When Carlo Schmid, a renowned politician and member of the Social Democratic Party, died in 1979, two parliamentarians, saddened by the loss, decided to simply invent – on the back of a napkin – a new MP, Jacob Mierscheid.
Since that day, Jacob Maria Mierscheid has been spooking around our Bundestag, publishing press releases, generating correspondence and publishing articles in various – usually SPD-affiliated – magazines.
He’s known for “Mierscheid’s Law,” which established a correlation between German steel production and election results of the Social Democratic Party, his suggestion to move the last row of seats to the front of the parliament, his study of the North-South divide in the German federal system, … as well as for his frequent absences from parliamentary sessions due to “other” pressing engagements.
Mierscheid has his own stationery and e-mail address and is even listed as a member of parliament on the webpage of the Bundestag. His name pops up in transcriptions of speeches given in parliament and even the media have launched Mierscheid controversies. When Germany’s most popular news program (Tagesschau) announced in 2005 that Mierscheid had left the SPD, he firmly denied this “ludicrous” allegation in an interview given to Germany’s renowned news magazine, Der Spiegel.
Having celebrated his 25th parliamentary anniversary in 2004 and having been congratulated on his 80th birthday by the President of the German Bundestag in a brief speech, who hoped that Mierscheid would be around to help open up the parliament’s next session as its oldest member, I strongly suspect Mierscheid will outlive them all.