History

A brief chronicle of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

1952 A group of CDU politicians including, among others, the Chairman of the Protestant Working Group of the CDU, Hermann Ehlers, who died in 1954, his later successor, Robert Tillmanns, and the Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary party, Heinrich Krone, considers the establishment of a systematic civic-education programme inspired by Christian Democratic values.

1953-1955 Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and the CDU Federal Executive debate the creation of a training and education centre to promote young politicians.

December 20, 1955 The Society for Christian Democratic Education Work is established in Bonn as the precursor of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.

December 22, 1955 Immediately after its foundation, the organisation acquires Eichholz Manor near Wesseling from August Karl von Joest.

1956 Eichholz Manor is converted into an education institute. Seminars begin in December.

April 12, 1957 Eichholz Manor is ceremonially opened by Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. The inaugural address is given by the Minister President of Schleswig-Holstein, Kai-Uwe von Hassel. Bruno Heck is elected first Chairman of the Society for Christian Democratic Education Work, with Konrad Kraske and Heinrich Krone being elected Deputy Chairman and Secretary, respectively.

April 26, 1958 The Society for Christian Democratic Education Work is converted into the Eichholz Political Academy, with Arnold Bergstraesser and Konrad Kraske its first and second chairmen.

June 1, 1958 Rüdiger Altmann, a journalist and social scientist, assumes the two offices of Chief Executive and Director of the Political Academy of Eichholz Manor.

April 1, 1960 Rüdiger Altmann having left the Academy, Peter Molt becomes its Director. Educational activities are carried out in close cooperation with the CDU's federal headquarters while preserving a maximum of independence for the Academy. Education events dealing with the unification of Europe are stepped up.

1961 A political seminar is set up at Eichholz Manor. Extending over seven weeks and comprising an entry-level, a main, and a finishing course, it forms the basis of an education scheme that has survived to this day in modified form.

January 1962 Having established contacts with Christian Democratic politicians in Venezuela, the Belgian trade-union leader, Auguste Vanistendael, proposes establishing a collaborative relationship with the Eichholz Political Academy, paving the way for political education to emerge as the foundation of the Institute for International Solidarity soon afterwards.

July 1, 1962 Establishment of the Institute for International Solidarity (IIS) of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.

Summer 1962 The first of a series of international college seminars is held at Eichholz Manor. Attended by young scientists, students, and international experts, the series will be continued until 1968.

October 4, 1963 Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer ceremonially opens the extension of the Eichholz Political Academy, with buildings containing modern conference rooms and accommodation for guests.

October 13, 1964 The organisation supporting the Eichholz Political Academy changes its name to Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung for Political Education and Student Promotion. Alfred Müller-Armack and Franz Thedieck are elected to the Board as Joint Chairmen, while Konrad Kraske and Alphons Horten are elected Executive Chairman and Treasurer, respectively.

December 1964 Through its Institute for International Solidarity, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is represented in eight countries located in South and Central America as well as in Africa: Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Tanzania, and Cameroon. In the years to come, partnerships would be established with Christian Democratic parties, education institutions, trade unions, and cooperatives in many countries.

January 15, 1965 Establishment of the student promotion scheme of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, to be renamed Scholarship Institute in 1971.

February 1, 1966 Having held the office of Director of Studies at Eichholz Manor since 1961, Bernhard Gebauer succeeds Peter Molt as Director of the Academy (until 1981), continuing to follow the concept of functional political education.

July 19, 1966 The Federal Constitutional Court forbids the use of public funds to finance education in party politics, causing the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung to enhance its independence.

October 1, 1966 Adolf Herkenrath assumes the post of Director of the Institute for International Solidarity.

October 1, 1967 Establishment of the Scientific Institute (WIKAS), to be renamed Social Science Research Institute (SFK) in 1970, to conduct basic research in political education. Educational activities at Eichholz Manor are enhanced by the Institute for Local Policy Education and Research (IKBF), to be renamed Institute for Local Government Studies (IFK) in 1971.

June 27, 1968 Bruno Heck is elected Chairman of the Stiftung's Executive Board, Manfred Wörner is elected Executive Chairman, and Alphons Horten, Treasurer. Further Executive Board members include Federal Minister Kai-Uwe von Hassel, Helmut Kohl, Konrad Kraske, and Lord Mayor Günter Rinsche.

1970 Second extension of the education centre at Eichholz Manor: Auditoriums, conference rooms, offices, and guest rooms are added, enhancing its capacity by thirty percent.

1971 Creation of the Institute for Local Government Studies to continue the existing, already systematically structured local-government education programme at Eichholz Manor (Director: Franz Schuster).

June 14, 1972 Elections to the Executive Board. Chairman, Bruno Heck; Executive Chairman, Manfred Wörner; Treasurer, Walther Leisler Kiep. Further Board members: Kai-Uwe von Hassel, Speaker of the Federal Diet; Minister President Helmut Kohl; Secretary General Konrad Kraske; Lord Mayor Günter Rinsche.

1973 Günter Rinsche is appointed Chairman of the Planning Committee charged with developing new research and coordination tools for the further development of the Foundation in consultation with competent personages. In the years to come, the Committee was to present forward-looking concepts for the Stiftung's international education activities.

1974 Philipp Ludwig is appointed Executive Chairman (until 1977).

February 1, 1974 Lothar Kraft is appointed Director of the Institute for International Solidarity, with Paul B. Wink as his deputy.

July 1, 1975 Establishment of the Education Institute (BWK) of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, with regional branches to be created in the years to come. Günther Rüther is appointed Director of the Institute.

January 1, 1976 Establishment of the Archive for Christian Democratic Policy (ACDP) of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung under the direction of Klaus Gotto. Günter Buchstab is appointed Deputy Director.

June 21, 1976 The Stiftung becomes a registered society.

December 1976 The Stiftung moves to its new headquarters at Sankt Augustin which houses all its institutes under one roof.

1977 The Stiftung acquires Villa La Collina at Cadenabbia on Lake Como and creates an international meeting centre on the spot where Konrad Adenauer used to spend his holidays from 1959 onwards. Branch offices are established in Rome and Washington.

1978 Karl-Heinz Bilke becomes the Stiftung's Chief Executive Officer (until 1983).

January 1, 1978 Establishment of the Office for International Cooperation (BIZ) directed by Josef Thesing.

February 1, 1978 Paul B. Wink is appointed Administrative Director of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (until 1998). The Brussels office is opened. The scheme for promoting young journalists is created as a special branch of the scholarship agency to counteract the ideological infiltration of the media by promoting the qualification of young journalists. From 2002: Journalist Academy.

1980 Branch offices open in Paris and London. First contest for the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung's prize for local journalism. Since 1980, the prize has been awarded annually to qualified journalists writing for the local daily press.

September 1, 1981 Establishment of the 'Political Academy' under the direction of Klaus Weigelt. Educational activities are being continued at the same time by the Institute for Political Education (IPP). Remaining the hub of education, Eichholz Manor conducts educational programmes nationwide and synchronises cooperation with the Stiftung's liaison office in Berlin.

June 1, 1982 The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung opens its Jerusalem office.

1984 The Office for International Cooperation merges with the Institute for International Solidarity to form the Institute for International Cooperation. Lothar Kraft is made Chief Executive Officer of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. Succeeding him as Director of the Institute for International Cooperation, Josef Thesing continues in office until July 2000.

September 20, 1984 The General Assembly votes to change the statutes to enlarge the Executive Board, which now includes Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, Paul Mikat, Hans-Peter Schwarz, and Michael Stürmer.

July 14, 1986 Dismissing an action by the Green parliamentary party to stop the allocation of public funds to support the Stiftung' political-education activities, the Federal Constitutional Court endorses the allocation of unspecific subsidies to the foundations which, though close to the political parties, remain independent in legal, personal, and organisational terms.

January 12, 1989 With Bruno Heck deciding not to stand for election again, Bernhard Vogel is made Chairman of the Executive Board of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. Mr Heck had been serving in this function without interruption since 1968. Manfred Wörner is succeeded as Deputy Chairman by Minister Anton Pfeifer, while Wolfgang Jahn is elected Treasurer. Further members of the incoming board include Kai-Uwe von Hassel, Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Konrad Kraske, Paul Mikat, Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, Günter Rinsche, Hans-Peter Schwarz, and Manfred Wörner.

November 10, 1989 On the day after the fall of the wall, the Stiftung opens its first branch office in Central and Eastern Europe in the Palace of Warsaw.

February 2, 1990 A working group convened by the Chairman, Bernhard Vogel, takes steps to promote political education in the territory of the GDR in close cooperation with the Stiftung's education institutes. In the course of the year, education centres are established at Leipzig, Rostock, Erfurt, and Berlin.

May 7, 1990 The Executive Board adopts a master plan for political education in the GDR, which pays particular attention to training and consultation in the fields of local policy, university and school education, and talent promotion. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung opens branch offices in Budapest and Moscow, followed by St. Petersburg in 1995.

1991 The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung acquires Wendgräben Manor in Saxony-Anhalt. Education activities begin in 1993. Converted in 1997, the house reopens as an education centre.

1992 The Stiftung's branch office in Brussels is converted into a European office dedicated to promoting the unification of Europe. Chairman Bernhard Vogel launches the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung's literature prize, which is awarded once a year in Weimar. The first author to win the prize is Sarah Kirsch in 1993. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung undergoes a structural reform involving a reorganisation of its institutes into departments and branches. Moving its headquarters from Eichholz Manor to Sankt Augustin, the Political Academy becomes part of the Research and Consultation branch until 2000. In February, the management of the Stiftung's business is taken over pro tempore by Dorothee Wilms, Bernhard Vogel having been elected Minister President of Thuringia.

