Konrad Adenauer School for Young Politicians


Leadership is of outstanding importance for successful participation in politics. It is easy to be a politician but it is difficult to be a political leader. Leadership needs special skills, above all a combination of charisma and integrity, accountability and the ability to take decisions. Political leaders play a pivotal role in political agenda setting, the distribution of resources and conceptualization and implementation of political actions.

Political leaders need a vision for their country and its people and the ability to convince their followers and citizens of their ideas and projects.

Leaders must posses the capability to communicate their ideas and projects in order to win support and votes. In public speeches, they should communicate their ideas and political proposals and with public speeches they should seek for support.

Given the importance of political leadership, in this section, we present great political leaders with relevant articles on political leadership. We have reproduced relevant articles from our own archive and from other open sources as indicated.

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel is currently Germany’s federal chancellor. Her party is the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). She got elected in 2005 and reelected in 2009. The big issues of her second legislation period are dealing with the economy crisis’ big impact on Germany and the Euro-Zone as a whole, which Merkel also declared as center stage and which is still the biggest issue. This is why she was an initiator of milestones like the Fiskalpact, the nuclear phase out until 2022, and the solution of different international conflicts, for example Libya, where Germany did not participate actively or the help for Afghanistan.

Angela Merkel was born July 17, 1954. Her father Horst Kasner was a Lutheran pastor and her mother a teacher. She was raised in the German Democratic Republic since her father took up a recto rate in a rural area in the north of Berlin. 1973 she graduated from high school with a grade point average of A+. Now she started studying physics at the University of Leipzig She suffered under the dictatorial system until the collapse of the Communism in 1989 although she got a doctor of natural sciences in 1978. Subsequently she worked as a chemist at the Academy of science (1978-1990).

Shortly after the fall of the iron curtain she joined the CDU, the Christian Democratic Union. Soon, she got appointed as Federal Minister for Women and youth (1991-1994). Until Gerhard Schröder defeating Helmut Kohl in the 1998 general election, she was the environment minister. Afterwards she got nominated as her party’s general secretary and chosen as party leader in 2000 because of a charity scandal.

In 2002 she got defeated by Gerhard Schröder in the elections, but she defeated him in 2005 by winning only because of 3 seats and after a grand coalition deal with the Social Democrats (SPD) she got declared as Germany’s first female chancellor, the first woman to lead the united Germany and the first woman to lead the modern-nation state Germany since 1871. At the beginning of her work she did not make any critical decisions. Nevertheless, the world and Germany beheld her to be a good chancellor. In 2009 she got re-elected. Since then the two leading parties are the CDU and the liberal Party (FDP).


“Nobody should believe, that there would be more peace if everybody had an atomic bomb.”

Konrad Adenauer

Konrad Adenauer was born in Cologne in 1876. After graduating from high school in 1894 he began to study laws and national economics in Fribourg. Subsequently he worked as lawyer, counsel of the prosecution and
assistant-judge. His political career began in 1905 as he joins the “Deutsche Zentrumspartei”, the catholic party of the Weimar Republic, one of the most important parties of the prewar time (World War II). His first office was deputy Major of Cologne city in 1906. 3 years later he becomes the first deputy major of the finance- personal- and nutrition department. In 1918 he even gets elected as Major of Cologne. From 1921 till 1933 Konrad Adenauer gets chosen as president of the Prussian Privy Council, which was one of the most important institutions.

In 1933 Adenauer removed the  Nazi-flags from a Bridge in Cologne and refused to receive Hitler in audience. One month later he left the city and the Nazis took his position away  . In 1934 he even got arrested but was released after 2 days. After an assassination attempt on Hitler during a meeting (Operation Valkyrie), he was imprisoned with many other oppositional politicians although he was not involved in the planning.

In 1945 he  was  appointed as the mayor of cologne by the allied occupants. He founded the Rhineland Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in 1949 and became its first chairman. The Federal Republic of Germany, which comprises the western Allied zones, was founded on 23 May 1949, and Adenauer was elected president of the convention that formulates the new constitution and is elected as Federal Chancellor (Bundeskanzler). His goal was  to firstly improve the relationships with  the Western Allies before starting talks with the Soviet Union, join the NATO, the rearmament of Germany and to ensure that all the prisoners of war are sent back to Germany, which happened in 1955.

Due to him Germany got partial sovereignty in 1955 as he declares the end of the “Besatzungszeit” (“period of occupation”).

In 1961 he censures the East-Allied occupants for building the Berlin Wall, which means a separation between East- and West Germany (currently comparable to Korea). Konrad Adenauer abdicates as federal chancellor after a legislative period of 14 years at the age of 87. His successor is Ludwig Erhard, who had been the
Republic’s economy minister for many years and developed the idea of a social-market-economy.

In 1967 he dies near Bonn and was honored at Cologne Cathedral with a state funeral.

Famous quotes:

“What you're seeing and hearing at the moment is undoubtedly putting your basic democratic feelings to a hard test.”

“The art of politics consists in knowing precisely when it is necessary to hit an opponent slightly below the belt.”


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