Konrad Adenauer


– Member of the Catholic Centre Party, mayor of Cologne and president of the Prussian State Council during the Weimar Republic. Under Nazi rule, he was deposed from office and temporarily detained. After the war, he helped build up the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and was chiefly responsible for pushing back the anti-capitalist, social-Catholic forces in the party. From 1949 to 1963, Adenauer was German Chancellor, from 1951 to 1955 simultaneously foreign minister. He enforced, against all resistance, the integration of West Germany into the Western alliance system and rearmament. In order to implement this policy, he relied on former Nazi officials.