Sabine Bergmann-Pohl

Sabine Bergmann-Pohl (née Schulz; German: [zaˈbiːnə ˈbɛʁkman poːl]; born 20 April 1946) is a German doctor and politician. A member of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), she was president of the People's Chamber of East Germany from April to October 1990. As such, she served as acting head of state of East Germany until its merger into West Germany in October. After the reunification of Germany, she served in the government of Chancellor Helmut Kohl.[1]

Sabine Bergmann-Pohl
Sabine Bergmann-Pohl.jpg
President of East Germany
In office
5 April 1990 – 2 October 1990
Prime MinisterLothar de Maizière
Preceded byManfred Gerlach (Chair of the State Council)
Succeeded byRichard von Weizsäcker (President of United Germany)
Federal Minister for Special Affairs
In office
3 October 1990 – 17 December 1990
ChancellorHelmut Kohl
President of the People's Chamber
In office
5 April 1990 – 2 October 1990
Preceded byGünther Maleuda
Succeeded byRita Süssmuth (President of Bundestag)
Personal details
Born (1946-04-20) 20 April 1946 (age 73)
Eisenach, Soviet occupation zone
(now Germany)
Political partyChristian Democratic Union (GDR) (1981-1990)
Christian Democratic Union (FRG) (1990–present)
Alma materHumboldt University

Early life and educationEdit

Sabine Bergmann-Pohl was born in Eisenach, Thuringia. After leaving school in 1964, Bergmann-Pohl was initially not admitted to university and entered a two-year internship at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In 1966, she began to study medicine and graduated in 1972 with a diploma in medicine. From 1979, she worked as a lung specialist and in 1980 earned a medical doctorate.

From 1980 to 1985, she was medical director of the polyclinic department for lung diseases, and tuberculosis in Berlin-Friedrichshain. From 1985 to 1990, she was Medical Director at the District Office for lung diseases and tuberculosis in East Berlin.

Since 1990 Bergmann-Pohl has been the Patron of the General Disabled Persons in Germany (ABID eV) and since 2003 President of the Berlin Red Cross. Also since 2003 she has been a member of the Presidium of the International Federation and has been a vice president since 2007.

Political careerEdit

Meeting of the Volkskammer, 2 October 1990

In 1981, she joined the CDU, one of the bloc parties of the GDR, and in 1987 was elected to the district board in East Berlin.

In the general election of March 1990, the only free election ever held in East Germany, she was elected to the People's Chamber, which on 5 April elected her its President. On the same day, parliament also abolished the State Council, the country's collective presidency. Under the Constitution, the president of the People's Chamber was ex officio vice president of the GDR; as such, Bergmann-Pohl became provisional head of state as well. In that role, she presided over the People's Chamber formally petitioning to join the Federal Republic of Germany on 23 August, as well as the overwhelming approval of the unification treaty on 12 September.

After German reunification on 3 October 1990, she became a member of the Bundestag and, along with other leading members of the last GDR government, was also appointed Federal Minister for Special Affairs in Chancellor Helmut Kohl's cabinet. After the 1990 all-German election, she was appointed Parliamentary Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Health on 18 January 1991. Following her party's defeat in the 1998 election, she departed from the government on 27 October 1998 but remained in the Bundestag until 2002.

Personal lifeEdit

Sabine Bergmann-Pohl is married and has two children. She is a Protestant.[2]


Parliamentary mandates
  • Member of the People's Chamber of the GDR (1990)
    • President of the People's Chamber (1990)
  • Member of the German Bundestag (1990–2002)
Government Offices
  • Federal Minister for Special Affairs (1990–1991)
  • Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Health (1991–1998)


  • Frequency of a history and clinical findings of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in childhood, their relationship to lung function and determination of reference values for the ventilation and distribution parameters on Pneumotestgerät. Results of a school investigation. Dissertation Academy for Medical Training of East Berlin, 1981, Berlin-Karow, 1976.
  • Farewell without tears. Looking back at the year of the Unification. Recorded by Dietrich von Thadden. Ullstein, Berlin - Frankfurt/Main, 1991 ISBN 3-550-07802-1
  • Sabine Bergmann-Pohl & Paul B. Wink (ed.): Panel Discussion 1953-1989: Germany on the way to unity and freedom on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the uprising in East Germany on 17 June 2003 at the Academy of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Berlin, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Berlin 2004 ISBN 3-937731-00-8
  • Sabine Bergmann-Pohl & Wilhelm Staudacher (ed.): "The cry for freedom." The Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Berlin 2007 ISBN 978-3-939826-46-0


  1. ^ Torild Skard (2014) "Sabine Bergmann-Pohl" in Women of Power - Half a century of female presidents and prime ministers worldwide, Bristol: Policy Press, ISBN 978-1-44731-578-0
  2. ^ [1] Archived 2 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Günther Maleuda
President of the People's Chamber
Succeeded by
Rita Süssmuth
as President of the Bundestag
Preceded by
Manfred Gerlach
as Chair of the State Council of East Germany
Head of State of East Germany

Succeeded by
Richard von Weizsäcker
as President of United Germany