Heinrich Basilius Streithofen

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Basilius Streithofen OP (born December 20, 1925 in Hüls (now a district of Krefeld), † December 5, 2006 in Bonn ) was a German Dominican and publicist .

Training, studies, early political and journalistic engagement

After completing an apprenticeship as a textile merchant, Heinrich Streithofen initially volunteered for the Waffen SS at the age of 17 , but then served with the paratroopers of the Wehrmacht due to his mother's intervention . When the Second World War was over, he caught up with the Abitur and entered the Dominican Order ( Ordo Praedicatorum , OP), Province of Teutonia , in 1950 , giving himself the religious name Basilius. He studied philosophy and theology at the Albertus Magnus Academy of the Dominican Monastery of St. Albert in Walberberg near Bonn . In 1956 he was ordained a priest in the local church . At that time he was already assisting the founding chairman of the Institute for Social Sciences Walberberg e. V. and head of the university, Eberhard Welty . In 1958, Streithofen was transferred to the convent in Düsseldorf , where he worked pastoral care, especially as a preacher and confessor. He was also active as a journalist and together with others founded the Rhenish group of the Society of Catholic Publicists in Germany . He was politically active in the CDU in the Rhineland. In 1962 he attended the University of Friborg (Switzerland) , a study of social philosophy and economics , where he at Arthur F. Utz with a thesis on "measures of value of trade union policy" (1967) to Dr. phil. received his doctorate .

Social ethical practice and journalism, political advice

In 1967 Streithofen returned to Walberberg. After Welty's death (1965), Utz headed the Institute for Social Sciences Walberberg e. V. and hold discussion groups with politicians and entrepreneurs. As a full professor at the University of Friborg (Switzerland) , with many obligations as an expert and consultant, he appointed Streithofen as managing director of the institute, who "developed as the driving force behind the institute's work, particularly in terms of party politics and in 1993 chaired the institute - not without a dispute with Utz - took over ”. As in Düsseldorf and Freiburg im Üechtland, he also worked as a journalist and journalist from Walberberg. His organizational talent, which was demonstrated, for example, in the preparation and implementation of congresses and discussion forums (e.g. "Repentance and Prayer Day Conversations"), as well as his Rhenish humorous appearance and intensive networking, especially in politicians, entrepreneurs, but also (Christian) trade union circles, made him stand out primarily as a practical representative of Catholic social teaching . However, he could not do much with the concept of social justice. He rejected the right to strike guaranteed in the Basic Law as a means of blackmail against society as a whole.

Through his friendship with the former federal executive director of the CDU and member of the Bundestag Bruno Heck , Streithofen influenced the CDU's program. In 1967 he was a member of a sub-commission of the program commission for the creation of the party's “Berlin Program” and took part in the following years as a key word in the party's program debates.

In 1983 he took over the editorial management of the two-month social-ethical two-month publication The New Order, founded in 1946 by Laurentius Siemer and Eberhard Welty for nine years .

The move of the Institute for Social Sciences from the Dominican monastery to the capital Bonn in 1984 gave him additional opportunities to act as an advisor, speaker and pastor in the context of parliamentary and ministerial operations. The “Thursday circles” at the institute also served this purpose, with well-known representatives of various political parties and economic interest groups as speakers (including Ignatz Bubis , Gerhart Rudolf Baum , Angela Merkel , Erika Steinbach , Fritz Pleitgen , Ayyub Axel Köhler , Günter Schabowski , Guido Westerwelle , Kurt Beck , Reiner Haseloff , Avi Primor ) appeared. However, contrary to media speculation, Streithofen was never a “confessor” or even closer advisor to Chancellors Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl .

In November 1992, explained Streithofen in a public lecture entitled Company - Capital - morality in Meppen: "The Jews and Poles are the biggest exploiters of the German taxpayer." Although the prosecution Osnabrueck an investigation against him for sedition initiated, he repeated regarding " der Juden ”this statement literally at an event of the CDU district association Ransbach-Baumbach in March 1993 to applause from half of the 130 guests. Streithofen therefore had to pay a fine of 4,000 DM to a charitable organization. Wolfgang Benz presented in his book What is anti-Semitism? the event is an example of the bridging function of hostility towards Jews between the middle of society and right-wing extremism . With reference to this incident, among other things, the PDS parliamentary group in the Bundestag applied for the funds set in the federal budget to combat anti-Semitism from DM 800,000 to DM 2,800,000 Increase DM. Ignatz Bubis , on the other hand, was satisfied with the fact that "at the moment it is not claimed [...] that the Jews are to blame for the plague ".

In 1992 the passionate cigar smoker (until he suffered a heart attack in 2002) handed over the editor-in-chief of the New Order to Wolfgang Ockenfels , but remained chairman of the Institute for Social Sciences until his death. In many socio-political disputes he raised his voice and repeatedly held up the mirror to the affluent society of the Federal Republic and to the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, which in his eyes is “asleep” . When asked what he would do if he “didn't get any stronger”, he replied in an interview in 2005: “Drink espresso, write books, pray for humanity and preach to me in my house chapel.” Gerhard Schröder and Joschka Fischer said he in the same interview as “pure power people” and “cramped amateur actors” without understanding the constitution. Politicians in Berlin lack “the ease of the Rhenish. The pagan climate there is not good for her ”. There is "loquacity, indiscipline, self-importance and cowardice ".

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  1. ^ Heinrich Basilius Streithofen, chairman of the Institute for Social Sciences in conversation with Peter Althammer , BR-Alpha , manuscript of the broadcast of February 15, 2000
  2. ^ Ambrosius Karl Ruf, The Philosophical-Theological University Walberberg - Albertus Magnus Academy. From an information brochure from 1973, in: Dominikaner in Walberberg 1926–2007. Dominican monastery Sankt Albert, Cologne 2014, pp. 56–57
  3. ^ Wolfgang Ockenfels, The Walberberger Circle. On the socio-ethical significance of the Dominicans in Germany, Die Neueordnung, 65th year, special issue / 2011 , pp. 1–35 (26 f.)
  4. ^ A b c Wolfgang Ockenfels, Arthur F. Utz (1908–2001), in: Jürgen Aretz / Rudolph Morsey / Anton Rauscher (eds.): Contemporary history in life pictures. From the German Catholicism of the 19th and 20th centuries, Vol. 12, Münster 2007, pp. 143–154 (148)
  5. CDU Federal Party Volume II , Finding aid for the archive for Christian democratic politics , Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung , Sankt Augustin ohne Jahr, p. 240
  6. Frank Bösch: Power and loss of power. The history of the CDU , Stuttgart, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt 2002, ISBN 3-421-05601-3 , p. 34
  7. Rudolf Uertz, Walberberg and The New Order, The New Order, Volume 60, Issue 2 , pp. 133-139; Wolfgang Bergsdorf, The New Order as a Political Journal. Comments on the 60th birthday, Die Neueordnung, 60th year, issue 2 , pp. 140–147 (145 ff.)
  8. ^ Vatican Radio, P. Basilius Streithofen OP - A contentious voice has fallen silent, news from December 8, 2006
  9. a b Wolfgang Benz: What is anti-Semitism? , Bonn, 2004, pp. 119–121
  10. Der Spiegel 04/1993, p. 16 Pater Braun
  11. Der Spiegel 23/1993, p.287 personal data
  12. ^ Kohl-Intimus Streithofen died , SPON of December 5, 2006
  13. Printed matter 14/972 of May 5, 1999
  14. Ignatz Bubis: Did you learn nothing from the past? Anti-Semitism in Germany , speech manuscript on the Friedrich Ebert Foundation website
  15. ^ Heinrich Basilius Streithofen, A New Church? How to destroy the Catholic Church in your sleep, The New Order, Volume 45, 1991, Issue 4, pp. 299-309
  16. a b c d Stern , What is actually doing ...: ... Basilius Streithofen? Issue 30, 2005