Ole von Beust: Wikis


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Ole von Beust

Ole von Beust at the Steuben Parade in 2006

Assumed office 
Preceded by Ortwin Runde

In office
2007 – 2008
President Horst Köhler
Chancellor Angela Merkel
Preceded by Harald Ringstorff
Succeeded by Peter Müller

Born April 13, 1955 (1955-04-13) (age 54)
Hamburg, Germany
Birth name Carl-Friedrich Arp Ole von Beust
Nationality German
Political party Christian Democratic Union (Germany)
Residence Hamburg
Alma mater University of Hamburg
Religion Lutheran

Carl-Friedrich Arp Ole Freiherr von Beust, generally called Ole von Beust, born April 13, 1955, in Hamburg, Germany, has been the First Mayor of the city-state (Freie und Hansestadt) of Hamburg since 2001, serving as President of the Bundesrat from 1 November 2007 on for one year.[1]


Life and work

He is son of politician Achim Helge Freiherr von Beust and Hanna Freiin von Beust. His mother was half Jewish. Through his father he is a descendant of Saxon and Austrian statesman Count Friedrich Ferdinand von Beust.

In 1971 von Beust became member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU). In 1973, after finishing high school, he became deputy of the CDU faction of Hamburg's city-state parliament ("Bürgerschaft"), a position he held until he started to study law in 1975 at the University of Hamburg. From 1977 until 1983 he was Hamburg president of the youth organisation of his party. Since 1978 Beust has been a member of the Hamburg city-state's parliament. In 1983 he successfully completed his studies and became an independent lawyer.

He has been a member of the ruling council of the Hamburg Land CDU since 1992, and of the national ruling council of the CDU party since 1998.

First Mayor of Hamburg

On 31 October 2001, Ole von Beust became First Mayor of Hamburg.

In August 2003 there was a scandal in Hamburg when Beust dismissed his vice-mayor Ronald Schill. The immediate cause was that Beust fired Walter Wellinghausen, counsellor of the interior and Schill's most important official, without even consulting Schill. This was due to public allegations of misconduct on Wellinghausen's part. The furious Schill then had a private talk with Beust where he demanded that Beust take back the dismissal, allegedly using personal threats. Beust then decided to fire Schill as well. In the (preassigned) press conference Schill held minutes after he had heard of his own dismissal, he spoke vaguely of "homosexual relationships", a "flat in an infamous hustler district" and "certain things happened that let one infer the occurrence of love acts" between Beust and Roger Kusch, who Beust had appointed minister (in German city-states "senator") of justice.[2]

Beust in turn stated that Schill threatened to make his (alleged) liaison with Kusch public under the premise that Beust intermingled public and private affairs. He said he had no sexual relationship with Kusch, that they merely knew each other for 25 years, they were good friends, and that Beust was Kusch's landlord. "This is all – absolutely all", according to Beust.[2][3]

His unprepared press conference quickly earned Schill an homophobic reputation. A popular radio-station broadcast a song calling him "Mega-Proll" (mega redneck) and gay and lesbian associations protested vocally. Schill however later affirmed Beust's version of the story, except for the accusations of blackmail, saying that he warned Beust to stay clear of nepotism, and that this had nothing to do with Beust's sexual orientation. He stated "I have nothing against homosexuals".

In a later interview, Beust's father confirmed that his son is indeed homosexual.[4] Beust himself considers his sexual orientation a private matter; when asked directly he usually ironically refers the interviewer to his father.

The Hamburg elections of February 29, 2004, ended with an unprecedented landslide victory for Ole von Beust and the CDU, with the party achieving absolute majority in the city-state's parliament.[3] The CDU gained 47.2 percent of the vote, a full 21-point increase from the previous election in September 2001. This was the first time since 1993 the city-state has had only a single ruling party. In the Hamburg elections of February 24, 2008, the CDU gained 42.6 percent of the vote. Thus, the CDU continues to be the strongest party in Hamburg.[5] However, since the CDU lost its absolute majority, it has formed a coalition government with the Greens. Ole von Beust remains in office.


  • Regarding personal names: Freiherr is a title, translated as Baron, not a first or middle name. The female forms are Freifrau and Freiin. However, the title provides no legal privileges of any sort in Germany.


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