Franz Josef Bach

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Person.png Franz Josef Bach   WikidataRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(diplomat, politician, businessman, deep state actor)
File:Franz Josef Bach.jpg
Born4 February 1917
Neuß, Germany
Died3 August 2001 (Age 84)
Aachen, Germany
Alma materUniversity of Virginia, Aachen Technical University
Member ofLe Cercle
Perpetrator ofLe Cercle/1982 (Wildbad Kreuth)
A leading German member of the Cercle, who organised the 1982 meeting in Wildbad Kreuth.

Employment.png Germany/Ambassador to Iran

In office
August 1964 - July 1968

Employment.png Personal assistant

In office
1959 - Present
Of Konrad Adenauer

Dr. Franz Josef Bach was a German deep state actors (or maybe deep politician?). He became a personal assistant to (and ran the office of) Konrad Adenauer, who was Chancellor of West Germany from 1949 to 1963. He was a significant figure in Le Cercle, and appears to have been involved in brokering arms deals.


In 1938 Bach studied engineering and economics. He completed his studies in 1942, and followed up in 1945 as a research assistant at the Institute of Aerodynamics Aachen Technical University (Department of Gas Dynamics). In 1947 he granted a Ph.D. in engineering after researching pressure distribution measurements on projectiles.


Bach became manager and business editor at the Aachener Volkszeitung. In 1949 he studied Political Science at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, visited the 1950-51 Diplomatic School in Speyer and entered the German Foreign Service in 1951. From 1951 to 1954 he was Secretary of Legation in Sydney and 1954-1957 Legation in Washington. In 1957 he became Director of the Cabinet Division for the Foreign Office in the Federal Chancellery. In 1959 he became the personal assistant of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

Bach was 1961-1964 Consul General in Hong Kong and from August 1964 to July 1968 as the successor of Reinhold von Ungern-Sternberg German ambassador to Iran. Franz Josef Bach was a CDU member of the Bundestag representing Aachen from 1969 to 1972.

Arms dealing

He was also a commercial and financial advisor to Siemens, which later went into business with Northrop, the General Telephone and Electronics Corporation and the Nippon Electric Company in Iran. At about the time Bach retired from the Bundestag, he went to work for the swiss-based Economic and Development Corporation (EDC), an unacknowledged lobbying group for Northrop. Bach recommended EDC's armor products to influential members of European governments, but neglected to mention that he was paid by Northrop for this. The EDC received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Northrop.

In 1972, Bach wrote a report for Andreas Froriep, a Zurich lawyer who ran the EDC. Froriep did acknowledge that he regularly relied on advise from people like Franz Josef Bach, "whose knowledge and expertise is of a unique nature".[1]

By 1975, Northop's F-17 had lost from its General Dynamics competitor who had built the F-16.

Bach was a commercial and financial adviser to Siemens,[When?] which later went into business with Northrop. He also was an advisor for the General Telephone and Electronics Corporation and the Nippon Electric Company in Iran.

Church Committee investigation

Interviewed over the phone during the 1975 Church Committee hearings about bribes that had been paid by the Northrop Corporation, Bach stated that he received no payments from Northrop or the EDC. He refused to say what countries he had worked on, but said it did not involve Germany. He "could not remember" exactly if he started to work for the corporation when he still was a member of the Bundestag. In March 1975, Bach and other senior members of EDC were invited to the headquarters of Northop. Senator Church said about the Northrop arrangement: "an intelligence network like a government would employ to get inside information, to pull the strings... the records itself show that Northrop has been doing it."

Deep political connections

By at least 2 accounts, Franz Josef Bach appears to have been of major importance in the organisation of Le Cercle.

Alan Clark wrote about the 1990 meeting of Le Cercle that "The Cercle, an Atlanticist Society of right-wing dignitaries, largely compered by Julian Amery and Herr Franz-joseph Bach, staged one or two conferences a year and this one was travelling to Oman at the hospitality of the Ruler."[2]

In his 1993 biography, Brian Crozier wrote: "In 1980, Violet, who had serious health problems, asked me to take over the Pinay Cercle. In practice, I mostly shared the burden with a leading German member of the Cercle, Franz-Josef Bach, who had run Adenauer's secretariat and later served as ambassador in Tehran.".[2]


An event carried out

Le Cercle/1982 (Wildbad Kreuth)Hanns Seidel Foundation


Events Participated in

Le Cercle/1980 (Washington)5 December 19807 December 1980US
Washington DC
Madison Hotel
Le Cercle/1982 (Wildbad Kreuth)11 June 198213 June 1982Germany
Hanns Seidel Foundation
Le Cercle/1983 (Bonn)30 June 19833 July 1983Germany
Le Cercle/1984 (Bonn)5 July 19847 July 1984Germany
Held in Bonn, West Germany, the list of the 36 visitors was published online in 2011.
Le Cercle/1984 (Capetown)12 January 198415 January 1984South Africa
4 day meeting of Le Cercle in Capetown exposed after Joel Van der Reijden discovered the attendee list for this conference and published it online in 2011
Le Cercle/1985 (Washington)7 January 198510 January 1985US
Washington DC
4 day meeting of Le Cercle in Washington exposed after Joel Van der Reijden discovered the attendee list for this conference and published it online in 2011


  1. July 27, 1975, New York Times, 'The F-16 and how it won Europe
  2. a b