IIn April of this year, Kurt Bedenkopf made another big appearance, albeit on a small scale. Lawyer, professor and politician, the University of Leipzig awarded him an honorary doctorate for his lifelong work. “During his time as Prime Minister of the Free State of Saxony, he never forgot to advocate for the University’s causes,” said university president Pete Schocking in her speech of praise. Because of the pandemic, Biedenkopf accepted the award without a live audience at the Dresden State Chancellery – the place where he served for twelve years as the first head of government after the re-establishment of Saxony in 1990. By that time, Biedenkopf’s political career was already over.
After his initial steep rise as a member of the Bundestag and General Secretary of the CDU under Helmut Kohl – an office that resigned in 1977 in a dispute with the CDU president – Bidenkopf became president of the CDU Westphalia-Liby and subsequently merged with the Rhineland regional union in 1986 Head of the CDU in North Rhine-Westphalia. However, he was unsuccessful in uniting the rival unions, so that a year later Cole installed Norbert Blum as party leader. Bednikov resigned from the mandate of the state parliament and withdrew from everyday politics.
It was preceded by the reputation of the unconventional mind
Since then, he has worked as a lawyer again, but has repeatedly intervened in social discussions. The massive consumption of resources in industrialized countries, the aging of society and the unsustainability of the legal pension system, pushed him, yes, to leave him without peace. Lively, Bidenkopf took to the field against what he believed to be an especially strong mindset to preserve acquired rights in Germany, warned early on about the collapse of the pay-as-you-go pension, and for decades advocated fundamental reform of this system.
In a shrinking society, the older cohorts had to actively take care of themselves and could not simply rely on the declining youth and the statutory pension, was his dogma. “With Biedenkopf I always have the impression that our stupidity excites him greatly,” wrote the then-president of the German Theater Association, August Everding, in a commemorative post on Biedenkopf’s 60th birthday in 1990.
Even at a young age, Biedenkopf was known for being an unconventional boss. From 1949 he studied politics in the United States and then law and economics in Munich and Frankfurt. He received his Ph.D. in economics, completed his qualification in commercial, economic and labor law, and was appointed to the Ruhr University Bochum in 1967 as the youngest dean in West Germany at the time. He was in close contact with politics when the Bundestag appointed him Chairman of the Committee for the Formation of Employee Participation in Private Companies in 1968. At the beginning of the 1970s, Bidenkopf then moved to the management of the Henkel Group.
“Alcohol buff. Troublemaker. Introvert. Student. Social media lover. Web ninja. Bacon fan. Reader.”