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Franz Josef Strauss
Franz Josef Strauss
(German: Franz Josef Strauß, IPA: [ˈfʁants ˈjoːzɛf ˈʃtʁaʊs]; 6 September 1915 – 3 October 1988) was a German politician. He was the long-time chairman of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria
Bavaria
(CSU) from 1961 until 1988, member of the federal cabinet in different positions between 1953 and 1969 and minister-president of the state of Bavaria
Bavaria
from 1978 until 1988. Strauss is also credited as a co-founder of European aerospace conglomerate Airbus. After the 1969 federal elections, West Germany's CDU/CSU
CDU/CSU
alliance found itself out of power for the first time since the founding of the Federal Republic. At this time, Strauss became more identified with the regional politics of Bavaria. While he ran for the chancellorship as the candidate of the CDU/CSU
CDU/CSU
in 1980, for the rest of his life Strauss never again held federal office. From 1978 until his death in 1988, he was the head of the Bavarian government. His last two decades were marked by a fierce rivalry with CDU chairman Helmut Kohl.[1]

Portrait by Günter Rittner, 1975

Contents

1 Early life 2 World War II 3 Early post-war years 4 Political life 1945–1961 5 Lockheed bribery scandals 6 Spiegel affair 7 Rivalry between Kohl and Strauss 8 European integration 9 Airbus 10 Minister-President of Bavaria 11 Visit to Albania 12 Death 13 Family 14 Legacy 15 Notes 16 Further reading

16.1 Primary sources

17 External links

Early life[edit] Born in Munich
Munich
on 6 April 1915, as the second child of a butcher,[2] Strauss studied German letters, history and economics at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Munich
from 1935 to 1939. World War II[edit] In World War II, he served in the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
on the Western and Eastern Fronts. While on furlough, he passed the German state exams to become a teacher. After suffering from severe frostbite on the Eastern Front in early 1943, he served as an Offizier für wehrgeistige Führung, responsible for the education of the troops, at the antiaircraft artillery school in Altenstadt Air Base, near Schongau. He held the rank of Oberleutnant at the end of the war. Early post-war years[edit] In 1945 he served as translator for the US army. He called himself Franz Strauß until soon after the war when he started using his middle name Josef as well.[3] Political life 1945–1961[edit] After the war, in 1945, he was appointed deputy Landrat (chief executive and representative of the district) of Schongau by the American military government and was involved in founding the local party organization of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria
Bavaria
(CSU).[4] Strauss became a member of the first Bundestag
Bundestag
(Federal Parliament) in 1949. In 1953 Strauss became Federal Minister for Special
Special
Affairs in the second cabinet of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, in 1955 Federal Minister of Nuclear Energy, and in 1956 Defence Minister, charged with the build-up of the new West German defence forces, the Bundeswehr – the youngest man to hold this office at the time. He became chairman of the CSU in 1961. Lockheed bribery scandals[edit] Former Lockheed lobbyist Ernest Hauser (de) admitted during a U.S. Senate hearing to investigators that Minister of Defence Strauss and his party had received at least $10 million for West Germany's purchase of 900 F-104G Starfighters in 1961, which later became part of the Lockheed bribery scandals. The party and its leaders and Strauss denied the allegations, and Strauss filed a slander suit against Hauser. Strauss and Hauser met after World War II
World War II
in Schongau, Bavaria, where Hauser was stationed. Hauser worked for U.S. Intelligence and Strauss served as a translator for Hauser.[citation needed] Both were good friends which Strauss later denied in the wake of his defense which in return was not credible du to the fact that Strauss attended Hauser's wedding.[disputed – discuss] As the allegations were not corroborated, the issue was dropped.[5] It was known at the time that a Senate hearing in the U.S. revealed that Lockheed associates paid Strauss money to purchase the planes due to Boeing suing Lockheed over the lost German business. In a Senate hearing in the U.S. it was admitted by Lockheed associates that the funds were disbursed to Strauss. In spite of this fact, Strauss was never indicted in Germany
Germany
due to his influential persona. Lockheed at the time was on the brink of collapse and the German contract was needed for the companies survival. The Starfighter's development was expensive and the U.S. Airforce refused to purchase the plane due to its not needed design. The German contract was a windfall for Lockheed. After Germany
Germany
ordered the fighter planes from Lockheed many more European governments started to place their trust in the Starfighter and ordered more planes saving Lockheed from financial ruin.[citation needed] Spiegel affair[edit] Strauss was forced to step down as defence minister in 1962 in the wake of the Spiegel affair. Rudolf Augstein, owner and editor-in-chief of the influential Der Spiegel
Der Spiegel
magazine, published German defense information that Strauss's department alleged was top secret. He was arrested on Strauss's request and was held for 103 days. On 19 November, the five FDP ministers of the cabinet resigned, demanding that Strauss be fired. This put Chancellor Adenauer himself at risk. He found himself publicly accused of backing the suppression of a critical press with the resources of the state. Strauss was forced to admit that he had lied to the parliament and was forced to resign. Strauss himself was exonerated by the courts on the charge of acting against the constitution.[6] Rivalry between Kohl and Strauss[edit]

