In 1894, he completed his Abitur and
started to study law and politics at the universities of Freiburg, Munich and Bonn, before becoming a lawyer in Cologne. Adenauer headed Cologne during the first war, working closely with the army to maximize the city’s role as a rear base of supply and transportation for the Western Front. He paid special attention to the civilian food supply, as the city financed large warehouses of food that enabled the residents to avoid the worst of the severe shortages that beset most German cities during 1918–1919. He set up giant kitchens in working-class districts to supply 200.000 rations per day. In the face of the collapse of the old regime and the threat of revolution and widespread disorder in late 1918, Adenauer maintained control in Cologne using his good working relationship with the Social Democrats. He was chosen Major of Cologne in 1917 and was a strong opponent of the Nazi party and certainly of Hitler’s (see Hitler parents
) NSDAP. Adenauer, who feared for his life, found shelter in the nunnery of Maria Laach. His stay at this abbey, which lengthened to a full year, was cited by the abbot after the war when the monastery was accused by the writer Heinrich Böll,
Böll died age 67 on 16-07-1985 and others of collaboration with the Nazis. According to Albert Speer
in his book Spandau: the Secret Diaries, Hitler expressed admiration for Adenauer, noting his civic projects, the building of a road circling the city as a bypass, and a “green belt” of parks. However, both Hitler and Speer concluded that Adenauer’s political views and principles made it impossible for him to play any role in Nazi Germany.
Not allowed to live in Cologne anymore he moved to Rhöndorf, close to Cologne and came in prison several times during World War II.
World War II.
The first time after the “Night of the long Knives”, as the SS killed their SA “opponents” Ernst Julius Röhm, Edmund Heines, August Schneidhuber, Kurt von Schleicher.
After the failed assassination attempt on Hitler
(did you know
) (see William Hitler
), on July 20th
1944, in the Wolfschanze. Graf Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, Friedrich Olbricht, Werner Karl von Haeften, Ludwig Beck
. Adenauer was imprisoned for a second time as an opponent of the regime. He fell ill and credited Eugen Zander, a former municipal worker in Cologne and communist, with saving his life. Zander, then a section Kapo or prisoner functionary of a labor camp near Bonn discovered Adenauer’s name on a deportation list to the East and managed to get him admitted to a hospital. Adenauer was subsequently rearrested (and so was his wife, who made a suicide attempt), but in the absence of any evidence against him was released from prison at Brauweiler in November 1944. He had contacts with the Stauffenberg group, but not enough confident to join them. Shortly after the war ended the American occupation forces installed him again as Mayor of heavily bombed Cologne. After the transfer of the city into the British zone of occupation the Director of its Military Government, General Gerald Templer, he died age 81, on 25-10-1979,
dismissed Adenauer for what he said was his alleged incompetence. He after the war lived retired in Rhöndorf and was elected on 15-09-1949 as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. Adenauer married twice, his first wife Emma Weyer died after 12 years of marriage, age 36 on 06-10-1916 in Cologne, after eating poissened mushrooms. The couple had three children. In 1919 he married Auguste Zinsser, “Gussie” they got five children.
on 03-05-1948, age 52, owing to the suicide attempt when they were imprisoned by the Gestapo during the war. The military occupation of Germany ended in 1952 and Adenauer,
succeeded, after many discussions with Josef Stalin
, to bring the last, 5000, most of Stalingrad, war prisoners, back home. Adenauer promoted and protected several high-profile ex-Nazis and Wehrmacht criminals in his administration, the newly created Bundeswehr, the justice system, and local public administrations, despite his declarations that former Nazis would be tolerated only if they have been passive party members. Among the most publicly denounced former Nazis promoted by Adenauer were Hans Globke
, Globke’s crass antisemitic activities as a civil servant before and specially during the Nazi time resulted in controversies after the war that troubled his protector and only supervisor Adenauer. He rose to become one of his closest aides, and the former Nazi General, Reinhard Gehlen
, whom Adenauer made head of the new West German Secret Service. Globke’s key position as a national security advisor to Adenauer despite his known involvement with the Nuremberg Laws made both the West German government and CIA officials wary of exposing his past. This led for instance to the withholding of SS Obersturmführer, Adolf Eichmann’s
alias from the Israeli government and Nazi hunters in the late 1950s. Globke Globke died age 74 on 13-02-1974. another one was Theodor Oberländer
, he was an Obstforschung scientist and Nazi officer. Also Karl Heinrich Lübke
who worked with V I builder, Wernher von Braun
in Peenemunde, building the murder weapons V1 and V2.
By 1951 laws were passed by the Adenauer Bundestag ending denazification. Officials were allowed to retake jobs in civil service, with the exception of people assigned to Group I, Major Offenders and II, Offenders during the denazification review process. The amnesty legislation had benefited 792.176 people, among them: 3.000 functionaries of the SA, the SS, and the Nazi Party who participated in deporting victims to prisons and camps. 20.000 other Nazi perpetrators sentenced for “deeds against life” (presumably murder); 30.000 sentenced for causing bodily injury and 5.200 charged with “crimes and misdemeanors in office.
Death and burial ground of Adenauer, Konrad.
Adenauer retired in 1963 as Chancellor and lived in Rhöndorf until he died after a heart attack on 20-04-1967, at the old age of 91.
He is buried with both his wives, Emma, born Weyer and “Gussie””born Zinsser, on the Waldfriedhof in Rhöndorf.
Cemetery location of Adenauer, Konrad.