Burkhard Hirsch (29 May 1930–11 March 2020) was a German politician and civil liberties advocate. A member of the Free Democratic Party, Hirsch spent 21 years in the German Bundestag (1972–1975, 1980–1998). He also served five years as Minister of the Interior of Northrhine-Westphalia (1975–1980).
Born in Magdeburg, then part of Prussian Province of Saxony, Hirsch earned his Abitur in Halle (Saale), and went on to attend the University of Marburg, majoring in legal studies. He received his first and second Staatsexamen in 1954 and 1959, respectively, and earned his Doctor of Laws in 1961 (Doctoral thesis: Der Begriff des Bundesstaates in der deutschen Staatsrechtslehre).
A member of the FDP since 1949, Hirsch first attained in a seat in the Bundestag in the 1972 federal election. He left to become Minister of the Interior of Northrhine-Westphalia in 1975, but returned in 1980. He has gained a reputation as one of the most vocal advocates for civil liberties in Germany, which earned him the Arnold Freymuth Prize (1998) and the Fritz Bauer Prize (2006). Hirsch was also awarded an honorary doctorate by the Goethe University Frankfurt (2006), and praised in the laudatory speech by Peter-Alexis Albrecht as "a nonpartisan, relentless, and aggressive advocate of rigorous rule of law".
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