Robert Schuman

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Robert Schuman (1949)

Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Robert Schuman [ ʀɔˈbɛ: ʀ ʃuˈman ] (born June 29, 1886 in Clausen , now part of Luxembourg ; † September 4, 1963 in Scy-Chazelles ) was a French statesman with originally German citizenship .

He was born as a Reich German in Luxembourg. His mother tongue was Moselle Franconian German , as it was spoken in Luxembourg and the German Lorraine or the northern Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate. During the First World War he worked in the German administration, after the return of Lorraine to France he became a French citizen. In the Second World War he joined the French Resistance . As French foreign minister, he campaigned for reconciliation with Germany and for Franco-German friendship .

Schuman was the French Prime Minister and, as the country's foreign minister , prepared the way for the creation of the coal and steel union (" Schuman Plan "). Later he was President of the European Parliament . Together with Jean Monnet , he is considered the founding father of the European Union .


Adolescent years

Robert Schuman's birthplace in Luxemburg-Clausen

Robert Schuman's father, Jean-Pierre Schuman (1837-1900) was, in deutschlothringischen Ewringen ( Évrange born), located directly on the Luxembourg border. With the annexation of this part of Lorraine by the German Empire in 1871, he became an Imperial German . Robert's mother, Eugénie Duren (1864–1911), a Luxembourg native born in Bettembourg , acquired German nationality through marriage in 1884. Robert Schuman, who was born in the Luxembourg district (Faubourg) Clausen, was therefore an Imperial German. Schuman spoke French, which he only learned at school, with a Moselle-Franconian accent. His uncle, Fernand Schuman , was a member of the state parliament of Alsace-Lorraine .

Memorial plaque on Graunstraße 31 in  Berlin-Gesundbrunnen

From 1896 to 1903 Robert Schuman attended the grand ducal Atheneum and passed the Abitur there. During this time he became an active member of the pennalen country team and student holiday association Amicitia Luxemburgensis . A year later he passed the German Abitur at the imperial high school in Metz and began studying law at the University of Bonn , where he became a member of the Unitas-Salia Bonn in the Association of Scientific Catholic Student Associations Unitas . He later continued his studies in Munich , Berlin and Strasbourg and also became active in the Unitas associations there.

He passed the first state examination in Metz in 1908, where he also spent his legal traineeship . In 1910 he received his doctorate in law summa cum laude in Strasbourg . After his mother's accidental death in 1911, Schuman contemplated becoming a priest . Ultimately, he decided to live as a layman ; but he never married and was celibate all his life .

In 1912 he passed the second state examination and in June 1912 opened a law firm in Metz. In 1913 Schuman was chairman of the organization of the German Catholic Day in Metz. During the First World War , Schuman worked in the district administration of Bolchen . In 1918 he became a member of the city council of Metz.

The entry into politics

After the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine by France in 1919, Schuman became a French national and was a member of the French National Assembly for the Republican Union of Lorraine (Union Républicaine Lorraine) . From 1928 to 1936 Schuman was chairman of the Alsace-Lorraine Committee and temporarily Vice-President of the House of Representatives. He retained the mandate during the early days of World War II until his arrest by the Gestapo in 1941.

After his arrest, Schuman was held in Metz and Neustadt an der Weinstrasse until he finally managed to escape in 1942. Until the liberation of France, he found refuge in the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges monastery in Saint-Laurent-les-Bains in the Ardèche department .

post war period

Robert Schuman (West German postage stamp, 1968)

After the war, Robert Schuman was again a member of the French National Assembly and served as President of the Finance Committee. In 1946 Schuman became Minister of Finance and in 1947 Prime Minister of France . Between 1948 and 1952 he was foreign minister in eight short-lived cabinets of the political center. He became known as a politician, among other things, through the creation of the Schuman Plan named after him .

