50 Years: Remembering First Chancellor Konrad Adenauer
Enlarge image Konrad Adenauer, German Chancellor from 1949 to 1963 (© dpa) We are remembering Konrad Adenauer, Germany’s first Chancellor, who died on April 19 50 years ago. Adenauer served Germany as Chancellor from 1949 to 1963: Elected at the age of 73, Adenauer went on to serve for 14 years and died just four years after leaving office.
He is remembered as one of the fathers of the Grundgesetz, Germany’s Basic Law or constitution, and as a defender of European unity. In the crucial post-war years, Konrad Adenauer forged close ties with the West, meeting several times with US President John F. Kennedy, including on his landmark visit to Germany in 1963. He also worked for German-French reconciliation, signing the historic Elysée Treaty with French President Charles de Gaulle in 1963.
Konrad Adenauer died in on April 19, 1967, at his home in Rhöndorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, where today his home is a memorial open to the public.