Heinemann, Gustav go͝os´täf hīn´əmän [key], 1899–1976, West German political leader. A corporation lawyer and wartime leader of the Confessing Church , he helped found the Christian Democratic party, although he quit its first cabinet to establish a splinter party advocating a unified, disarmed, and neutral Germany. In 1957 he joined the Social Democrats. As minister of justice (1966–69) in Kurt Georg Kiesinger's coalition cabinet, Heinemann instituted many legal reforms. He served from 1969 to 1974 as president of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: German History: Biographies