Heinrich Brüning

Heinrich Brüning

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Heinrich Brüning (26 November 1885 – 30 March 1970) was Chancellor of Germany from 1930 to 1932, during the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

. He was the longest serving Chancellor of the Weimar Republic, and remains a controversial figure in German politics.

During much of Brüning's tenure, he based his administration on presidential emergency decree
Decree
A decree is a rule of law issued by a head of state , according to certain procedures . It has the force of law...

 ("Notverordnung"). Brüning coined the term "authoritative (or authoritarian) democracy" to describe this form of government based on the cooperation of the president and toleration of the parliament.

Early life


Born in Münster
Münster
Münster is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the northern part of the state and is considered to be the cultural centre of the Westphalia region. It is also capital of the local government region Münsterland...

 in Westphalia
Province of Westphalia
The Province of Westphalia was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia from 1815 to 1946.-History:Napoleon Bonaparte founded the Kingdom of Westphalia, which was a client state of the First French Empire from 1807 to 1813...

, Brüning lost his father when he was one year old and thus his elder brother Hermann Joseph played a major part in his upbringing. Although raised a devout Catholic, Brüning was also influenced by Lutheranism
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

's concept of duty, since the Münster region was home to both Catholics, who formed a majority (especially in the western part) and some Prussian-influenced Protestants.

After graduating from Gymnasium Paulinum
Gymnasium Paulinum
Gymnasium Paulinum is a Gymnasium school in Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It was founded in around 797 and is claimed to be the oldest school in Germany.-Early history:...

 he first tended towards the legal profession, but then studied Philosophy, History, German and Political Science at Strasbourg
University of Strasbourg
The University of Strasbourg in Strasbourg, Alsace, France, is the largest university in France, with about 43,000 students and over 4,000 researchers....

, the London School of Economics
London School of Economics
The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

 and Bonn
University of Bonn
The University of Bonn is a public research university located in Bonn, Germany. Founded in its present form in 1818, as the linear successor of earlier academic institutions, the University of Bonn is today one of the leading universities in Germany. The University of Bonn offers a large number...

, where he achieved his doctorate in national economy. One of his professors at Strasbourg, who had a major influence on Brüning was the historian Friedrich Meinecke
Friedrich Meinecke
Friedrich Meinecke was a liberal German historian, probably the most famous German historian of his generation. As a representative of an older tradition still writing after World War II, he was an important figure to the end of his life.-Life:Meinecke was born in Salzwedel in the Province of Saxony...

.

After receiving his doctorate in 1915, he volunteered for the infantry. He served in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 from 1915 to 1918 as a lieutenant in the infantry regiment No. 30, "Werder Graf", rising to company commander by the end of the war, and earned an Iron Cross
Iron Cross
The Iron Cross is a cross symbol typically in black with a white or silver outline that originated after 1219 when the Kingdom of Jerusalem granted the Teutonic Order the right to combine the Teutonic Black Cross placed above a silver Cross of Jerusalem....

 second and first class.

He did not approve of the German Revolution of 1918–1919, which saw the establishment of the Weimar government, and in its aftermath he decided not to pursue his academic career further, but preferred helping those who had fallen into trouble. He collaborated with the social reformer Carl Sonnenschein
Carl Sonnenschein
Carl Sonnenschein was a German writer, the founder of the Catholic student movement in Germany.He was born in Düsseldorf and died in Berlin....

 and worked in the "Secretariat for social student work", helping demobilised soldiers to study and work. After six months he entered the Prussian welfare department and became a close associate of the minister Adam Stegerwald
Adam Stegerwald
Adam Stegerwald was a German Catholic politician and a leader of the left wing of the Centre Party. He served as Prime Minister of Prussia in 1921, and later as a minister in the national governments of Hermann Müller and Heinrich Brüning...

. Stegerwald, also leader of the Christian trade unions, made him chief executive of the unions in 1920, a post Brüning retained until 1930. In 1923 he was actively involved in organizing the passive resistance in the "Ruhrkampf". As the editor of the union newspaper Der Deutsche (The German), he advocated a "social popular state" and "Christian democracy," based on the ideas of Catholic Corporatism.

