Kurt Georg Kiesinger
Kurt Georg Kiesinger (born April 6, 1904 in Ebingen , Württemberg ; † March 9, 1988 in Tübingen ) was a German politician and from 1966 to 1969 the third Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany . Kiesinger was a lawyer and private legal teacher (repetitor). In the Third Reich he had been a member of the NSDAP since 1933. From 1940 he worked as an employee in the Foreign Office, most recently as deputy head of the broadcasting department. After 1945 he became a politician as a member of the CDU . From 1958 to 1966 he was Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg , from 1966 to 1969 Federal Chancellor and from 1967 to 1971 Federal Chairman of the CDU. Kiesinger was the first German Chancellor to rule with a grand coalition . During his term of office the introduction of the emergency laws as well as laws that led to the statute of limitations for Nazi war crimes (Art. 1 No. 6 EGOWiG), and the main phase of the extra-parliamentary opposition fell . His earlier career in the state apparatus of the Nazi regime was repeatedly criticized publicly during his time as a politician in the Federal Republic.
Childhood, youth and education
Kiesinger came from an "upwardly mobile petty-bourgeois milieu" in a small Swabian town. His father Christian (1876–1969) was a commercial clerk in companies in the local textile industry and Protestant denomination. Kurt Georg Kiesinger was baptized a Catholic because his mother Dominika Kiesinger, b. Grimm (1878-1904) was a Catholic. His mother died six months after he was born. Their mother exerted a strong influence on Kiesinger. Kiesinger was greatly encouraged by this grandmother, while his parents were rather indifferent to his advancement. After a year the father married Karoline Victoria Kiesinger, b. Pfaff, new. They had seven children, of whom Kiesinger's half-sister Maria died a year after she was born. Pfaff was also a Catholic. Kiesinger was therefore shaped by both denominations and later referred to himself as "Protestant Catholics". Politically, Kiesinger grew up in a liberal, democratic-minded milieu. His father had a subscription to a liberal newspaper.
After attending the state Catholic elementary school, Kiesinger entered the only secondary school in Ebingen, the Schlossbergrealschule. After graduating in 1919 (the so-called one-year examination) with achievements just above average, Kiesinger, who wanted to advance, only had the choice of either becoming a priest or a teacher. Because he did not want the former, he entered the Catholic teachers' college in Rottweil , which provided for a six-year training course. During this time he briefly occupied himself with poetry . He published poems - including political ones - in the Neue Albblatt and other newspapers. The political poems deal, among other things, with the political situation of the new Weimar state. In the poem turn of the year on December 30, 1922, Kiesinger castigated the "enemies" of Germany who "tear at the corners of the empire" and "pile on his back" with "billions in debts" in the Treaty of Versailles. Kiesinger did not reveal whether he had noticed the military collapse of Germany. Kiesinger later wrote the poetry collection Pilgrimage to God with 26 poems, which was published by his sponsor Haux (see below).
The father could only raise the school fees until the inflation in 1923 , when Kiesinger received a scholarship for a time. Kiesinger then worked in a textile factory during the summer holidays to earn the money for his training. The owner of the textile factory, Friedrich Haux , a liberal-minded entrepreneur, made friends with the young student and from then on promoted his advancement. Thanks to this help, Kiesinger was able to study pedagogy at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen from 1925 onwards, after completing the teacher’s seminar, which was only a restricted university entrance qualification .
In April 1925, the 21-year-old Kiesinger was able to vote for the first time in the presidential election. He did not vote for the democrat, the central politician Wilhelm Marx , but for Paul von Hindenburg, who was set up by the right-wing enemies of the republic . According to Gassert, Kiesinger had identified with the national conservative camp at this point, "perhaps to prove his independence again".
Since Kiesinger's degree in pedagogy was not satisfactory, he tried to acquire the Abitur at a later date. For this, as an achievement of the revolution of 1918/1919, a supplementary examination was set up in Tübingen, and courses were held at the university to prepare it. In addition to these courses, Kiesinger also attended other lectures. The historian Johannes Haller made an “extraordinary impression” . He was an uncompromising opponent of the Weimar Republic and an early supporter of National Socialism. In October 1926 Kiesinger passed the external Abitur examination at a grammar school in Tübingen. As early as 1925 was Kiesinger in the frat K.St.V. Alamannia entered, which belonged to the umbrella organization Cartel Association of Catholic German Student Associations (KV).
In 1926 Kiesinger, who moved to the big city, moved to Berlin to study law and political science . In Berlin, Kiesinger joined the K.St.V. Askania-Burgundia at. These connections were not strong connections, they affirmed democracy and supported the Weimar Republic. There were more frequent lecture evenings on which political, social and also literary topics were dealt with. This was soon organized by the new member Kiesinger. He was a good speaker and gave some of these lectures. In the summer semester of 1927 he was elected senior at Askania.
