Alois Mertes
Mertes in 1983
Member of the Bundestag
In office
Minister of State at the Foreign Office
In office
Personal details
Born(1921-10-29)October 29, 1921
Gerolstein, Rhineland-Palatinate
DiedJune 16, 1985(1985-06-16) (aged 63)
Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia
Political partyCDU
AwardsOrder of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany[1] – Commander's Cross

Alois Mertes (October 29, 1921 – June 16, 1985) was a German diplomat, politician and Minister of State at the Foreign Office from 1982 until his death. He was a member of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) from 1961 until his death.


After graduating from the Regino Gymnasium in Prüm in 1940, Mertes took part in World War II as a soldier. After his release from captivity, Mertes studied law, history and Romance languages and literature at the universities of Bonn and Paris. In 1948, he graduated with a state examination in history and French and received his doctorate in 1951 from the University of Bonn with a thesis entitled France's Opinion on the German Revolution in 1848.

In 1952 Mertes entered the diplomatic service of the Federal Republic of Germany, for which he worked at the Consulate General in Marseille and at the embassies in Paris (1958–1963) and Moscow (1963–1966).[2] He completed a study visit in 1968/69 at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, directed by Henry Kissinger, with the study Reflections on Détente: Russia, Germany, and the West.[3] After his return to Bonn, he took over the Department of European Security and Regional Disarmament at the Federal Foreign Office.

From 1969 to 1971, he was chairman of the Catholic League of New Germany.[4]

From 1969 to 1972 he held a lectureship in political science at the University of Cologne.

In 1972, Mertes was state secretary and plenipotentiary of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate to the Federal Government.

From 1972 until his death, he was a member of the German Bundestag. Here he was chairman of the foreign policy working group of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group from 1980 to 1982. On October 4, 1982, he was appointed Minister of State at the Foreign Office in the federal government led by Chancellor Helmut Kohl.[5]

Alois Mertes always entered the Bundestag as a directly elected member of parliament for the constituency of Bitburg.

Alois Mertes was married to Hiltrud Mertes née Becker since 1951. The marriage produced five children, including Michael Mertes and the Jesuit Klaus Mertes.

Mertes died 4 days after suffering a severe stroke during a panel discussion.[6][7]

In a series of eight "Alois Mertes Memorial Lectures" (1991–1999), the German Historical Institute in Washington had Mertes's many conceptual contributions to German foreign and security policy honored by renowned scholars of history, politics, and the humanities.

Publications (selection)


  1. ^ "EHRUNGEN". Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  2. ^ "Alois Mertes WÜRDIGUNG EINES CHRISTLICHEN DEMOKRATEN". Hanns Jürgen Küsters. p. 43. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  3. ^ Mertes, Alois (1994). Alois Mertes, der Primat des Politischen : Reden und Aufsätze. Düsseldorf: Droste. pp. 1–61. ISBN 3770018729.
  4. ^ Biographisches Handbuch der Mitglieder des Deutschen Bundestages : 1949–2002 / 1 A – M. München: Saur. 2002. p. 558. ISBN 978-3-598-23780-5.
  5. ^ Jenninger, Phillipp (1986). Alois Mertes zur Erinnerung Ansprachen u. Nachrufe. Kevelaer: Verlag Butzon & Bercker. ISBN 3766694987.
  6. ^ "Alois Mertes Is Dead at 63; Bonn Foreign Ministry Aide (Published 1985)". The New York Times. New York Times. June 18, 1985. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  7. ^ Schneider, Georg (October 28, 1921). "Alois Mertes". Geschichte der CDU (in German).