From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 Private life
Platzeck was born in Potsdam as the son of a physician. After his Abitur and military service he studied biomedical cybernetics in Ilmenau. After his diploma in 1978 Platzeck worked at the institute for hygiene in Karl-Marx-Stadt (today Chemnitz) and the general hospital in Bad Freienwalde. From 1982 to 1990 he was head of the department for environmental hygiene at the agency for hygiene in Potsdam.
From 1978 to 1984 Platzeck was married to Ute Bankwitz. They have three daughters. His present partner is Jeanette Jesorka.
 Political career
Platzeck represented ARGUS, a Potsdam environmental organization he had co-founded, at the founding of the Grüne Liga association of local environmental organizations in East Germany in 1989. During the political "Wende" 1989/90 that led to German Reunification he was their speaker at the nationwide roundtable talks. From February to April 1990 he represented the oppositional radical Green Party as Minister without Portofolio in the last non-democratically legitimate government of the GDR. Platzeck was elected member of the Volkskammer in 1990 for the Green Party and was parliamentary secretary of the joined faction of Greens and Bündnis 90 (Alliance 90). In October 1990 Platzeck became a member of the Landtag of Brandenburg for Bündnis 90 (Alliance 90). He was Minister for the Environment in a coalition government with SPD and FDP from 1990 to 1994 when the coalition broke up.
After the break of the Brandenburg coalition in 1994 Platzeck left his faction and remained Minister for the Environment under Minister-president Manfred Stolpe. He became popular nationwide for organizing public support for the affected population during a flood of the Oder river in 1997. In 1998 he was elected mayor of Brandenburg's capital Potsdam and rejected the offer of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder to join the federal cabinet.
In 2000 Platzeck was elected chairman of the SPD in Brandenburg and in 2002 he succeeded Manfred Stolpe as Minister-president. His was re-elected to the Landtag (state parliament) in 2004. With the SPD as strongest political force he could continue his coalition with the CDU.
When Franz Müntefering resigned as party chairman of the SPD because of internal conflicts, Platzeck was elected party chairman on November 15, 2005 with an overwhelming majority of 99,4 percent. In January, February and April 2006 Platzeck suffered three severe hearing losses. Due to his ill health he resigned from his post as chairman on 10 April, 2006, only five months after he had become chairman.
|Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany
|Social Democratic Party of GermanyChairmen of the|
|1890-1933: Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)
Paul Singer/Alwin Gerisch | August Bebel/Paul Singer | August Bebel/Hugo Haase | Hugo Haase/Friedrich Ebert | Friedrich Ebert | Friedrich Ebert/Philipp Scheidemann | Otto Wels/Herman Müller | Arthur Crispien/Otto Wels/Herman Müller | Arthur Crispien/Otto Wels | Arthur Crispien/Otto Wels/Hans Vogel
1933-1945: SPD organisation in exile (SoPaDe)
since 1946: Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)
Kurt Schumacher | Erich Ollenhauer | Willy Brandt | Hans-Jochen Vogel | Björn Engholm | Johannes Rau | Rudolf Scharping | Oskar Lafontaine | Gerhard Schröder | Franz Müntefering | Matthias Platzeck | Kurt Beck