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Hans Apel

Apel in 2005

In office
February 17, 1978 – October 4, 1982
Preceded by Georg Leber
Succeeded by Manfred Wörner

In office
May 16, 1974 – February 16, 1978
Preceded by Helmut Schmidt
Succeeded by Hans Matthöfer

Born February 25, 1932 (1932-02-25) (age 77)
Hamburg, Germany
Nationality German
Political party Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)

Hans Eberhard Apel (b. 25 February 1932 in Hamburg) is a German politician and a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). From 1972-1974 he was Parliamentary State Secretary to the Foreign Minister. From 1974-1978 he was the Minister of Finance and from 1978-1982 he was the Minister of Defence.


Education and career

After completing his Abitur (roughly equivalent to graduating high school, A-Level exam) in 1954 in Hamburg, he served an apprenticeship as an import and export businessman, in Hamburg. After completing his apprenticeship he went to university, where he studied Economics. In 1960 he was awarded a doctorate in Political Science. From 1958-1961 he was the Secretary of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament. In 1962 he became a civil servant at the European Parliament, where he served as Department Head responsible for Economics, Finance and Transport. In 1993 he was appointed an honorary professor of Economics at the University of Rostock.


Dr. Apel has been married to Ingrid Apel since 1956. They have two children.

Party Work

Dr. Apel joined the SPD in 1955. From 1970 to 1988 he was a member of the National Executive (Bundesvorstand) of the SPD, and from 1986 to 1988 he was also a member of the Executive Board (Präsidium).

As an elected representative

From 1965 until 1990 Dr. Apel was a member of the German Bundestag. In 1969 he was deputy chairman of the SPD parliamentary group and again in 1983, after the new elections, until 1988.

Government Positions

Apel in 1978

In 1972 Dr. Apel was appointed Parliamentary State Secretary for European Questions at the German Foreign Office. In 1974 he was appointed Finance Minister in the government of Helmut Schmidt. After the cabinet reshuffle of 1978, he was put in charge of the Ministry of Defense. He left government on 1 October 1982, after Helmut Kohl became Bundeskanzler.

In 1985 he ran as the top candidate for the SPD in Berlin, which implied standing as mayor of Berlin, but lost to the CDU candidate.


Dr. Apel currently spends his time speaking more about religion than politics. In 2004 he was awarded the Walter Künneth Prize by the "Kirchliche Sammlung um Bibel und Bekenntnis in Bayern" (the Ecclesiastical Assembly for the Bible and Commitment in Bavaria), a conservative Lutheran organization. The prize, named after the German theologian, Walter Künneth, was awarded principally for Apel's book Volkskirche ohne Volk (People's Church without a People), in which he criticizes the "rampant modernism" of today's Evangelical Church, which was also his reason for leaving the North Elbian Evangelical Church and joining the Independent Evangelical-Lutheran Church.

See also

External links

This article incorporates information from the revision as of January 5, 2007 of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.
Preceded by
Georg Leber
Federal Minister of Defence (Germany)
1978 – 1982
Succeeded by
Manfred Wörner


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