Dr. Henning Voscherau, former Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, has died overnight to Wednesday from the consequences of a brain tumour, aged 75 years, at home in Hamburg and surrounded by his family, the senate announced on August 24th. Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg, said: “Henning Voscherau was a strong mayor in eventful times. He was an earnest city manager and a caring father of the state. He had traditional values, was a social democrat, a charming host, imaginative, and a polished and poised intellectual.”
“Father of HafenCity”
Voscherau, formerly a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), was mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg from 1988 to 1997. And from 1990 to 1991, he was also President of the German Bundesrat. Scholz (SPD) noted: “At federal policy level, strengthening federalism was a matter close to Voscherau’s heart.” The former mayor realized early that German reunification and European integration would highly influence the fate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. The city of Hamburg had Voscherau to thank for the urban, groundbreaking vision of HafenCity, which he developed and got off the ground, Scholz added.
In 1997, Voscherau presented plans to include port areas on the north bank of the Elbe River in downtown Hamburg. These plans gave way to HafenCity, one of the biggest European, inner city development projects. In 2011, Voscherau was decorated with one of Hamburg’s highest awards, the medal named Bürgermeister-Stolten-Medaille for his lasting contribution to the benefit of Hamburg.
Scholz added: “The earliest sounds, which he remebered in life were the rising noise of the engines of bomber fleets over Hamburg in World War II. An entire life later, he was able to look at an open, cosmopolitan city, which has for decades been flourishing in peace and prosperity and looks confidently towards the future. He made a great contribution to our city. The Free and Hanseatic City Of Hamburg will always remember him with gratitude and affection.”
“A great European”
Fritz Horst Melsheimer, CEO of the Chamber of the Commerce Hamburg, also expressed sorrow at the death of the former mayor. He noted: “Dr. Henning Voscherau is one of the most distinguished politicians in Hamburg and post-war Germany and a great European has left us. Throughout his life, Voscherau was committed to the future of Hamburg at the heart of a united Europe and as early as the day of German reunification, he invoked Hamburg’s political and economic role ‘in proximity to the citizens of Mecklenburg’ which has since become reality in the present-day Hamburg Metropolitan Region.” Until recently, Voscherau had had an intense relationship with the Chamber of Commerce and and their collaboration was excellent.
Melsheimer added: “The mayor, Voscherau, was a great human being with high integrity and credibility who was committed to Hamburg and people living here. Commerce in Hamburg will always keep him in fond memory.”