Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer

Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer

date of birth : 05/01/1876 | date of death : 19/04/1967
Born on January 5, 1876, Germany, Lawyer, Politician ,Adenauer was the main motive for one of the most recent and famous gold commemorative coins: the Belgian 3 pioneers of the European unification commemorative coin, minted in 2002.

Birth, Birthplace, Time of birth:

Konrad Adenauer was born in Cologne, Germany, on January 5, 1876.

Father’s name: Konrad Adenauer
Mother's name: Helene
Brother: -
Sister: -
Spouse:Emma Weyer, Auguste (Gussie) Zinsser

Reputation, fame, nickname:

Konrad Adenauer

Personal Information:

Religion: Roman Catholicism
Political party: Centre Party (1906–1945), CDU (1945–1967)

Life events:

He was born in Cologne, Germany in 1876. After studying at the Universities of Freiburg, Munich and Bonn, he became a lawyer. In 1917, he was elected as a Mayor for Cologne, a position he held until 1933. He also became President of the Prussian state Council, making him one of the most powerful voices in Germany. He was a staunch Catholic and his ideology put him at odds with the Nazi party. His opposition to Hitler and the Nazi Party led to his removal from office in 1993, when they were elected. During the 1930s, and early 1940s, Konrad Adenauer kept a low profile trying to escape persecution from the Nazi's. After the failed bomb plot of 1944, he was arrested and interned at a concentration camp near Bonn. He survived the war and in 1945 was temporarily placed as mayor of Cologne again. Shortly after, the British commander dismissed him for alleged incompetence. After this event he sought to establish a new political party - the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). This was a synthesis of his old Catholic party and other protestant parties. However, he fought against a synthesis of Socialist ideology which many others in the party would have liked. In 1949, at the age of 73, he was elected as the first Chancellor of the democratic Western Germany. Many felt, due to his age, this would be temporary, but he subsequently went on to serve until 1963, becoming the undisputed leader and powerful figurehead of Western Germany. Under his leadership, the Federal German Republic made a rapid transformation into a modern Democratic state. He failed to prevent the split between East and West Germany, but he did achieve many notable success in domestic and foreign policy. He developed a new friendship with France. He admitted German guilt in the holocaust and set up a series of reparations to Israel. He also criticised his own Catholic church for failing to do enough to condemn the Nazi policies. He also oversaw Germany's re-entry into the international community as a peaceful, democratic society, such as joining Nato in 1955. He died in 1967.


Study law at University of Freiburg
Study law University of Munich
Study law University of Bonn

Occupation and Career:

Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German Lawyer and Politician. His career included:

  • Chancellor of Germany (1949-64)
  • German Minister Foreign (1951-55)
  • German Mayor Cologne (1917-33)
  • Christian Democratic Union Chairman (1950-66)

Awards /Honors:

  • Order of the Red Eagle, 4th class (Prussia, 1918)
  • Grand Decoration of Honour of the Order for Services to the Republic of Austria (first Austrian republic, 1927)
  • Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (1951)
  • Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (1953)
  • Order of the Southern Cross (Brazil, July 1953)
  • Order of the Sun (Peru), 1953.
  • Grand Cross, Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (January 1954)
  • Charlemagne Prize (Aachen, May 1954) - as a "powerful promoter of a united Europe"
  • Order of the Condor of the Andes (Bolivia, 1955)
  • Order of the Golden Spur (Papal Order of Chivalry, December 1955)
  • Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (UK), 1956.
  • Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold with Sash for Services to the Republic of Austria (1956)
  • Bavarian Order of Merit (May 1958)
  • Honorary knight in the Teutonic Order (1958)
  • Order of the Netherlands Lion (1960)
  • Grand Croix of the Légiond'honneur (France, 1962)
  • Order of the Rising Sun, Grand Cordon (Japan, 1960) - "because of its long-standing commitment to an understanding of the Japanese-German friendship, and for the peace and prosperity in the world"
  • Order of the Rising Sun with Paulownia Flowers, Grand Cordon (Japan, 1963)
  • Supreme Order of Christ (September 1963)
  • Grand Cross of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre (1964)
  • Order of Isabella the Catholic, Grand Cross (Spain), 1967.
  • Order of the Liberator General San Martin (Argentina)
  • Time magazine named Adenauer as Man of the Year in 1953.


  • Konrad Adenauer: Memoirs 1945-1953
  • Energia, da criseaosconflitos?
  • Briefe, 1951 1953 (Adenauer RhondorferAusgabe)
  • RhondorferAusgabe / Adenauer / Briefe 1955-1957; StiftungBundeskanzler-Adenauer -Haus
  • Briefe 1945 1947 (Adenauer RhondorferAusgabe)
  • Briefe, 1953-1955
  • Die DemokratieIst Fur UnsEine Weltanschauung: Reden Und Gesprache (1946-1967)
  • Erinnerungen 1955 1959
  • Erinnerungen 1959 1963.Fragmente
  • Konrad Adenauer ImBriefwechselMitFluchtlingen Und Vertriebenen
  • Reden 1917-1967: EineAuswahl

Hobbies and personal interests:

Besides gardening, Adenauer worked in his spare time likes the works of "Old Masters" and classical music. During his travels abroad he regularly visited renowned museums such as the National Gallery in Washington and the Louvre in Paris. To relax after a long day at work, he read with particular interest in historical works and crime novels, particularly by Agatha Christie.

Death, place of death, Time of death, place of burial:

Adenauer died on 19 April 1967 in his family home at Rhöndorf. He is interred at the Waldfriedhof("Forest Cemetery") at Rhöndorf, Germany.

Quotes and Memoirs:

  • All parts of the human body get tired eventually - except the tongue.
  • In view of the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that He did not also limit his stupidity.
  • A thick skin is a gift from God.
  • An infallible method of conciliating a tiger is to allow oneself to be devoured.
  • Kennedy cooked the soup that Johnson had to eat.
  • History is the sum total of things that could have been avoided.
  • The art of politics consists in knowing precisely when it is necessary to hit an opponent slightly below the belt.
  • The rare case where the conquered is very satisfied with the conqueror.
  • Only the stupidest calves choose their own butcher.