January 20, 1993 Although confirmed unanimously by the General Assembly as Chairman of the Stiftung, Bernhard Vogel decides to allow his appointment to rest so as to fulfil his duties as Chairman of the CDU in the Free State of Thuringia. Gerd Langguth is appointed Acting Chairman. The Foundation opens branch offices in Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, the Baltic States, and Bratislava/Slovakia.

1994 Further branch offices open in Tashkent/Uzbekistan, Sofia/Bulgaria, and Kiev/Ukraine.

March 22, 1995 Günter Rinsche succeeds Bernhard Vogel as Chairman of the Stiftung, with Anton Pfeifer and Gerhard Stoltenberg as Deputy Chairmen. Wolfgang Peiner is elected Treasurer. Succeeding Günter Rinsche, the retired under-secretary Volkmar Köhler assumes the chair of the Planning Committee. The Stiftung begins to cooperate with the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, focussing particularly on issues relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

1996 The Stiftung opens its office in Beijing/Peoples' Republic of China. Another office is opened in Ramallah to promote constitutional structures and local government in the territory of the Palestinian Authority.

May 6, 1997 After the resignation of Gerd Langguth, Ottfried Hennig is appointed Acting Chairman, holding the newly-created office of Secretary General of the Stiftung.

June 23, 1998 Under the motto 'Giving Democracy a Future', the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung holds a civil-rights congress at the Leipzig Gewandhaus that is attended by Federal President Roman Herzog and about 2,000 delegates.

July 25, 1998 Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl opens the house of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in the Tiergarten district of Berlin, which is designed as a forum for the capital. The Political Academy moves from Sankt Augustin to Berlin.

August 1, 1999 After Ottfried Hennig's resignation from the office of Secretary General for medical reasons, Wilhelm Staudacher assumes that function. Ottfried Hennig dies on October 19.

November 4, 1999 The Circle of Friends of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is established to promote the Foundation's activities and intensify the interest in Christian Democratic education in Germany.

February 8, 2000 To advise and support the Stiftung, the Executive Board convenes a Board of Trustees under the presidency of the former Federal President, Roman Herzog. The Board is composed of 22 personages from politics, science, and the economy. Within the framework of a structural reshuffle, the Domestic Policy and Social Market Economy branch is established.

September 27/28, 2000 A meeting entitled 'Europe and the Unity of Germany' is held at the Berlin 'Palace of Tears' to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the reunification. Following the resignation of Lothar Kraft, Josef Thesing is made Deputy Secretary General. The Stiftung's international activities are now conducted by Peter R. Weilemann and Winfried Jung.

March 30, 2001 Succeeding Günter Rinsche, Bernhard Vogel is elected Chairman once again by the General Assembly. Anton Pfeifer, Norbert Lammert, and Beate Neuss are elected Deputy Chairmen. Wilhelm Staudacher remains in office as Secretary General. Succeeding Wolfgang Peiner, the post of Treasurer is taken over by Franz Schoser. The Jerusalem Foundation opens the Konrad Adenauer Conference Centre in Jerusalem.

December 2002 Having reached the statutory age limit, Josef Thesing resigns as Deputy Secretary General of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. He is succeeded by Johannes von Thadden.

March 2003 Once again, Bernhard Vogel is unanimously confirmed by the General Assembly as Chairman of the Stiftung. Succeeding the Domestic Policy and Social Market Economy branch, the Politics and Consultation branch is set up in Berlin.

February 2004 The Politics and Consultation and the International Cooperation branches complete their move from Sankt Augustin to Berlin.

May 10, 2004 Succeeding Johannes von Thadden, who transferred to the CDU as its Federal Chief Executive on January 1, 2004, Christoph Kannengießer assumes the office of Deputy Secretary General.

March 18, 2005 Once again, the General Assembly confirms Bernhard Vogel for yet another term of office as Chairman of the Stiftung. The three Deputy Chairmen and the Secretary General are confirmed in office as well. On the same day, the foundation stone is laid for the Stiftung's administrative building in Berlin.

November 17, 2008 The new Secretary General Michael Thielen begins his work. Thielen, who was nominated by the Chairman of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Vogel, was elected unanimously by the General Assembly in June. Thielen is successor to former Secretary of State Wilhelm Staudacher.

December 4, 2009 The General Assembly of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung votes former President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, as the Stiftung’s new Chairman. Pöttering starts in his function at January 1st 2010.

June 11, 2010 The Konrad Adenauer foundation is the first political foundation in Germany to be awarded with the “berufundfamilie” (‘work and family’) certificate for its measures to improve the compatibility of family and work.

June 14, 2013 Re-election of Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering as Chairman of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

from 'Die Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung', a book by Günter Beaugrand, with additional updates