Best Pupil to Bavarian Premier: Franz Josef Strauß

Ever since he served as defence minister, Franz Josef Strauß divided and polarised society in the Federal Republic of Germany. Some saw him as Bavaria’s saviour and protector against aggressive Soviet Communism, others as a corrupt, scandal-ridden politician, and dangerous warmonger to boot. Stuck with this image, he stood no chance of winning the 1980 election against Helmut Schmidt. His lifelong dream was shattered, he had to be content with the office of Minister-President of Bavaria.

Best Pupil to Bavarian Premier documents the remarkable rise of the young Franz Josef, who came from a working-class Munich background but went on to become one of the most prominent politicians in post-war Germany. We are told for the first time on TV about Strauß’ childhood and youth, and about his experiences during the Nazi era, war and in the post-war period. Experiences that shaped the future politician Strauß.

On September 6, 2015, Strauß would have celebrated his 100th birthday.