Paul von Hindenburg
Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg, known as Paul von Hindenburg, was a German Generalfeldmarschall and statesman who commanded the Imperial German Army during the second half of World War I before being elected President of the Weimar Republic in 1925. He played a key role in the Nazi "Seizure of Power" in January 1933 when, under pressure from advisers, he appointed Adolf Hitler chancellor of a "Government of National Concentration" though the Nazis were a minority in both the cabinet and the Reichstag. Born to a family of minor Prussian nobility, Paul von Hindenburg joined the Prussian army in 1866 where he thereafter saw combat during the Austro-Prussian War and the Franco-Prussian conflict. Despite retiring with the rank of General of the Infantry in 1911, he was recalled to military service at the age of 66 following the outbreak of World War I in July 1914. On August 1914, he received nationwide attention as the victor of the Battle of Tannenberg. Upon being named Chief of the General Staff in 1916, his popularity among the German public exponentially increased to the point of giving rise to an enormous personality cult.
As Kaiser Wilhelm II delegated his power as Supreme Warlord to the Army High Command and his deputy, General Erich Ludendorff established a de facto military dictatorship that dominated Germany for the rest of the war. Hindenburg retired again in 1919 but returned to public life in 1925 to be elected the second President of Germany. In 1932, he was persuaded to run for re-election though he was 84 years old and in poor health, because he was considered the only candidate who could defeat Hitler. Hindenburg was re-elected in a runoff, he was opposed to Hitler and was a major player in the increasing political instability in the Weimar Republic that ended with Hitler's rise to power. He dissolved the Reichstag twice in 1932 and agreed to appoint Hitler Chancellor of Germany in January 1933. Hindenburg did this to satisfy Hitler's demands that he should play a part in the Weimar Government, since Hitler was the leader of the Nazi party which had won the largest plurality in the November 1932 elections.
In February, he signed off on the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended various civil liberties, in March he signed the Enabling Act of 1933, which gave Hitler's regime arbitrary powers. Hindenburg died the following year, after which Hitler declared himself Führer und Reichskanzler, or Supreme Leader and Chancellor, which superseded both the President and Chancellor. Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg was born in Posen, the son of Prussian aristocrat Hans Robert Ludwig von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg and his wife Luise Schwickart, the daughter of physician Karl Ludwig Schwickart and wife Julie Moennich, his paternal grandparents were Otto Ludwig Fady von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg, through whom he was remotely descended from the illegitimate daughter of Count Heinrich VI of Waldeck, his wife Eleonore von Brederfady. Hindenburg was a direct descendant of Martin Luther and his wife Katharina von Bora, through their daughter Margareta Luther. Hindenburg's younger brothers and sister were Otto, born 24 August 1849, born 19 December 1851 and Bernhard, born 17 January 1859.
One of his first-cousins was the great-grandmother of IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad. His family were all Lutheran Protestants in the Evangelical Church of Prussia, which since 1817 included both Calvinist and Lutheran parishioners. Paul was proud of his family and could trace ancestors back to 1289; the dual surname was adopted in 1789 to secure an inheritance and appeared in formal documents, but in everyday life they were von Beneckendorffs. True to family tradition his father supported his family as an infantry officer. In the summer they visited his grandfather at the Hindenburg estate of Neudeck in East Prussia. At age 11 Paul entered the Cadet Corps School at Wahlstatt. At 16 he was transferred to the School in Berlin, at 18 he served as a page to the widow of King Frederick William IV of Prussia. Graduates entering the army were presented to King William I, who asked for their father's name and rank, he became a second lieutenant in the Third Regiment of Foot Guards. When the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 broke out Hindenburg wrote his parents: "I rejoice in this bright-coloured future.
For the soldier war is the normal state of things…If I fall, it is the most honorable and beautiful death". During the decisive Battle of Königgrätz he was knocked unconscious by a bullet that pierced his helmet and creased the top of his skull. Regaining his senses, he wrapped his head in a towel and resumed leading his detachment, winning a decoration, he was battalion adjutant. After weeks of marching, the Guards attacked the village of Saint Privat. Climbing a gentle slope, they came under heavy fire from the superior French rifles. After four hours the Prussian artillery came up to blast the French lines while the infantry, filled with the "holy lust of battle", swept through the French lines, his regiment suffered 1096 casualties, he became regimental adjutant. The Guards were spectators at the Battle of Sedan and for the following months sat in the siege lines surrounding Paris, he was his regiment's elected representative at the Palace of Versailles when the German Empire was proclaimed on 18 January 1871.
A Landtag is a representative assembly in German-speaking countries with legislative authority and competence over a federated state. Landtage assemblies are the legislative bodies for the individual states of Germany and states of Austria, have authority to legislate in non-federal matters for the regional area; the Landtag of South Tyrol is the legislature of the autonomous province of South Tyrol in northeast Italy. In the sovereign principality of Liechtenstein the national parliament is called the Landtag of Liechtenstein; the German word Landtag is composed of the words Tag. The German word Tagung is derived from the German word Tag, as such meetings were held at daylight and sometimes spanned several days; the English word'diet' comes from Latin: dies. In feudal society, the formal class system was reflected in the composition of the Imperial States' representative assemblies, regardless of their name well described as estates of the realm: it was not intended as an elected reflection of public opinion, but a fixed expression of established power as recognized in formal privileges, including the right to be seated in person or to be represented as elector in a college, entitled to one or more seats.
Therefore, the representatives defended class interests, decisions were based on a class-based electoral system. In some of the Imperial States that were known as Land, the name of such estates assembly was Landtag, analogous to the Reichstag, which comprised most of the Princes of the Holy Roman Empire plus Reichsgrafen, Imperial prelates and Free imperial cities; the precise composition varied and could change over time, as the result of privileges granted or lost, entities split or merged, border changes et cetera. Since 1466, Prussian Landtag were held in Royal Prussia. Prior to that, Prussian Landtag meetings were held in the Monastic state of the Teutonic Order. See Prussian estates. Since 1525, Prussian Landtag were held in Ducal Prussia. See Preußischer Landtag; as Austria and Prussia escaped the French'exporting the revolution', Napoleon was happy to maintain satellite monarchies in most German territories under his control, the more democratic principles of the Enlightenment would have less effect in the German-speaking lands, or only much later.
1806 the German Confederation was founded as successor of the Holy Roman Empire. § 13 of the "Bundesakte" forced the German states to pass constitutions and implement parliaments called Landstände or Landtag. The first constitution was passed in Nassau; until 1841 all but 2 states parliaments. 1871 the German Empire was founded. All 25 states of the German Empire and the "Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen" had Landtage as legislative authorities; the most important one was the Prussian Landtag. In the Weimar Republic 1918 till 1933 all German states had Landtage. In difference to the former Landstände and Landtage the Weimar Republik Landtage have been elected in free an equal elections. 1933 the Nazis abandoned the federal structure of the Weimar Republic and established a unitary state. The Landtage were abolished as a result; the Diet of Finland, created when the country was ceded from Sweden to Russia in 1809, was called lantdag in Swedish until 1906 when it was replaced by the unicameral Parliament of Finland.
Parliament continued using the name lantdag in Swedish until 1919, when Finland adopted its first constitution following the declaration of independence in 1917. Since the official term in Swedish is riksdag, equivalent of the German Reichstag; the Finnish name is eduskunta. The first Landtag of the Livonian Confederation was called by archbishop of Riga Johannes Ambundii in 1419 and reconvened on a regular basis until the incorporation of Livonian lands into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Denmark in 1561. Separate Landtags for Livonia and Estonia continued to exist as legislative authorities of the Duchies of Livonia, Estonia and Semigallia, the Russian Governorates of Livonia and Courland. After the independence of Estonia and Latvia in 1918, they were replaced by the Riigikogu and the Saeima. In the contemporary Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Austria and the Italian Republic's province of South Tyrol, a Landtag is a unicameral legislature for a constitutive federal state. In the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Landtag is the sole national parliament, because Liechtenstein has no federal structure due to its size.