During the Askania, Kiesinger often got to know very well-known Catholic democratic politicians who were predominantly members of the center and old men of the association. These included the former presidential candidate and multiple Reich Chancellor Wilhelm Marx, the Lord Mayor of Cologne Konrad Adenauer , the former Reich Justice Minister Erich Emminger , the Prussian State Secretary Aloys Lammers , his brother, the industrial association functionary Clemens Lammers , and the politician Hermann Pünder . But there were also enemies of the republic and politicians close to the National Socialists among the old men. One who had a great influence on the young Askanians was the father of a fellow student, the deeply religious, right-wing conservative Catholic and history professor Martin Spahn , who - until 1921 a center member - belonged to the anti-democratic and anti-Semitic German National People's Party (DNVP) and tended towards National Socialism towards the end of the Weimar Republic . Spahn is considered one of the most important bridge builders from Catholicism to National Socialism.
In 1931 Kiesinger passed his first state examination with a very good grade. In May 1931 he became an “old man” in his connection. Kiesinger then began his - at that time unpaid - traineeship at the Köpenick District Court. Since his sponsor Friedrich Haux had died in the meantime, Kiesinger had to look for a source of money. He found, as he was working for his good skills as a coach, that law students by holding of revision courses preparing for legal tests. He held classes either in the morning or in the evening before his work.
Kiesinger under National Socialism
The influence of Spahn caused a shift to the right within the KV and among the Askania students towards the end of the 1920s, who increasingly became opponents of the republic. At the same time, the principle of belonging to the Catholic religion was watered down more and more. Kiesinger himself had visited the Political College for a while while still studying in Berlin. There Spahn tried to indoctrinate the participating students according to his right-wing conservative ideas. With the conflicts that then occurred between the old rulers (who rejected this development) and the active students, Kiesinger defended this development “to the right”. Through the mediation of a noble friend with whom he completed his first traineeship in Köpenick, Kiesinger got to know some right-wing aristocrats who had come together with others in the German Gentlemen's Club , and became a member of this "notorious, highly reactionary" association. From 1931 onwards, the Askania's Aktivitas adopted more and more National Socialist ideas. In the umbrella organization of Askania, the cartel association KV, there were discussions at this time about joining the NSDAP, which, however, was still described as unacceptable for members of the KV and Askania in the summer of 1932.
Member of the NSDAP
After the seizure of power , this resolution on the incompatibility of NSDAP membership and Catholic association was repealed at a meeting of the Cartel Association on April 23, 1933. Kiesinger was one of the young academics who were "infected by the Nazi ideology, a strong Germanism and a strong national consciousness and who enthusiastically joined the National Socialists".
Kiesinger - at that time still trainee lawyer and repetitor - joined the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers' Party) at the end of February 1933 with NSDAP membership number 2.633.930 and remained so until 1945. Kiesinger also joined the National Socialist Motor Corps (NSKK) organization. a. Kiesinger later made various statements on his motives for joining. In his memoirs he claims that he wanted to prevent excesses and that he joined the NSDAP to change its ideology. He also claimed there that his motive in the beginning was to counteract anti-Semitic racial propaganda . His biographer Gassert regards this as implausible.
According to his own statements, Kiesinger did not hear anything about his party membership after his application for membership until his cell leader approached him in June 1934 about membership, so that Kiesinger paid his contributions from June 1934. In addition, Kiesinger served as a block warden for the NSDAP for some time from 1939 to 1940 . Apart from a statement by Kiesinger, no further documents are available.
On July 8, 1933, the National Socialist dominated German student body , which meanwhile claimed sovereignty over all students, published a decree to control the development of the connections. Three new rules should apply to the connections. First, a corporation leader must be used in the connections. This should use the senior of the old men and the active students (Aktivitas). It was not mentioned, because it was taken for granted, that this corporation leader should be a National Socialist. Second, the Aryan ancestry of new members should be checked back 3 generations. The provisions of the Law on Restoration of the Professional Civil Service should be applied to the existing members . The application of this decree, which was in the hands of the respective association, promised the dismissal of the Jewish members of the associations or those who were considered Jewish under the law.
On July 28, 1933, Kurt Georg Kiesinger was appointed as the head of the Askania corporation. With the deployment of an NSDAP member from its own ranks, Askania began its self-alignment . The historian Gassert is of the opinion that Kiesinger was appointed because he was a good compromise candidate between the more democratically-minded old rulers and the more Nazi-minded young people. Kiesinger surrounded himself with a staff of advisors made up of active members, including Franz-Josef Spahn, who took over the editing of a newly founded magazine, the "Askanenblätter". In the first issue of the magazine, which appeared on September 22, 1933, an article by Kiesinger was published, which dealt with the future of the connection in National Socialist Germany. Kiesinger welcomed the development of Germany towards a dictatorship in this "German tinkering" article. He described the creation of the unity of the German people as the "meaning of current historical events". This meant the annexation of the territories lost in World War I and the unification with Austria. Kiesinger went on to say that the decision about the continued existence of the Catholic connections was solely a matter for the Führer, Adolf Hitler.
