- Category : Politics-Heads-of-state
- Type : PE
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Split - Small (10,26)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Individualism 2
German statesman; first chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). He presided over the spectacular rebuilding of West Germany’s economy after World War II, and guided the nation toward recovery of its full sovereignty.
The son of a Cologne civil servant, born into a Roman Catholic family of modest means, Adenauer learned the value of frugality, duty and religious dedication early. He was educated in Freiburg, Munich and Bonn before practicing law in Cologne. In 1917 he became lord mayor of Cologne. He was a member of the Centre Party, which reflected Catholic principles, and the Prussian legislature. His opposition to the Nazis brought about his dismissal as mayor and he was twice imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps - once in 1934 and again in 1944.
When the Allied occupation took over in 1945, the U.S. military authorities restored Adenauer as mayor, but when the British assumed control they removed him from office in October 1945. He helped found the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and became the new party’s chairman in the British occupation zone. In 1949 he became the first chancellor of the newly formed Federal Republic of Germany. From 1951 to 1955 he also served as foreign minister of the Republic.
His interests throughout his entire career were focused on foreign affairs. Adenauer’s chief goal was to rebuild West Germany’s economy and establish it as a bulwark of the Western alliance to stave off Soviet expansion into Europe. To accomplish this, he promoted close relations with the U.S. and reconciliation with France, energetically supported NATO and avoided any move toward reuniting with Communist East Germany. His popularity and prestige were confirmed in two successive re-elections in 1953 and 1957. After accomplishing a treaty of cooperation with French president Charles de Gaulle, he resigned as chancellor in 1963. He remained chairman of the CDU until 1966.
His simple, intelligent and persuasive language served him well in his political life. His primary political theme was individualism under the rule of law. In his personal affairs, he was unpretentious and disciplined. He was twice married and twice widowed.
Adenauer died at Rhondorf on 4/19/1967, Bad Honnef-Rhoendorf, Germany. The leaders of the U.S. and France, as well as many other heads of state, including David Ben-Gurion of Israel, attended his funeral.