Lübke, Heinrich, born on 14-10-1894 in Enkhausen, Westfalen, had a very humble upbringing. He was the son of a shoemaker and farmer from the Sauerland and surveyor by training. He volunteered for service in World War I, reaching the rank of Lieutenant.After working from 1923 as an officer of a pressure group representing the interests of small-scale farmers in Berlin, in 1930 he became a member of the predominantly Roman Catholic Centre Part and in April 1932 was elected as a member of the Prussian Parliament. After the seizure of power by the National Socialists in 1933 and the subsequent dissolution of the Zentrumspartei, Lübke was accused of misappropriating public funds and imprisoned; after 20 months in prison he was released, when no evidence could be produced to back up the politically motivated charges. It was not until 1937 that he was able to get a senior position with a building society and from there, in 1939, just before the outbreak of World War II, moved to a company of building engineers managed by the architect Walter Schlempp. Here he came to the notice of Albert Speer and was given responsibility for major building projects, some of which were under the aegis of the Armaments Ministry run by Speer. One of these was the extension of the ‘Army Research Center Peenemünde’, Heeresversuchsanstalt Peenemünde in German, with Wernher von Braun and Dr. Walter Dornberger, the Rakettentruppe Major General and the ‘Air Force Test Centre’, Peenemünde-West. After the war Lübke returned to his career in politics, becoming a member of the West German CDU party, being appointed Minister of Agriculture in the State Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1947. In 1953 Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer
) appointed him to his cabinet as Federal Minister of Agriculture in Bonn. He was chosen by Adenauer as a candidate for the largely ceremonial post of president to ensure that Adenauer’s political schemes were not disturbed by too strong a personality in this position. Lübke was a very bad public speaker and was frequently subject to ridicule, especially near the end of his term of office when his age and his failing health started to affect his memory. He frequently forgot where he was (Lübke: “When I talk to you today in…eh… in..” Voice from the crowd shouting: “Helmstedt!” Lübke: “…eh…when I talk to you today in … Helmstedt, then it was following my own will…”, etc..). According to the most famous anecdote, in 1962 he addressed a crowd in Liberia: “Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Negroes…”.
Death and burial ground of Lübke, Heinrich.
Lübke died age 77, on 05-04-1972 and is buried on the village cemetery of Sundern, Hochsauerlandkreis.