Manfred Hermann Wörner
(born September 24
-Bad Cannstatt; died August 13
) was a German politician
and diplomat. He served as the defense minister
of West Germany
between 1982 and 1988. He then served as the Secretary General
from 1988 to 1994. His term as Secretary General saw the end of the Cold War
and the German reunification
. Whilst serving in that position, he was diagnosed with cancer, but, in spite of his illness, continued serving until his final days.
Wörner was the grandson of Hermann Aldinger
, Commanding officer for the 1st. Heavy Air Defense Battery
of the Legion Condor
, who became General for the Luftwaffe
after 1945. He grew up in his grandfather's house in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt and visited the Johannes-Kepler-Gymnasium there. He was married to Elfie Wörner
, who was supporting several German army related humanitarian agencies, and who died due to a tumor at 4 July 2006
After graduation in 1953 he studied Law at Heidelberg, Paris, and Munich. He closed his studies 1957 with the first and 1961 the second Staatsexamen. He got his Dr. jur. in 1961 writing about International law. Afterwards he worked for the administration of Baden-Württemberg. He was a county official for Oehringen until 1962, for the Baden-Württemberg Landtag until 1965 and the County Göppingen.
Wörner was a jet pilot and reserve officer of the Luftwaffe.
Wörner was a member of the German CDU and was an elected member of the German parliament. When first joining parliament in 1965, he was the youngest member of a German parliament ever.
On October 14, 1982 he was appointed Federal Minister of Defense in Helmut Kohl's government. In his time he became involved in the Kießling-Affair. On May 18, 1988, he resigned from his office and became Secretary General of NATO on July 1, 1988. He died in office of cancer.
Manfred Wörner Medal
Since 1996, the Ministry of Defense has awarded the Manfred Wörner Medal on an annual basis to honour public figures who have rendered "special meritorious service to peace and freedom in Europe".
Since then it was given to:
- 1996, Richard Holbrooke, US diplomate and Special Envoy in Bosnia and Kosovo
- 1997, Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist-Schmenzin, publisher and initiator of the Munich Conference on Security Policy
- 1998, Dr. Gerd Wagner (postmortem), for the implementation of the Dayton Agreement
- 1999 Dr. Janusz Onyszkiewicz, Minister of Defense of Poland
- 2000 Elizabeth Pond, American Journalist
- 2001 Karsten D. Voigt, Co-ordinator at the German State Department for the German-American Cooperation
- 2002 Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief and former Secretary General of NATO
- 2003 Prof. Dr. Catherine McArdle Kelleher, U.S. Naval War College and former Head of the Aspen Institute Berlin
on Livingston Island
in the South Shetland Islands
is named after Dr. Wörner in recognition of his contribution to European unification.