Walter Hallstein

Peter Walter Hallstein ( born November 17, 1901 in Mainz, † March 29, 1982 in Stuttgart ) was a German jurist, professor and politician ( CDU). The former Secretary of State at the Foreign Office in 1958, the first chairman of the Commission of the European Economic Community.

Life and work

Childhood, youth and war years

In Mainz, the son of a government Commissioner of City Planning, Hallstein attended the grammar Rabanus Maurus Gymnasium. After graduation he studied law and political science in Bonn, Munich and Berlin. In 1925 he became an assistant to Martin Wolff and in the same year with a legal dissertation on " life insurance policy in the Treaty of Versailles " doctorate at the University of Berlin. In 1927, he worked as an advisor at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. 1929 was followed by the habilitation with a thesis on the law and share the work as a lecturer at the Berlin University. From 1930 to 1941, Hallstein was a full professor for private and corporate law at the University of Rostock. He was a member of the National Socialist German Jurists, the National Socialist People's Welfare, the Nazi air raid Federal Government and the Federal NSD. In 1941, he was Professor of Comparative Law, Corporate and International Business Law at the University of Frankfurt. A member of the NSDAP or the SA Hallstein was not. Even as a professor in Rostock, he had the reputation, no friend of the Nazi regime. When he should be a professor at the University of Frankfurt am Main, however, there was a result of past incidents opposition from the Nazi Party. The scientific management of the university has nevertheless enforced its setting. However, its personnel policy was not acceptable to the regime.

In 1942 he was called up as a reserve officer for the Wehrmacht and served in the artillery regiment in 1709 ( 709th Infantry Division ) in northern France. In July 1944 he came during the Battle of Cherbourg in U.S. captivity. In the POW camp Camp Como in the U.S. state of Mississippi Hallstein worked on setting up a camp university for further education.

In November 1945, he returned from captivity, and sat down immediately for the reopening of the University of Frankfurt a. Hallstein was not only on February 1, 1946 a lecturer at the university reopened, but in April 1946 their first freely elected post-war rector. He held until 1948 this office. In addition, Hallstein was chairman of the South German Rectors' Conference and head of the founding committee of the School of Political Science in Frankfurt am Main. One day before he took office at the Frankfurt University, he declined the offer of Ludwig Erhard, to take a senior post in the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs.

1948 Hallstein received the offer of a visiting professor at Georgetown University in Washington, DC

Federal Republic of Germany

With his return to Germany Hallstein began to engage intensively for the integration of the Federal Republic of Germany in international organizations and Western states. In January 1950, he founded in Bad Soden an organization that was working specifically on the admission of the Federal Republic of Germany to UNESCO. On June 4 of the same year was first negotiated in Paris by the West German UNESCO membership. In the controversial debate, in which the Eastern Bloc deputies left the hall, Hallstein was the leader of the West German delegation. A few weeks later Hallstein of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer as Head of the German delegation at the Paris Conference for the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community ( ECSC) was appointed. In particular, the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs, criticized this decision because it was not thought Hallstein as lawyers to be competent for the economic policy negotiations. Hallstein was yet to close associates of Adenauer and his foreign policies with much. On August 28, 1950 Adenauer Hallstein appointed State Secretary in the Federal Chancellery. Hallstein was the only owner of this function, although initially had been planned at the chancellery two Secretaries of State.

The end of 1950 began discussions about in September approved by the Western Powers Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During this time the FDP Hallstein tried to move the party candidate, presumably with the aim of then to make him the German Foreign Minister. The Secretary of State refused a political commitment from but. Finally, it was established in 1951 under Adenauer, who himself had taken over the office of the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, State Secretary of the Foreign Office. He held until 1958 this function. Because of his numerous duties as Secretary of State and Head of various negotiating teams ( in addition to the preparation of the ECSC, the European Defence Community [ Electronic] and reparation with Israel) was Hallstein repeatedly criticized at this time, because he could not cope satisfactorily these diverse tasks alone.

On October 19, 1954 Hallstein took part in the first German - French Conference in Paris with Chancellor Adenauer ( CDU). The Hallstein Doctrine, which determined the strategy of German foreign policy in the late 1950s and early 1960s, was indeed from 1954 largely elaborated by Hallstein, but on 23 September 1955 by Wilhelm Grewe, Director of the Political Department of the Foreign Office, formulated. Hallstein himself took part in the 1955 Messina Conference, presented the course for the economic integration of the European countries. The end of 1957 came into force of the Treaty, codifying the results of the conference, Hallstein designed largely with.

Europe since 1958

Hallstein was elected at a foreign ministers' conference in Paris on January 7, 1958 President of the first Commission of the EEC incurred. In the same year he was mainly of British and Scandinavian side criticized because he was one of the most outspoken opponents of the ultimately unsuccessful plans for a European free trade zone with many members and, in contrast to an economically and politically highly integrated, but small group European countries continued. The end of 1959 he published the Hallstein plan, which provided for a stronger common market of the EEC countries, while liberalization of foreign trade. In the following years there were negotiations on this project, which was implemented in early 1962 after tough discussions mainly on agricultural policy.

Under pressure from France Hallstein announced in 1967, not wanting to run for a new term of office. He was then 1968-1974 President of the International European Movement (EMI). From 1969 to 1972, Hallstein was as MP for the constituency of Neuwied - old churches Member of the German Bundestag ( CDU). The new Ostpolitik of Chancellor Willy Brandt interpreted Hallstein as isolationist resurgence of national aspirations. Herbert Wehner (SPD ) called Hallstein then as " retired Europeans."

Hallstein died on 29 March 1982 with the family friend knight in Stuttgart and was buried in the Woodland Cemetery Stuttgart.



Every year, give the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, the city of Frankfurt am Main and Dresdner Bank to Walter Hallstein Prize to an individual who has made outstanding contribution to the European integration.

In 1997, the Walter Hallstein Institute for European Constitutional Law was founded at the Humboldt University in Berlin, conducted by the directors Ingolf Pernice and Michael Kloepfer.


  • The unfinished state. European experiences and insights. Econ, Dusseldorf, Vienna 1969, ISBN 3-430-13897-3.
  • The European Community. Econ, Dusseldorf, Vienna, 1973, ISBN 3-430-13898-1.
  • European speeches. DVA, Stuttgart 1979, ISBN 3-421-01894-4.