Like other texts and the knowledge of Kiesinger's role as a corporation leader in 1933, this text was kept secret by the Askania association and also by Kiesinger during Kiesinger's lifetime, because it awakened embarrassing memories for Kiesinger and Askania. It was found in the work of the Berlin historian Michael F. Feldkamp in 2002 when he searched the archives of Askania and others in order to write a commemorative publication for the 150th anniversary of Askania. Far more spectacular than this article was a form that was enclosed with the first Askanen papers of September 22, 1933. It was a questionnaire to determine the Aryan descent of all active members of the Askania and the old rulers. On the one hand, they should provide information about their involvement in the student association, military service, war awards, combatant status, membership of the NSDAP with membership number, SA, SS, steel helmet. On the other hand, questions were asked about the religious affiliation of the members and their ancestors up to three generations back. This questionnaire should be filled out and sent to the private address of the corporation leader Kiesinger within a period of three weeks. In the next issue of the Askanenblätter in February 1934, Kiesinger excused himself that he did not get to see the content of the questionnaire before it was sent and that he did not approve it. What he didn't like about the questionnaire, Kiesinger didn't explain. It is also not known whether this questionnaire was withdrawn. The historian Gassert believes that Kiesinger cannot be held personally responsible for this questionnaire. However, Kiesinger has not resigned from his post in protest.
Kiesinger continued the synchronization. The Askanier had forced some of their property residential fellowships provide. On January 31, 1934, the principle of Catholic religious affiliation was repealed in the KV umbrella organization. Some Catholic connections then resigned or dissolved. Kiesinger made sure that religious freedom was accepted in the Askania and that his connection did not break up. With the increasing influence of the NSDAP in the Third Reich, the restrictions on all connections became greater and greater. In 1935, 105 student associations were banned in the Cartel Association of Catholic Associations alone. The individual members of a connection had to fear professional disadvantages. Therefore, on January 15, 1937, the Aktivitas of Askania dissolved. The old gentlemen's association had to disband in 1938.
Legal activity and tutor
According to his own account, the murders in the wake of the so-called Röhm putsch of June 30, 1934, opened eyes to Kiesinger's eyes on the unjust character of the regime.
In October 1934 he passed his exam with "very good". Thereupon he received an attractive offer from the Vice-President of the Court of Appeal for a judge's position combined with the management of the trainee courses. Kiesinger refused to enter the service of this criminal state by his own admission. Instead, he settled down as a lawyer at the Berlin Supreme Court and expanded his range of revision courses, which he had continued to do on the side throughout the entire legal traineeship. Kiesinger did not join the influential Association of National Socialist German Jurists , later the National Socialist Lawyers ' Association (NSRB), which also regulated the distribution of mandates to lawyers, which was unusual for a lawyer at the time .
Little is known about Kiesinger's defense activities. In two documented cases he represented people who were persecuted by the Gestapo. Kiesinger was able to help them because, through his membership in the NSDAP, he had a certain kind of power that protected his clients.
Member of the Foreign Office
When he received his draft order in 1940 , in order to avoid service in the Wehrmacht , he decided to take a position in the Reich Foreign Ministry under von Ribbentrop . His student Karl-Heinz Gerstner found him this position . Kiesinger rose to the position of deputy head of the broadcasting policy department , which was responsible for monitoring and influencing foreign broadcasting . Among other things, he was responsible for the connection to the Reich Propaganda Ministry of Joseph Goebbels , with which his department had disputes over competence.
Contrary to his denial in 1947, Kiesinger was listed as deputy head of the broadcasting policy department in the Foreign Office's business distribution plan . According to Philipp Gassert, he was the only scientific unskilled worker (WHA) who made it into this position “in the rank of ministerial conductor” during the Second World War , and thus held a position “directly below the political management level”. According to the office's 1943 annual report, Kiesinger was head of the Ru A ("Broadcasting Unit: International Broadcasting Relations and Broadcasting and Technical Broadcasting Matters") and Ru B ("General Propaganda, coordination of the work of the state units, liaison to the Propaganda Ministry") units .
Later, especially during his time as Federal Chancellor , his at least initial approval of the National Socialists' takeover and his career in the state apparatus from 1940 onwards were criticized. He himself later described his support for the Nazi regime as “not out of conviction, not out of opportunism”, and important goals of the movement did not appear reprehensible to him. He did not share the movement's hatred of Jews, but neither did he regard it as "a serious danger".
For him spoke a 1966 that emerged from the Washington National Archives document dated November 7, 1944, which came into the possession of the news magazine Der Spiegel . The document shows that Kiesinger's then colleagues Ernst Otto Dörries and Hanns Dietrich Ahrens denounced him to the Reich Security Main Office of the SS at the end of 1944 :
"In the Broadcasting Policy Department of the Foreign Office [...] it is the former liaison man of the department for the Propaganda Ministry and current Deputy Head of Department Kiesinger who demonstrably inhibits anti-Jewish action."
Denazification and entry into the CDU in Württemberg
On April 30, 1945, Kiesinger was arrested by the American occupation forces in Benediktbeuern because he had been a member of the NSDAP and was suspected of having belonged to the National Socialist functionaries without any concrete suspicion of guilt . Kiesinger had not given the Americans any personal information at first, so he could be falsely suspected of having been a contributor to the SD . Kiesinger was imprisoned in various internment camps for 18 months, finally in camp 74 in Ludwigsburg . On September 17, 1946, Kiesinger was released from prison and moved to Scheinfeld (Middle Franconia), the residence of his in-laws, where his wife and children were also located. Kiesinger then went through the German denazification process. Initially, as a former member of the NSDAP, he was classified as a fellow traveler . In 1948, at his instigation, a court of justice released him completely. He then began working as a lawyer in Tübingen and Würzburg .
