Heinrich Luebke

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Heinrich Lübke, 1959 Heinrich Lübke's signature

Karl Heinrich Lübke (born October 14, 1894 in Enkhausen / Sauerland , † April 6, 1972 in Bonn ) was a German politician ( center , later CDU ). From 1953 to 1959 he was Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture and Forests and from 1959 to 1969 the second Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany .

Empire, Weimar Republic and the time of National Socialism

Heinrich Lübke was the seventh of eight children of Friedrich-Wilhelm (Fritz) Lübke (1855-1902) and Karoline Lübke (1859-1922) born Becker. His father was a shoemaker and a sideline farmer. Lübke was only eight years old when his father died. His older brother was the CDU politician Friedrich Wilhelm Lübke (1887–1954).

Study and job

Lübke's birthplace in Enkhausen with a memorial plaque, 2008

After graduating from high school Petrinum in Brilon in 1913 , Lübke began studying geodesy , agriculture and cultural building technology at the Agricultural Academy in Bonn, which he interrupted in August 1914 to take part in the First World War as a volunteer until 1918 . He completed his basic training first with the Westphalian Foot Artillery Regiment No. 7 , with which he was then deployed on the Eastern and Western Fronts. Luebke went through as grave observers to trench warfare . In 1916 he was promoted to vice sergeant . After a gas attack, he was taken to a field hospital. In 1917 he was promoted to lieutenant and became deputy battery chief in the 52nd Reserve Division . He then became an orderly officer and was involved in the Third Battle of Flanders . Before the end of the war he was transferred to the Great Headquarters of the Supreme Army Command . During the war he received the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd class.

After the end of the war and discharge from military service in December 1918, Lübke resumed his studies and finished it in 1921 with the examination as a surveying and cultural engineer . During his studies in Bonn he joined the student association K.D.St.V. Ascania Bonn in the CV . From 1921 to 1924 he studied political economy in Münster and Berlin . From 1921 to 1922 he was employed by the Westphalia tenants and settlers association in Münster. From October 1922 he was managing director of the Reich Association of Small Agricultural Enterprises (from 1925 also medium-sized enterprises ). From 1924 he was also a member of the executive committee of the Bund Deutscher Bodenreformer . In 1926 he became manager of the German peasantry . From 1927 he was also managing director of the Bauernland AG settlement company .

In 1929 Lübke married Wilhelmine Keuthen (1885–1981) from Ramsbeck in Berlin-Wilmersdorf , now part of the Bestwig community .

From 1932 to 1933 Lübke was a member of the Prussian state parliament for the German Center Party . He was re-elected in the state elections on March 5, 1933. On May 18, 1933, as in the Reich, the state parliament approved an enabling law for Prussia against the votes of the SPD. He never met again after that. On October 14, 1933, the representative bodies of the federal states were dissolved and finally repealed without replacement on January 30, 1934.

time of the nationalsocialism

In July 1933, under pressure from the National Socialists , Lübke had to give up his position with the German peasantry and in March 1934 with the Bauernland settlement company. On February 5, 1934, the National Socialists initiated an investigation against Lübke for corruption . He was arrested and after 20 months on 11 October 1935 from the detention dismissed. He was initially unemployed and lived near Flensburg on the farm of his older brother Friedrich Wilhelm Lübke , who later became Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein (1951-1954) , until the summer of 1937 . From 1937 to 1939 he worked as a manager at the Lower Saxony Housing and Settlement Society in Berlin and, as a reserve officer, performed three military exercises in the Wehrmacht and was promoted to first lieutenant in the reserve. In 1942 he was promoted to captain of the reserve.

From 1939 to 1945 he worked as a surveyor and site manager at the architecture and engineering office Walter Schlempp , which was under the control of the “General Building Inspector for the Reich Capital” Albert Speer . From 1944 he was Schlempps deputy.