On May 9, 1950, Schuman published the historical declaration for the reconstruction of Europe, beginning with the coal and steel union , which was to lead politically to the federation of Europe. On April 18, 1951, the coal and steel contract was signed in Paris. Robert Schuman's idea of ​​a European Community found no resonance in France at the time, so that he had to resign in 1952.

In 1955, the Strasbourg Convention on Human Rights and Civil Liberties , which Schuman played a key role in , was signed by 26 European states. During countless lecture tours that Robert Schuman undertook between 1953 and 1958, he promoted the idea of ​​a united Europe. In 1955 he was appointed Minister of Justice .

On March 19, 1958, the first meeting of the European Parliament took place in Strasbourg under the presidency of Robert Schuman.

The adoption of the Treaty of Rome in 1957 should lead Europe on the path that the "Father of Europe" had already mapped out in his declaration of May 9, 1950. In 1958 Robert Schuman was elected the first President of the newly established European Parliament in Strasbourg, which replaced the Common Assembly of the ECSC . He is the fifth president in this row. On January 10th of the same year he received an honorary doctorate from the Catholic University of Leuven for his services to Europe . Also in 1958 (on May 15) he was awarded the international Charlemagne Prize of the city of Aachen for the unity of Europe . In 1959 he received the Erasmus Culture Prize together with Karl Jaspers .

Robert Schuman died on September 4, 1963 in Scy-Chazelles near Metz. He was buried there in the Church of St-Quentin .


Awards during his lifetime:

Schuman was a champion of Franco-German understanding . For the Catholic and other Christian churches, Schuman is regarded as a model for the expression of moral values ​​in politics. His beatification process was initiated in Schuman's home diocese of Metz and has been pending in the Vatican since 2004. The collection of documents created by Hans August Lücker , Executive President of the German Committee for the Beatification of Robert Schuman, was deposited in the Historical Archives of the European Union in Florence and can be viewed there.

After Robert Schuman's death, many places in Europe were named after him. Here is a small selection:


Web links

Commons : Robert Schuman  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Robert Schuman dans ses liens avec le Luxembourg en général et Clausen en particulier ( Memento of 10 November 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 709 kB). The house where he was born was bought by the Luxemburg in 1985; there is now the Center d'études et de recherches européennes (CERE, )
  2. Festschrift of the Fanfare Grand-Ducale de Clausen on the 150th anniversary (2006, PDF , French; 7.4 MB), p. 29 f.
  3. ^ Roth, François: Le personnel politique de la Lorraine pendant l'annexion à l'empire Allemand 1871-1918. De la France vers l'Allemagne - De l'Allemagne vers la France. In: European History Thematic Portal (2007), online
  4. ^ Robert Schuman Foundation: Robert Schuman (biography) , accessed April 15, 2011
  5. Robert Schuman (1886–1963)
  6. ^ Christof Beckmann: Katholikentag in Metz 1913: On the eve of the catastrophe . In: unitas 3/2013, p. 170f.
  7. The full text of the declaration of May 9, 1950 , accessed on September 5, 2007
  8. ^ The Presidency | The President. Retrieved June 20, 2019 .
  9. ^ ORF Religion , Beatification process for Robert Schuman completed , accessed on September 5, 2007
  10. ^ Historical archive of the European Union, collection of documents by Hans August Lücker on Robert Schuman
  11. ^ Trierischer Volksfreund , November 19, 2012: Catholic Academy: Welcome to the end
  12. Croire la croix, La maison-musée de Robert Schuman
predecessor Office successor
Paul Ramadier Prime Minister of the Fourth Republic
November 24, 1947 to July 19, 1948
André Marie
Georges Bidault Foreign Minister of France
July 26, 1948 to January 8, 1953
Georges Bidault
André Philip
André Philip
Minister of Finance of France
June 24, 1946 to December 18, 1946
January 22, 1947 to November 24, 1947
André Philip
René Maier
Emmanuel Temple Minister of Justice of France
February 23, 1955 to February 1, 1956
François Mitterrand