From 1949 to February 19, 1959 and again from 1969 to 1980 Kiesinger was a member of the German Bundestag . In his first legislative term he represented the constituency of Ravensburg , in which he achieved record results of over 70 percent, from 1969 the constituency of Waldshut . For the 1976 federal election , Kiesinger renounced his own constituency and entered parliament via the Baden-Württemberg state list of his party. In the first two legislative periods (1949–1957) he was chairman of the mediation committee of the Bundestag and Bundesrat . On October 19, 1950, Kiesinger received 55 votes against his party friend Hermann Ehlers (201 votes) in the election for President of the Bundestag , although he had not been proposed. From December 17, 1954 to January 29, 1959, he was chairman of the Bundestag Committee on Foreign Affairs, to which he had been a member since 1949.
Kiesinger was considered an excellent speaker. In the 1950s Kiesinger supported Adenauer's foreign policy. His debates with the equally eloquent Fritz Erler from the SPD wrote parliamentary history.
Kiesinger was looking for intersections with the SPD. In the election of Federal President Theodor Heuss , on which Adenauer had agreed with the FDP, Kiesinger advocated a consensus solution with the SPD. In 1950, at his instigation, an intergroup committee was set up, which contributed significantly to the agreement between the coalition and the opposition when the Federal Constitutional Court was created. Against this background, his chairmanship in the mediation committee is to be understood.
From 1954 to 1957 Kiesinger was chairman of the German Parliamentary Society e. V. From July 1, 1956 to March 19, 1958, he was also a member of the European Parliament . He was also Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 1955 to 1959 , and from 1957/58 also Chairman of the EPP Group, and in the Parliamentary Assembly of the WEU from 1956 to 1958, Chairman of the Christian Democrats and British Conservatives Group .
In 1949 Kiesinger was elected a non-judicial member of the State Court of Justice for the state of Württemberg-Hohenzollern , but was unable to attend court sessions because of his membership of parliament.
Prime Minister 1958 to 1966
From December 17, 1958 to November 30, 1966 he was Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg as the successor to Gebhard Müller , who went to Karlsruhe as President of the Federal Constitutional Court. At that time Kiesinger was also a member of the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg (1960–1966). Kiesinger went down in state history as the founder of the university ( Konstanz , Ulm ).
As early as 1950/1951, when the founding of the south-west state was being fought for, Kiesinger was a decisive and decisive champion of the new state, which was formed from three post-war countries in the German south-west. Nevertheless, it was generally perceived as surprising that Kiesinger left federal politics in 1958. An important reason for his move was that he did not get a ministerial post after the 1957 Bundestag elections in Bonn and he saw his position as Prime Minister as an opportunity to demonstrate his skills at a higher level than that of a member of the Bundestag.
In the early days of the Federal Republic of Germany, oversized coalitions were not uncommon at the state level , and so Kiesinger led a coalition of CDU, SPD, FDP / DVP and BHE until 1960, but then from 1960 to 1966 a CDU-FDP coalition , with the SPD and the BHE in opposition. As Prime Minister he was President of the Federal Council from November 1, 1962 to October 31, 1963 . After Kiesinger's election as Federal Chancellor in 1966, the previous Minister of the Interior, Hans Filbinger, became the new head of government in Stuttgart.
Federal Chancellor 1966 to 1969
On October 27, 1966, after a dispute over the federal budget, the FDP withdrew its four ministers from Ludwig Erhard's government . Although Erhard was still Federal Chancellor and CDU chairman, the CDU / CSU parliamentary group decided to elect a new candidate for chancellor who should overcome the government crisis.
On November 10th, Kiesinger prevailed against Federal Foreign Minister Gerhard Schröder (CDU) and the CDU / CSU parliamentary group leader Rainer Barzel in the third ballot . Bundestag President Eugen Gerstenmaier had waived in favor of Kiesinger.
Kiesinger's negotiations with the previous coalition partner FDP to form a government failed on November 25th. Instead Kiesinger and the SPD chairman Brandt were able to announce an agreement on a grand coalition on November 26; Until then, there had been some fundamental differences of opinion between the Union and the SPD on fundamental directional decisions. After this agreement, Erhard resigned on November 30th.
Kiesinger became Chancellor of the first grand coalition at federal level on December 1, 1966 , receiving 340 of the 447 votes of the coalition factions. With 68.5 percent of the 496 MPs, this was the second-best result in percentage terms of all post-war chancellor elections ; only Angela Merkel received a better result in 2013. However, there had been a total of 109 votes against, although the opposition FDP only had 49 members. Possible reasons for this were reservations of social democrats towards the coalition itself, but also towards the person of the chancellor (a former NSDAP member) and towards Franz Josef Strauss . Konrad Adenauer rejected Kiesinger because of “lack of assertiveness”.
Since Kiesinger had been Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg until his election as Federal Chancellor, he did not hold a mandate as a member of the Bundestag during his chancellorship and was therefore able to participate and speak at Bundestag sessions. but not entitled to vote.
The grand coalition brought together politicians with very conflicting careers and characters. In addition to Kiesinger and Defense Minister Gerhard Schröder , the SPD Economics Minister Karl Schiller was also a former NSDAP member (as it became known later) , while Finance Minister Franz Josef Strauss was an officer of the Wehrmacht and an officer for military leadership during the war and had recently been involved in smear campaigns against the current SPD Foreign Minister Willy Brandt involved; he himself was once a SAP member and Herbert Wehner was even a member of the leadership of the KPD .
