Saturday, December 19, 2009

Philipp Rösler - Cabinet Minister in Germany

Vietnamese comprise the largest Asian ethnic group in Germany. In western Germany, most Vietnamese arrived in the 1960s or 1970s as refugees from the Vietnam war. The comparatively larger Vietnamese community in eastern Germany traces its origins to assistance agreements between the GDR and the North Vietnamese government. Under these agreements, guest workers from Vietnam were brought to East Germany, where they soon made up the largest immigrant group,and were provided with technical training. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, many stayed in Germany, although they often faced discrimination, especially in the early years following reunification(source: wikipedia). 30 years ago, about 1.5 million Vietnamese fled their homeland in tiny boats and overflowing cargo ships. Up to half a million people died and the West was finally forced to act. Thousands of boat people found refuge in Germany.

There is one German Vietnamese, by the name of Philipp Rösler, who make Vietnamese proud, he is now the Federal Minister of Health, Germany.

Philipp Rösler was born in Khanh Hung, Ba Xuyen Province,South Vietnam(now Soc Trang Province, Vietnam) on 24 February 1973, and came to Germany at the age of nine months. He was adopted by a couple, from a Catholic orphanage near Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, who already had two biological children. He grew up in Hamburg, Bückeburg and Hanover, where he graduated from high school in 1992. After training to become a combat medic in the German Bundeswehr, Rösler was exempted to study medicine at the Hannover Medical School. Following this, he continued his education at the Bundeswehr hospital in Hamburg, training in ophthalmology. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree in 2002 and left service as a Stabsarzt (a rank for German medical officers equivalent to an army captain)in 2003. A physician by profession, he has served as Minister for Economics and Deputy Prime Minister of the state of Lower Saxony from 18 February 2009 to 28 October 2009. He took office in Oct 2009, as Federal Minister of Health in the second Merkel Cabinet.

He is Catholic, and a member of the General Conference of the Central Committee of German Catholics. He has been married to his wife, Wiebke Rösler, also a physician, since 2003. The couple has twin girls, Grietje and Gesche, born in 2008.

Rösler has been a member of the FDP and its political youth organisation since 1992. He was secretary of the FDP in the state of Lower Saxony from 2000 until 2004. From 2001 until 2006 Rösler was a member in the regional assembly of Hanover (district), where he was also deputy chairman of the parliamentary group. In May 2005 he was elected an observer of the federal FDP executive committee. He received 95% of the votes, the best result of that party conference. At the state party conference in March 2006, Rösler was elected chairman of the Lower Saxony FDP. He succeeded Walter Hirche, who had decided to step down after twelve years at the helm. In April 2008, Rösler was confirmed as the Lower Saxony FDP party chairman, receiving 95% of the votes.

At the federal party conference in June 2007, Rösler was re-elected as member of the party executive committee. The following month, he was elected to stand as his partys main candidate in the Lower Saxony state election to be held in January 2008. In the election, he received 10.9% of the votes in his local constituency, Hanover-Döhren. Since 2003 he is chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the Lower Saxony state assembly. In January 2009 it was revealed that Rösler is to take over the ministerial post responsible for the economy, labour and transport in February 2009. In addition, he is to take the position of deputy premier of the state of Lower Saxony.

Related video at youtube,websites & articles:

1. Vietnamese Pride - Dr Philipp Rösler (
2. Philipp Rösler,ösler
3. Personal website, German)
4. Germany Appoints First Minister of Non-European Origin,
5. 20 Years Later, East Germany's Vietnamese Have Moved on,
6. Remembering the Boat People,

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