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

throughout Germany could be expected from them. Adenauer wanted German unity, but only on the basis of democratic freedom and economic progress within the framework of a European community. This, in fact, was the approach to which he was to commit himself over the coming years. On this occasion, he also doubted whether the Americans had judged the situation correctly. Adenauer's great nightmare was of an agreement between East and West and the withdrawal of all the occupying forces, thus delivering the Western Zones into the hands of the People's Police and the Communists before a democratic state could be organised. He was greatly relieved by Bevin's assurance that the West understood this danger, and that the Western Allies would insist on the democratic principle in their dealings with the Soviets in Paris.

In the years to come, Adenauer was frequently troubled by similar anxieties whenever conferences were held on the German question. The memory of Yalta and Potsdam continued to alarm him. He never ruled out the possibility of compromises by the Western Allies at the expense of Germany, which would also discredit a foreign policy that was so closely associated with the West.

By the middle of June Adenauer recognised that the Western Powers had held firm. He wrote to Dannie Heineman on 12 June that 'the Paris conference will, in all probability, end either wholly or largely negatively. That is a good thing. Any link between West Germany and East Germany, so long as East Germany remains just a satellite of Soviet Russia, would increase the power of the Soviets in Germany.'3

No further disturbances in foreign policy were to be expected during the formation of the federal government and the coming election campaign. There were, however, more than enough uncertainties in domestic politics. Adenauer continued to regard the SPD as the main enemy: 'Everything will depend on preventing the socialist party from being able to form a majority with the Communist Party which can then elect a Social Democratic Federal Chancellor. This danger exists!'4 On this issue, he was less concerned with the strength of the SPD than with the lack of unity in the CDU and CSU over the coalition question. If this problem could not be resolved, a Social Democratic election victory remained a possibility.

On the basis of the relative strength of the parties in the Parliamentary Council, the SPD and KPD could effectively be isolated as long as the CDU and CSU were persuaded to form a coalition with the other bourgeois parties. However, it was possible that the distribution of seats in the Parliamentary Council gave a false sense of security to the parties, as the situation had changed since the last Landtag elections in 1947. The outcome would also depend on whether Landtag elections alone were held, or whether federal elections were held throughout West Germany first.

Nevertheless, it was possible to build on the positive results obtained by the bourgeois coalition in the Frankfurt Economic Council. This had

-421-

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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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