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Strauss was appointed minister of the treasury again in 1966, in the cabinet of Kurt Georg Kiesinger. In cooperation with the SPD minister for economy, Karl Schiller, he developed a groundbreaking economic stability policy; the two ministers, quite unlike in physical appearance and political background, were popularly dubbed Plisch und Plum, after two dogs in a 19th-century cartoon by Wilhelm Busch. After the SPD was able to form a government without the conservatives, in 1969, Strauss became one of the most vocal critics of Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik. After Helmut Kohl's first run for chancellor in 1976 failed, Strauss cancelled the alliance between the CDU and CSU parties in the Bundestag, a decision which he only took back months later when the CDU threatened to extend their party to Bavaria
Bavaria
(where the CSU holds a political monopoly for the conservatives). In the 1980 federal election, the CDU/CSU
CDU/CSU
opted to put forward Strauss as their candidate for chancellor. Strauss had continued to be critical of Kohl's leadership, so providing Strauss a shot at the chancellery may have been seen as an endorsement of either Strauss' policies or style (or both) over Kohl's. But many, if not most, observers at the time believed that the CDU had concluded that Helmut Schmidt's SPD was likely unbeatable in 1980, and felt that they had nothing to lose in running Strauss. Schmidt's victory was seen by Kohl's supporters as a vindication of their man, and though the rivalry between Kohl and Strauss persisted for years, once the CDU/CSU
CDU/CSU
was able to take power in 1982, it was Kohl who became chancellor. He remained in power well beyond Strauss's death. European integration[edit]

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Strauss was the author of a book called The Grand Design in which he set forth his views of how the future unification of Europe might be achieved.[7] Airbus[edit] As an aerospace enthusiast, Strauss was one of the driving persons to create Airbus
Airbus
in the 1970s. He served as chairman of Airbus[8] in the late 1980s, until his death in 1988; he saw the company win a lucrative but controversial (see Airbus
Airbus
affair) contract to supply planes to Air Canada
Air Canada
just before his death. Munich's new airport, the Franz Josef Strauß Airport, was named after him in 1992. Minister-President of Bavaria[edit]

