Preceded by Henning Schwarz (interim)
Succeeded by Heide Simonis
President of the Bundesrat
In office
1 November 1988 – 31 October 1989
First Vice President Bernhard Vogel
Preceded by Bernhard Vogel
Succeeded by Walter Momper
Leader of the Opposition in the Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein
In office
12 April 1983 – 31 May 1988
Minister-President Uwe Barschel
Henning Schwarz (interim)
Preceded by Klaus Matthiesen
Succeeded by Heiko Hoffmann
Leader of the Social Democratic Party in the Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein
In office
12 April 1983 – 31 May 1988
Preceded by Klaus Matthiesen
Succeeded by Gert Börnsen
Minister of Education and Science
In office
28 January 1981 – 1 October 1982
Chancellor Helmut Schmidt
Preceded by Jürgen Schmude
Succeeded by Dorothee Wilms
Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Science
In office
18 May 1977 – 28 January 1981
Chancellor Helmut Schmidt
Minister Helmut Rohde
Jürgen Schmude
Preceded by Peter Glotz
Succeeded by Eckart Kuhlwein
Member of the
Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein
In office
12 April 1983 – 7 November 1994
Preceded by multi-member district
Succeeded by Wolfgang Herrmann
Constituency Social Democratic List
Member of the Bundestag
for Lübeck
In office
20 October 1969 – 29 March 1983
Preceded by Helmut Wendelborn
Succeeded by Reinhold Hiller
Personal details
Born (1939-11-09) 9 November 1939 (age 83)
Lübeck-Moisling, Germany
Political party Social Democratic Party (1962–)
Barbara Engholm
(m. 1964)
Children 2
Alma mater University of Hamburg
  • Politician
  • typographer
  • docent

Björn Engholm (born 9 November 1939) is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). He was Federal Minister for Education and Science from 1981 to 1982, and in 1982 also Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture and Forests. From 1988 to 1993 he was the Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein and from 1991 to 1993 the leader of the Social Democratic Party.

Engholm was educated at University of Hamburg. He was elected Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein in 1988, in the wake of the Barschel affair/Waterkantgate: he had been spied on and was a victim of severe defamation (HIV infection, tax evasion, etc.) by the Barschel campaign. The Social Democrats won an impressive 54.2% (up almost 10%) and gained an absolute majority for the first time ever. Engholm served as President of the Bundesrat in 1988/89.

While Engholm was popular with the electorate, he was forced to resign as party leader and Minister-President in 1993 after discrepancies surfaced over the testimonies he gave in the Barschel affair (Schubladenaffäre, drawer affair). A party official had paid 50,000 Deutsche Mark (kept in a kitchen drawer) to the spy of the Barschel affair to keep the espionage a secret for several weeks, to reveal the scandal on election weekend with a bigger impact and then present Engholm as a victim.

He was succeeded by Rudolf Scharping as party chairman and by Heide Simonis as Minister-President.

Since 1964, Engholm has been married to painter Barbara Engholm (born 1940); they have two daughters.

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