Walter Scheel

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Walter Scheel
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1989-047-20, Walter Scheel.jpg
Walter Scheel in 1974
President of Germany
(West Germany)
In office
1 July 1974 30 June 1979
Chancellor Helmut Schmidt
Preceded by Gustav Heinemann
Succeeded by Karl Carstens
Chancellor of Germany
(West Germany)
Acting
In office
7 May 1974 16 May 1974
Preceded by Willy Brandt
Succeeded by Helmut Schmidt
Vice Chancellor of Germany
(West Germany)
In office
21 October 1969 16 May 1974
Chancellor Willy Brandt
Preceded by Willy Brandt
Succeeded by Hans-Dietrich Genscher
Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
21 October 1969 16 May 1974
Chancellor Willy Brandt
Preceded by Willy Brandt
Succeeded by Hans-Dietrich Genscher
Vice President of the Bundestag
In office
1967–1969
Preceded by Thomas Dehler
Succeeded by Liselotte Funcke
Member of the European Parliament
for West Germany
In office
1 July 1956 20 November 1961
Member of the Bundestag
In office
6 September 1953 27 June 1974
Personal details
Born(1919-07-08)8 July 1919
Solingen, Weimar Republic
Died24 August 2016(2016-08-24) (aged 97)
Bad Krozingen, Germany
Political party Free Democratic Party
Other political
affiliations
Nazi Party (1942–1945)
Spouse(s)
Eva Charlotte Kronenberg
(m. 19421966)

Mildred Wirtz
(m. 19691985)

Barbara Wiese
(m. 19882016)
[1]
ChildrenUlrich
Cornelia
Simon Martin
Andrea-Gwendoline
Signature Signatur Walter Scheel.jpg

Walter Scheel (German pronunciation: [ˈvaltɐ ˈʃeːl] ; 8 July 1919 – 24 August 2016) [2] was a German politician. A member of the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP), he first served in government as Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development from 1961–66. He led the FDP from 1968–74.

Free Democratic Party (Germany) Political party in Germany

The Free Democratic Party is a liberal and classical liberal political party in Germany. The FDP is led by Christian Lindner.

Contents

During the Chancellorship of Willy Brandt, Scheel was Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice Chancellor. Scheel became Acting Chancellor of Germany from 7–16 May 1974 following Brandt's resignation after the Guillaume Affair. He was elected shortly after as President, remaining in the role until 1979. Scheel was a member of the Evangelical Church in Germany.

Willy Brandt German social-democratic politician; Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Willy Brandt was a German statesman who was leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1964 to 1987 and served as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1969 to 1974. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971 for his efforts to strengthen cooperation in western Europe through the EEC and to achieve reconciliation between West Germany and the countries of Eastern Europe. He was the first Social Democrat chancellor since 1930.

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Germany) minister in the Federal Republic of Germany

The Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs is the head of the Federal Foreign Office and a member of the Cabinet of Germany. The current office holder is Heiko Maas. Since 1966, the Foreign Minister has often also simultaneously held the office of Vice Chancellor.

Vice-Chancellor of Germany position

Deputy to the Federal Chancellor is a title of one of the German cabinet members. The Chancellor is the head of government and, according to the constitution, gives this title to one of the Federal Ministers. This minister can use the constitutional powers of the Chancellor when officially replacing the Chancellor. This has never happened up to now, although, according to the internal reglement of the government, the Deputy chairs cabinet meetings when the Chancellor is absent.

Early life

Scheel was born in Solingen (now in North Rhine-Westphalia). He completed his abitur at the Reformrealgymnsasium Schwertstraße. [3]

Solingen Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Solingen is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located on the northern edge of the region called Bergisches Land, south of the Ruhr area, and, with a 2009 population of 161,366, is after Wuppertal the second largest city in the Bergisches Land. It is a member of the regional authority of the Rhineland.

North Rhine-Westphalia State in Germany

North Rhine-Westphalia is a state of Germany.

Abitur is a qualification granted by university-preparatory schools in Germany, Lithuania, and Estonia. It is conferred on students who pass their final exams at the end of their secondary education, usually after twelve or thirteen years of schooling. In German, the term Abitur has roots in the archaic word Abiturium, which in turn was derived from the Latin abiturus.

Scheel became a member of the Nazi Party in 1942. [4] During World War II, he served in the Luftwaffe during the last years of the war as a radar operator on a Bf 110 night fighter.[ citation needed ]

Nazi Party Fascist political party in Germany (1920-1945)

The National Socialist German Workers' Party, commonly referred to in English as the Nazi Party, was a far-right political party in Germany that was active between 1920 and 1945, that created and supported the ideology of National Socialism. Its precursor, the German Workers' Party, existed from 1919 to 1920.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

<i>Luftwaffe</i> Aerial warfare branch of the German military forces during World War II

The Luftwaffe was the aerial warfare branch of the combined German Wehrmacht military forces during World War II. Germany's military air arms during World War I, the Luftstreitkräfte of the Army and the Marine-Fliegerabteilung of the Navy, had been disbanded in May 1920 as a result of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles which stated that Germany was forbidden to have any air force.

