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Willy Brandt
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F057884-0009, Willy Brandt.jpg

Willy Brandt in 1980


In office
22 October 1969 – 7 May 1974
President Gustav Heinemann
Vice Chancellor Walter Scheel
Preceded by Kurt Georg Kiesinger
Succeeded by Helmut Schmidt

In office
16 February 1964 – 14 June 1987
National Secretary Hans-Jürgen Wischnewski
Holger Börner
Egon Bahr
Peter Glotz
Preceded by Erich Ollenhauer
Succeeded by Hans-Jochen Vogel

In office
1 December 1966 – 20 October 1969
Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger
Preceded by Hans-Christoph Seebohm
Succeeded by Walter Scheel

In office
1 December 1966 – 20 October 1969
Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger
Preceded by Gerhard Schröder
Succeeded by Walter Scheel

In office
3 October 1957 – 1 December 1966
Preceded by Otto Suhr
Succeeded by Heinrich Albertz

In office
1 November 1957 – 31 October 1958
Preceded by Kurt Sieveking
Succeeded by Wilhelm Kaisen

In office
11 January 1955 – 2 October 1957
Preceded by Otto Suhr
Succeeded by Template:Ill

Born 18 December 1913(1913-12-18)
Lübeck, German Empire
Died 8 October 1992 (aged 78)
Unkel, Germany
Political party Social Democratic Party (1930–1931, 1948–1992)
Socialist Workers’ Party (1931–1946)
Spouse Carlotta Thorkildsen (1941–1948)
Rut Hansen (1948–1980)
Template:Ill (1983–1992)
Children 4, including Matthias
Signature Willy Brandt signature

Willy Brandt (German: [bʁant]; born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm; 18 December 1913 – 8 October 1992) was a German statesman who was leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1964 to 1987 and served as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1969 to 1974. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971 for his efforts to strengthen cooperation in western Europe through the EEC and to achieve reconciliation between West Germany and the countries of Eastern Europe.[1] He was the first Social Democrat chancellor[2] since 1930.

Fleeing to Norway and then Sweden during the Nazi regime and working as a left-wing journalist, he took the name Willy Brandt as a pseudonym to avoid detection by Nazi agents, and then formally adopted the name in 1948. Brandt was originally considered one of the leaders of the right wing of the SPD, and earned initial fame as Governing Mayor of West Berlin. He served as Foreign Minister and as Vice Chancellor in Kurt Georg Kiesinger's cabinet, and became chancellor in 1969. As chancellor, he maintained West Germany's close alignment with the United States and focused on strengthening European integration in western Europe, while launching the new policy of Ostpolitik aimed at improving relations with Eastern Europe. Brandt was controversial on both the right wing, for his Ostpolitik, and on the left wing, for his support of American policies, including the Vietnam War, and right-wing authoritarian regimes. The Brandt Report became a recognised measure for describing the general North-South divide in world economics and politics between an affluent North and a poor South. Brandt was also known for his fierce anti-communist policies at the domestic level, culminating in the Radikalenerlass (Anti-Radical Decree) in 1972.

Brandt resigned as chancellor in 1974, after Günter Guillaume, one of his closest aides, was exposed as an agent of the Stasi, the East German secret service.

Early life and the Second World War Edit

Willy Brandt was born Herbert Ernst Carl Frahm in the Free City of Lübeck (German Empire) on 18 December 1913.[3] His mother was Martha Frahm (16 March 1894 – 3 August 1969)Template:Cn a single parent, who worked as a cashier for a department store. His father was an accountant from Hamburg named John Heinrich Möller (1887–1958)[4] whom Brandt never met. As his mother worked six days a week, he was mainly brought up by his mother's stepfather, Ludwig Frahm (1875–1935), and his second wife, Dora.[citation needed]

After passing his Abitur in 1932 at Johanneum zu Lübeck, he became an apprentice at the shipbroker and ship's agent F. H. Bertling. He joined the "Socialist Youth" in 1929 and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in 1930. He left the SPD to join the more left wing Socialist Workers Party (SAP), which was allied to the POUM in Spain and the Independent Labour Party in Britain. In 1933, using his connections with the port and its ships, he left Germany for Norway to escape Nazi persecution. It was at this time that he adopted the pseudonym Willy Brandt to avoid detection by Nazi agents. In 1934, he took part in the founding of the International Bureau of Revolutionary Youth Organizations, and was elected to its Secretariat.[citation needed]

Brandt was in Germany from September to December 1936, disguised as a Norwegian student named Gunnar Gaasland. The real Gunnar Gaasland was married to Gertrud Meyer from Lübeck in a marriage of convenience to protect her from deportation. Meyer had joined Brandt in Norway in July 1933. In 1937, during the Civil War, Brandt worked in Spain as a journalist. In 1938, the German government revoked his citizenship, so he applied for Norwegian citizenship. In 1940, he was arrested in Norway by occupying German forces, but was not identified as he wore a Norwegian uniform. On his release, he escaped to neutral Sweden. In August 1940, he became a Norwegian citizen, receiving his passport from the Norwegian legation in Stockholm, where he lived until the end of the war. Willy Brandt lectured in Sweden on 1 December 1940 at Bommersvik College about problems experienced by the social democrats in Nazi Germany and the occupied countries at the start of the Second World War. In exile in Norway and Sweden Brandt learned Norwegian and Swedish. Brandt spoke Norwegian fluently, and retained a close relationship with Norway.[citation needed]

In late 1946, Brandt returned to Berlin, working for the Norwegian government. In 1948, he joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and became a German citizen again, formally adopting the pseudonym Willy Brandt as his legal name.

ReferencesEdit