Konrad Adenauer: A German Politician and Statesman in a Period of War, Revolution, and Reconstruction - Vol. 1

Konrad Adenauer: A German Politician and Statesman in a Period of War, Revolution, and Reconstruction - Vol. 1

Konrad Adenauer: A German Politician and Statesman in a Period of War, Revolution, and Reconstruction - Vol. 1

Konrad Adenauer: A German Politician and Statesman in a Period of War, Revolution, and Reconstruction - Vol. 1

Synopsis

Konrad Adenauer was one of modern Germany's great statesmen and perhaps its most remarkable representative: his long life spanned all important epochs, ranging from Bismarckian Empire to the Federal Republic. We are therefore pleased to present the first volume of this major biography in English, written by one of Germany's most influential historians. Using previously inaccessible records kept by Adenauer's closest colleagues and only recently released official documents, Hans-Peter Schwarz is able to cast new light on controversial aspects of many of Adenauer's policy decisions and draw a detailed picture of Adenauer's rise to power.

Excerpt

I ascended the tower, and beneath a dull grey sky, somewhat in harmony with my thoughts, contemplated this marvellous city.

Cologne on the Rhine is built like Rouen on the Seine and Antwerp on the Scheldt, that is, like all cities seated on broad and rapid rivers, in the form of a strung bow, of which the river is the cord.

The roofs are slated, and crowded together, and packed like cards doubled together: the streets are narrow, the gables carved and ornamented. A red boundary of city walls, rising on all sides above the roofs, hems in the town, buckling it as in a belt to the river. From the tower of Türmchen, to the superb Bayenturm, among the battlements of which stands the marble statue of a bishop bestowing his benediction on the Rhine -- from Türmchen to Bayenturm, the city exhibits, to the length of a league, a façade of fronts and windows. Midway, a long bridge of boats, gracefully curving with the current, crosses the river, connecting that multifarious mass of gloomy architecture, Cologne, with Deutz, which consists of a small cluster of white houses.

From the centre of Cologne, and round the peaked roofs, turrets, and flower- decked attics, arise the varying steeples of twenty-seven churches. Apart from the Cathedral, four of these are majestic Roman edifices, each of a different design, and worthy of the title of cathedral. To the north is St Martin; to the west, St Gereon; the church of the Holy Apostles to the south; and St Marie- in-Capitol to the east -- forming a forest of towers, steeples, and domes.

Considered in detail, this city is all life and animation, the bridge being crowded with passengers and carriages, the river with sails, and the banks with masts. The streets swarm -- the windows chatter -- the roofs sing in the sunshine. Here and there groves of trees refresh the gloomy-looking houses; while the old edifices of the fifteenth century, with their long friezes of fruits and flowers, afford a refuge to the pigeons and doves who sit cooing there to their hearts' content.

Around this vast community -- rich from industry, military from necessity, maritime from site -- an extensive and fertile plain extends in all directions, depressed towards Holland, most part of which is watered by the Rhine. Towards the north-east it is bounded by that nest of romantic legends called the Seven Mountains.

This was Victor Hugo's description of Cologne -- 'a city of trade and of dreams' -- in 1840. The city had changed little when Konrad Adenauer . . .

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