Kevin Kühnert

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Kevin Kühnert
Kühnert in 2019
General Secretary of the
Social Democratic Party
Assumed office
11 December 2021
LeaderSaskia Esken
Lars Klingbeil
Preceded byLars Klingbeil
Deputy Leader of the
Social Democratic Party
In office
6 December 2019 – 11 December 2021
LeaderSaskia Esken
Norbert Walter-Borjans
Preceded byOlaf Scholz
Succeeded byThomas Kutschaty
Chairman of the Jusos
In office
24 November 2017 – 8 January 2021
Preceded byJohanna Uekermann
Succeeded byJessica Rosenthal
Member of the Bundestag
for Berlin-Tempelhof-Schöneberg
Assumed office
26 October 2021
Preceded byJan-Marco Luczak
Personal details
Born (1989-07-01) 1 July 1989 (age 34)
Berlin, West Germany
Political partySocial Democratic Party
Residence(s)Berlin-Schöneberg, Germany
Alma materFree University of Berlin (no degree)
WebsiteParty website

Kevin Kühnert (born 1 July 1989) is a German politician and the General Secretary of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) who has been serving as a member of the Bundestag since the 2021 elections, representing Berlin-Tempelhof-Schöneberg.

From 24 November 2017 to 8 January 2021, Kühnert was the federal chairman of the Jusos, previously serving as deputy chairman.

Early life and career[edit]

Kühnert was born in West Berlin. His father is a tax clerk, and his mother works in a job centre. He was named after the footballer Kevin Keegan.[1] He passed his final exam at the Beethoven-Gymnasium in Lankwitz in 2008, where he also served as pupil's spokesman. He then completed a voluntary social year (German: Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr) in a Berlin-based organization for children and young people.

Kühnert initially worked over three years in a call center, then studying journalism and communication science at the Free University of Berlin, but never graduated. In 2016, he enrolled for a degree in political science at the University of Hagen, but suspended studies after becoming Juso chairman. In 2014, he began working in the Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin, first for Dilek Kolat, then Melanie Kühnemann.

Political career[edit]

Early beginnings[edit]

Kühnert joined the SPD in 2005 and chaired the Jusos in Berlin from 2012 to 2015. Since 2015, he acted as deputy Jusos Federal Chairman and was responsible for tax policy, pension policy, structural policy, right-wing extremism, and migration policy, as well as social media work.

Chair of the Young Socialists, 2017–2021[edit]

When Johanna Uekermann did not run as a candidate again, in November 2017, the Juso federal congress in Saarbrücken elected Kühnert as chairman, with 225 of 297 votes. In terms of local politics, Kühnert is active in the district of Tempelhof-Schöneberg as a member of the district council.

During the campaign for the SPD party member vote on the 2018 coalition agreement of Germany, Kühnert, along with the #NoGroKo (No Grand Coalition) initiative, promoted the No campaign.[2][3] At a SPD national convention in 2019, he was elected as one of the five deputies of the party's co-chairs Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans, alongside Klara Geywitz, Hubertus Heil, Serpil Midyatli and Anke Rehlinger.[4] He had previously endorsed Esken and Walter-Borjans in their successful bid for the leadership of the party in 2019.[1]

In an August 2020 interview with Der Tagesspiegel Kühnert announced that he would step down as chair of the Jusos, saying that the "time was right" for new leadership in advance of an anticipated 2021 German federal election. After Kühnert resigned from the office early because of his candidacy for the Bundestag, Jessica Rosenthal was elected to succeed him on 8 January 2021, with 207 of 266 votes.[5]

Member of the German Parliament, 2021–present[edit]

On 16 December 2020, Kühnert was nominated as a direct candidate in the Berlin constituency of Tempelhof-Schöneberg in the 2021 federal election.[6]

In the negotiations to form a so-called traffic light coalition of the SPD, the Green Party and the FDP following the 2021 federal elections, Kühnert led his party's delegation in the working group on housing and construction; his co-chairs from the other parties were Christian Kühn and Daniel Föst.[7]

Other activities[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Economic policy[edit]

In an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit in May 2019, Kühnert described himself as being a democratic socialist,[9] promoting the municipalization of large firms and the expropriation of owners from companies like BMW and people who own more than one house or apartment. In his opinion, real democratic socialism has never been tried.[10][11][12]

Foreign policy[edit]

In early 2022 – amid renewed military confrontations between Russia and Ukraine and anti-government protests in Kazakhstan – Kühnert argued that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to bring Russian gas to Germany should not be mixed up with political and human rights disputes with Russia.[13]


In May 2018, Kühnert was chosen as a "Next Generation Leader" by Time because of the resistance he launched against the grand coalition that nearly managed to topple Chancellor Angela Merkel and led to a national debate about the future of the SPD and the future of German politics in general.[14] In August 2020 he was described as "a rising star on the left" in Germany by The Guardian.[1]

Personal life[edit]

In March 2018, Kühnert came out as gay in an interview with the magazine Siegessäule.[15][16][17][18][19][20]


  1. ^ a b c Connolly, Kate (4 August 2020). "Rising star of German left quits SPD youth role to run for parliament". Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  2. ^ Die SPD hat entschieden,
  3. ^ Heiße Diskussionen mit dem Juso-Vorsitzenden,
  4. ^ SPD-Vizechefs: Kevin Kühnert bekommt mehr Stimmen als Hubertus Heil Der Spiegel, 6 December 2019.
  5. ^ "DER SPIEGEL | Online-Nachrichten". Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  6. ^ Berlin, Berliner Morgenpost- (16 December 2020). "SPD-Vize Kevin Kühnert tritt in Tempelhof-Schöneberg an". (in German). Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  7. ^ Andreas Apetz and Thomas Kaspar (22 October 2021), Ampel-Koalition: Alle Verantwortlichen, AGs und Themen im Überblick Frankfurter Rundschau.
  8. ^ Editorial board spw – Zeitschrift für sozialistische Politik und Wirtschaft.
  9. ^ "ZEIT ONLINE | Lesen Sie mit Werbung oder im PUR-Abo. Sie haben die Wahl".
  10. ^ "Enteignungen: Kevin Kühnerts extreme Ideen für die Wirtschaft". Die Welt. May 2019.
  11. ^ "Kevin Kühnert will Kollektivierung von Großunternehmen wie BMW". Der Spiegel. May 2019.
  12. ^ ""Demokratischer Sozialismus": Juso-Chef fordert Kollektivierung von Großunternehmen - Video".
  13. ^ Andreas Rinke (8 January 2022), German SPD official defends pro-Nord Stream 2 policy Reuters.
  14. ^ "Life of the Party". 17 May 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  15. ^ Christian Arnold (5 March 2018). "SPD am Scheideweg: Juso-Chef Kevin Kühnert im Interview". Siegessäule (in German). Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Kevin Kühnert spricht erstmals über seine Homosexualität". (in German). 6 March 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  17. ^ Carolin Wollschied (8 March 2018). "Reaktionen auf Coming-Out: "Damit Erika Steinbach sich ärgern kann"". (in German). Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Kevin Kühnert spricht erstmals über sein Schwulsein".
  19. ^ "Kühnert lässt Lanz bei Schwulen-Frage eiskalt auflaufen - Deutschland - FOCUS Online". Archived from the original on 2 November 2018.
  20. ^ Maas, Sebastian; Dworak, Inken; Lüdke, Steffen (3 August 2018). "Kevin Kühnert im Interview: Was er zum Christopher Street Day zu sagen hat". Der Spiegel.