Last but not least, Kiesinger was called upon as a “walking mediation committee”. The then unofficial coalition committee was called "Kressbronner Kreis", named after the community of Kressbronn on Lake Constance , a holiday resort of Kiesinger.
Despite internal friction, the coalition not only lasted until the 1969 elections, but was also able to implement almost all of the announced projects in its three years. Among them were such controversial and long-contested projects as the emergency laws . The major reform of the criminal law , which has been prepared for years by the FDP justice ministers, was also decided. Further innovations within the framework of his chancellorship were the agreement on continued payment of wages in the event of illness , the Stability Act and the creation of joint tasks . Only the planned introduction of the majority voting system for the federal elections failed because of differences of opinion between the coalition partners, especially because of the resistance of the SPD base.
The parliamentary group chairmen Helmut Schmidt (SPD) and Rainer Barzel (CDU / CSU) were influential in the coalition's government work . In addition to the Chancellor and the Foreign Minister, the Ministers Karl Schiller and Franz Josef Strauss (“ Plisch and Plum ”) were particularly well known in public. The economic recovery enabled them to reorganize the public budget. Under Kiesinger, Willy Brandt left his long-time confidante and now ministerial director and head of the political planning staff at the Foreign Office, Egon Bahr, largely unnoticed by the public, preparing the “new Ostpolitik ” in detail. In 1968 Kiesinger submitted the first “Report on the State of the Nation in Divided Germany” to the Bundestag, thus establishing a tradition that lasted until reunification in 1990.
In 1967 the Chancellor also became party chairman of the CDU and remained so until 1971. With the approach of the federal elections, the coalition climate deteriorated. The main point of contention was the question of a possible revaluation of the DM , which Economics Minister Schiller demanded, while Finance Minister Strauss and Chancellor Kiesinger firmly refused. During the election campaign, Kiesinger concentrated on evoking communist danger. His exclamation “I'm only saying China, China, China!” Became known in this context.
The federal election in September 1969 was a serious disappointment for Kiesinger. Despite slight losses, the CDU / CSU became the strongest force again (46.1%) and only narrowly missed an absolute majority, but the SPD increased its share of the vote to 42.7% and, together with the FDP (5.8%), was able to win one form new government; its chairman Willy Brandt was Kiesinger's successor as the first SPD chancellor. Kiesinger tried to keep the FDP from forming the social-liberal coalition by offering it a long-term agreement that should also contain a guarantee against any changes to the electoral law. When this did not work and the FDP entered into a coalition with the SPD, he was disappointed and announced that the CDU would try to "catapult this party, which is now a key figure in the Federal Republic," out of all state parliaments in the future his reputation considerably. His term of office of almost three years is the shortest of any previous Federal Chancellor. For the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, the CDU / CSU had to join the opposition; it was not until October 1982 that they again appointed Helmut Kohl as a Federal Chancellor.
Discussion about Kiesinger's Nazi past
The student movement in particular , but also other sections of the population, saw Kiesinger as a politician who stood for inadequate German coming to terms with the past . The writer Günter Grass published an open letter to Kiesinger in the FAZ in 1966 with the appeal that he should not become chancellor. The philosopher Karl Jaspers and his wife surrendered their German passports in protest against Kiesinger's chancellorship. Another prominent critic was Heinrich Böll .
The journalist Conrad Ahlers , who had been linked to Kiesinger since 1962 because of his advocacy for imprisoned journalists during the Spiegel affair , sent him a document from November 1944 for his discharge shortly before the decision on his nomination for chancellorship in November 1966, which was published in American archives during research for the book Der Orden unter dem Totenkopf by the journalist Heinz Höhne about the history of the SS had been discovered. Ernst Otto Dörries, a research assistant in the broadcasting policy department in the Foreign Office, had written a memorandum dated November 7, 1944, in which he claimed to have uncovered an alleged conspiracy in various Nazi ministries and offices . a. Kiesinger, who was the deputy head of department in the Foreign Office. Dörries accused him of inhibiting certain anti-Jewish propaganda campaigns advocated by Dörries, and accused him of defeatist statements. It is unclear who the memorandum actually reached. Apparently Rudolf Brandt , the personal assistant to Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler , learned of the existence of the memorandum without Himmler having read it. Kiesinger only found out about the denunciation by Dörries in November 1966, with whom he had maintained occasional contact until after the war. Before his nomination as Federal Chancellor, Kiesinger had copies of the memorandum distributed to the members of the Union parliamentary group that did not contain Dörries' name and had a cover sheet that gave the impression that instead of a letter of denunciation to the Reich Security Main Office, it was a "Protocol of the Reich Security Main Office ".
The discussion about Kiesinger's Nazi past took off when Beate Klarsfeld gave Kiesinger a public slap on November 7, 1968 at the CDU party conference in Berlin. Beate Klarsfeld, the German wife of a Frenchman of Jewish origin, whose father and a large number of relatives had been murdered by the Germans during the Nazi era , wanted to point out Kiesinger's Nazi past, which in her opinion was not sufficiently known to the general public . On the same day, Klarsfeld was sentenced to a year in prison without parole in an express trial. This judgment did not become final because Klarsfeld appealed. She wanted to turn the case into a trial against Kiesinger. To the opening of the appeal hearing, she brought the French historian Joseph Billig, who had specialized in the history of the Third Reich and who was supposed to substantiate her allegations against Kiesinger. As a result, the proceedings were initially postponed indefinitely. In August 1969, Klarsfeld was finally sentenced to four months suspended sentence.