Strauss addressing the CDU in 1986, two years before his death

From 1978 until his death in 1988, Strauss was minister-president of Bavaria, serving as president of the German Bundesrat in 1983/84. After his defeat in the 1980 federal election, he retreated to commenting on federal politics from Bavaria. In the following years, he was the most visible critic of Kohl's politics in his own political camp, even after Kohl ascended to the chancellorship. In 1983, he was primarily responsible for a loan of 3 billion Deutsche Mark given to East Germany. This move, in violation of longtime CSU/CDU policy to allow the East German economy to collapse naturally, was widely criticised even during Strauss's lifetime. The Republicans split from the CSU/CDU over this move.[9] Visit to Albania[edit] Strauss visited communist Albania
Albania
on 21 August 1984, while Enver Hoxha, the ruler from the end of World War II
World War II
until his death in 1985, was still alive. Strauss was one of the few Western leaders, if not the only one, to visit the isolationist Albania
Albania
in decades. This fuelled speculation that Strauss might be preparing the way for diplomatic links between Albania
Albania
and West Germany
Germany
and, indeed, relations were established in 1987. In 2017, Strauss was honored with the albanian National Flag Order.[10] Death[edit] On 1 October 1988, Strauss collapsed while hunting with Johannes, 11th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, in the Thurn and Taxis forests, east of Regensburg.[2] He died in a Regensburg
Regensburg
hospital on 3 October without having regained consciousness. He was 73.[2] Family[edit] Strauss married Marianne Zwicknagl (de) in 1957. She died in a car accident in 1984.[2] They had three children: Maximilan Josef (de), Franz Georg (de), and Monika, who was member of the Landtag of Bavaria
Bavaria
and a Bavarian minister. In 2009 she was elected to the European Parliament. Legacy[edit] Strauss shaped post-war Bavaria
Bavaria
and polarized the public like few others. He was an articulate leader of conservatives and a skilled rhetorician. He was a strong supporter of Bavaria's national identity, and the restoration of the Bavarian monarchy. His outspoken right-leaning political standpoints made him an opponent of more moderate politicians and the entire political left. His association with several large-scale scandals made many politicians distance themselves from him. His policies contributed to changing Bavaria
Bavaria
from an agrarian state to one of Germany's leading industry centres, and one of the wealthiest regions of Germany.[1][11] Notes[edit]

^ a b David Wilsford, ed. Political leaders of contemporary Western Europe: a biographical dictionary (Greenwood, 1995) pp. 432–40. ^ a b c d Serge Schmemann (4 October 1988). " Franz Josef Strauss
Franz Josef Strauss
Is Dead at 73; Conservative Led Bavarian State". The New York Times. Bonn. Retrieved 15 February 2017.  ^ "Fragen zur Person" [Question about the person] Archived 2010-04-12 at the Wayback Machine. from the Hanns Seidel Foundation (in German) ^ "Strauss, Franz Josef – Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
– Minister of Defense". Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA). July 1961. Archived from the original on 17 May 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2016.  ^ "Scandals: The Lockheed Mystery (Contd.)". Time. 1976-09-13. Retrieved 2011-12-06.  subscription ^ Derek Jones, ed. (2001). Censorship: A World Encyclopedia. Routledge. pp. 2324–25.  ^ Beatrice Heuser, "The European Dream of Franz Josef Strauss", in Journal of European Integration History
History
Vol. 3 No. 1 (Spring 1998). ^ Airbus
Airbus
Corporate Information – The Airbus
Airbus
story ^ Carol Carl‐Sime, "Bavaria, the CSU and the West German party system." West European Politics 2.1 (1979): 89–107. ^ Note on the website of the President of Albania
Albania
(albanian) ^ Peter James, "Franz Josef Strauß‐lasting legacy or transitory phenomenon?" German Politics 7.2 (1998): 202–210.

