'68ers in Power: Otto Schily, Joschka Fischer, Gerhard Schröder (November 11, 1999)
Otto Schily (b. 1932), Joschka Fischer (b. 1948), and Gerhard Schröder (b. 1944) belong to Germany’s so-called ‘68 generation, which was forever politicized by the protest movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Among other contributions, Schily served as a defense attorney for members of the Red Army Faction (RAF) and co-founded the Greens in 1980. He switched over to the SPD in 1989. During his tenure as federal interior minister (1998-2005), he took a hard line on domestic security. In the 1970s, Joschka Fischer fought street battles with the police as a member of the left-wing revolutionary movement in Frankfurt, but he later rejected the use of violence when confronted with RAF terrorism. He, too, became involved with the Greens and was appointed Hessian minister of the environment in 1985. As federal foreign minister (from 1998), Fischer supported the 1999 military operation in Kosovo for humanitarian reasons and defended it against opposition from within his party. Schröder joined the SPD in 1963 and was named chairman of the Young Socialists in 1978. He rejected the NATO Dual-Track Decision, which was supported by Chancellor Helmut Schmidt (also SPD). As minister president of Lower Saxony (1990–1998) and chancellor candidate in 1998, Schröder earned a reputation as a power-driven pragmatist. The photo shows Federal Interior Minister Otto Schily (left), Federal Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer (center), and Chancellor Gerhard Schröder during a Bundestag session in Berlin. Photo: Wolfgang Kumm.