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

By Hans-Peter Schwarz | Go to book overview

crowded although in subsequent terms only the people from Baden attended them.'1

Since Adenauer never provided detailed information about his university years, it is sensible to examine the comments of Lehmann, whose student career was very similar. The general idea was that during the early Wilhelmine era Freiburg offered something of a holiday term for young men who were preparing for a career as judges, lawyers, academics and administrative civil servants: 'Naturally the number of students who enrolled for lectures was much higher than the number who actually attended. The temptations of Freiburg and its beautiful surroundings -- the nearby Black Forest, Hællental and Feldberg -- were too great to assure regular attendance.'

Just as important as the lectures -- and for some of these young men more important -- were the student associations, which made every effort to recruit 'even vaguely suitable students'. Like Adenauer the previous year, Lehmann therefore joined Brisgovia: 'Since my best friends had decided to join the Catholic student association Brisgovia I followed their example, particularly because I had no taste for wearing student colours and adopting rigid codes of conduct. Brisgovia drinking sessions were kept within acceptable limits and the corporation, which sometimes had Protestant guests, laid its main emphasis on informal gatherings and hikes. Because the association had accepted so many 'foxes' (freshmen), around thirty or forty, smaller groups of like-minded students soon got together for outings or spent the evenings together in their rooms, in pubs, or at Dattlers on the Schlossberg with its spectacular view. My Cologne friends and I thus remained in a tight-knit group augmented only by a few fellow members or guests of the association.'

This picture of a first term at Freiburg is completed by the accounts given by other association members to Paul Weymar, Adenauer's biographer, in the 1950s.2 The social environment of Brisgovia was well suited to Adenauer, consisting mainly of the sons of civil servants or small businessmen. One of Adenauer's closest friends, Raimund Schlüter, was from a Westphalian farming family. Other social groups congregated in other student fraternities: the jeunesse dorée in the Corps, and the Protestant middle class in the traditional corporations, the Burschenschaften.

During his studies in Freiburg Adenauer apparently remained hardworking and thrifty, combining study and leisure activities without undue effort. Long walks in the Black Forest would be followed by evening visits to an inn on the Feldberg; Sunday walks to Sankt Blasien and Titisee were accompanied by return hikes through the Hællental -- but Adenauer always appeared punctually for lectures at eight o'clock on Monday morning. Ten years later, in February 1904, he was to return to Freiburg on honeymoon with his first wife Emma, drawn by the peaceful and lovely town and its cathedral.3

-59-

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Prologue: Cologne 3
  • I - The Young Master Adenauer 1876-1906 33
  • Student Years In Freiburg, Munich and Bonn 59
  • Justitia Coloniensis 64
  • 'A Talent Takes Shape in Stillness' 69
  • II - The First Rapid Rise 1906-1917 83
  • The First World War 93
  • The Youngest Mayor in Prussia 105
  • III - The Mayor 1917-1933 113
  • The Rhineland Movement 1918-1919 133
  • Pater Familias 152
  • Modern Cologne 156
  • Political Recognition at National Level 164
  • 1923 -- Year of Crisis 172
  • 'the Mayors of Contemporary Germany Are the Kings of Today' 195
  • In the Maelstrom Of the World Economic Crisis 210
  • IV - In the Third Reich 1933-1945 229
  • Struggle for Survival 241
  • A Pensioner in Rh"Ndorf 269
  • 'It is a Miracle of God That I Have Survived' 281
  • V - The Party Leader 1945-1949 289
  • Dismissal by the Liberators 321
  • 'Adenauer's Seizure of Power' 329
  • The Party Leader 359
  • Towards the Federal Republic of Germany 382
  • The President of the Parliamentary Council 408
  • Setting the Course 421
  • VI - First Years as Chancellor 1949-1950 433
  • The Political Tableau During Bonn's Early Days 450
  • Adenauer's Political Machine 465
  • Strenuous Beginnings of Westpolitik 476
  • 'the Most Disappointed Man in Europe' 489
  • The Schuman Plan 504
  • 'that Bully Adenauer' 517
  • In the Depths of Unpopularity 555
  • Adenauer's Daily Life 570
  • VII - European Statesman 1950-1952 587
  • Europe 608
  • Western Treaties and Soviet Initiatives 628
  • 'the Wings of World History' 642
  • Warding off the Moscow Note Offensive 650
  • The Breakthrough: The Signing of the Western Treaties 665
  • Afterword 689
  • Notes 703
  • Archival Sources 735
  • Pictorial Sources 737
  • Published Sources and Select Bibliography 739
  • Index of Persons 747
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