Further reading[edit]

Ahonen, Pertti. "Franz‐Josef Strauss and the German nuclear question, 1956–1962." The Journal of Strategic Studies 18#2 (1995): 25–51. Carl‐Sime, Carol. "Bavaria, the CSU and the West German party system." West European Politics 2#1 (1979): 89–107. Ford, Graham. "Constructing a Regional Identity: The Christian Social Union and Bavaria's Common Heritage, 1949–1962." Contemporary European History
History
16#3 (2007): 277–297. Heuser, Beatrice. "The European Dream of Franz Josef Strauss." Journal of European Integration History
History
3.1 (1998): 75–103. Wilsford, David, ed. Political leaders of contemporary Western Europe: a biographical dictionary (Greenwood, 1995) pp. 432–40. Horst Möller: Franz Josef Strauß. Herrscher und Rebell. Piper, München 2015, ISBN 978-3-492-05640-3. Karl Rösch: Franz Josef Strauß. Bundestagsabgeordneter im Wahlkreis Weilheim 1949–1978, Utz, München 2014, ISBN 978-3-8316-4392-9. Wilfried Scharnagl: Mein Strauß. Staatsmann und Freund. Ars Una, Neuried 2008, ISBN 978-3-89391-860-7. Wilhelm Schlötterer: Macht und Missbrauch. Franz Josef Strauß und seine Nachfolger. Aufzeichnungen eines Ministerialbeamten. Fackelträger, Köln 2009, ISBN 978-3-7716-4434-5;(Folgeausgabe: Macht und Missbrauch. Von Strauß bis Seehofer, ein Insider packt aus. Aktualisierte Taschenbucherstausgabe, Heyne, München 2010, ISBN 978-3-453-60168-0). Walter Schöll (ed): Franz Josef Strauss. Der Mensch und der Staatsmann. Ein Porträt. Schulz, Kempfenhausen am Starnberger See 1984, ISBN 3796201520. Thomas Schuler: Strauß. Die Biografie einer Familie. Scherz, Frankfurt am Main 2006, ISBN 3-502-15026-5. Peter Siebenmorgen: Franz Josef Strauß, Ein Leben im Übermaß. Siedler, München 2015, ISBN 978-3-8275-0080-9. Franz Georg Strauß: Mein Vater. Erinnerungen. Herbig, München 2008, ISBN 978-3-7766-2573-8. Michael Stephan: Franz Josef Strauß. In: Katharina Weigand (Hrsg.): Große Gestalten der bayerischen Geschichte. Utz, München 2011, ISBN 978-3-8316-0949-9.

Primary sources[edit]

Franz Josef Strauss. The Grand Design: A European solution to German reunification. English translation: London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1965.

External links[edit]

Media related to Franz Josef Strauß at Wikimedia Commons

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Presidents of the Bundesrat (Federal Council)

Karl Arnold Hans Ehard Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf Reinhold Maier Georg August Zinn Peter Altmeier Kai-Uwe von Hassel Kurt Sieveking Willy Brandt Wilhelm Kaisen Franz-Josef Röder Franz Meyers Kurt Georg Kiesinger Georg Diederichs Helmut Lemke Klaus Schütz Herbert Weichmann Franz-Josef Röder Hans Koschnick Heinz Kühn Alfons Goppel Hans Filbinger Alfred Kubel Albert Osswald Bernhard Vogel Gerhard Stoltenberg Dietrich Stobbe Hans-Ulrich Klose Werner Zeyer Johannes Rau Franz Josef Strauss Lothar Späth Ernst Albrecht Holger Börner Walter Wallmann Björn Engholm Walter Momper Henning Voscherau Alfred Gomolka Berndt Seite Oskar Lafontaine Klaus Wedemeier Edmund Stoiber Erwin Teufel Gerhard Schröder Hans Eichel Roland Koch Kurt Biedenkopf Kurt Beck Klaus Wowereit Wolfgang Böhmer Dieter Althaus Matthias Platzeck Peter Harry Carstensen Harald Ringstorff Ole von Beust Peter Müller Jens Böhrnsen

v t e

Defence Ministers of Germany

Weimar Republic (1918–1933)

Gustav Noske Otto Gessler Wilhelm Groener Kurt von Schleicher

Nazi Germany (1933–1945)

Werner von Blomberg
Werner von Blomberg
(1933–1938)

East Germany (1949–1990)

