Huyn Affair

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Event.png Huyn Affair  Rdf-icon.png
PerpetratorsHans Graf Huyn

The Huyn Affair surrounds the diplomat Hans Graf Huyn whose indiscretion significantly harmed the Cabinet formation of the second government of Ludwig Erhard. The case "occupied the public and Parliament".[1]


The Huyn affair centered on his remarks against the MPs Karl Theodor Freiherr zu Guttenberg (CSU) and Foreign Minister Gerhard Schröder (CDU). Huyn explained his behavior as a crisis of conscience. "He did not inform the CSU, but for reasons of conscience a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and indeed for the sole purpose, the German government, Chancellor Erhard (...) to inform." Journalists suspected, however, that Guttenberg and Huyn who were friends, would get Schroeder dismissed as foreign minister.[2]


Excusing his behaviour as an act of conscience, Huyn escaped a disciplinary procedure and was discharged from the Foreign Service at his own request on 28 October. He cited concerns that he regarded "the declared direction of the government policy and especially the Franco-German agreement runs counter to policy of the Foreign Office."

His timely appointment as personal assistant to Franz Josef Strauss and the Bonn National Association of the CSU caused widespread incomprehension. The magaine Die Zeit saw it as an "affront to the Federal Foreign Minister - and also against the Chancellor."[2] Strauss became "after the affair Huyn for Schröder and the Atlantic wing of the CDU a persona non grata".[citation needed]


Franz Josef Strauss attempted to minimise Huyn's indisrection. Martin Schaad interpreted the affair in a 2001 publication of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation as a campaign against the re-appointment of Foreign Minister Gerhard Schroeder and suspected a "staged contribution to contribute to the internal dispute between so-called Atlanticists and Gaullists".[3]

  1. Karl Dietrich Bracher: Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1980, p. 183
  2. a b Robert Strobel: Immer wieder die CSU, In: DIE ZEIT, 19. November 1965 Nr. 47Robert Strobel: Immer wieder die CSU, In: DIE ZEIT, 19. November 1965 Nr. 47
  3. HPM Heft 8/2001, pp. 95–111