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

Part of the reason for Adenauer's decision not to take the post involved the associated political uncertainties. In addition, there was a rival waiting in the wings, a man with whom he was on friendly terms -- Wilhelm Farwick of the Schaaffhausen Bank. If Adenauer were to leave Cologne, the Centre could well regard Farwick as a viable alternative when the time came to elect a new mayor.

Adenauer first spoke privately with Wallraf. The mayor, who had no wish to see his hard-working First Deputy leave Cologne, advised him to stay on. Wallraf knew and liked Aachen, having served there as president of police between 1900 and 1903, but he warned that 'the unique Aachen milieu' might not suit Adenauer and his wife Emma.1 He then remarked, significantly, that he had no plans to grow old in Cologne.2

Wallraf's exact meaning is not clear. He may have wanted to hint that he either could not, or did not wish to, be nominated for another term as mayor in 1919. However, as a former senior Prussian civil servant he was known to have good connections in Berlin and had been a member of the Prussian Upper Chamber since 1907. Was there perhaps an important government post in the offing? Several months later, the mayor of Düsseldorf heard rumours to that effect.3

Subsequently Adenauer held talks with Hugo Mönnig, leader of the Centre Party, and with members of the Liberal caucus, though the subject of the talks remains a mystery. It is possible that Adenauer wanted to discover whether he might have the chance to return from Aachen to Cologne in 1919. Or was he merely hoping to obtain declarations of goodwill to enable him to push up his price for moving to Aachen? In any case, the Liberals in the city council discussed the problem at the end of February, and the Centre even earlier. Mönnig told Adenauer that if the election were held now, the Centre would support him, and the Liberals let it be known that they would regard Adenauer as an acceptable candidate.

These proceedings, though understandable, were nevertheless unusual. Understandable in that the city councillors wanted to persuade Adenauer of their esteem in order to convince him to stay in Cologne; and unusual because they were meeting behind closed doors and talking directly with the First Deputy about the succession to a mayor who had not shown any signs of retirement.

Initially Adenauer appears to have handled matters somewhat hesitantly. However, the situation became more complicated after Wallraf had an accident in early May 1916 and had to rest for three weeks in a sanatorium. He then decided to round off his rest cure by going hunting -- whereupon the butt of his rifle bounced into his face and injured his eye.4 Adenauer could no longer concentrate on negotiating his departure from Cologne, since his first priority was to stand in for his injured boss. On the other hand, during Wallraf's prolonged absence he had the perfect opportunity to show that he could do the job well.

-105-

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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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