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Konrad Adenauer
Adenauer
Historical Figure
Nationality: , later West Germany (born in Prussia)
Date of Birth: 1876
Date of Death: 1967
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Religion: Catholicism
Occupation: Politician, Diplomat
Parents: Johann Konrad Adenauer, Helene Scharfenberg
Spouse: Emma Weyer (d. 1916)
Auguste (Gussie) Zinsser
Children: Eight
Political Party: Catholic Center Party (1906–1933);
Christian Democratic Union (1945-1967)
Political Office(s): Mayor of Cologne
(1917-1933, 1945)
German Foreign Minister
(1951-1955)
Chancellor of Germany
(1949-1963)
Turtledove Appearances:
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Bombs Away;
Fallout
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Political Office(s):
The Man With the Iron Heart
POD: May 29, 1942;
Relevant POD: May, 1945
Type of Appearance: Direct
Date of Death: 1946
Cause of Death: Assassination by shelling
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.

Konrad Adenauer in The Hot WarEdit

Konrad Adenauer was the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany in the years before and during the Third World War.

West Germany was dragged into the new world war on 1 February 1951, when the Soviet Union dropped atomic bombs on several European cities, including Bremen and Augsburg in retaliation for U.S. attacks in Manchuria.[1] On 20 February, the Soviet Red Army, along with several allies, invaded West Germany proper.[2]

Adenauer immediately went into a bunker in Bonn, and sent a cable to U.S. President Harry 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.[3] Truman agreed to Adenauer's request.

Just after the atom bomb attacks, Adenauer established an emergency militia in anticipation of a Soviet invasion.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6]

Konrad Adenauer in The Man With the Iron HeartEdit

As the mayor of Cologne, Konrad Adenauer (1876-1946) had made a name for himself as an opponent of the Nazis before World War II, and so became a logical choice after the war and a favorite of the Western Allies to lead Germany. Adenauer established a new political party, the Christian Democratic Union from Cologne, with the help of the British.[7]

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.[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Bombs Away, pg. 72, HC.
  2. Ibid., pg. 113.
  3. Ibid., pg. 137-138, HC.
  4. Ibid., pg. 79.
  5. Ibid., pg. 250.
  6. Ibid., loc. 1641-1688.
  7. The Man With the Iron Heart, pgs. 169-171.
  8. Ibid., pgs. 192-197.

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