Lübke was construction manager in the "Schlempp Group" at the Peenemünde Army Research Center . From 1943 to 1945 he was responsible for deploying concentration camp inmates. There were two concentration camp outposts on the site in Peenemünde. The concentration camp inmates had to do forced labor under his direction. Lübke has specially requested prisoners for this. In a note from 1942 it says: “Mr. Lübke, who died on July 21st. negotiated again with HAP / L (management of the Peenemünde army station), hoping to get 500 Dutchmen at the beginning of August. “When the GDR government raised allegations in 1966 in connection with his work in the Walter Schlempp assembly, Lübke said that there were concentration camps in Peenemünde Prisoners were definitely not used until the British bombing in 1944. But there has been evidence of a concentration camp there since June 1943.

Peenemünde , spring 1941, Leeb, Todt, Lübke, Walter Dornberger

Lübke's signature can be found under construction drawings of a camp that the MfS issued as a concentration camp . For this purpose, the MfS used a bundle of plan sketches from Lübke's pen and created a connection between Lübke's activities and the establishment of concentration camps by means of forged folders, which marked the plan sketches as belonging to concentration camps. Lübke's plan sketches were related to the construction of an armaments factory in Neu-Staßfurt , where a factory for the production of BMW engines was built in the Marie shaft . As a member of the Jägerstab , Lübke was increasingly responsible for the Schlempp company from May 1944 for the decentralization and relocation of aircraft plants to the underground . In the disused mine shafts near Bernburg and Neu-Staßfurt, around 2,000 prisoners from Buchenwald subcamps were used for transport and concreting work. Some of the prisoners were housed in a shaft at a depth of 420 meters for months, and quite a few people did not survive. For this purpose, barracks were built by the Schlempp group under Lübke's direction, which later housed concentration camp prisoners.

In February 1945 Lübke began with the former head of the reconstruction planning of destroyed cities in the Reich Ministry for Armaments and War Production and architect Rudolf Wolters on behalf of Speer with the construction of a "post-war office for planning prefabricated housing" (Wolters was on January 10, 1945 for the 15th January 1945 "transferred" to the engineering office Schlempp).

Political career

After the end of the war

In 1945 Lübke joined the CDU . From 1945 to 1946 he ran his own construction office in Höxter . In 1946 he was a member of the Provincial Parliament of Westphalia appointed by the British military government, and from October 1946 of the appointed Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia . From January to October 1953 he worked as an advocate general for the German Raiffeisen Association in Bonn.

MP and Minister

Prime Minister meeting in Munich, June 1947; at the table on the left: Hermann Wandersleb , Heinrich Lübke, Rudolf Amelunxen , Hans Ehard (standing)

Lübke belonged to the first freely elected North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament from April 1947 until he resigned on March 6, 1954. From January 6, 1947 to January 1, 1953, he officiated in the state governments led by Rudolf Amelunxen and Karl Arnold as Minister for Food, Agriculture and Forests in North Rhine-Westphalia . From 1949 to September 29, 1950 he was a CDU member of the Bundestag for the constituency of Arnsberg - Soest . During this time he was also chairman of the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Forestry. From 1953 to the election of Federal President on September 2, 1959, he was again a member of the German Bundestag , directly elected in the constituency of Rees - Dinslaken . After the federal election in 1953 , he was appointed Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture and Forestry on October 20, 1953 in the federal government led by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer . In 1955 Lübke was invited as a guest to the Bremen Schaffermahlzeit , after his election as Federal President in 1960 he took part as a guest of honor.

See also: Cabinet Adenauer II and Cabinet Adenauer III

Federal President

The Thai Queen Sirikit , Wilhelmine and Heinrich Lübke at the state reception on the Petersberg , 1960

Lübke was elected German President on July 1, 1959 as the successor to Theodor Heuss . In the second ballot he prevailed against Carlo Schmid from the SPD and Max Becker from the FDP, which was also in the opposition at the time . His term of office began on September 13, 1959.

Lübke made development aid a main concern of his presidency from the start. In his inaugural speech in 1959, he stated the urgent need for international aid and responsibility in view of global hunger. In the autumn of 1962, following an appeal by the FAO as part of the "Freedom from Hunger Campaign" , he initiated the establishment of Welthungerhilfe as the first German non-denominational development aid organization.

