Kurt Georg Kiesinger

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Kurt Georg Kiesinger
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Kurt Georg Kiesinger

Order: 29th Chancellor of Germany
(3rd of the Federal Republic)
Term of Office: December 1, 1966October 21, 1969
Predecessor: Ludwig Erhard
Successor: Willy Brandt
Date of Birth: April 6, 1904
Date of Death: March 9, 1988
Political Party: CDU
Profession: lawyer

Kurt Georg Kiesinger (April 6, 1904March 9, 1988) was a conservative German politician and Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from December 1, 1966 until October 21, 1969.

Born in Ebingen, Germany Kiesinger was educated in Berlin and became a lawyer. He joined the Nazi Party in 1933. From 1940 Kiesinger worked at the Reich foreign ministry's radio propaganda department. After the war he was interned and spent several months in the Ludwigsburg camp before being acquitted by the denazification courts.

At the first post-war national elections Kiesinger joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and won a seat. In 1951 he became a member of the CDU executive board. He was appointed minister-president of the Baden-Wrttemberg government (December 17 1958 - December 1 1966). In 1962-1963, Kiesinger served as the president of the Bundesrat.

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, Romania and Yugoslavia but he opposed any major conciliatory moves.

One of his low points as chancellor was in 1968 when Beate Klarsfeld publically slapped him in the face while calling him a Nazi. Partly as a result of spectators at subsequent public rallies chanting 'Nazi' while he was trying to speak.

In the election of 1969, the SPD preferred to form a leftist coalition with the FDP, ending the uninterrupted post-war reign of the CDU chancellors. Kiesinger was succeeded as Chancellor by Willy Brandt.

Kiesinger continued to head the CDU/CSU in opposition until July 1971 and remained a member of the Bundestag until 1980.

Kiesinger was known for great eloquence and nicknamed "Huptling Silberzunge" - "Chief Silver Tongue".

He died in Tbingen, West Germany.

Kiesinger's Ministry, 1 December 1966 - 21 October 1969


Preceded by:
Ludwig Erhard
Chancellor of Germany
Succeeded by:
Willy Brandt

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