Willi Stoph Heinz Hoffmann Heinz Kessler Theodor Hoffmann Rainer Eppelmann

Federal Republic of Germany (1949–)

Theodor Blank Franz Josef Strauss Kai-Uwe von Hassel Gerhard Schröder Helmut Schmidt Georg Leber Hans Apel Manfred Wörner Rupert Scholz Gerhard Stoltenberg Volker Rühe Rudolf Scharping Peter Struck Franz Josef Jung Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg Thomas de Maizière Ursula von der Leyen

v t e

Finance Ministers of Germany

German Empire (1871–1918)

Adolf von Scholz Franz Emil Emanuel von Burchard Karl Rudolf Jacobi Baron Helmuth von Maltzahn Arthur von Posadowsky-Wehner Max Franz Guido von Thielmann Baron Hermann von Stengel Reinhold Sydow Adolf Wermuth Hermann Kühn Karl Helfferich Siegfried von Roedern

Weimar Republic (1918–1933)

Eugen Schiffer Bernhard Dernburg Matthias Erzberger Joseph Wirth Andreas Hermes Rudolf Hilferding Hans Luther Otto von Schlieben Hans Luther Peter Reinhold Heinrich Köhler Rudolf Hilferding Paul Moldenhauer Heinrich Brüning Hermann Dietrich

Third Reich (1933–1945)

Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk

East Germany (1949–1990)

Hans Loch Willy Rumpf Siegfried Böhm Werner Schmieder Ernst Höfner Uta Nickel Walter Romberg Werner Skowron

Federal Republic of Germany (1949–)

Fritz Schäffer Franz Etzel Heinz Starke Rolf Dahlgrün Kurt Schmücker Franz Josef Strauss Alex Möller Karl Schiller Helmut Schmidt Hans Apel Hans Matthöfer Manfred Lahnstein Gerhard Stoltenberg Theo Waigel Oskar Lafontaine Hans Eichel Peer Steinbrück Wolfgang Schäuble Peter Altmaier(Acting) Olaf Scholz

v t e

Ministers-President of the Free State of Bavaria

Revolutionary period (1918–19)

Kurt Eisner Martin Segitz (acting)

Weimar period (1919–33)

Johannes Hoffmann Gustav Ritter von Kahr Graf von Lerchenfeld-Köfering Eugen von Knilling Heinrich Held

Nazi period (1933–45)

Ludwig Siebert Paul Giesler

Modern Bavaria
Bavaria
(since 1945)

Fritz Schäffer Wilhelm Hoegner Hans Ehard Wilhelm Hoegner Hanns Seidel Hans Ehard Alfons Goppel Franz Josef Strauss Max Streibl Edmund Stoiber Günther Beckstein Horst Seehofer Markus Söder

v t e

Chairmen of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria

Josef Müller (1946–49) Hans Ehard
Hans Ehard
(1949–55) Hanns Seidel
Hanns Seidel
(1955–61) Franz Josef Strauss
Franz Josef Strauss
(1961–88) Theodor Waigel
Theodor Waigel
(1988–99) Edmund Stoiber
Edmund Stoiber
(1999–07) Erwin Huber
Erwin Huber
(2007–08) Horst Seehofer
Horst Seehofer
(since 2008)

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General Secretaries of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria

Franz Josef Strauss Josef Brunner Heinz Lechmann Friedrich Zimmermann Anton Jaumann Max Streibl Gerold Tandler Edmund Stoiber Otto Wiesheu Gerold Tandler Erwin Huber Bernd Protzner Thomas Goppel Markus Söder Christine Haderthauer Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg Alexander Dobrindt Andreas Scheuer

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 110934447 LCCN: n50010949 ISNI: 0000 0001 2147 7754 GND: 118619063 SELIBR: 233415 SUDOC: 028837673 BNF: cb12059069m (data) BIBSYS: 90094297 NLA: 35528442 NKC: jn20000701

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