Lübke did not shy away from addressing the political and economic developments in the former GDR in his official speeches and addressing people directly. In the New Year's Address of January 1, 1963, he addressed current developments in Germany as follows:

“My dear compatriots in Central Germany and East Berlin! The totalitarian rule of a small minority in central Germany has lasted for over 17 years, and, supported by the power of the Soviet army, it stifles every movement of political and personal freedom. The functionaries presume to direct the thoughts and actions of the population. Free elections, freedom of expression and the development of your personality are familiar ideas to you, my compatriots, but it is impossible for you to draw practical conclusions from them. In 1962, the devastating consequences of the regime's mismanagement in agriculture, trade and industry were compounded by the unfreedom. What use is your diligence, your specialist knowledge and your experience if everything is wrecked by the incompetence of the officials? This goes so far that your children are now not allowed to choose the profession that suits them, but have to take the one that serves the realization of the national economic plan. Brutal violence was used to break off relations between you and us in the Federal Republic, but we Germans in the east and west, in the north and south of our fatherland are and will remain a spiritual community and therefore one people. Despite the separation, your grief and suffering are also our grief and sufferings. "

- Heinrich Lübke : New Years address from January 1, 1963

On July 1, 1964 , he was re-elected by the 4th Federal Assembly . The re-election was preceded by a meeting between Lübke and Herbert Wehner (SPD) during a cure in Bad Kissingen , at which both agreed on re-election and spoke out in favor of a grand coalition . Only then did Lübke inform the CDU and was confirmed in office with the votes of both major parties. The State Secretary in the Office of the Federal President, Hans-Heinrich Herwarth von Bittenfeld , who internally opposed a second term of office because of Lübke's state of health, was subsequently replaced and sent to Rome as ambassador. Lübke campaigned for the formation of the grand coalition ( Kiesinger cabinet ) in 1966 .

Real and supposed anecdotes

His political accents were overshadowed by his rhetorical mistakes, especially in his second term in office. As it turned out later, he was already suffering from rapidly progressing cerebral sclerosis , which favored the slip of the tongue. In addition, Lübke liked to ignore existing speech manuscripts and tried to speak freely.

Lübke during a visit to Kirchheim in Swabia , around 1965

"Dear Sir or Madam, dear Negroes " developed into a modern legend , with which Lübke is said to have started a speech on a state visit to Liberia in 1962 , without any evidence of it, as well as "Equal goes it loose":

“When England's Queen made a state visit to the Rhine, Lübke put the message to his guest that the concert at Brühl Castle would begin immediately (as reported by the Bonn fama) in the sentence: 'Equal goes it loose' - a translation of: Gleich is it starting."

In 2006, the then Spiegel employee Hermann L. Gremliza revealed that this quote, like many others, was an invention of the Spiegel editorial team:

“In truth, the alleged Lübke quote 'Equal goes it loose' […] is an invention of the Bonn-based Spiegel correspondent Ernst Goyke, known as Ego […]. In the week after Ego's story, Spiegel editors also wrote all other articles on » Lübke English « under false senders for the magazine's letters to the editor. "

It is documented that Lübke greeted President Philibert Tsiranana and his wife Justine in Tananarive , the capital of Madagascar , with the words "Dear Mr. President, dear Ms. Tananarive". These real and supposed mistakes found a strong response in the German cabaret scene. Due to the derision directed at the Federal President, the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation decided not to continue broadcasting the performances of the Münchner Lach- und Schießgesellschaft live.

Excerpts from Lübke speeches were processed in mid-1966 by the magazine pardon on the extraordinarily successful long-playing record Heinrich Lübke redet for Germany . This includes the scene in Helmstedt when Lübke wanted to address the residents and could not remember the place name; Spectators called this to him.

In 1966 the GDR media, and subsequently the magazine in particular, reported specifically on Lübke as a “ concentration camp master builder”. This was originally a campaign initiated by the East German MfS . Nevertheless, historians later established that the alleged fact that Lübke had made construction drawings for concentration camp barracks in 1944 was essentially correct.

End of his presidential term

On October 14, 1968, Lübke announced that he would resign from office on June 30, 1969, on the grounds that he wanted to keep the office out of the upcoming Bundestag election campaign, so that the election of a successor could take place two and a half months earlier than normally required in March 1969. In addition to the “concentration camp builder” campaign, his increasing health deficits were decisive.

