Helmut Schmidt was the first federal chancellor to occupy the new Chancellery in Bonn, which was completed in 1976. With its consciously understated, matter-of-fact architecture, the Chancellery reminded Schmidt of “a savings bank in the Rhineland.” Thus, he devoted special attention to the interior decoration of his new offices: as an expression of the Federal Republic’s cultural-political and historical identity, Schmidt installed works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel, and other artists associated with classical modernism, a movement that the National Socialists had defamed as “degenerate.” As can be seen in this photograph, Schmidt also had a portrait of SPD co-founder August Bebel hung behind his desk.

Helmut Schmidt in his Office in the New Federal Chancellery (July 7, 1976)


Source: Photo: Ulrich Wienke. Bundesarchiv. B145 Bild-F048807-0026. The image is also available under an open license: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_B_145_Bild-F048807-0026,_Bonn,_Neubau_Kanzleramt,_Schmidt_im_Arbeitszimmer.jpg

© Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung