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Special Features: Names, Places, Happenings
Click to enlarge photos: Konrad Adenauer Jr.; Chancellor Konrad Adenauer; Villa Rhöndorf in Germany; Villa Colina, Lake Como / Italy


Konrad Adenauer Jr.
Grandson of the legendary chancellor

The hotel Villa d'Este is not the only splendid villa on the banks of Lake Como. Gianni Versace and Gianni Agnelli had their holiday home right next to the hotel, as do Gianfranco Ferre and Harriett Selling. Rossini and Verdi found inspiration on these romantic shores, Churchill stopped off in Cernobbio, Kennedy stayed in Bellagio and Konrad Adenauer played bowls in Cadenabbia.

The former Chancellor of the then West Germany used to enjoy escaping to his “Villa Colina” on the eastern bank of Lake Como. But how does a statesman spend a holiday? Surrounded by the Italian police, paparazzi and hoards of journalists from the big news agencies, privacy is limited. A new page has turned in European history, based on Adenauer's idea of a unified Europe . And is was here in Cadenabbia that the Chancellor used to come on holiday. After a carabiniere taught him the rules of bowls, Konrad Adenauer became extremely keen and used to play the game with his friends.

Konrad Adenauer felt at home at Lake Como, although his home was actually at Rhondorf near Bonn. Did you know that you can actually visit his home there? We have come here to get to know a bit more about the first Federal Chancellor of Germany .....

His German home tells us a lot about the famous statesman who would have been over 120 if he were still alive today. From a good middle-class background, modest and very religious. Adenauer lived high above Rhondorf where he pursued his interest in painting and art. However, his main passions were politics and his family - today heirs of a tremendous past.

Konrad Adenauer Jr:
I played in this garden as a child with sister and other children from the neighbourhood. In the old days sheep, goats and chickens also ran around here and this meant that, even in post-war tim es there was always enough to eat. And when it was very hot, we bathed here in tubs on the lower terrace without our swimming suits which often caused the neighbours to make a fuss.

Do you remember your grandfather?

Konrad Adenauer Jr:
Yes, very well. I was 22 when he died and I was also his godson. I also lived in his house for the first three and a half years of my life when I was in Rhondorf. Nothing has changed. The rooms are exactly as they were when we was alive and include information on his life and achievements, as well as special exhibitions. There have also been various books containing his letters as well as others with the “tea- time chats” he regularly had with journalists.  

Born in Cologne , Konrad Adenauer Jr. is the grandson of the legendary chancellor. He has learned how to deal with the heavy responsibility of his name as well as how to benefit from its advantages. In his library there are first editions and old history books, but it is the almost comprehensive collection of letters and documents about his grandfather that mainly adorn the shelves.

Konrad Adenauer Jr:
Let me show you something here..... from our family album....We were always at his birthday celebrations in Schaumburg Palace . Here you can see my brother and sisters, and cousins. And here are his medals - they are all on exhibition in Rhondorfer house... there are over 50 of them! This is at the “Bundestag” the day he retired on 15 October 1963 . I was also up front on the rostrum and was naturally impressed at the time.

Konrad Adenauer Jr. collects books and modern art. And naturally paintings and drawings of the first German Federal Chancellor who was already 73 when we took over as the head of a country in ruins. As we leave, an extract from one of Konrad Adenauer's speeches occurs to us:

“I hope that later, when people are able to see beyond the dust of the present, they will be able to say of me that I did my duty”.



* This special feature "Konrad Adenauer" has been one of more than 200 VIP-Portraits, produced by Nathalie Gütermann for her TV-Shows 'Nathalie's Lifestyle' and 'Nathalie's Art of Living' that were broadcasted between 1990 - 2003 in Germany and in 15 countries world-wide. The content has been updated with actual information in 2004 for © 1990 - 2004. The reproduction or other use of any text, photographs, etc. needs the prior written permission of the Chief Publisher.

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