Heinrich Lübke was one of the Federal Presidents who did not sign all the laws that had been passed by the Bundestag during their term of office . After obtaining a scientific opinion, he informed the President of the Bundestag that he would not sign the law against trade in companies and employees because, in his opinion, it violated the freedom of career choice and professional training guaranteed in the Basic Law.

Until the election of Christian Wulff in 2010, Lübke was the only Federal President of the Roman Catholic Confession.

State visits

Heinrich Lübke on a state visit to the Philippines, 1963
Heinrich Lübke on a state visit to Morocco with Hassan II , 1966
Heinrich Lübke on a state visit to Kenya with President Jomo Kenyatta , 1966
Heinrich Lübke and the French President Charles de Gaulle at the inauguration of the German Embassy in Paris, 1968
Heinrich Lübke on a state visit to Niger, 1969
year date States
1961 20.-23. June FranceFrance France
5th-7th July SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
1962 11-15 January LiberiaLiberia Liberia
15-18 January Guinea-aGuinea Guinea
18.-21. January SenegalSenegal Senegal
27.-31. March AustriaAustria Austria
15-21 November PakistanPakistan Pakistan
21-26 November ThailandThailand Thailand
November 26th - December 5th IndiaIndia India
1963 23-27 October Iran 1925Iran Iran
October 28th - November 3rd IndonesiaIndonesia Indonesia
6-18 November JapanJapan Japan
18.-23. November PhilippinesPhilippines Philippines
1964 24.-29. April PeruPeru Peru
April 29th - May 4th ChileChile Chile
4th-7th May ArgentinaArgentina Argentina
7-14 May Brazil 1960Brazil Brazil
20.-26. October Ethiopia 1941Ethiopia Ethiopia
1966 22-26 February MadagascarMadagascar Madagascar
26.-28. February KenyaKenya Kenya
February 28th - March 4th Cameroon 1961Cameroon Cameroon
4-8 March TogoTogo Togo
8-12 March MaliMali Mali
12-16 March MoroccoMorocco Morocco
22-28 November MexicoMexico Mexico
1967 2-6 March Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea
6-8 March ThailandThailand Thailand
March 8-11 MalaysiaMalaysia Malaysia
11-15 March NepalNepal Nepal
15-19 March Afghanistan Kingdom 1931Afghanistan Afghanistan
9-16 June CanadaCanada Canada
1968 3rd to 5th February FranceFrance France
25.-30. April TunisiaTunisia Tunisia
1969 5th – 10th February Ivory CoastIvory Coast Ivory Coast
10-14 February NigerNiger Niger
14.-18. February ChadChad Chad

Former president and death

Grave of the Lübke family
The Heinrich Lübke House

The Federal President a. D. had no job left and he could no longer take on new duties for health reasons. His intention to live in Berlin from time to time did not materialize, and neither was Lübke, who had a private library of around 5,000 books, able to pursue his scientific hobbies: comparative linguistics and microbiology .

His party friends ignored him if they did not avoid him at all. However, his successor in the office of Federal President, Gustav Heinemann , kept in contact with him.

Trips to Tenerife in autumn 1969 and at Christmas 1970 and 1971 brought no improvement in his condition. A progressive cerebral sclerosis became more and more noticeable, led to serious speech disorders and intermittent memory loss . In retrospect, it turned out that this disease had already started a few years earlier and that many a slip of the tongue of the Federal President had declared in the last few years of his term of office. In November 1971 the former Federal President visited his place of birth Enkhausen for the last time.

On March 30, 1972, acute gastric bleeding required Lübke's rapid operation. It turned out that he was suffering from an advanced gastric cancer , the metastases had already reached the brain. After two more blood attacks , Heinrich Lübke died on April 6, 1972 at the age of 77 in Bonn .

At a state ceremony on April 13, 1972, Lübke's services were recognized. After a requiem in Cologne Cathedral , Lübke was buried in Sundern -Enkhausen. The family grave in the village cemetery in Enkhausen bears the inscription "Heinrich Lübke - Federal President from 1959 to 1969". In 1975 the city established a museum in Sundern-Enkhausen, the Heinrich-Lübke-Haus .

