From Academic Kids

Heinrich Lbke (October 14, 1892 - April 6, 1972) was President of Germany from 1959 to 1969. Lbke had a very humble upbringing. He was the son of a shoemaker and farmer from the Sauerland. He was chosen by Konrad Adenauer for the largely ceremonial post of president to ensure that Adenauer's political schemes were not disturbed by too strong a personality in this position (which is nominally the highest post in the German State).

Lbke was a very bad public speaker and was frequently subject to ridicule, especially near the end of his term of office when his age started to affect his memory. He frequently forgot where he was (Lbke: "When I talk to you today in...eh... in.." Voice from the crowd shouting: "Helmstedt!" Lbke: "...eh...when I talk to you today in ... Helmstedt, then it was following my own will...", etc. etc.).

According to the most famous anecdote, in 1962 he addressed a crowd in Liberia: "Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Negroes...". This quote has never been verified, however, and is most likely an urban legend (according to the weekly newspaper Die Zeit). Various other slips are well documented, though.

Tapes from Lbke's speeches were collected by the German satirical magazine Pardon and distributed on a best-selling record. Some examples (http://www.heinrichluebke.de/)

References

  • Die Zeit: Lbke und die Neger (http://www.zeit.de/2002/14/200214_stimmts_luebke_xml) (in German)
Preceded by:
Theodor Heuss
President of Germany
1959-1969
Succeeded by:
Gustav Heinemann
de:Heinrich Lbke

fr:Heinrich Lbke ja:ハインリヒ・リュプケ nds:Heinrich Lbke pl:Heinrich Lübke sv:Heinrich Lbke

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