In most of the German constitutive federal states, the unicameral legislature is called Landtag: Landtag of Baden-Württemberg Landtag of Bavaria Landtag of Brandenburg Landtag of Hesse Landtag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Landtag of Lower Saxony Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia Landtag of Rhineland-Palatinate Landtag of Saarland Landtag of Saxony Landtag of Saxony-Anhalt Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein Landtag of ThuringiaIn the German city states, the parliamentary city council serves the function of the state parliament within the federal system - in the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg it is called the Bürgerschaft (short for Stadtbürgerschaft, municipal a
1919 German presidential election
The presidential election of 1919 was the first election to the office of President of the Reich, Germany's head of state during the 1919-1933 Weimar Republic. The constitution that stipulated a direct popular vote was not completed before 11 August 1919; because a head of state was needed the 1919 presidential election was held indirectly, by the National Assembly, on 11 February 1919. The winner was SPD chairman Friedrich Ebert, who beat former Secretary of the Interior Arthur von Posadowsky-Wehner in the first round of voting by 277 to 49 votes. Ebert was supported by the SPD, the German Centre Party and the German Democratic Party, the parties of the "Weimar Coalition", which held more than 77 per cent of the seats in the National Assembly, he became president of Germany. The complete results were as follows: History of Germany
Perpignan is the prefecture of the Pyrénées-Orientales department in Southwest France. Perpignan was the capital of the former province and County of Roussillon and continental capital of the Kingdom of Majorca in the 13th and 14th centuries. In 2013 Perpignan had 118,238 inhabitants in the commune proper; the metropolitan area had a total population of 305,837 in 2010. Perpignan is located in the center of the Roussillon plain, 13 km west of the Mediterranean coast, it is the southernmost of the cities of metropolitan France. Perpignan is crossed by the largest river in Roussillon, the Têt, by one of its tributaries, the Basse. Floods occur, as in 1892 when the rising of the Têt in Perpignan destroyed 39 houses, leaving more than 60 families homeless. Perpignan experiences a Mediterranean climate similar to much of the Mediterranean coastline of France. RoadsThe motorway A9 connects Perpignan with Montpellier. TrainsPerpignan is served by the Gare de Perpignan railway station, which offers connections to Paris, Barcelona and several regional destinations.
Salvador Dalí proclaimed it to be the "Center of the Universe" after experiencing a vision of cosmogonic ecstasy there in 1963. AirportThe nearest airport is Perpignan–Rivesaltes Airport. Attested formsThe name of Perpignan appears in 927 as Perpinianum, followed in 959 by Villa Perpiniano, Pirpinianum in the 11th century, Perpiniani in 1176. Perpenyà, which appears in the 13th century, is the most common form until the 15th century, was still used in the 17th century. Though settlement in the area goes back to Roman times, the medieval town of Perpignan seems to have been founded around the beginning of the 10th century. Soon Perpignan became the capital of the counts of Roussillon, it was part of the region known as Septimania. In 1172 Count Girard II bequeathed his lands to the Counts of Barcelona. Perpignan acquired the institutions of a self-governing commune in 1197. French feudal rights over Roussillon were given up by Louis IX in the Treaty of Corbeil; when James I the Conqueror, king of Aragon and count of Barcelona, founded the Kingdom of Majorca in 1276, Perpignan became the capital of the mainland territories of the new state.
