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Lübke, Heinrich

Karl Heinrich Lübke

b. 14 Oct 1894, Enkhausen, Westphalia, German Reich
d. 6 Apr 1972, Bonn, West Germany

Title: Bundespräsident (Federal President)
Term: 13 Sep 1959 - 12 Sep 1964
Chronology: 1 Jul 1959, elected, session of the Bundesversammlung (Federal Assembly), Ostpreußenhalle, West Berlin [1]
  13 Sep 1959, commencement of term [2]
  15 Sep 1959, took an oath of office as Federal President, joint session of the Bundestag and Bundesrat, Bonn [3][4]
Term: 13 Sep 1964 - 30 Jun 1969
Chronology: 1 Jul 1964, elected, session of the Bundesversammlung (Federal Assembly), Ostpreußenhalle, West Berlin [5]
  14 Oct 1968, announced his intention to offer his resignation to become effective 30 Jun 1969, public reception, Bonn [6]
  6 Jun 1969, a formal note sent to the presidents of the Bundestag and Bundesrat and to the Federal Chancellor, confirming the announced resignation to be effective 30 Jun 1969 [7]
  30 Jun 1969, resignation takes effect [8]
Biography:
Son of a shoemaker who died when he was seven; attended Gymnasium Petrinum in Brilon (1913); studied agricultural economy at a Bonn college; as a student, he became a volunteer in the German army (1914-1918) and served during World War I; continued his education in Berlin and Münster, graduating as agricultural engineer in 1921; held a number of executive positions in German farmer associations in the 1930s; was one of the founders of the German Farmer Association (Deutsche Bauernschaft) and served as its director (1926-1933); as a member of the Catholic Centre Party (Zentrum), he was elected to the Prussian Landtag (1932-1933); after the Nazi party came to power, he was dismissed from all posts and faced charges on corruption, which were never proved; spent more than 20 months in pretrial incarceration (1933-1935); in the pre-war years and during World War II, he was involved in construction and housing business; joined the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (Christlich Demokratische Union, CDU) in 1945 and became a member of the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia (1946-1952); was appointed minister for food, agriculture and forests in the government of North Rhine-Westphalia (1947-1952); elected to the Bundestag (1949-1950, 1953-1959), he briefly chaired parliamentary committee for agriculture; appointed federal minister for food, agriculture and forests (20 Oct 1953 - 12 Sep 1959); was supported by Konrad Adenauer as a candidate at the elections of Federal President and elected by the 3rd Bundesversammlung (Federal Assembly) in 1959; tried to give more political weight to the office by participating in legislative process and by supporting the initiatives to help the "third world" countries; re-elected by the 4th Bundesversammlung in 1964; by the end of his second term, he became a target of criticism in East Germany for his cooperation with the Nazi regime in construction of military objects during the war; had to provide explanations in an address that was broadcast in 1968; as his health seriously deteriorated, he announced his intention to resign at a public reception on the occasion of his 74th birthday (14 Oct 1968); formally notified the presidents of the Bundestag and Bundesrat as well as Federal Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger that he "resigns from the office of Federal President as of the end of June 30, 1969".
Biographical sources: "Heinrich Lübke. Eine politische Biographie", by Rudolf Morsey (Paderborn: Schöningh, 1996); "Die Bundespräsidenten: Biographien eines Amtes", by Günther Scholz (Heidelberg: Decker & Müller, 1990).
Elections:

Candidate (party) 1st vote (1 Jul 1959) 2nd vote (1 Jul 1959)
Heinrich Lübke (CDU/CSU) 517 526
Carlo Schmid (SPD) 385 386
Max Becker (FDP) 104 99
abstentions 25 22
invalid 0 0
total votes cast 1,031 1,033
total votes/absolute majority: 1,038/520 1,038/520

Candidate (party) Vote (1 Jul 1964)
Heinrich Lübke (CDU/CSU) 710
Ewald Bucher (FDP) 123
abstentions 187
invalid 4
total votes cast 1,024
total votes/absolute majority: 1,042/522
Source of electoral results: Verhandlungen des Deutschen Bundestages, 3. Wahlperiode, Bd. 44, S. 1-7; Verhandlungen des Deutschen Bundestages, 4. Wahlperiode, Bd. 56, S. 6 vor S. 6663.

[1] Verhandlungen des Deutschen Bundestages, 3. Wahlperiode, Bd. 44, S. 1-7.
[2]  
[3] Verhandlungen des Deutschen Bundestages, 3. Wahlperiode, Bd. 44, S. 4371ff.
[4] Swearing-in ceremony was postponed to hold it on the same day when the 10th anniversary of appointment of the first Federal Chancellor was observed (15 Sep 1959).
[5] Verhandlungen des Deutschen Bundestages, 4. Wahlperiode, Bd. 56, S. 1-8 vor S. 6663.
[6] "Heinrich Lübke. Eine politische Biographie", op. cit., 566-567.
[7] "Heinrich Lübke. Eine politische Biographie", op. cit., 578: "Daraufhin setzte Lübke am 6. Juni 1969, unter ausdrücklicher Bezugnahme auf seine Erklärung vom 14. Oktober 1968, den Präsidenten des Bundestages und den des Bundesrats, Herbert Weichmann (SPD, Hamburg), sowie nachrichtlich Bundeskanzler Kiesinger davon »in Kenntnis«, daß er »mit Ablauf des 30. Juni 1969 vom Amt des Bundespräsidenten zurücktrete«."
[8] It might be presumed from the text of the note of 6 Jun 1969 that the term of Lübke ended at 24:00 30 Jun 1969 (»mit Ablauf des 30. Juni 1969...«)

This page was last updated on: 01 May 2010 03:24:45

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