Konrad Hermann Josef Adenauer (5 January 1876 – 19 April 1967) was a German statesman. Prior to World War II, he was an elected official from the Catholic Center Party and a vocal opponent of the Nazis. As a result, he was persecuted by that group following their ascendance under Adolf Hitler. Following the end of World War II, Adenauer's anti-Nazi credentials won him the respect and admiration of the Allies, who supported his establishment of the Christian Democratic Union. Upon the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) as an independent state in 1949, Adenauer became that country's first democratically elected chancellor, serving from 1949 to 1963.
Adenauer immediately went into a bunker in Bonn, and sent a cable to U.S. PresidentHarry Truman, begging Truman not to use atomic bombs in the western zone. He also emphasized that the damage caused by the bombs would outweigh any advantage, and that West Germany could not remain friends with a country that deployed atom bombs against West German territory. Truman agreed to Adenauer's request.
Just after the atom bomb attacks, Adenauer established an emergency militia in anticipation of a Soviet invasion. While it couldn't be called an army for political reasons, the militia members wore uniforms supplied by the U.S. and carried American weapons. As the Soviets moved west, more Germans entered into the militia.
By July 1951, the situation was critical: Soviet forces had crossed most of West Germany and were approaching the borders with the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and held the Po Valley in Italy. President Truman and his Secretary of Defense, George Marshall decided that they had no choice but to use atom bombs on the Soviet forward positions in West Germany, disregarding Adenauer's plea that no bombs be used.
The German Freedom Front targeted Adenauer for assassination in January 1946. One attempt by a suicide bomber failed. The second, a mortar attack at a rally in American-occupied Erlangen, succeeded, when Adenauer was blown off the platform he was speaking on, and his body from the neck down was shredded by shrapnel.