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intransigence and deception, he managed to kill off what was feared to be a rival British ‘power-base’ that could inconvenience plans for a federal Europe. 27
Erhard was very much a Cassandra in his doubts about the EU. In the United States, there was cross-party and high-level elite backing for the project. Britain was too absorbed with managing imperial retreat and unfavourable economic trends at home to be able to be a coherent partner and Erhard had a boss who was a strong enthusiast.
Adenauer disarms the French
KonradAdenauer had never been an enthusiastic German
hold. ‘Never again war’ became the rallying cry for a disparate coalition of intellectuals, educators, unionists, politicians, and protestant clergy. On
the centre right, the conclusion was diﬀerent. ‘Never again alone’ was the precept
for Germany’s democratisation, rehabilitation, and reconstruction – a precept
that guided and informed the policy of the ﬁrst post-war German government,
headed by the Conservative KonradAdenauer.
Adenauer was convinced that the roots of the German disaster were to be
found in the spiritual and strategic oscillation between East and
as President, defeating Le Pen on second ballot by 82.2 per cent to 17.8 per
Bundestag elections, changes
of government and election of federal presidents
14 August 1949 Bundestag
election. CDU–CSU are largest party.
12 September 1949 Theodor
Heuss (FDP) elected as first federal President.
15 September 1949 KonradAdenauer
appointment of Adolf Hitler as chancellor in 1933, no fewer than three chancellors (Heinrich Brüning; Franz von Papen; Kurt von Schleicher) were appointed, each ruling by use of presidential emergency powers. In all, a total of sixteen chancellors (including Hitler) were appointed in the fifteen years from 1918 to 1933: a period briefer than the term in office as chancellor of Helmut Kohl (sixteen years), and only one year longer than the chancellorship of KonradAdenauer (fourteen years).
Because of this fatal flaw in the constitutional arrangements of the Weimar
delegation, which included KonradAdenauer, attended the Hague Conference, which paved the way for the creation of the Council of Europe in May 1949. The Federal Republic became an associate member of the Council of Europe in 1950, and a full member in 1951.
However, it was during the chancellorship of KonradAdenauer (1949–63) that the Federal Republic deliberately and, on the part of the governing Christian Democrats at least, energetically became involved in the process of European integration. In some respects, this was part of a wider process of tying the Federal
days’ time. At about the same
time, a handwritten letter describing the proposal was handed to the German
Chancellor KonradAdenauer. Although Adenauer had no forewarning, he saw
that it resolved a number of problems between France and West Germany, and
so he immediately answered: ‘I approve wholeheartedly.’ Everyone was now
At 4 p.m. on 9 May, in the gilded Salon de l’Horloge at Quai d’Orsay,
Schuman announced ‘his’ plan to create a European Coal and Steel Community.
The press conference attracted around 200 journalists, who heard the minister
social democratic welfare state, the liberal democratic and the conservative corporatist. The UK was put in the liberal democratic camp, with France and Germany in the conservative corporatist. For
our purposes, analysing differences, it is important to look at the differences
between France and Germany as well as the similarities.
There is no doubt that Germany’s pension, unemployment benefit and
healthcare systems are generous by world standards. While the rhetoric of
the critics may be exaggerated, since KonradAdenauer’s chancellorship,
German citizens have
Ireland in the Gilbert Library, Dublin, the Dublin Diocesan
Archive, the Stiftung Archiv der Parteien und Massenorganisationen
der DDR im Bundesarchiv (Foundation Archives of Parties and
Mass Organisations of the GDR in the Federal Archive), Berlin, the
Auswärtiges Amt-Politisches Archiv (archive of the German Foreign
Office), Berlin, the Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv (archive of German
broadcasting), Potsdam-Babelsberg, the Evangelisches Zentralarchiv
(archive of the Evangelical Church in the former GDR), Berlin, the
Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (archive of the German C
a more critical view to
be formed of the period as a whole, of the bilateral contacts between
Britain and Germany across a wide spectrum of foreign policy issues,
and of the actions and motivations of the principals involved.
There can be little doubt that by the time the Labour government
took office in October 1964, relations between Britain and Germany
had recovered after the difficult situation caused by the ill feeling between Harold Macmillan and KonradAdenauer. There were,
after all, good reasons why a sound relationship was in the interest