Historic Figures in Modern German History

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Theodor Blank

Theodor Anton Blank (19 September 1905 – 14 May 1972) was a German politician of the CDU. He was one of the founders of the CDU in 1945.

Blank was born in Elz an der Lahn. He was the third of ten children of a carpenter. His family was Roman Catholic. Blank received an apprenticeship as a carpenter. In 1930–33, he worked as a secretary at the Association of Christian transport- and factory employees of the northern and northwestern Ruhr Area. After he was dismissed in 1933, Blank passed his Abitur in 1936 and studied mathematics at the University of Münster and engineering sciences at the University of Hanover. In 1939, he was conscripted to the Wehrmacht and became a first lieutenant at the end of World War II.

From 1949 to 1972, he was a member of the German Bundestag, in which he served from 1965 to 1969 as deputy chief of CDU/CSU-Bundestagsfraktion.

From 1950 to 1955, he served as Special Representative of the Chancellor, leading the “Amt Blank” (Blank Agency), officially responsible for affairs relating to the Allied occupying troops, but in reality mainly charged by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer with covertly preparing the re-establishment of the German armed forces. In 1954, opponents of the rearmament prevented him from speaking to public assemblies by yelling and shouting, and lightly wounded him in one instance. After the rearmament was official, he served as the first postwar Defence Minister of Germany from 1955 to 1956 and as Minister of Labour and Social Affairs from 1957 to 1965.

Blank died in Bonn.


German Military History with a focus on World War 2 History including other areas of German History