Ahlen program

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The Episcopal Gymnasium St. Michael in Ahlen
Mural on Beckumer Straße in Ahlen for the Ahlen program and Fringsen

The Ahlen program is an economic and social program of the CDU in the British zone adopted on February 3, 1947 in the St. Michael high school in Ahlen under the motto "CDU overcomes capitalism and Marxism" .

The program replaced the Neheim-Hüstener program decided in 1946 . It is rooted in Catholic social teaching and Protestant social ethics of the 19th and early 20th centuries ( Christian social teaching ). The Ahlen program was described by its advocates as Christian socialism ; however, the term does not appear in the program itself. The program begins with the words:

“The capitalist economic system has not done justice to the national and social vital interests of the German people. After the terrible political, economic and social collapse as a result of criminal power politics, only a fundamental reorganization can take place.

The content and goal of this social and economic reorganization can no longer be the capitalist striving for profit and power, but only the well-being of our people. Through a public economic order, the German people should receive an economic and social constitution that corresponds to the rights and dignity of human beings, serves the spiritual and material development of our people and secures internal and external peace.

CDU : Ahlen Program 1947

The Western occupying powers of the USA, Great Britain and France were skeptical or even hostile towards German industry and large corporations because of their earlier ties to the National Socialists. At the same time, the CDU – seeking inner orientation – was threatened with fierce factional fighting by the social committees that were being set up. The left wing of the CDU was of considerable strength; under the leadership of Jakob Kaiser , he demanded a stronger focus on "socialism out of Christian responsibility". This found expression in the Ahlen program, which called for a partial socialization of large-scale industry and strong co-determination rights. At the same time, it spoke out against state socialism .

Adenauer met this request with a draft he had already formulated on January 7, 1947, which was later reproduced almost exactly word for word in the Ahlen programme. In the years after the Ahlen program was passed , an economic policy strategy based on the social market economy prevailed within the CDU, largely promoted by Konrad Adenauer . The program was revised and further developed by the Düsseldorf guidelines , which were adopted two years later.

As Rudolf Uertz has shown, a key to interpreting a liberal reading was Adenauer’s principle, which was included in the preamble: “The starting point of all economics is the recognition of personality. Personal freedom in the economic arena and freedom in the political arena are closely related. The organization and management of the economy must not deprive the individual of their personal freedom.” These provisions can also be found in his Neheim-Hüstener program of March 1, 1946.

The Ahlen program has a lasting economic and legal historical effect on the social obligation of property ( Article 14 of the Basic Law) later included in the Basic Law and the reorganization of the relationship between employers and employees through collective bargaining autonomy , works constitution and corporate co -determination .


  • Rudolf Uertz: The Ahlen program. The zone committee meeting of the CDU of the British zone from 1 to 3 February 1947 and its preparations . In: The Political Opinion . Monthly journal on questions of the times , Sankt Augustin, No. 446, January 8, 2007, pp. 47–52 ( online ; PDF; 129 kB).
  • Henning Köhler : Adenauer, A Political Biography . Vol. 1, Berlin 1997, p. 394 f.
  • Antonius John : Ahlen and the Ahlen program. Documents-Events-Reminders . Printing and publishing house Everhard Sommer KG, Ahlen 1977.
  • Antonius John: The Ahlen program, its spirit and its political morality, on the 40th anniversary/3. February 1987 . Published by the CDU district association Warendorf-Beckum, Warendorf 1987.
  • Antonius John: Ahlen Program and Bonn Republic. 50 Years Ago: Race of Ideas and Rivalries . Bouvier Verlag, Bonn 1997, ISBN 3-416-02673-X .

web links

See also


  1. Markus Lingen, clerk in the contemporary history department of KAS on the adoption of the " Düsseldorf Principles "
  2. Georg Stötzel, Martin Wengeler , 1995: Controversial terms: history of public language use in the Federal Republic of Germany. Volume 4 of Language, Politics, Public. Publisher Georg Stötzel, Verlag Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 311014106X , ISBN 9783110141061 . p. 37.
  3. http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_9803-544-1-30.pdf?070129093211