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Dietrich Stobbe
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F043773-0039, Bonn, Laubenpieperfest Landesvertretung Berlin (cropped).jpg
Governing Mayor of Berlin
(West Berlin)
In office
2 May 1977 – 23 January 1981
President Karl Carstens
Chancellor Helmut Schmidt
Preceded by Klaus Schütz
Succeeded by Hans-Jochen Vogel
Personal details
Born (1937-03-25)25 March 1937
Wieprz, East Prussia, Germany
Died 19 February 2011(2011-02-19) (aged 72)
Berlin, Germany
Political party SPD

Dietrich Stobbe (25 March 1937 – 19 February 2011) was a German politician who served as the Mayor of West Berlin from 1977 to 1981, as a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Stobbe also served as President of the Bundesrat from 1 November 1978 to 31 October 1979.

Early life, education, and career

Dietrich Stobbe was born on 25 March 1938 in Wieprz in what was then East Prussia. After graduating from high school in Stade, Lower Saxony, he came to Berlin and studied political science at the Free University. In 1960, while still a student, he joined the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and a short time later was elected district manager in the Charlottenburg district. From 1963 to 1966 he was press officer in the Senate Department for Youth and Sport, after which he worked for around a year as an assistant to the board of a Berlin brewery company.

Political career

Early political career

In 1967 Dietrich Stobbe won a member of the Abgeordnetenhaus and only three months later took over the position of the parliamentary manager of the SPD. In 1970, he became vice chairman of the parliamentary group and in 1973, under Klaus Schütz, he became a senator for federal affairs. After Schütz's resignation in 1977, Stobbe was elected as mayor, as he had not worn himself out in internal party power struggles and was familiar with the federal political scene. On 2 May 1977 he was elected to the office of governing mayor by the Abgeordnetenhaus, and from 1979 he became the state chairman of the SPD.

Mayor of Berlin

As mayor, Stobbe was faced with the challenge of restoring the ailing trust in the Senate's ability to act. Stobbe also reformed the administration of the city as well as the transportation of the city. In December 1978, after eleven years of construction, the new building of the State Library, designed by Hans Scharoun, was opened, followed in April 1979 by the inauguration of the International Congress Center (ICC).

In the 1979 state elections to the Abgeordnetenhaus, the SPD-FDP (Free Democratic Party) coalition narrowly maintained its majority, however the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) had remained as the largest party. This resulted in Stobbe being re-elected as governing mayor, but his power was weakened. In December 1980, the Berliner Bank of the construction company Dietrich Garski, which had secured a loan of 115 million marks, terminated the loan due to suspected fraud (which was later confirmed) and the company then had to file for bankruptcy. The state government came under increasing pressure, and as a result, two senators resigned, two other members of the government offered their resignation. A reshuffle of the Senate then failed, ending the SPD-FDP Senate. On 15 January 1981, Dietrich Stobbe resigned with the entire Senate.


After leaving the mayoralty, Stobbe went to New York and took over the management of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung's office there. After his return in 1983 he moved to the Bundestag as a member of the SPD, where he was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee until 1990. He then decided to work outside of politics, joining the service of an American investment advisory firm as a manager.


Friedhof der Dorotheenstädt. und Friedrichwerderschen Gemeinden Dorotheenstädtischer Friedhof Okt.2016 - 20 4
Stobbe's grave

Dietrich Stobbe died on 19 February 2011 in Berlin after a long and serious illness.

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