University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of the US High Commissioner for Germany / Germany's parliament in action; the September 1949 debate on the government's statement of policy
([1950])

Biographies of parliamentary leaders and cabinet ministers,   pp. 15-19 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 15

BIOGRAPHIES
Parliamentary Leaders and Cabinet Ministers
(n
(in alphabetic order)
DR. KONRAD ADENAUER (CDDU),
Chancellor (Bundeskanzler).
Born in Cologne on 5 January 1876, the scion of
an upper-middle-class family, he studied law and
national economics, practiced briefly as a public
prosecutor and as an attorney, then entered the.
municipal civil service of Cologne in 1906. By
1912 he had advanced to Deputy Mayor, by 1917
to Lord Mayor, a position he held until 1933.
Before 1918 member of Prussian Upper House
(Herrenhaus) by royal appointment. During the
period of the democratic Weimar Republic (1919 to
1933), his influence mounted until he presided over
the Prussian State Council and was commonly
considered one of the thpae "Uncrowned Kings
of Prussia", the man who exercised political con-
trol over the entire Rhineland. Because he was
a member of the Catholic Center Party's National
Executive and a determined fighter for Roman
Catholic causes, the Nazis compelled him to
retire from politics in 1933. For the next 12 years
he lived quietly, was twice briefly arrested by the
Gestapo. In May 1945 U. S. Military Government
in Cologne made 'him a special adviser, restoring
him to the Lord Mayoralty a month later. About
that.. time Cologne became part of the British
Zone. Shortly thereafter, British Military Govern-
ment dismissed Dr. Adenauer for "non-coopera-
tion and inefficiency", banishing him from Col-
ogne and barring him from participation in all
political activity. In December 1945 his political
rights were restored. He became successively a
charter member of the Christian Democratic
Union (CDU)*); a member of the Zonal Advisory
Council*); a deputy of the North-Rhine-West-
phalian legislature; in 1948 President of the
Parliamentary Council*) and Chairman of its
Council olf Elders; in 1949 a Bundestag*) repre-
sentative and member of the Presidium of the
CDU/CSU Faction (Fraktionsvorstand). Finally,
crowning a career of 43 active years in politics,
Dr. Adenauer was elected Federal Chancellor for
a four-year term  on 15 September 1949 by 2102
votes, !a one-vote majority; 142 ballots were cast
against him, 44 Deputies abstained, 14 were
absent.
KARL ARNOLD (CDU), Chairman of the Federal
Councils), Minister President of North-Rhine/West-
phalia.
Born 1901 at Herrlishdfen in Wiirttemberg. Leather
worker. 1924-1933 Dusseldorf secretary of Christian
Trade Union, Duisseldorf City Councillor for
Center Party*), member of Catholic Action. In
1945 charter member of CDU*). 1946 Lord Mayor
of Dusseldorf, 1947 Minister President of North-
Rhine/Westphalia (British Zone). In 1948 member
of Bizonal Linderrat*) in Frankfurt, in 1949 of
Bonn Federal Council (Bundesrat)*). Elected its
chairman on 7 September 1949 by all votes, with
Bavaria abstaining.
*) see Glossary
FRANZ    BLUCHER    (FDP), Vice-Chancellor and
Minister for the Marshall Plan.
Born at Essen 1896. Housing specialist and banker.
1935-1938 departmental head of a Ruhr construc-
tion firm, since that time bank director in Diussel-
dorf and' Essen. After the German collapse,
member of the Essen City Council; off the Bizonal
Economic Council*), where he headed the FDP*)
Faction; and of the Zonal Adivsory Council*), of
which  he became    chairman. During   1946-47
Minister of Finance in North-Rhine/Westphalia
(British Zone). Aided in the preparation of cur-
rency reform. Deputy Chairman of British Zone
FDP since 1946; of Western German FDP since
1948; Acting Chairman after Professor Theodor
Heuss resigned the chairmanship of FDP in
order to accept the Presidency in September 1949.
Bundestag*) representative. German representative
on the International Authority for the Ruhr. In
February 1950, first Cabinet Minister to visit the
U. S. while in office.
HEINRICH VON BRENTANO (CDU), Floor Leader
of CDU Faction in the Bundestag.
Scion of a family of Italian stock (von Brentano;
di Tremezzo) prominent in German cultural and
political life for two centuries. Born in 1904 at
Offenbach as son of a former Hessian Minister
of the Interior and of Justice, he opened a private
practice as an attorney in Darmstadt in 1932.
Affiliated with the pre-1933 Catholic Center
Party*), he became a 1,945 charter member of
CDU") in Hesse (U. S.Zonle), Floor Leader iof the
CDU Faction in the Hesse Parliament, Chairman
of the Western German CDU/CSU Constitutional
Committee, and a member of the 1948 Parliamen-
tary Council*). He is a co-founder of the German
Electoral League (Deutsche Wdhlergesellschaft)*)
and President of the Darmstadt Bar Association.
HERMANN CLAUSEN (SSW), sole Bundestag Rep-
resentative of the Siouth Schleswig Electoral League.
Born near Flensburg in 1885, he was a minor
railway official from 19.12 until his retirement
with the rank of Raichsbahnobersekretdr, and a
member of the Social Democratic Party*) from
1922 on. He represented SiPD) in the Schleswig
City Council until 1933, was appointed Mayor of
Schleswig by British Military Government and
re-joined SIPD in 1945, then switched to the South
Schleswig Electoral League (Siidschleswigsche
Wihlervereinigung - SSW)*), the political group
representing the pro-Danish part of the local
population. Was elected Mayor of Schlswig in
1946, an SSW  Deputy to the Schleswig-Holstein
legislature in 1947, Deputy Chairman of SSW in
1948. He is also Deputy Chairman of the 'Stid-
schleswigsche Vereinigung".
15


Go up to Top of Page