Norbert Blüm (born 21 July 1935) is a German politician who was a federal legislator from North Rhine-Westphalia, Chairman of the CDU there (1987–1999), and a minister for labor and social affairs—the only cabinet member who was all the 16 years of Kohl as Chancellor in his government.
Early life and education
Born in Rüsselsheim, Blüm trained as a toolmaker at Opel in the town. During this time he was a founding member of the local Scout Group within the Deutsche Pfadfinderschaft Sankt Georg. Later he studied German language and literature, history and philosophy.
During his time in office, Blüm pushed back against demands made by fellow Christian Democratic Union politicians to raise the mandatory retirement age to 70 from 65. His most known quotation "Die Rente ist sicher" (loosely translated into: "Pensions are secure") is a misquotation. It was a slogan he wielded in 1986 ("Eins ist sicher: Die Rente", "one thing is certain: The pension"). The misquotation became an infamous saying in Germany and has been target of Kabarett and hostile remarks for years. After almost 3 decades, Blüm even took part in it by talking about his infamous quotation in the German TV show Neues aus der Anstalt.
Especially during his political career, Blüm has been an outspoken critic of the agenda and conduct of Scientology. As a consequence, he has been a target of Scientology advocates who claimed that the organization was a victim of religious discrimination in Germany.
- Hans Böckler Prize of the City of Cologne, Member of the Advisory Board
- Green Helmets, Member of the Board of Trustees
- Bonn Minster, Member of the Board of Trustees
- St. Maria zur Wiese, Member of the Board of Trustees
- IG Metall, Member
- 2000 – Münchhausen Prize
- 2001 – Leipzig Human Rights Award
- 2005 – Leopold Kunschak Prize