He also joined the Centre Party
Centre Party (Germany)
The German Centre Party was a Catholic political party in Germany during the Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic. Formed in 1870, it battled the Kulturkampf which the Prussian government launched to reduce the power of the Catholic Church...

 and in 1924 he was elected to the Reichstag
Reichstag (Weimar Republic)
The Reichstag was the parliament of Weimar Republic .German constitution commentators consider only the Reichstag and now the Bundestag the German parliament. Another organ deals with legislation too: in 1867-1918 the Bundesrat, in 1919–1933 the Reichsrat and from 1949 on the Bundesrat...

, representing Breslau. In parliament, Brüning quickly made a name for himself as a financial expert and managed to push though the "lex Brüning", which restricted the wage tax. He always insisted on a disciplined, thrifty approach towards money, criticizing both an increase of civil service salaries and the luxury of profiteers. Recognized for his expertise, this personal reserve and calmness hampered dealing with him on a personal level. From 1928 to 1930, he was a member of the Prussian parliament and, in 1929, he was elected chairman of the Centre Party's faction in the Reichstag.

Brüning as chancellor


In 1930, when the grand coalition under the Social Democrat
Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...

 Hermann Müller
Hermann Müller (politician)
' , born in Mannheim, was a German Social Democratic politician who served as Foreign Minister , and twice as Chancellor of Germany under the Weimar Republic...

 collapsed, Brüning was appointed chancellor
Chancellor
Chancellor is the title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the Cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the...

 on 29 March 1930. The government was confronted with the economic crisis caused by the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

. Brüning disclosed to his associates in the German Labour Federation that his chief aim as chancellor would be to liberate the German economy from the burden of continuing to pay war reparations
World War I reparations
World War I reparations refers to the payments and transfers of property and equipment that Germany was forced to make under the Treaty of Versailles following its defeat during World War I...

. This would require an unpopular policy of tight credit and a rollback of all wage and salary increases. Brüning's financial and economic acumen combined with his openness to social questions made him a candidate for chancellor and his service as a front officer made him acceptable to President Paul von Hindenburg
Paul von Hindenburg
Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg , known universally as Paul von Hindenburg was a Prussian-German field marshal, statesman, and politician, and served as the second President of Germany from 1925 to 1934....

.

The Brüning administration and the Reichstag parties


The Reichstag
Reichstag (Weimar Republic)
The Reichstag was the parliament of Weimar Republic .German constitution commentators consider only the Reichstag and now the Bundestag the German parliament. Another organ deals with legislation too: in 1867-1918 the Bundesrat, in 1919–1933 the Reichsrat and from 1949 on the Bundesrat...

 rejected his measures within a month. President Hindenburg, already bent on reducing the influence of the Reichstag, saw this event as the "failure of parliament" and with Brüning's consent called for new elections. These elections cost the parties of the grand coalition their majority and brought gains to both Communists
Communist Party of Germany
The Communist Party of Germany was a major political party in Germany between 1918 and 1933, and a minor party in West Germany in the postwar period until it was banned in 1956...

 and National Socialists
National Socialist German Workers Party
The National Socialist German Workers' Party , commonly known in English as the Nazi Party, was a political party in Germany between 1920 and 1945. Its predecessor, the German Workers' Party , existed from 1919 to 1920...

. This left Brüning without any hope of reforging a party coalition and forced him to base his administration on the presidential emergency decree
Decree
A decree is a rule of law issued by a head of state , according to certain procedures . It has the force of law...

 ("Notverordnung") of Article 48 of the Constitution, circumventing parliament and the informal toleration of this practice by the parties. Brüning coined the term "authoritative (or authoritarian) democracy" to describe this form of government based the cooperation of the president and parliament.

Hindenburg desired to base the government on the parties of the right but the right-wing German National People's Party
German National People's Party
The German National People's Party was a national conservative party in Germany during the time of the Weimar Republic. Before the rise of the NSDAP it was the main nationalist party in Weimar Germany composed of nationalists, reactionary monarchists, völkisch, and antisemitic elements, and...

 (DNVP) refused to support Brüning's government. To the president's dismay, Brüning had to rely on his own Centre Party
Centre Party (Germany)
The German Centre Party was a Catholic political party in Germany during the Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic. Formed in 1870, it battled the Kulturkampf which the Prussian government launched to reduce the power of the Catholic Church...

, the only party that fully supported him, and the toleration of the Social Democrats.

Brüning's measures were implemented in the summer by presidential decree and made him extremely unpopular among the lower and middle classes. As unemployment continued to rise, his cuts in welfare and reductions of wages combined with rising prices and taxes, increased misery among workers and the unemployed. This gave rise to the quote: "Brüning verordnet Not!" (Brüning decrees need), alluding to his measures being implemented by "Notverordnung".

