Konrad Adenauer

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Konrad Adenauer
Order: 27th Chancellor of Germany
(1st of the Federal Republic)
Term of Office: 19491963
Predecessor: Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk
Successor: Ludwig Erhard
Date of Birth: January 5, 1876
Date of Death: April 19, 1967
Political Party: CDU
Profession: Lawyer

Konrad Adenauer (January 5, 1876April 19, 1967) was a German statesman.

Adenauer, a politician of the Catholic Centre Party, was Mayor of Cologne from 1917 to 1933, and as such, flirted with a Rhenish state as part of Germany, but outside Prussia. From 1922 to 1933 he was president of the Prussian State Council (Preussischer Staatsrat), which was the representation of the Prussian cities and provinces. In 1944 he was imprisoned for his opposition to the Nazis.

He was first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949-1963, a period which spans most of the preliminary phase of the Cold War. In this period, West Germany was politically separated from East Germany. Adenauer was a co-founder of the Christian Democratic Union, a successor to the Centre which hoped to embrace Protestants as well as Catholics in a single confessional party.

Adenauer led the rebuilding of West Germany and helped turn the nation into an economic powerhouse. He is also notable for directing Germany's reconciliation with France and other allied powers. Under Adenauer West Germany was allowed to rearm and to join NATO. Adenauer also opened diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union and the rest of the Eastern block. In 1955 he managed to secure the release of the last German prisoners of war. For all of his efforts as Germany's leader Adenauer was named TIME magazine's Man of the Year in 1953.

In 1954 he received the Karlspreis (engl.: Charlemagne Award), an Award by the German city of Aachen to people who contributed to the European idea and European peace.

In 1959 he briefly considered to run for the office of President, then instead chose a candidate (Heinrich Lbke) whom he believed weak enough not to disturb his affairs as Chancellor.

In 1962 a scandal erupted when police under cabinet orders arrested five Der Spiegel journalists, charging them with high treason, specifically for publishing a memo detailing alleged weaknesses in West German armed forces. The cabinet members, belonging to the Free Democratic Party, left their positions in November 1962, and Defense Minister Franz Josef Strauss, himself the chairman of the Christian Social Union, was dismissed, followed by the remaining Christian Democratic Union cabinet members. Adenauer was forced to resign and was succeeded as Chancellor by Ludwig Erhard, although he remained chairman of the CDU until 1966.

When in 1967, after his death, people were asked for what they admired most about Adenauer, the majority responded that Adenauer brought home in 1955 the last German POWs from Russia.

In November 2003, he was voted in a German television poll as the greatest German of all time.


Adenauer's First Ministry, 20 September 1949 - 20 October 1953


Adenauer's Second Ministry, 20 October 1953 - 29 October 1957


Adenauer's Third Ministry, 29 October 1957 - 14 November 1961


Adenauer's Fourth Ministry, 14 November 1961 - 16 October 1963


Preceded by:
Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk
as Reichskanzler
Chancellor of Germany
Succeeded by:
Ludwig Erhard
Preceded by:
Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk
Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by:
Heinrich von Brentano di Tremezzo
bg:Конрад Аденауер

de:Konrad Adenauer eo:Konrad ADENAUER es:Konrad Adenauer fr:Konrad Adenauer it:Konrad Adenauer he:קונרד אדנאואר ja:コンラート・アデナウアー ka:ადენაუერი, კონრად nds:Konrad Adenauer nl:Konrad Adenauer nn:Konrad Adenauer no:Konrad Adenauer pl:Konrad Adenauer pt:Konrad Adenauer sv:Konrad Adenauer uk:Аденауер Конрад zh:康纳德·阿登纳


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