KONRAD ADENAUER. by Santi, Amaia and Leire. Konrad Hermann Josef Adenauer, who was born on 5th January 1876 and died on 19 April 1967, was a German statesman. Although his political career spanned sixty years, beginning as early as 1906, he is most noted for
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by Santi, Amaia and Leire
on 5th January 1876 and died on 19 April
1967, was a German statesman.
Although his political career spanned sixty years,
beginning as early as 1906, he is most noted for
his role as the first Chancellor of West Germany
from 1949–1963 and chairman of the Christian
Democratic Union from 1950 to 1966. He was the
oldest chancellor ever to serve Germany, leaving
at the age of eighty-seven.
Konrad Adenauer was born as the third of five children of
Johann Konrad Adenauer (1833-1906) and his wife Helene
(1849-1919) (née Scharfenberg) in Cologne, Rhenish
Prussia. His siblings were August (1872-1952), Johannes
(1873-1937), Lilli (1879-1950) and Elisabeth, who died
shortly after birth in c. 1880. In 1894, he completed his
Abitur and started to study law and politics at the
universities of Freiburg, Munich and Bonn. He was a
member of several Roman Catholic students’ associations
under the K.St.V. Arminia Bonn in Bonn. He finished his
studies in 1901. Afterwards he worked as a lawyer at the
court in Cologne.
As a devout Roman Catholic, he joined the Centre Party in
1906 and was elected to Cologne’s city council in the same
year. In 1909, he became Vice Mayor of Cologne. From 1917
to 1933, he served as Mayor of Cologne. He had the
unpleasant task of heading Cologne in the era of British
occupation following the First World War and lasting until 1926.
He managed to establish faithful relations with the British
military authorities and flirted with Rhenish separatism (a
Rhenish state as part of Germany, but outside Prussia). During
the Weimar Republic, he was president of the Prussian State
Council (Preußischer Staatsrat) from 1922 to 1933, whichwas
the representative of the Prussian cities and provinces.
abbey of Maria Laach, threatened by the new government
after he refused to shake hands with a local Nazi leader.
His stay at this abbey, which lasted for a year, was cited by
its abbot after the war, when accused by Heinrich Böll and
others of collaboration with the Nazis.
He was imprisoned briefly after the Night of the Long
Knives in mid 1934. During the next two years, he changed
residences often for fear of reprisals against him by the
Nazis. In 1937, he was successful in claiming at least some
compensation for his once confiscated house and
managed to live in seclusion for some years.
Democratic Christian Union (CDU) and became
the new president of the zone of British occupation. When the Federal Republic of Germany was founded in 1949, Adenauer became chancellor. During the following fourteen years he headed a coalition composed by the CDU, the Social Christian Bavarian Union and the Free Democrats. From 1951 until 1955 also he was the minister of Exteriors of the Federal Republic of Germany. Adenauer's principal objective was to do of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1955, under Adenauer's leadership, the Federal Republic joined the Organization of the Agreement of the North Atlantic (NATO) and obtained the recognition as independent State.
Adenauer died on April 19, 1967 in his family home in
Rhöndorf. According to his daughter, his last words were
"Da jitt et nix zo kriesche!" (Kölsch slang for "There's
nothin' to weep about!")
His state funeral in Cologne Cathedral was attended by a
large number of world leaders, among them US president
Lyndon B. Johnson on his only visit to a European country.
After the service, his body was brought back to Rhöndorf
on the Rhine aboard Kondor, a Jaguar class fast attack
craft of the German Navy. He is interred on the