These effects undermined the support of the Social Democrats for the government and the liberal and conservative cabinet members favoured opening the government to the right. President Hindenburg, pushed by his camarilla
Camarilla
Camarilla may refer to:*Camarilla, an unofficial group of courtiers or favorites surrounding and influencing a king or ruler, specifically the two such groups prominent in German history....

 and military chief Kurt von Schleicher
Kurt von Schleicher
Kurt von Schleicher was a German general and the last Chancellor of Germany during the era of the Weimar Republic. Seventeen months after his resignation, he was assassinated by order of his successor, Adolf Hitler, in the Night of the Long Knives....

, also advocated such a move and insisted on a cabinet reshuffle and especially the resignation of ministers Wirth
Joseph Wirth
Karl Joseph Wirth, known as Joseph Wirth, was a German politician of the Catholic Centre Party who served as Chancellor of Germany from 1921 to 1922.-Biography:...

 and Guérard
Theodor von Guérard
Theodor von Guérard was a German jurist and politician. He served as Minister of Justice during the Weimar Republic era in the early 1930s.-References:...

, both from the Centre Party.

The president's wishes also hampered the government's resolution in combating the extremist parties and their respective paramilitary organisations. While the chancellor and president agreed that the Communists
Communist Party of Germany
The Communist Party of Germany was a major political party in Germany between 1918 and 1933, and a minor party in West Germany in the postwar period until it was banned in 1956...

' and Nazis
National Socialist German Workers Party
The National Socialist German Workers' Party , commonly known in English as the Nazi Party, was a political party in Germany between 1920 and 1945. Its predecessor, the German Workers' Party , existed from 1919 to 1920...

' brutality, intolerance and demagogy rendered them unfit for government, Brüning believed the government was strong enough to steer Germany through the crisis without the support of the Nazis. Nonetheless, he negotiated with Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 about toleration or a formal coalition, without yielding to the Nazis any position of power or full support by presidential decree. Because of these reservations the negotiations came to nothing and as street violence rose to new heights in April 1932, Brüning had both the communist "Rotfrontkämpferbund
Rotfrontkämpferbund
Rotfrontkämpferbund was a paramilitary organization of the Communist Party of Germany created on 18 July 1924 during the Weimar Republic. Its first leader was Ernst Thälmann...

" and the Nazi Sturmabteilung
Sturmabteilung
The Sturmabteilung functioned as a paramilitary organization of the National Socialist German Workers' Party . It played a key role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s...

 banned. The unfavourable reactions of right-wing circles to that move further undermined Hindenburg's support for Brüning.

Even before then, Brüning had agonized over how to stem the growing Nazi tide, especially since Hindenburg could not be expected to survive another full term as president should he choose to run again. If Hindenburg were to die in office, Hitler would be a strong favorite to succeed him. By the end of 1931, Brüning thought he had hit upon a solution — restoring the Hohenzollern
House of Hohenzollern
The House of Hohenzollern is a noble family and royal dynasty of electors, kings and emperors of Prussia, Germany and Romania. It originated in the area around the town of Hechingen in Swabia during the 11th century. They took their name from their ancestral home, the Burg Hohenzollern castle near...

 monarchy. He intended to persuade the Reichstag and Reichsrat
Reichsrat (Germany)
The Reichsrat was one of the two legislative bodies in Germany under the Weimar constitution, the other one being the Reichstag. After the end of German monarchy and the founding of the Weimar Republic in 1919, the Reichsrat replaced the Bundesrat as the representation of the various German...

 to cancel the 1932 presidential election and simply extend Hindenburg's term by a two-thirds vote in both chambers. He would then have parliament proclaim a monarchy, with Hindenburg as regent. On Hindenburg's death, one of Crown Prince William's sons would be invited to assume the throne. Unlike the old German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

, the restored monarchy would have been a British-style constitutional monarchy in which real power would have rested with the legislature. All of the major parties except the Communists were at least willing to give Brüning's plan some support, seeing this as the last real chance of stopping Hitler. The plan foundered when Hindenburg, an old-line monarchist at heart, refused to stand down in favour of anyone except William II
William II, German Emperor
Wilhelm II was the last German Emperor and King of Prussia, ruling the German Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia from 15 June 1888 to 9 November 1918. He was a grandson of the British Queen Victoria and related to many monarchs and princes of Europe...

