Biography of Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967)

Politician and German statesman born in Cologne, Germany, on January 5, 1876, and died on April 19, 1967, in Rhöndorf, in that country. His brilliant political career highlighted by his work within the borders of the Federal Republic of Germany, which was first Chancellor, or head of Government since the end of World War II, when this country was created until the Decade of the 1960s, specifically 1963. At the international level, he/she took active part in international agencies created after the second world war by the capitalist Western bloc (e.g., NATO) and was one of the instigators and founding members of the European economic community.

It belonged to a middle class family; his father, ex-oficial army, occupied a position as Clerk of the Supreme Court. He/She studied at the Instituto Apostol, and later, thanks to a scholarship granted by the Seligman banking, studied law at the universities of Freiburg, Munich and Bonn. His brilliance as a student gave him a post as a lawyer within the region of Cologne immediately after having a degree.

He began his political career in 1906, in the field of municipal politics, to the elected Councillor in place of birth by the centrist party. Since then, until the end of his political career, he/she began a rapid ascent only interrupted by the nazi intermediate; Initially, it moved in the bosom of local politics, to subsequently make the leap into national politics, after the second world war. This is how in 1909 he/she was elected Deputy Mayor of Cologne, and in 1917, during World War II, Mayor by unanimous decision. Subsequently, during the Weimar Republic, it belonged to the formation of the Zentrum, Catholic party of moderate with respect to the environment, completed the 1920s political principles, he/she reigned in Europe.

With the ascension of Nazism in his country, Adenauer, fervent opponent of this ideology and any similar, suffered the consequences of his refusal to be jailed twice, in 1934 and 1944. Specifically, in this latter date he/she was sent to a concentration camp, but was released thanks to the invasion of the allies and the German territory of the defeat of Nazism.

At the end of the second world war, Germany went through one of the most difficult moments of its history, because it was excluded from the process of reconstruction and political and territorial reorganization was made according to the imperatives of the great powers. In this way, Germany became the first stage of the start of the cold war. During these events, Adenauer participated in the Foundation of the Christian Union Party, CDU, which would be President since 1947, in the British occupation zone.

When on May 23, 1949 was promulgated the Basic Law of the newly established Federal Republic of Germany, who was a member of three areas of Western occupation, of the four areas in which is had partitioned the country between the victorious powers of the second world war, the next step was the holding of elections for the Bundestag, held August 14 of that same year. The result was satisfactory for Adenauer, who leading the CDU managed to rise up as President of the Republic, with the approval of the Western powers, United States, France and Britain, for his past anti-communist and anti-Nazi. It formed a coalition Government with the Christian Social Union, CSU, and the free Democrats, coalition that lasted for fourteen years, total time in which K. Adenauer held the Presidency, on winning the elections of 1953, 1957 and 1961.

During his tenure, Adenauer was inflexible in achieving each of his proposals which basically led to a standardization in all areas, despite the division of Germany. He/She sought and attained an international recognition as power to Germany, to achieve integration into international organizations created by Western and Atlanticist, block after the onset of the cold war. One of the first steps was the adoption of a policy of reconciliation and respect against France, a policy which culminated with the understanding with other French politicians of the period, such as for example R. Schuman, who provided the company that gave rise to the first European Community, ECSC (European coal and Steel Community) in 1951. At that time Adenauer also directed the Foreign Affairs portfolio. Its policy never renounced the possibility of an understanding with the German Democratic Republic, GDR, that under the sphere of the Soviet Union and, therefore, of the Communist bloc, contributed to the increase of the population of the Federal Republic (some twelve million people crossed the border of German division as political refugees). In order to prevent possible Soviet expansion by the rest of Europe and influences which, through the GDR, they could practice in the FRG, Adenauer devoted a vast effort to integrate West Germany into NATO's structure. It accomplished its purpose in 1955, when he/she got to Germany was recognized as a State by the international society. At the same time, Adenauer was always kept aware of discussions that in those years were established at the highest levels of European policy on the possibility of creating organizations, mechanisms or institutions capable of strengthening the ties of the policies of each country, especially in the economic field. Thus was the signing, in 1957, of the Treaty of Rome, in which participated Adenauer, and launched the European Economic Community (EEC), or common market, of which the Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member.

One-step historical totally marked by the second world war, after which the call cold war began and in which global structuring created a bipolar international company, constantly unstable balance was essential a participative Europe, as external hazards were serious enough to increase them internally. Thus, the most important achievement made by K. Adenauer was the signing of the Franco-German friendship treaty, which will put an end to over a hundred years of rivalry between these two countries.

In domestic politics, the highlights of their work was the economic reconstruction of a Germany that ended the war completely destroyed and sunk, with a postwar, in a space and very problematic situation, which ensured added risks. Similarly, historiography agrees to designate the period of Adenauer in the Presidency, from 1949 to 1963, as the settlement, consolidation and stabilization of the democratic State and its institutions, despite the doubts on the possibility that the Germans could live under a non-authoritarian principles-based regime created.In 1963, Adenauer resigned from his post voluntarily, but not why he/she abandoned politics. Until 1966 remained active as President of the CDU. He/She was succeeded in the Presidency of the Republic by Ludwing Erhard.

In 1964 he/she published part of his memoirs, the corresponding to the years 1945-1963. Just three years later he/she took a trip to Spain, to Madrid, where was decorated, in recognition of his work for the unity and peace, with the Gran Cruz de Isabel la Católica. Two months later, in the month of April 1967, he/she died in Rhöndorf, near the capital of the FRG, Bonn.