Björn Engholm (born 9 November 1939) is a Lübeck born German SPD politician. He was Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein from 1988 to 1993 and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany between 1991 and 1993.
Engholm was educated at University of Hamburg.He was elected Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein in 1988, in the wake of the Barschel affair/Waterkantgate: he had been spied on and was a victim of severe defamation (HIV infection, tax evasion, etc.) by the Barschel campaign. The Social Democrats won an impressive 54.2% (up almost 10%) and gained an absolute majority for the first time ever. Engholm served as President of the Bundesrat in 1988/89.
While Engholm was popular with the electorate, he was forced to resign as party leader and Minister-President in 1993 after discrepancies surfaced over the testimonies he gave in the Barschel affair (Schubladenaffäre, drawer affair). A party official had paid DM 50.000 (kept in a kitchen drawer) to the spy of the Barschel affair to keep the espionage a secret for several weeks, to reveal the scandal on election weekend with a bigger impact and then present Engholm as a victim.
He was succeeded by Rudolf Scharping as party chairman and by Heide Simonis as Minister-President.
His wife is since 1964 the painter Barbara Engholm (born 1940); they have two daughters.
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