. Brüning tried to impress upon him that neither the Social Democrats nor the international community would tolerate any return of William II, and that the Crown Prince wouldn't be acceptable either. This only angered Hindenburg further and he threw Brüning out of his office.

Brüning's foreign policy


In the international theatre, Brüning tried to alleviate the burden of reparation payments and to achieve German equality in the rearmament question. In 1930, he replied to Aristide Briand
Aristide Briand
Aristide Briand was a French statesman who served eleven terms as Prime Minister of France during the French Third Republic and received the 1926 Nobel Peace Prize.- Early life :...

's initiative to form a "United States of Europe
United States of Europe
Since the 1950s, European integration has seen the development of a supranational system of governance, as its institutions move further from the concept of simple intergovernmentalism. However, with the Maastricht Treaty of 1993, new intergovernmental elements have been introduced alongside the...

" by demanding full equality for Germany. In 1931 plans for a customs union between Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 were shattered by French opposition. In the same year, the Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

 memorandum postponed reparation payments and in summer 1932, after Brüning's resignation, his successors could reap the fruits of his policy at the Lausanne conference
Lausanne Conference of 1932
The Lausanne Conference was a 1932 meeting of representatives from Great Britain, Germany, and France that resulted in an agreement to suspend World War I reparations payments imposed on the defeated countries by the Treaty of Versailles...

, which reduced German reparations to a final installment of 3 billion marks. Negotiations over rearmament failed at the 1932 Geneva Conference
Geneva Conference (1932)
The Second Geneva Naval Conference was a conference held to discuss naval arms limitation, held in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1932. This is a separate conference from the previous disarmament conference, the Geneva Naval Conference of 1927....

 shortly before his resignation, but in December the "Five powers agreement" accepted Germany's military equality.

Hindenburg's re-election and Brüning's fall


Hindenburg was not willing to run for reelection at first but changed his mind. In 1932, Brüning along with virtually the entire German left and centre, vigorously campaigned for Hindenburg's reelection, calling him a "venerate historical personality" and "the keeper of the constitution". Hindenburg was re-elected against Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 but he considered it shameful to be elected by the votes of "Reds" and "Catholes", as he called Social Democrats and the Centre Party and compensated for this "shame" by moving further to the right. At the same time, his failing health only increased the influence of the camarilla.

At that time, Brüning was viciously attacked by the Prussian Junker
Junker
A Junker was a member of the landed nobility of Prussia and eastern Germany. These families were mostly part of the German Uradel and carried on the colonization and Christianization of the northeastern European territories during the medieval Ostsiedlung. The abbreviation of Junker is Jkr...

s, led by Elard von Oldenburg-Januschau
Elard von Oldenburg-Januschau
Elard Kurt Maria Fürchtegott von Oldenburg-Januschau was a German Junker and conservative politician.- Biography :...

. They opposed his policies of distributing land to unemployed workers and denounced him as an "Agro-bolshevik" to Hindenburg.

The president asked Brüning to make way by stepping down as chancellor while remaining foreign minister
Foreign Minister of Germany
The Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs is the head of the Federal Foreign Office and a member of the Cabinet of Germany. The current office holder is Guido Westerwelle...

. Brüning refused to serve as a figurehead for such a right-wing government and announced his cabinet's resignation on 30 May 1932, "hundred metres before the finish". He sternly rejected all suggestions to make the president's disloyal behaviour public, because he considered such a move indecent and because he still considered Hindenburg the "last bulwark" of the German people.

After his resignation


After his resignation, Brüning was invited by Ludwig Kaas
Ludwig Kaas
Ludwig Kaas was a German Roman Catholic priest and politician during the Weimar Republic.-Early career:Born in Trier, Kaas was ordained a priest in 1906 and studied history and Canon law in Trier and Rome. 1906 he completed a doctorate in theology and in 1909 he obtained a second doctorate in...

 to take over the leadership of the Centre Party
Centre Party (Germany)
The German Centre Party was a Catholic political party in Germany during the Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic. Formed in 1870, it battled the Kulturkampf which the Prussian government launched to reduce the power of the Catholic Church...

