Heribert Hellenbroich

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Person.png Heribert Hellenbroich  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Heribert Hellenbroich.jpg
BornMay 14, 1937
Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Died10. July 2014 (Age 77)
Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Alma materUniversity of Cologne, University of Göttingen
SiblingsAnno Hellenbroich
Former Verfassungsschutz and BND chief. Had to retire after spy scandal.

Employment.png BND/President

In office
1 August 1985 - 27 August 1985
Preceded byEberhard Blum
Succeeded byHans-Georg Wieck

Heribert Hellenbroich was President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution from 1983 to 1985 and President of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) for just under a month in August 1985, where he had to take the blame for a spy scandal.[1][2]


Hellenbroich grew up in Cologne, attended the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium there and then studied law and political science in Cologne and Göttingen.


In 1966 he joined the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV). In 1981 he was appointed Vice-President and in 1983, after Richard Meier was sent in retirement, took over the management of this agency. Hellenbroich was rejected in circles of the governing CDU/CSU and the intelligence services as too young for the office.[3]

On August 1, 1985, he became President of the BND. His successor as President of the BfV was Ludwig-Holger Pfahls. However, Hellenbroich's tenure at the BND was short-lived. After the government director and group leader in the counterintelligence of the BfV Hansjoachim Tiedge defected to East Germany on August 19, 1985, Hellenbroich resigned on August 27, 1985 after only four weeks in office and was sent in retirement.

Before a committee of inquiry of the German Bundestag Hellenbroich had to testify and was discredited by Engelbert Rombach, the head of the counterintelligence department at the BfV. Hellenbroich is said to have made "serious factual mistakes" in monitoring the telephone of Margarete Höke, then secretary of the President's Office, and through his "hasty, careless manner" Hellenbroich may have missed the opportunity to win over a top man "at the center of an opposing intelligence service" to work with him. Before the committee of inquiry, each of the leaders blamed others for having been informed, or not informed, of Tiedge's questionable conduct.

After the end of his intelligence career, Hellenbroich took over the management of the security service provider Industrie- und Handelsschutz GmbH (IHS) in Frankfurt am Main (today Wisag).

Hellenbroich passed away on July 10, 2014, six days after his wife. He was buried on August 14, 2014.

Hellenbroich's younger brother, Anno Hellenbroich, was second deputy federal chairman of the European Workers' Party, a part of the intelligence-sceptical LaRouche Movement.[4]