Joschka (born Joseph) Fischer was active in the Frankfurt student movement from 1968 onward. In the early 1970s, he participated in local street fights in which members of the leftist “Sponti” movement and the squatters’ scene battled with police. Still, Fischer rejected the left-wing terrorism of the “urban guerillas” of the Red Army Faction. Instead of following their path, which he regarded as misguided, he got involved in the newly founded Green Party and became a practitioner of Realpolitik. On December 12, 1985, he was sworn in as Minister of the Environment and Energy in the state of Hesse, becoming the first Green to lead any ministry in the Federal Republic. He made a point of showing up at his swearing in ceremony in jeans and sneakers rather than wearing a suit and tie. Back in 1967, Rudi Dutschke had called out to members of the 1968 student protest movement, imploring them to embark on a “long march through the institutions.” Fischer’s appointment was considered the first successful example at the time.

Joschka Fischer in the Hessian State Parliament (1985)


Source: Joschka Fischer (left) in the Hessian state parliament [Landtag], first minister of the “Greens” in the Federal Republic of Germany. Federal Republic of Germany – Photo Service 1 – 1986/No. 1999. IN-Press/dpa imprint.

Courtesy of the German Information Center