, but the former chancellor declined and asked Kaas to stay. Brüning supported his party's determined opposition to his successor, Franz von Papen
Franz von Papen
Lieutenant-Colonel Franz Joseph Hermann Michael Maria von Papen zu Köningen was a German nobleman, Roman Catholic monarchist politician, General Staff officer, and diplomat, who served as Chancellor of Germany in 1932 and as Vice-Chancellor under Adolf Hitler in 1933–1934...

, and also of re-establishing a working parliament by cooperation with the National Socialists
National Socialist German Workers Party
The National Socialist German Workers' Party , commonly known in English as the Nazi Party, was a political party in Germany between 1920 and 1945. Its predecessor, the German Workers' Party , existed from 1919 to 1920...

, negotiating with Gregor Strasser
Gregor Strasser
Gregor Strasser was a politician of the National Socialist German Workers Party...

.

After Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 became chancellor on 30 January 1933, Brüning vigorously campaigned against the new government in the March elections. Later that month, he was a main advocate for rejecting the Hitler administrations's Enabling Act, calling it the "most monstrous resolution ever demanded of a parliament." He nonetheless yielded to party discipline and voted in favour of the bill. Only the Social Democrats
Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...

 voted against the law. When Kaas was held up in Rome and resigned from his post as chairman of the Centre Party, Brüning was elected chairman on 6 May. However, Brüning yielded to increasing persecution by the National Socialist-controlled government by dissolving the Centre Party on 6 July.

Exile and later years


To escape Hitler's political purges, Brüning fled Germany in 1934 via the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 and settled in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. In 1939, he became professor of political science at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

. He warned the American public about Hitler's plans for war and later about Soviet expansion, but in both cases his advice went unheeded.

In 1947, he returned to Germany and taught at the University of Cologne
University of Cologne
The University of Cologne is one of the oldest universities in Europe and, with over 44,000 students, one of the largest universities in Germany. The university is part of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, an association of Germany's leading research universities...

. He was a critic of Adenauer's
Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German statesman. He was the chancellor of the West Germany from 1949 to 1963. He is widely recognised as a person who led his country from the ruins of World War II to a powerful and prosperous nation that had forged close relations with old enemies France,...

 policy of Western integration and as he saw no prospect of resuming his political career, he returned to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. In 1968, he published "Speeches and Essays".

Brüning died in 1970 in Norwich, Vermont
Norwich, Vermont
Norwich is a town in Windsor County, Vermont, United States, located along the Connecticut River opposite Hanover, New Hampshire. The population was 3,544 at the 2000 census....

, and was buried in his home town of Münster
Münster
Münster is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the northern part of the state and is considered to be the cultural centre of the Westphalia region. It is also capital of the local government region Münsterland...

.

Legacy


Posthumously, his "Memoirs 1918–1934" were published, a source disputed among historians.

Brüning remains a controversial figure, since it is debated whether he was the "last bulwark of the Republic" or the "Republic's undertaker", or both. His intentions certainly were to protect the Republican government, but his policies also contributed to the gradual demise of the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

 from 1930 to 1933. Comparing some current leaders to Brüning remains a sure way to create a highly emotional response in German political discussions.

First Brüning cabinet, March 1930 – October 1931

  • Heinrich Brüning (Z
    Centre Party (Germany)
    The German Centre Party was a Catholic political party in Germany during the Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic. Formed in 1870, it battled the Kulturkampf which the Prussian government launched to reduce the power of the Catholic Church...

    ) — Chancellor
  • Hermann Dietrich (DDP) — Vice Chancellor and Minister of Economics
  • Julius Curtius
    Julius Curtius
    Julius Curtius was Foreign Minister of Germany from October, 1929 to October 1931. Curtius was a member of the national-liberal German People's Party and worked closely with Heinrich Brüning to revise the Treaty of Versailles in Germany's favor. However, Curtius was not a member of Brüning's inner...

     (DVP
    German People's Party
    The German People's Party was a national liberal party in Weimar Germany and a successor to the National Liberal Party of the German Empire.-Ideology:...

    ) — Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Foreign Minister of Germany
    The Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs is the head of the Federal Foreign Office and a member of the Cabinet of Germany. The current office holder is Guido Westerwelle...

  • Joseph Wirth
    Joseph Wirth
    Karl Joseph Wirth, known as Joseph Wirth, was a German politician of the Catholic Centre Party who served as Chancellor of Germany from 1921 to 1922.-Biography:...

