Obituary on Egon Bahr

PRIF pays tribute to a politician and peace researcher

On August 20, Egon Bahr passed away. He earned immense credit as an architect of Willy Brandt’s East and German politic that opened the path for a German reunification. His understanding of power-political realities, more precisely the understanding that power-political realities can only be changed if one recognizes those, will remain a lasting legacy of his political actions.

From 1984 to 1994, Egon Bahr was the head of the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy in Hamburg (IFSH). Together with Klaus von Schubert (member of the Forschungsstätte der Evangelischen Studiengemeinschaft (FEST)) and the HSFK, Bahr founded and established the Peace Report in 1987. His keen-witted political analyzes and blunt formulations coined this annual publication significantly; his contribution made the report a flagship for the German peace research that triggered great resonance in Berlin.

For a long period of time, Egon Bahr was a member of the Peace Report’s Board of Trustees. Also, the Schlangenbad Talks, a series of German-Russian bilateral conferences that are taking place since 1998, highly benefited from his clear and realistic analyzes and enormous political wealth of experiences. Due to his chairmanship in a commission that ought to develop a new institution to foster peace research, Bahr was significantly involved in the foundation of the Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung (DSF) in the year 2000.

With the death of Egon Bahr, the peace and conflict research has lost one of his colleagues, whose contributions and advises will certainly be missed among both, his supporters and critics.

The Executive Board