In more recent biographies, Kiesinger is largely exonerated from allegations of having been a staunch National Socialist. Nevertheless, Kiesinger is still considered a prominent example of an incomplete processing of German history during the time of National Socialism , especially in the left-wing camp . For example, at a press conference in 2005 , Gregor Gysi insinuated that the members of the CDU and FDP - with allusion to Kiesinger - were hypocritical when they rejected Lothar Bisky for the office of Vice President of the Bundestag.
In 1971, Kiesinger was replaced as CDU federal chairman by Rainer Barzel . In 1972 he founded the Union parliamentary group's constructive motion of no confidence against Willy Brandt in the Bundestag . The following constructive vote of no confidence in Brandt with the aim of electing the then CDU chairman Rainer Barzel as chancellor was unsuccessful. Barzel was missing two votes for chancellorship. In the eighth legislative period (1976–1980) Kiesinger was the third oldest member of the Bundestag after his party friends Ludwig Erhard and Johann Baptist Gradl . Then he withdrew from politics. Of the planned memoirs, only the first part (until 1958) was finished (“Dark and Light Years”). The important time as Prime Minister and Chancellor is missing. After his death at the age of almost 84, Kiesinger was honored in Stuttgart with a requiem in the St. Eberhard Cathedral and a state ceremony on Schlossplatz . He was buried in the Tübingen city cemetery.
On December 24, 1932, Kiesinger married Marie-Luise Schneider (1908–1990) in Berlin . She was the daughter of a notary and lawyer in Berlin. He had met her in February 1927 at the Rose Monday ball held by his student union Askania . The marriage resulted in two children, Viola (* 1940) and Peter (* 1942).
Honors and awards (excerpt)
- Large Cross of Merit with Star and Shoulder Ribbon (1956)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (1957)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1960)
- Grand Cross of the Order de Isabel la Católica (1964)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III. (1968)
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Falcons (1968)
- Honorary citizen of his hometown Albstadt - Ebingen
- Honorary Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (1971)
- Merit Medal of the State of Baden-Württemberg (1975)
- Honorary Citizenship of the City of Konstanz (1976)
- Honorary Citizen of Tübingen (1979)
- "Honorary Citizen" of the University of Konstanz
- Several honorary doctorates (Dr. hc mult.)
- Kurt-Georg-Kiesinger-Kaserne of the air force of the helicopter squadron 64 in Laupheim in Upper Swabia was named after him
On his 100th birthday in 2004, Deutsche Post issued a special postage stamp in his honor.
- Swabian childhood . Tubingen 1964.
- Ideas from the whole. Speeches and reflections . Tubingen 1964.
- Stations 1949-1969, Wunderlich Verlag, Tübingen 1969.
- The grand coalition: 1966–1969 - speeches a. Statements by the Federal Chancellor . Edited by Dieter Oberndörfer, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1979, ISBN 3-421-01896-0
- The position of the parliamentarian in our time . Stuttgart 1981.
- The fight in the Bundestag for the south-western state. In: Max Gögler (Ed.): The State of Württemberg-Hohenzollern 1945-1952. Representations and memories, Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1982, pp. 404-424, ISBN 3-7995-4045-8 .
- The spiritual foundations of the economic development of Württemberg . In: Zeitschrift für Württembergische Landesgeschichte, vol. 45 (1986), pp. 285-318.
- Dark and Light Years: Memories 1904–1958 . DVA, Stuttgart 1989, ISBN 3-421-06492-X .
- List of the Prime Ministers of the German states
- Kiesinger cabinet I (Baden-Württemberg) , kiesinger cabinet II , kiesinger cabinet III
- List of German federal governments , Kiesinger cabinet
- List of former NSDAP members who were politically active after May 1945
- Michael F. Feldkamp : Catholic academics on the way to the "Third Reich" - Kurt Georg Kiesinger (1904-1988) and his Berlin student corporation , in: Ders .: Reichskirche and political Catholicism. Essays on church history and church legal history of modern times (= Propylaea of the Christian Occident, Volume 3), Patrimonium-Verlag, Aachen 2019, pp. 125–151 ISBN 978-3-86417-120-8 .
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- Michael F. Feldkamp : Askania-Burgundia Catholic Student Association in the Cartel Association of Catholic German Student Associations (KV) in Berlin 1853–2003 . (PDF) A festschrift published by the K.St.V. Askania-Burgundia, Berlin 2006.
- Otto Rundel : Kurt Georg Kiesinger. His life and his political work . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-17-019341-4 .
- Günter Buch , Philipp Gassert, Peter Thaddäus Lang (eds.): Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. From Ebingen to the Chancellery . Herder, Freiburg 2005, on behalf of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung , ISBN 3-451-23006-2 .
- Paul Feuchte: Kurt Georg Kiesinger and “The thing with the Southwest State” . In: Journal for Württemberg State History. 64th year 2005, pp. 365-407.