The succeeding decades are considered the golden age in the history of the city. It prospered as a centre of cloth manufacture, leather work, goldsmiths' work, other luxury crafts. King Philippe III of France died there in 1285, as he was returning from his unsuccessful crusade against the Aragonese Crown. In 1344 Peter IV of Aragon annexed the Kingdom of Majorca and Perpignan once more became part of the County of Barcelona. A few years it lost half of its population to the Black Death, it was attacked and occupied by Louis XI of France in 1463. Again besieged and captured by the French during the Thirty Years' War in September 1642, Perpignan was formally ceded by Spain 17 years in the Treaty of the Pyrenees, from on remained a French possession. Twin towns – sister citiesPerpignan is twinned with: Partner towns Since 2004, the free three-day Guitares au Palais is held each year in the last weekend of August in the Palace of the Kings of Majorca; the festival has a broad mainstream focus with pop-related music as well as traditional acoustic guitar music and alternative music.
The festival has attracted international guests like Caetano Veloso, Rumberos Catalans, Pedro Soler, Bernardo Sandoval, Peter Finger, Aaron and Bryce Dessner. Each September, Perpignan hosts the internationally-renowned Visa pour l'Image festival of photojournalism. Free exhibitions are mounted in the Couvent des Minimes, Chapelle des Dominicaines and other buildings in the old town. In 2008, Perpignan became Capital of Catalan Culture. In Perpignan many street name signs are in both Catalan. Like the rest of the south of France, Perpignan is a rugby stronghold: their rugby union side, USAP Perpignan, is a regular competitor in the global elite Heineken Cup and seven times champion of the French Top 14. A Perpignan-based rugby league club plays in Northern Hemisphere's Super League under the name Catalans Dragons; the Dragons' games in Perpignan against the Northern English-based sides are very popular with British rugby fans, with thousands of them descending on the city on the day of the game, including lots of vacationing rugby fans travelling up from the Spanish Costa Brava joining the ones who came directly from home.
Traditional commerce was in wine, olive oil, wool and iron. In May 1907 it was a seat of agitation by southern producers for government enforcement of wine quality following a collapse in prices. JOB rolling papers are manufactured in Perpignan; the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist was begun in 1324 and finished in 1509; the 13th century Palace of the Kings of Majorca sits on the high citadel, surrounded by ramparts, reinforced for Louis XI and Charles V, which were updated in the 17th century by Louis XIV's military engineer Vauban. The walls surrounding the town, designed by Vauban, were razed in 1904 to accommodate urban development; the main city door, the Castillet is a small fortress built in the 14th century, preserved. It had been used as a prison until the end of the 19th century; the Hôtel Pams is a lavishly-decorated mansion designed for Jules Pams th
Western European Union
The Western European Union was the international organisation and military alliance that succeeded the Western Union after the 1954 amendment of the 1948 Treaty of Brussels. The WEU implemented the Modified Brussels Treaty; the WEU member states were allies of the United States during the Cold War through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. At the turn of the 21st century, after the end of the Cold War, WEU tasks and institutions were transferred to the European Union, providing central parts of the EU's new military component, the European Common Security and Defence Policy; this process was completed in 2009 when a solidarity clause between the member states of the European Union, similar to the WEU's mutual defence clause, entered into force with the Treaty of Lisbon. The states party to the Modified Treaty of Brussels decided to terminate that treaty on 31 March 2010, with all the WEU's remaining activities to be ceased within 15 months. On 30 June 2011, the WEU was declared defunct.
The Treaty of Brussels was signed by the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands on 17 March 1948, establishing the Western Union - an intergovernmental defence alliance that promoted economic and social collaboration. The need to back up the commitments of the North Atlantic Treaty with appropriate political and military structures led to the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. In December 1950 the parties to the Treaty of Brussels decided to transfer the headquarters and plans of the Western Union Military Organisation to NATO, whose Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe took over responsibility for the defence of Western Europe; the establishment of NATO, along with the signing of a succession of treaties establishing the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the Council of Europe and the European Coal and Steel Community, left the Treaty of Brussels and its Western Union devoid of authority. The Western Union's founding Treaty of Brussels was amended at the 1954 Paris Conference as a result of the failure of the Treaty establishing the European Defence Community to gain French ratification: The General Treaty of 1952 formally named the EDC as a prerequisite of the end of Allied occupation of Germany, there was a desire to include Germany in the Western defence architecture.
