IKurt Bidenkopf had another big appearance in April this year, albeit on a smaller scale. The University of Leipzig awarded him an honorary doctorate for his life’s work, a lawyer, professor and politician. “During his time as Prime Minister of the Free State of Saxony, he never forgot to stand up for university issues,” said Rector Beit Schuking in his commendable speech. Due to the pandemic, Biedenkopf accepted the award without a direct audience at the Dresden State Chancellery – the place where he had served for twelve years as the first head of government since the re-establishment of the state of Saxony in 1990. At that point, Bidenkopf’s political career was virtually over.
Following a sharp rise in his debut as a member of the Bundestag and as general secretary of the CDU under Helmut Kohl – an office he resigned in 1977 over a dispute with the CDU president – Bidenkopf became president of the CDU regional union Westphalia-Lippe and its After a merger with the regional union Rhineland in 1986, the head of the CDU in North Rhine-Westphalia. However, he did not succeed in uniting the rival union unions, so that a year later Kohl installed Norbert Blum as party leader. Bidenkopf resigned from his state parliament mandate and withdrew from daily politics.
the reputation of an unconventional mind preceded him
From then on he again worked as a lawyer, but repeatedly intervened in social debates. The excessive consumption of resources in industrialized countries, the aging of society and the lack of stability of the statutory pension system prompted them, alas, to find no peace. With courage, Bidenkopf took the fray against a particularly outspoken mentality of upholding the rights inherent in Germany, warning of the collapse of pay-as-you-go pensions and, for decades, calling for a system of this. fundamental improvement.
In a shrinking society, older comrades would have to actively take care of themselves and could not rely only on declining young people and statutory pensions, to their credit. The then president of the German Stage Association, August Everding, wrote in a commemorative publication on Bidenkopf’s 60th birthday in 1990, “With Bidenkopf I have always felt that our stupidity excites him beyond measure.”
Even at a young age, Bidenkopf had a reputation for being an unconventional chief. From 1949 he studied politics in the United States and then law and economics in Munich and Frankfurt. He earned a doctorate in economics, completed his residency in commercial, economic and labor law, and was appointed in 1967 at the Ruhr University of Bochum as the youngest rector in what was then West Germany. He came into close contact with politics in 1968 when the Bundestag appointed him to head a commission to shape employee participation in private companies. In the early seventies, Biedenkopf again went under the management of the Henkel Group.
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