Political career

When his Free Democratic Party reentered government in a coalition with Konrad Adenauer's Christian Democratic Union in 1961, Scheel was appointed federal minister of economic cooperation and development. He continued in that office under Chancellor Ludwig Erhard but brought about the downfall of the latter in late 1966 by resigning.

Konrad Adenauer German statesman, Federal Chancellor of Germany, politician (CDU)

Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German statesman who served as the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1963. He was co-founder and first leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a Christian Democratic party that under his leadership became one of the most influential parties in the country.

Ludwig Erhard German politician

Ludwig Wilhelm Erhard was a German politician affiliated with the CDU, and the second Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1963 until 1966. He is often famed for leading the West German postwar economic reforms and economic recovery in his role as Minister of Economic Affairs under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer from 1949 to 1963. During that period he promoted the concept of the social market economy, on which Germany's economic policy in the 21st century continues to be based. In his tenure as Chancellor, however, Erhard lacked support from Adenauer, and failed to win the public's confidence in his handling of a budget deficit and his direction of foreign policy. His popularity waned, and he resigned his chancellorship on 1 December 1966.

A Christian Democratic/Social Democratic Grand Coalition followed. During this time, in 1968, Scheel took over the party presidency from right wing liberal Erich Mende. According to one study, the election of Walter Scheel to the FDP leadership in 1968 “represented a turn to the left and the Free Democrats then indicated their wooing of the SPD by voting for the successful Social Democratic candidate for the Presidency of the Republic, Gustav Heinemann, in 1969.” [5] [ page needed ]

Social Democratic Party of Germany Social-democratic political party in Germany

The Social Democratic Party of Germany, is a social-democratic political party in Germany.

Erich Mende German politician

Dr. Erich Mende was a German politician of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Christian Democratic Union (CDU). He was the leader of FDP from 1960 to 1968 and the third Vice Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1963 to 1966.

In 1969, he led his party to form a new coalition with the Social Democrats. Under Chancellor Willy Brandt, Scheel became Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor. Under their leadership, West Germany pursued a course of rapprochement and détente with the Soviet block and officially recognized the existence of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). This policy caused a massive public debate, with various Free and Social Democrats switching sides to the opposition. Though an attempt to oust Brandt failed, the coalition had lost its slender majority. The parliamentary stalemate was ended by the dissolution of parliament and early elections in 1972, which brought great gains for the Social Democrats and enabled the coalition to continue. Henry Kissinger believed he was "an idiot" and a "bad" foreign minister.[ citation needed ]

On 7 May 1974, Brandt resigned as Chancellor after one of his aides, Günter Guillaume, was arrested as a spy for the East German state. Though this had been internally suspected since 1973, Brandt accepted responsibility and resigned. Scheel, as acting chancellor, chaired the government meetings for a little over a week,[ citation needed ] until Helmut Schmidt was elected. Hans Dietrich Genscher became Scheel's successor as party chairman and as minister.[ citation needed ]

Scheel with Jimmy Carter, 1978 Scheel Carter.jpg
Scheel with Jimmy Carter, 1978

Scheel was elected President of West Germany, a week after relinquishing his other government roles. He held the office from July 1974 until June 1979. At the funeral of Hanns Martin Schleyer in October 1977, Scheel gave a speech entitled shame. After the federal presidency, Scheel was Chairman of the Bilderberg Conference as well as President of the European Movement in Germany from 1980-85. From 1980-89 he was also President of the German section of the Union of European Federalists (UEF). He was named honorary chairman of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in 1991.[ citation needed ]

Death

Scheel died on 24 August 2016 following a long illness. [6] [7] [8] Having lived to 97 years, 47 days he holds the record as the longest-lived German head of state, either imperial or elected.[ citation needed ]

Publications

Literature

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References

  1. "Walter Scheel (1974–1979)". German Federal Presidency. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  2. Profile of Walter Scheel
  3. Lohausen, Carsten (28 September 2013). "Aus Höhscheid in die Geschichtsbücher". Rheinische Post (in German). Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  4. Geschichte und Politik in den Reden der deutschen Bundespräsidenten 1949-1984, Matthias Rensing,p. 152
  5. Childs, David; Johnson, Jeffrey (1981). West Germany, politics and society. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN   978-0312863005.
  6. "Früherer Bundespräsident (1974-1979): Walter Scheel ist tot". SPIEGEL ONLINE (in German). Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  7. "Ehemaliger Bundespräsident Walter Scheel ist tot". Die Zeit (in German). Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  8. "Walter Scheel, Leading Figure in West German Thaw With the East, Dies at 97". The New York Times . 24 August 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
Political offices
Preceded by
Gustav Heinemann
President of West Germany
1974–1979
Succeeded by
Karl Carstens
Preceded by
Willy Brandt
Foreign Minister of West Germany
1969–1974
Succeeded by
Hans-Dietrich Genscher
Preceded by
Willy Brandt
Vice-Chancellor of West Germany
1969–1974
Succeeded by
Hans-Dietrich Genscher