Hermann Otto Solms

Hermann Otto Solms is a German politician of the Free Democratic Party.
Between 1980 and 2013 he was a member of the Bundestag, from 1991 to 1998 as Chairman of the FDP parliamentary party and from 1998 to 2013 as Vice President of the Bundestag. Since 2017 he has again been a member of the Bundestag.

Early life

Solms was born posthumously, the third son and fifth child of Hermann Otto Erbprinz zu Solms-Hohensolms-Lich. His father was the heir to the fortune and legacy of the Princes zu Solms-Hohensolms-Lich, a noble family known in Germany since 1129, whose Imperial county was made a principality of the Holy Roman Empire in 1792, but mediatized under the sovereignty of the Grand Duchy of Hesse in 1806. Hermann Otto's father died while serving as a lieutenant in the German Airforce at Neuruppin on 3 July 1940. His mother, née Baroness Gertrude von Werthern-Beichlingen, was remarried in 1950 to Hans Joachim Sell of Neustettin.
After completing his secondary education in 1960, Solms carried out his obligatory military service and then completed a commercial apprenticeship in 1964. He studied Economics in Frankfurt am Main and Giessen, Germany and Kansas, USA, finishing in 1969 with an economics degree and in 1975 with a doctoral degree in agriculture.
In 1970 he began working as a researcher at the Institute for Environmental Management Studies at University of Giessen and in 1973 he became the personal advisor of Bundestag vice president Liselotte Funcke. Since 1976 he has been an independent consultant.

Political career

Since 1971, Solms has been a member of the FDP, holding the post of Treasury Secretary from 1987 to 1999. After the death of his successor, Günter Rexrodt, Solms was again appointed Secretary of the Treasury in the middle of 2004, confirmed on 5 May 2005 in Cologne by a majority of 90.6%.

Member of Parliament, 1980–2013

Solms was a member of the Bundestag between 1980 and 2013, serving as Deputy Chairman from 1985 to 1991, and as Chairman of the FDP Bundestag parliamentary group from 15 January 1991 to 26 October 1998.
Following the 1998 elections Solms was selected to serve as Vice President of the Bundestag, under the leadership of Presdient Wolfgang Thierse. In his capacity as Vice President, he was also a member of the parliament’s Council of Elders, which – among other duties – determines daily legislative agenda items and assigns committee chairpersons based on party representation. He was selected for this office again in 2002, 2005 and 2009.
In the negotiations to form a coalition government with the Christian Democrats – both the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union in Bavaria – following the 2009 federal elections, Solms led the FDP delegation in the working group on taxes, national budget, and financial policy; his counterpart from the CDU was Thomas de Maizière. He did not run for a parliamentary seat in the 2013 elections after having failed to be selected for the first position on the Hesse FDP state list in December 2012. His term as Member of Bundestag expired on 22 September 2013.

Member of Parliament, 2017–present

In the 2017 federal elections, Solms was again elected to the Bundestag. At the age of 76 years, he opened the parliament's first session. In the negotiations to form a coalition government with the CDU/CSU and the Green Party following the elections, he was part of the FDP delegation. Since 2018, he has been serving as deputy chairman of the Berlin-Taipei Parliamentary Circle of Friends.
In late 2019, Solms announced that he would not stand in the 2021 federal elections but instead resign from active politics at the end of the parliamentary term.

Other activities

Corporate boards

From 1969 to 1971 Solms was married to Margit Mayer, by whom he had no children. In 1989 he married Christiane Meyer zu Eisen, with whom he had three daughters.