The Modified Brussels Treaty transformed the Western Union into the Western European Union, at which point Italy and West Germany were admitted. Although the WEU established by the Modified Brussels Treaty was less powerful and ambitious than the original Western Union, German membership of the WEU was considered sufficient for the occupation of the country to end in accordance with the General Treaty; the signatories of the Paris Agreements stated their three main objectives in the preamble to the Modified Brussels Treaty: To create in Western Europe a firm basis for European economic recovery. The social and cultural aspects of the Treaty of Brussels were handed to the Council of Europe to avoid duplication of responsibilities. This, in addition to the existence of NATO, marginalised the WEU, caused it to be defunct. On 1 January 1960 in accordance with the decision taken on 21 October 1959 by the Council of Western European Union and with Resolution23 adopted on 16 November 1959 by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the WEU activities in social and cultural areas were transferred to the Council of Europe, running programmes in these fields.
The European Universities Committee was transferred to the Council of Europe separately from the rest of WEU cultural activities. From the late 1970s onwards, efforts were made to add a security dimension to the European Communities' European Political Cooperation. Opposition to these efforts from Denmark and Ireland led the remaining EC countries - all WEU members - to reactivate the WEU in 1984. Prior to this point there had been minimal use of the provisions of the Modified Brussels Treaty. In 1992, the WEU adopted the Petersberg Declaration, defining the so-called Petersberg tasks designed to cope with the possible destabilising of Eastern Europe; the WEU itself depended on cooperation between its members. Its tasks ranged from the most modest to the most robust, included humanitarian and peacekeeping tasks as well as tasks for combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking. At the 1996 NATO ministerial meeting in Berlin, it was agreed that the Western European Union would oversee the creation of a European Security and Defence Identity within NATO structures.
The ESDI was intended as a European'pillar' within NATO to allow European countries to act militarily where NATO wished not to, to alleviate the United States' financial burden of maintaining military bases in Europe, which it had done since the Cold War. The Berlin agreement allowed European countries to use NATO assets. In 1998 the United Kingdom, which had traditionally opposed the introduction of European autonomous defence capacities, signed the Saint-Malo declaration; this marked a turning point as the declaration endorsed the creation of a European s
1932 German presidential election
The 1932 German presidential elections were held on 13 March and 10 April. They were the second and final direct elections to the office of President of the Reich, Germany's head of state under the Weimar Republic; the incumbent President, Paul von Hindenburg, first elected in 1925, was re-elected to a second seven-year term of office. His major opponent in the election was Adolf Hitler of the Nazi Party. Under the Weimar system, the presidency was a powerful office. Hindenburg, who distrusted and detested Hitler, had been motivated to run for a second term by a desire to stop Hitler from winning the presidency. Following his re-election, Hindenburg failed to prevent the Nazis from assuming power. Two successive federal elections left the Nazis as the largest party in the Reichstag and anti-Weimar parties in control of a majority of its seats. Under this political climate, Hindenburg reluctantly appointed Hitler as Chancellor of Germany in January 1933. Incumbent President Paul von Hindenburg was 84 years old and in poor health.
Never enthusiastic about the presidency, Hindenburg had planned to stand down after his first term. However, the prospect of Adolf Hitler being elected President of Germany persuaded the reluctant incumbent to seek a second term; the German government of Chancellor Heinrich Brüning had developed plans to evade direct elections by a Reichstag resolution to extend Hindenburg's time in office and arranged significant concessions to be made to Hitler's Nazi Party and the German National People's Party under chairman Alfred Hugenberg. However, both party leaders, unified in the Harzburg Front alliance of October 1931, rejected his proposals. In the 1930 federal election, the Nazi Party had increased its number of seats in the Reichstag. Despite becoming a German citizen only on 25 February 1932, Hitler hoped to use the presidency to overturn the Weimar Constitution and establish a dictatorship. In view of that threat, the Social Democrats and Brüning's Centre Party would support Hindenburg – in contrast to the 1925 presidential election, when the non-partisan had been the candidate of the political right and had been strenuously opposed by much of the moderate left and political centre.
