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

AFTERWORD
A biographer hesitates before writing an afterword, since readers have had plenty of time to draw their own conclusions about the subject. Is it reasonable to add an explanation of what the author actually hoped to achieve and what he sees as the likely achievements and problems of his work? However, there are those readers who do ask for an element of reflection and self-explanation from the biographer. It is on their behalf that I am providing the following observations.
1. 1. My study of the life and work of Adenauer consists of two volumes. This first volume describes the vicissitudes of his career until the great turning-point of May 1952, the date which saw the beginnings of a decisive change in public perceptions of him. The Chancellor who signed the Western treaties on 26 and 27 May still remained a highly controversial figure in the opinion of most observers; it was impossible to foretell whether his policies would meet with success or end in failure. Yet this ambivalent image on the part of the German public was about to change. By the time he returned to Hamburg from his triumphant visit to the United States in April 1953, an increasing number of people in Germany and abroad had come to regard him as a great statesman. From then on he ruled his country like a republican monarch. Though he remained a controversial figure, and continued to be sceptical about his own prospects of success, he was seen in a different light by the public at large. And this great shift in public opinion began in the spring of 1952.

The division of a major work of biography into two volumes inevitably brings problems. Even so, May 1952 can truly be said to have marked the end of a long and difficult journey through the desert. The Promised Land was at hand -- and unlike Moses, the German Chancellor would be able to enter it. It is this perspective which explains the subtitles of the original German edition: 'On the Ascent, 1876-1952', and 'The Statesman: 1952-1967'.

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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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