     (Z) — Minister of the Interior
  • Paul Moldenhauer (DVP) — Minister of Finance
  • Adam Stegerwald
    Adam Stegerwald
    Adam Stegerwald was a German Catholic politician and a leader of the left wing of the Centre Party. He served as Prime Minister of Prussia in 1921, and later as a minister in the national governments of Hermann Müller and Heinrich Brüning...

     (Z) — Minister of Labour
  • Johann Viktor Bredt
    Johann Viktor Bredt
    Johann Viktor Bredt was a German Weimar era justice minister.-Biography:Bredt was born in Barmen. He rose to be Justice minister in 1930 succeeding Theodor von Guérard.Bredt died in Marburg.-References:...

     (Economy Party) — Minister of Justice)
  • Wilhelm Groener
    Wilhelm Groener
    Karl Eduard Wilhelm Groener was a German soldier and politician.-Biography:He was born in Ludwigsburg in the Kingdom of Württemberg, the son of a regimental paymaster. He entered the Württemberg Army in 1884, and attended the War Academy from 1893 to 1897, whereupon he was appointed to the General...

     — Minister of Defence
  • Georg Schätzel (BVP
    Bavarian People's Party
    The Bavarian People's Party was the Bavarian branch of the Centre Party, which broke off from the rest of the party in 1919 to pursue a more conservative, more Catholic, more Bavarian particularist course...

    ) — Minister of Posts
  • Theodor von Guérard
    Theodor von Guérard
    Theodor von Guérard was a German jurist and politician. He served as Minister of Justice during the Weimar Republic era in the early 1930s.-References:...

     (Z) — Minister of Transport
  • Martin Schiele (DNVP) — Minister of Food
  • Gottfried Treviranus
    Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus (politician)
    Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus was a German politician from the DNVP and a Reichsminister in both of Heinrich Brüning's cabinets...

     (Conservative People's Party
    Conservative People's Party (Germany)
    The Conservative People's Party was a short-lived German political party of the moderate right. Breaking away from the German National People's Party in the late 1920s as a result of that party's increasing radicalization under the leadership of Alfred Hugenberg...

    ) — Minister of Occupied Areas


Changes
  • May 3, 1930 — Bredt resigns as Justice Minister. He is succeeded by acting Minister Curt Joël
    Curt Joël
    Curt Walter Joël was a German jurist and politician. He served as Minister of Justice during the Weimar Republic era in the early 1930s.-References:...

    .
  • June 26, 1930 — Dietrich succeeds Moldenhauer as Finance Minister. Dietrich is succeeded as Economics Minister by acting Minister Ernst Trendelenburg.
  • October 1, 1930 — With the evacuation of the Rhineland by the Allies, Treviranus becomes Minister without Portfolio.

Second Brüning cabinet, October 1931 – May 1932

  • Heinrich Brüning (Z) — Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Hermann Dietrich (DSP
    German State Party
    The German State Party was a short-lived German political party of the Weimar Republic, formed by the merger of the German Democratic Party with the People's National Reich Association in July 1930...

    ) — Vice Chancellor and Minister of Finance
  • Wilhelm Groener
    Wilhelm Groener
    Karl Eduard Wilhelm Groener was a German soldier and politician.-Biography:He was born in Ludwigsburg in the Kingdom of Württemberg, the son of a regimental paymaster. He entered the Württemberg Army in 1884, and attended the War Academy from 1893 to 1897, whereupon he was appointed to the General...

     — Minister of the Interior and Minister of Defence
  • Hermann Warmbold — Minister of Economics
  • Adam Stegerwald
    Adam Stegerwald
    Adam Stegerwald was a German Catholic politician and a leader of the left wing of the Centre Party. He served as Prime Minister of Prussia in 1921, and later as a minister in the national governments of Hermann Müller and Heinrich Brüning...

     (Z) — Minister of Labour
  • Curt Joël
    Curt Joël
    Curt Walter Joël was a German jurist and politician. He served as Minister of Justice during the Weimar Republic era in the early 1930s.-References:...

     — Minister of Justice
  • George Schätzel (BVP) — Minister of Posts
  • Gottfried Treviranus
    Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus (politician)
    Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus was a German politician from the DNVP and a Reichsminister in both of Heinrich Brüning's cabinets...

      (Conservative People's Party) — Minister of Transport
  • Martin Schiele (Christliches Landvolk — Christian country folk) — Minister of Food


Changes
  • May 6, 1932 — Warmbold resigns as Economics Minister and is succeeded by acting Minister Ernst Trendelenburg

External links