However, in 1932, this part of the political spectrum decided to unite with the moderate right in supporting Hindenburg to prevent Hitler's election. The support of the moderate Weimar coalition was encouraged by the fact that, contrary to fears expressed at the time of his election in 1925, Hindenburg had not used his office to subvert the constitution, as Hitler now aimed to do. Brüning recognized that only a general support from the right would induce Hindenburg to announce his readiness for candidacy, he therefore arranged the formation of a "Hindenburg committee" chaired by the Berlin mayor Heinrich Sahm, publishing a declaration of support to Hindenburg as the candidate of national unity and German Volksgemeinschaft. The writer Gerhart Hauptmann, painter Max Liebermann, Artur Mahraun, leader of the Young German Order, the industrialist Carl Duisberg, as well as the former ministers Otto Gessler and Gustav Noske were among the signatories of the appeal, which convinced Hindenburg to run.
The liberal German People's Party and the German State Party declared their support. The Social Democratic leaders Ernst Heilmann and Otto Braun despite the initial resistance of the party's left wing, were able to launch a broad electoral campaign and received the support of the Iron Front alliance, including the democratic Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold association, the Free Trade Unions and the Arbeiter-Turn- und Sportbund organization. On the far-right, the Harzburg Front collapsed, when the DNVP nominated the Stahlhelm leader Theodor Duesterberg as its own candidate. Duesterberg faced a massive defamation campaign by the Nazis, however, still had to procure German citizenship for Hitler; the problem was settled by Dietrich Klagges, Nazi state minister in Brunswick, when he appointed him a government official. As in 1925, the Communist Party nominated Ernst Thälmann. Backed by the Communist International, it was hoped that he would gain support from left-wing Social Democrats disgusted by Hindenburg's character.
Indeed, leftist splinter parties such as the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany and the Internationaler Sozialistischer Kampfbund organization declared their support, as did intellectuals like Carl von Ossietzky. Under the electoral law, a candidate who received an absolute majority of votes in the first round was elected. If no candidate received a majority a second round would be held. In the second round, the candidate receiving a plurality of votes would be elected. A party was permitted to nominate an alternative candidate in the second round, but in 1932 this did not occur. In the first round on March 13 no candidate obtained an absolute majority of the votes cast, though Hindenburg with 49.6% failed only by a narrow margin. He scored higher election results in traditional Social Democratic and Centre strongholds such as the Prussian Rhine Province or Saxony. Hitler's results were a great disappointment to him the Nazi Party recorded further gains compared with the 1930 Reichstag election.
The expectations of the Communists presenting "the only left candidate" were not fulfilled they continued their fight against the policies of the Social Democrats and nominated Thälmann for the second round on April 10. Hindenburg, Thälmann competed in the second round, after Dusterberg had resigned. DNVP and Stahl
Kurt Georg Kiesinger
Kurt Georg Kiesinger was a German politician who served as Chancellor of Germany from 1 December 1966 to 21 October 1969. Before he became Chancellor he served as Minister President of Baden-Württemberg from 1958 to 1966 and as President of the Federal Council from 1962 to 1963, he was Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union from 1967 to 1971. Kiesinger studied law and worked as a lawyer in Berlin from 1935 to 1940. To avoid conscription, he found work at the Foreign Office in 1940, became deputy head of the Foreign Office's broadcasting department. During his service at the Foreign Office, he was denounced by two colleagues for his anti-Nazi stance, he had joined the Nazi Party in 1933, but remained a inactive member. In 1946 he became a member of the Christian Democratic Union, he was elected to the Bundestag in 1949, was a member of the Bundestag until 1958 and again from 1969 to 1980. He left federal politics for eight years to serve as Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, subsequently became Chancellor by forming a grand coalition with Willy Brandt's Social Democratic Party.