- Reinhard Schmoeckel , Bruno Kaiser : The forgotten government. The grand coalition 1966–1969 and its long-term effects. 2nd unchanged edition. Bouvier Verlag, Bonn 2005, ISBN 3-416-02246-7 .
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- Albrecht Ernst: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Law teacher, Prime Minister, Federal Chancellor. Book accompanying the traveling exhibition of the Stuttgart State Archives, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-00-013719-X .
- Paul Feuchte: Constitutional History of Baden-Württemberg. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1983, ISBN 3-17-008110-1 .
- Klaus Günther: The change of chancellor in the Federal Republic. Adenauer - Erhard - Kiesinger. An analysis of the problem of the intra-party de-nomination of the Chancellor and the nomination of a candidate for Chancellor using the example of the dispute over Adenauer and Erhard's successor. Verlag für Literatur und Zeitgeschehen, Hanover 1970 (= series of publications by the Research Institute of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung , 75; also Berlin, FU, dissertation, 1969).
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- Literature by and about Kurt Georg Kiesinger in the catalog of the German National Library
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- Search for Kurt Georg Kiesinger in the SPK digital portal of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation
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- "The K case". The story of a slap in the face . Sound documentation of a speech by Beate Klarsfeld from 1968. Published by Neues Deutschland , March 8, 2012.
- Kurt Georg Kiesinger in conversation with Horst Schättle , in the series Witnesses of the Century , created in the Gedächtnis der Nation project ( Interview - September 21, 2011 (upload) - duration 44:45 minutes).
- Archive recordings with Kurt Georg Kiesinger in the online archive of the Austrian Media Library
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- Detail page - LEO-BW. Retrieved June 21, 2017 .
- Detail page - LEO-BW. Retrieved June 21, 2017 .
- Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Chancellor between the ages . DVA, Munich 2006, p. 22 f.
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- Paul Kopf: Konrad (Kurt) Georg Kiesinger - childhood and youth in the field of tension between denominations . In Günter Buch, Philipp Gassert, Peter Thaddäus Lang (eds.): Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. From Ebingen to the Chancellery . Freiburg 2005, p. 87
- Kleinmann, Hans Otto (1994) from: Zeitgeschichte in Lebensbildern, Vol. 7 (Ed .: Aretz, Morsey, Raucher). Mainz.
- Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Chancellor between the ages . DVA, Munich 2006, p. 47
- Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Chancellor between the ages . DVA, Munich 2006, p. 47
- Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Chancellor between the ages . DVA, Munich 2006, p. 49.
- Karen Schönwälder : "Teacher of the peoples and the youth". Historians as political commentators. In: Peter Schöttler (Ed.): Historiography as a science of legitimation 1918–1945. Frankfurt / Main 1997, p. 129.
- Michael F. Feldkamp: Kurt Georg Kiesinger and his student corporation Askania on the way to the Third Reich . In Günter Buch, Philipp Gassert, Peter Thaddäus Lang (eds.): Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. From Ebingen to the Chancellery . Herder, Freiburg 2005, ISBN 3-451-23006-2
- Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Chancellor between the ages . DVA, Munich 2006, p. 65. Spahn's son, Franz Joseph Spahn, took over the post of senior of the connection after Kiesinger's tenure in 1928. Martin Spahn held management positions in the old gentlemen's association of Askania.
- Michael F. Feldkamp : Kurt Georg Kiesinger and his student corporation Askania on the way to the Third Reich . In Günter Buch, Philipp Gassert, Peter Thaddäus Lang (eds.): Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. From Ebingen to the Chancellery . Herder, Freiburg 2005, p. 167f.
- Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Chancellor between the ages . DVA, Munich 2006, p. 65.
- Michael F. Feldkamp: Kurt Georg Kiesinger and his student corporation Askania on the way to the Third Reich . In: Günter Buch, Philipp Gassert, Peter Thaddäus Lang (eds.): Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. From Ebingen to the Chancellery . Herder, Freiburg 2005, p. 168 ff.
- Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Chancellor between the ages . DVA, Munich 2006, pp. 70f.
- Michael F. Feldkamp: Kurt Georg Kiesinger and his student corporation Askania on the way to the Third Reich . In: Günter Buch, Philipp Gassert, Peter Thaddäus Lang (eds.): Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. From Ebingen to the Chancellery . Herder, Freiburg 2005.
- Michael F. Feldkamp: Kurt Georg Kiesinger and his student corporation Askania on the way to the Third Reich . In: Günter Buch, Philipp Gassert, Peter Thaddäus Lang (eds.): Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. From Ebingen to the Chancellery . Herder, Freiburg 2005, p. 174.
- Due to bureaucratic procedures, membership was only granted to him on May 1, 1933. See Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Chancellor between the ages . DVA, Munich 2006, p. 73f.
- Michael F. Feldkamp: Kurt Georg Kiesinger and his student corporation Askania on the way to the Third Reich . In: Günter Buch, Philipp Gassert, Peter Thaddäus Lang (eds.): Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. From Ebingen to the Chancellery . Herder, Freiburg 2005, p. 174ff.
- National Socialist Motor Vehicle Corps (NSKK), 1931-1945 - Historical Lexicon of Bavaria. Retrieved July 21, 2020 .
