Jorn Kubicki, the partner of Berlin’s former governing mayor Klaus Wowereit, is dead. Wowereit’s lawyer Christian Schertz informed the German Press Agency on Saturday evening. “As Klaus Wowereit’s lawyer, I can confirm that Jorn Kubicki passed away today,” said Schertz. “No further explanations will be given and we ask that Mr. Wowereit’s privacy be respected.” First, “Bild am Sonntag” reported on Kubicki’s death.
According to the newspaper, neurologist Kubicki and Wowereit (66), born in 1965, were a couple for almost 30 years. The politician and the doctor were already together when Wowereit was preparing to make it to the top in state politics. He was the governing mayor from 2001 to 2014 and from 2009 to 2013 also one of the deputy federal presidents of the SPD.
When he was nominated as a top SPD candidate in Berlin in 2001, Wowereit had publicly said: “I’m gay and that’s a good thing”. The sentence earned him a lot of respect and has been repeatedly cited in connection with him. Ten years later, he said he hadn’t considered whether that would harm or benefit him. He only recently inaugurated the Berlin SPD faction.
He preferred to go on the offensive himself, said the SPD politician – not all of the party friends were of the opinion that such openness on the subject of homosexuality was a good idea – especially during campaign times. The sentence was not pre-formulated, said the Social Democrat. “It came out of the gut.”
In the early elections in October 2001, the Berlin SPD became the strongest force again after many years, and Wowereit moved into the Red Town Hall. He stayed there longer than many initially trusted him. It is very unlikely that his successor Michael Muller (SPD) could remain in office for a similar length of time.
Wowereit was not politically harmed by being so open about his homosexuality than many other politicians in Germany would rather not talk about it yet.
Wowereit and Kubicki were regularly seen together in public – even in the recent past. At the Berlinale 2019, for example, both came to the awarding of the bears in the Berlinale Palast. At Christopher Street Day in the same year, they took part in the parade in an open car – not for the first time.