Lower Saxony’s Interior Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) is taking over from outgoing Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht. The 62-year-old has been Minister of the Interior and Sport under SPD Prime Minister Stephan Weil since February 2013.

After training as a businessman, Pistorius studied law in Osnabrück and Münster. However, after only six months, the trained lawyer went into the state service, where he worked for the then Interior Minister of Lower Saxony Gerhard Glogowski, first as a personal advisor and later as his deputy office manager. He then headed various departments of the district government. In 2006 he was elected mayor of his hometown of Osnabrück. He held the office until his appointment as Interior Minister of Lower Saxony in 2013.

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Pistorius joined the SPD at the age of 16 and has been a member of the SPD party executive since 2017. In the same year he was “the face of social democratic domestic politics” in the federal election campaign of the then chancellor candidate Martin Schulz and wrote a 10-point paper. Among other things, he called for decisive action against terrorist threats, a strengthening of the federal police force and an intensified fight against cybercrime. He also spoke out in favor of a European border police force. He justified this by saying that securing the external borders was “one of the birth defects of the Schengen area”.

The social democrat is known for his hard line against Islamist threats. The “Tagesspiegel” once called him the “red sheriff”.

In 2017, Pistorius made a name for himself by expelling two Islamist threats before they had committed a crime. Because he enforced that paragraph 58a of the Residence Act is applied. Accordingly, foreigners who demonstrably pose a particular threat to the Federal Republic of Germany may be deported immediately.

A court in Leipzig confirmed his decision. The then Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière, spoke of “new standards” set by the Interior Minister of Lower Saxony.

In 2019 he ran unsuccessfully as a duo with the Saxon Minister of Integration Petra Köpping for the federal party presidency. He is considered a representative of the right wing, chances were given to him, but he and Köpping did not make it into the runoff.

Pistorius only gained experience with the Bundeswehr during his military service in 1980 in the former Steuben barracks in Achim near Bremen.

The social democrat is widowed, his wife died of cancer in 2015. Pistorius has two daughters. Until 2022, Pistorius was in a relationship with former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s ex-wife, Doris Schröder-Head.