A part of his estate is presented by a great-nephew of Lübke at the Moselburg Arras . In the “Heinrich and Wilhelmine Lübke Memorial Room” there, visitors can view photos, documents and gifts for guests.


In 1953 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the agricultural faculty of the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn . In 1957 he received the Grand Cross of the Federal Order of Merit and in 1959, as Federal President, the special level of the Grand Cross of the Federal Order of Merit. In 1964 he received the Harnack Medal from the Max Planck Society .

He was also an honorary citizen of the cities of Berlin (1962), Karlsruhe (1965) and Bonn (1966) as well as the community of Bestwig , the Freedom Sundern and von Neheim-Hüsten (1968). In 1965 he received the Grand Cross with Grand Chain of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic . In Niamey , the capital of Niger , a main street is named after him.

See also

Cabinet Amelunxen II - Cabinet Arnold I - Cabinet Arnold II - Cabinet Adenauer II - Cabinet Adenauer III



  • equal goes it loose. Heinrich Lübke speaks for Germany. Kunstmann, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-88897-411-9 (republication of the pardon LP from 1966)

Web links

Commons : Heinrich Lübke  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Johannes Hermanns: Heinrich Lübke, p. 17, 1966
  2. ^ Federal President's Office: Wilhelmine Lübke Accessed on August 11, 2020.
  3. Used for tasks in the interests of the Reich . In: Berliner Zeitung , March 9, 1994.
  4. a b c Jens-Christian Wagner: The Lübke case . In: Die Zeit , No. 30, July 19, 2007.
  5. a b mass grave at the rocket ramp. Historian Jens-Christian Wagner on Heinrich Lübke's role in the deployment of concentration camp prisoners in Peenemünde . In: Der Spiegel . No. 22 , 2001, p. 218 ( online - May 28, 2001 ).
  6. ^ Rainer Eisfeld , Mondsüchtig, Wernher von Braun and the birth of space travel out of the spirit of barbarism , (Paperback) 2012, ISBN 978-3-86674-167-6 , p. 95.
  7. ^ A b Lars-Broder Keil: Contemporary history: Heinrich Lübke and the state security. In: Die Welt , May 9, 2007.
  8. ^ Heinrich Lübke at the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia
  9. Joachim Gauck , speech on "50 Years of Welthungerhilfe" on December 14, 2012, [1]
  10. Irene Dänzer-Vanotti: Zeitzeichen on NDR-Info on December 14, 1962, when Welthungerhilfe was founded. [2] MP3 for download, NDR Info, December 14, 2012
  11. Heinrich Lübke's New Years address from January 1, 1963, given on Deutschlandfunk, dradio.de
  12. Hans von Herwarth: From Adenauer to Brandt. Memories. Propylaeen, Berlin / Frankfurt am Main 1990, ISBN 3-549-07403-4 , here p. 279 ff.
  13. Christoph Drösser : Lübke and the negroes . Column right ? In: The time . No. 14, March 28, 2002
  14. Latin with Russians . In: Der Spiegel . No. 18 , 1967, p. 60-63 ( Online - Apr. 24, 1967 ).
  15. specifically . 3/2006, p. 74
  16. ^ Kortmann & Wolf: Sauerland remains Sauerland, Heinrich Lübke's golden treasure trove of quotations. P. 16
  17. Sven Felix Kellerhoff : Resignation as President: When Lübke made the Köhler. In: The world . May 31, 2010
  18. Lübke - Disordered conditions . In: Der Spiegel . No. 21 , 1968 ( online ).
  19. Biography on the homepage of the Federal President, Heinrich Lübke (1959–1969) [3]
  20. ^ Arnulf Baring : Change of power: The Brandt - Scheel era . Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1982, ISBN 3-421-06095-9 , p. 37
  21. Rudolf Morsey : Heinrich Lübke - A political biography . Schöningh, 1996, ISBN 3-506-75776-8 , p. 584.
  22. Information on Arras Castle ( Memento from May 18, 2015 in the Internet Archive ).