Kiesinger was considered an outstanding orator and mediator, was dubbed "Silver Tongue." He was an author of poetry and various books, founded the universities of Konstanz and Ulm as Minister President of Baden-Württemberg. Born in Ebingen, Kingdom of Württemberg, Kiesinger studied law in Berlin and worked as a lawyer in Berlin from 1935 to 1940; as a student, he joined the Roman Catholic corporations K. St. V. Alamannia Tübingen and Askania-Burgundia Berlin, he became a member of the Nazi Party in February 1933, but remained a inactive member. In 1940, he was called to arms but avoided mobilization by finding a job in the Foreign Office's broadcasting department, rising to become deputy head of the department from 1943 to 1945 and the department's liaison with the Propaganda Ministry. After the war, he was interned and spent 18 months in the Ludwigsburg camp before being released as a case of mistaken identity. During the controversies of 1966, the magazine Der Spiegel unearthed a Memorandum dated 7 November 1944 in which two colleagues denounced to SS chief Heinrich Himmler a conspiracy including Kiesinger, propagating defeatism.
They accused Kiesinger of hampering anti-Jewish actions within his department. Kiesinger joined the Christian Democratic Union in 1946. From 1946 he gave private lessons to law students, in 1948 he resumed his practice as a lawyer. In 1947 he became unpaid secretary-general of CDU in Württemberg-Hohenzollern. In the federal election in 1949 he was elected to the Bundestag. In 1951 he became a member of the CDU executive board. During that time, he became known for his rhetorical brilliance, as well as his in-depth knowledge of foreign affairs. However, despite the recognition he enjoyed within the Christian Democrat parliamentary faction, he was passed over during various cabinet reshuffles, he decided to switch from federal to state politics. Kiesinger became Minister President of the state of Baden-Württemberg on 17 December 1958, an office in which he served until 1 December 1966; as Minister President he founded two universities, the University of Konstanz and the University of Ulm. In 1966 following the collapse of the existing CDU/CSU-FDP coalition, Kiesinger was elected to replace Ludwig Erhard as Chancellor, heading a new CDU/CSU-SPD alliance.
The government formed by Kiesinger remained in power for nearly three years with the SPD leader Willy Brandt as Deputy Federal Chancellor and Foreign Minister. Kiesinger reduced tensions with the Soviet bloc nations establishing diplomatic relations with Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia but he opposed any major conciliatory moves. A number of progressive reforms were realised during Kiesinger's time as Chancellor. Pension coverage was extended in 1967 via the abolition of the income-ceiling for compulsory membership. In education, student grants were introduced, together with a university building programme, while a constitutional reform of 1969 empowered the federal government to be involved with the Länder in educational planning through joint planning commission. Vocational training legislation was introduced, while a reorganisation of unemployment insurance promoted retraining schemes and advice services and job creation places. In addition, under the “Lohnfortzahlunggesetz” of 1969, employers had to pay all employees’ wages for the first 6 weeks of sickness.
In August 1969, the Landabgaberente was introduced. One of his low points as Chancellor was in 1968 when Nazi-hunter Beate Klarsfeld, who campaigned with her husband Serge Klarsfeld against Nazi criminals, publicly slapped him in the face during the 1968 Christian Democrat convention, while calling him a Nazi, she did so in French and - whilst being dragged out of the room by two ushers - repeated her words in German saying "Kiesinger! Nazi! Abtreten!" Kiesinger, holding his left cheek, did not respond. Up to his death he refused to comment on the incident and in other opportunities he denied explicitly that he had been opportunistic by joining the NSDAP in 1933. During his period as Chancellor, he made Carl Schmitt his regular intellectual companion. Other prominent critics included the writers Heinrich Böll and Günter Grass (in 1966, Grass had written an open letter urging Kiesing