Kurt Georg Kiesinger


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(b. 6 Apr. 1904, d. 9 Mar. 1988).

Chancellor of West Germany 1966–9Despite controversy surrounding his membership of the Nazi Party and his work first as a lawyer and then for the broadcasting service of the German Foreign Office during World War II, he had an active political career in West Germany. He served as an MP for the CDU in 1949–58, and 1969–80. He was Minister President of the state of Baden‐Württemberg (1958–66), before succeeding Erhard as Chancellor to head a coalition with the SPD. Encouraged by his Foreign Minister, W. Brandt, he attempted a careful softening of West Germany's attitude to the German question, and successfully overcame the country's economic crisis. However, he was criticized for his heavy‐handed and inflexible response to the student protests which developed during his period in office. The CDU lost the 1969 elections when the SPD gained sufficient strength to form a government with the Liberal Party. Kiesinger resigned as party leader in 1971.

Subjects: Politics — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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