- Kurt Georg Kiesinger: Dark and Light Years: Memories 1904-1958 . DVA, Stuttgart 1989, ISBN 3-421-06492-X , p. 168.
- Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Chancellor between the ages . DVA, Munich 2006, p. 73f.
- Michael Grüttner : The corporations and the National Socialism . In: Harm-Hinrich Brandt , Matthias Stickler (eds.): “Der Burschen Herrlichkeit.” History and present of student corporations . Würzburg 1998, p. 131f.
- Michael F. Feldkamp : Askania-Burgundia Catholic Student Association in the Cartel Association of Catholic German Student Associations (KV) in Berlin 1853-2003 . A commemorative publication published by the KStV Askania-Burgundia Berlin , Berlin 2006, p. 58
- Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Chancellor between the ages . DVA, Munich 2006, p. 80.
- Michael K. Feldkamp: Askania-Burgundia Catholic Student Association in the Cartel Association of Catholic German Student Associations (KV) in Berlin 1853-2003 . A commemorative publication published by the K.St.V. Askania-Burgundia, Berlin 2006, p. 59
- Michael F. Feldkamp : Kurt Georg Kiesinger and his Berlin student corporation Askania on the way to the »Third Reich«, in: Günter letter / Philipp Gassert / Peter Thaddäus Lang (ed.), Kurt Georg Kie-singer 1904–1988. From Ebingen to the Chancellery, published on behalf of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung eV (= Herder Taschenbuch), Freiburg im Breisgau, Basel, Vienna 2005, pp. 149–199. See also: Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Chancellor between the ages . DVA, Munich 2006, p. 83.
- Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Chancellor between the ages . DVA, Munich 2006, p. 83f.
- Michael K. Feldkamp: Askania-Burgundia Catholic Student Association in the Cartel Association of Catholic German Student Associations (KV) in Berlin 1853-2003 . A commemorative publication published by the K.St.V. Askania-Burgundia, Berlin 2006, p. 63 f.
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- Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Chancellor between the ages . DVA, Munich 2006, p. 98 f.
- Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Chancellor between the ages . DVA, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-421-05824-5 , pp. 105f.
- No precise answer: Kiesinger's interrogation in the Frankfurt murder trial. Richter reprimands the radio . In: Frankfurter Rundschau. July 5, 1968, pp. 1f.
- Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Chancellor between the ages . DVA, Munich 2006, p. 127 f.
- ZEITGESCHICHTE / NS-RUNDFUNKPROPAGANDA: Better order . In: Spiegel Online . tape June 25 , 1967 ( spiegel.de [accessed July 22, 2019]).
- Daniel Koerfer : The Kiesinger case . In: Die Zeit , No. 39/2006
- Jürgen Klöckler: Propaganda abroad and the Holocaust. Kurt Georg Kiesinger in the Foreign Office 1940–1945 . In: Günter Buch, Philipp Gassert, Peter Thaddäus Lang (eds.): Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. From Ebingen to the Chancellery . Freiburg im Breisgau / Basel / Vienna 2005, pp. 201–227, here pp. 216f.
- Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Chancellor between the ages . DVA, Munich 2006, p. 163ff.
- Philipp Gassert: Lecture at the ceremony for the 100th birthday of Kurt Georg Kiesinger. ( Memento of February 8, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Albstadt 2004.
- Klaus Schüle: The State Court and the Administrative Court of Württemberg-Hohenzollern. Law series, Vol. 144. Pfaffenweiler 1993, p. 70
- Udo Leuschner (no year) The FDP helps Erhard overthrow
- Article 43 (2) of the Basic Law
- First lieutenant in the reserve, from June 1, 1944 first lieutenant
- Kiesinger: From the table, from the table . In: Der Spiegel . No. 37 , 1969 ( online ).
- Götz Aly : Column: Klarsfeld and Chancellor Kiesinger in FR-online from February 28, 2012, accessed on March 16, 2012.
- Dirk Kroegel: Finding a Beginning! Kurt Georg Kiesinger in the foreign and German policy of the grand coalition. (= Studies on Contemporary History, Vol. 52). Oldenbourg, Munich 1996, ISBN 978-3486561630 , pp. 28-31.
- Bernhard Brunner: The France Complex. The National Socialist Crimes in France and the Justice of the Federal Republic of Germany. Wallstein, Göttingen 2004, ISBN 978-3-89244-693-4 , p. 282 f.
- Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger 1904–1988. Chancellor between the ages . P. 656f.
- about that of Philipp Gassert: Kurt Georg Kiesinger, 1904–1988: Chancellor between the times. DVA, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-421-05824-5 .
- Bisky, Gysi, Lafontaine: Press conference of the Left Party ( Memento of September 15, 2007 in the Internet Archive ). Berlin 2005.
- Kurt Georg Kiesinger. Tabular curriculum vitae in the LeMO ( DHM and HdG )
- "Kurt Georg Kiesinger"
- "Honorary Citizen of the University of Konstanz" ( Memento from March 15, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
|SURNAME||Kiesinger, Kurt Georg|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German politician (CDU), MdL, MdB, Federal Chancellor of the FRG (1966–1969), MEP|
|DATE OF BIRTH||April 6, 1904|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Albstadt- Ebingen, Württemberg|
|DATE OF DEATH||March 9, 1988|
|Place of death||Tübingen|