Welcome to some background on an interesting German.
Adenauer was born in Cologne, Germany in 1876. After studying at the
Universities of Freiburg, Munich and Bonn, he became a lawyer. In 1917, he was
elected as a Mayor for Cologne, a position he held until 1933. He also became President
of the Prussian state Council, making him one of the most powerful voices in
He was a
staunch Catholic and his ideology put him at odds with the Nazi party. His
opposition to Hitler
and the Nazi Party led to his removal from office in 1993, when they were
elected. During the 1930s, and early 1940s, Konrad Adenauer kept a low profile
trying to escape persecution from the Nazi’s. After the failed bomb plot of
1944, he was arrested and interned at a concentration camp near Bonn. He
survived the war and in 1945 was temporarily placed as mayor of Cologne again.
the British commander dismissed him for alleged incompetence. After this event
he sought to establish a new political party – the Christian Democratic Union
(CDU). This was a synthesis of his old Catholic party and other protestant
parties. However, he fought against a synthesis of Socialist ideology which
many others in the party would have liked.
In 1949, at
the age of 73, he was elected as the first Chancellor of the democratic Western
Germany. Many felt, due to his age, this would be temporary, but he
subsequently went on to serve until 1963, becoming the undisputed leader and
powerful figurehead of Western Germany.
leadership, the Federal German Republic made a rapid transformation into a
modern Democratic state. He failed to prevent the split between East and West
Germany, but he did achieve many notable success in domestic and foreign policy.
He oversaw rapprochement and a new friendship with France, this enabled the
development of European integration which was to become the European Union. He
admitted German guilt in the holocaust and set up a series of reparations to
Israel. He also criticised his own Catholic church for failing to do enough to
condemn the Nazi policies. He also oversaw Germany’s re-entry into the
international community as a peaceful, democratic society, such as joining Nato
Clancy's comment: A powerful figurehead for Germany.