Young, conservative and now also catholic

Young, conservative and now also catholic

Philipp Amthor (CDU) in the Bundestag © Michael Kappeler

He comes from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and joined the Junge Union at the age of 16. Philipp Amthor has been a member of the Bundestag since 2017 and is one of the youngest MPs there. Now the 27-year-old has been baptized.

His speech in the Bundestag last year, in which he took apart an AfD motion to ban full-face veils, brought him sudden fame: The motion bristled with false claims and was unconstitutional, the youngest member of the Union parliamentary group, Philipp Amthor – himself a lawyer – confidently declared at the time.

His speech has since been clicked on Youtube almost two million times. Until now, the young CDU politician was non-denominational, recently he has now been baptized Catholic.

A long road for him: Amthor grew up with his single mother in Ueckermunde in eastern Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. His parental home was atheistic. The alienation of people from religion was one of the few things the GDR had managed well, he told an interviewer recently. His great-grandfather, who came from East Prussia, was still a Catholic.

He graduated from law school with honors

Amthor joined the Junge Union at the age of 16. After graduating from high school, he stayed in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, partly because he had already met Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and she had advised him to do so. He studied law in Greifswald and completed his studies with a predicate examination. He has been a member of the Bundestag for the CDU/CSU since 2017, working in parallel on his doctoral thesis and as a freelancer for a U.S. corporate law firm.

Amthor came to the Christian faith – as he emphasized in interviews – through his party. Through friends and acquaintances there he gained access to Christian values. He has noticed how important their faith is to them, and it has become important to him as well. For him, the Christian image of man, which also includes the fallibility of man, is also of great importance.

In his party, Amthor counts himself as belonging to the conservative wing. He has been critical of general gender mainstreaming; in the Bundestag vote two years ago, he voted against the introduction of same-sex marriage. He rejects abortions in principle, but argues that the compromise reached should not be unraveled again.

Amthor: Islam does not shape Germany

His position is also clear on the subject of Islam: he rejects political Islam, and he contradicts the thesis that Islam shapes Germany in a special way. He also has no problem with using the concept of a German Leitkultur.

Amthor's appearance is also rather conservative and rather untypical for a 27-year-old: At public appearances, he prefers a suit and tie – he always has a German flag on his lapel and wears dark horn-rimmed glasses.

Amthor, who is writing his doctoral thesis and working in a law firm in addition to his Bundestag mandate, is considered extremely hardworking. But the image as a nerd that many have of him doesn't bother him. He sees that calmly, so Amthor. She said it was praise for a politician if his work was perceived as diligent and structured. And: "I'm not running to win an award for being the coolest politician in the nation," he says.

50.000 followers on Instagram

Nor is he impressed by the fact that his sometimes somewhat old-fashioned choice of words makes him a target of ridicule. Amthor is undaunted, and he's also self-deprecating: on Instagram, he likes to add glasses emojis to his posts – smiley faces with a pair of glasses. And he works with gifs – with animated pictures of himself. At the same time, he is taking advantage of the attention he is getting and is letting his now 50-year old bishop's name be known.000 followers share his life as a member of parliament.

By Birgit Wilke

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