Heinrich Held

Heinrich Held

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Heinrich Held was a Catholic
Political Catholicism
Political catholicism is a political and cultural conception which promotes the ideas and social teaching of the Catholic Church in public life...

A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 and Minister President of Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

. He was forced out of office by the Nazi takeover
Machtergreifung is a German word meaning "seizure of power". It is normally used specifically to refer to the Nazi takeover of power in the democratic Weimar Republic on 30 January 1933, the day Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany, turning it into the Nazi German dictatorship.-Term:The...

 in 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...

 in 1933.


Heinrich Held was born in Erbach
Bad Camberg
Bad Camberg is, with 15,000 inhabitants, the second biggest town in Limburg-Weilburg district in Hesse, Germany, as well as the southernmost town in the Regierungsbezirk of Gießen...

 in the Taunus
The Taunus is a low mountain range in Hesse, Germany that composes part of the Rhenish Slate Mountains. It is bounded by the river valleys of Rhine, Main and Lahn. On the opposite side of the Rhine, the mountains are continued by the Hunsrück...

, then a part of the Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n province of Hesse-Nassau. His father, Johannes Held, was a local farmer and musician
A musician is an artist who plays a musical instrument. It may or may not be the person's profession. Musicians can be classified by their roles in performing music and writing music.Also....* A person who makes music a profession....

, his mother was Susanne Held née Kaiser.

Held studied law at the universities of Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

, Marburg
Marburg is a city in the state of Hesse, Germany, on the River Lahn. It is the main town of the Marburg-Biedenkopf district and its population, as of March 2010, was 79,911.- Founding and early history :...

 and Heidelberg
-Early history:Between 600,000 and 200,000 years ago, "Heidelberg Man" died at nearby Mauer. His jaw bone was discovered in 1907; with scientific dating, his remains were determined to be the earliest evidence of human life in Europe. In the 5th century BC, a Celtic fortress of refuge and place of...

 before becoming a journalist in Straßburg in 1896. He moved to Heidelberg the year after and became editor of the Regensburger Morgenblatts, a newspaper in the Bavarian city of Regensburg, in 1899. He moved to take up the same position at the Regensburger Anzeiger the year after. From 1906, he became a co-owner of those two newspapers and begun his political involvement as a speaker in the conservative-Christian workers' movements.

Held became a member of the Bavarian parliament
Landtag of Bavaria
The Landtag of Bavaria is the unicameral legislature of the state of Bavaria in Germany. Between 1946 and 1999 there was an upper house, the Senate of Bavaria. The parliament meets in the Maximilianeum....

 in 1907, for the Bavarian branch 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...

, and continued to be a member until 1933. He belonged to the left wing of his party and was mainly interested in fiscal politics.

He quickly rose to power within the party, becoming his party's leader in parliament 1914 and party leader shortly afterwards. In 1917, Held was elevated to the title of Geheimer Hofrat
Geheimrat was the title of the highest advising officials at the Imperial, royal or principal courts of the Holy Roman Empire, who jointly formed the Geheimer Rat reporting to the ruler...

, a member of the Bavarian Privy council
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...


In 1918, after the end of the monarchy in Bavaria, Heinrich Held was one of the co-founders of the Bavarian People's Party
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...

(BVP), transforming the Centre's Bavarian branch into a party emphasizing conservative elements and states rights. Held remained the parliamentary leader of the party.

Held also served as the president of the Deutscher Katholikentag
Katholikentag is a festival-like gathering in German-speaking countries organized by the Roman Catholic laity. Katholikentag festivals occur approximately every 2–4 years in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.-History:...

from 1921, a regular gathering and discussion forum for the German Catholics.

In July 1924, after the resignation of Eugen Ritter von Knilling, Held became prime minister of Bavaria. His government was supported by his own party, the national-conservative 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...

, the national-liberal German People's Party
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:...

and the Bauernbund. His politics as prime minister were aimed at reconciliation with the federal government and a move away from separatism. In 1924, he also signed a Concordat
A concordat is an agreement between the Holy See of the Catholic Church and a sovereign state on religious matters. Legally, they are international treaties. They often includes both recognition and privileges for the Catholic Church in a particular country...

 with the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...


He ran in the first round of the 1925 German presidential elections
German presidential election, 1925
The presidential election of 1925 was the first direct election to the office of President of the Reich , Germany's head of state during the 1919-1933 Weimar Republic. The first President, Friedrich Ebert, died on 28 February, 1925...

 and achieved 3.7 percent of the votes. In the second round, his party supported the right-wing candidate 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....

 instead of the Centre Party's candidate Wilhelm Marx
Wilhelm Marx
Wilhelm Marx was a German lawyer, Catholic politician and a member of the Centre Party. He was Chancellor of the German Reich twice, from 1923 to 1925 and again from 1926 to 1928, and also served briefly as minister president of Prussia in 1925, during the Weimar Republic.-Life:Born in Cologne to...


In 1930, his government lost its majority in parliament and continued as a minority government. From 1930 to 1932, Held also held the offices of Minister of State for Commerce, Industry and Trade and Minister of State for Agriculture. Both were merged to form the Ministry for Economy which he held from 1932 to 1933.

He continued to advocate states rights within the German republic, publishing papers on the subject. He sharply criticized the removal of the Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n prime minister Otto Braun
Otto Braun
This article is about the Prime Minister of Prussia. For the German Communist and once the Comintern military adviser to the Chinese Communist revolution see Otto Braun ....

 by Chancellor 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...

 in 1932, a move he considered an illegal interference of the central government in state matters.

An attempt supported by a wide coalition of parties, to establish Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria
Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria
Rupprecht or Rupert, Crown Prince of Bavaria was the last Bavarian Crown Prince.His full title was His Royal Highness Rupprecht Maria Luitpold Ferdinand, Crown Prince of Bavaria, Duke of Bavaria, of Franconia and in Swabia, Count Palatine of the Rhine...

, as a Staatskommisar with dictatorial powers in 1932 to counter the Nazis failed due to the hesitant Bavarian government under Held. Held himself had suggested the idea but wavered in the last minute, choosing not to make an announcement appointing the crown prince to the planned position.

The Bavarian government was forcibly removed by the Nazis on 9 March 1933. Held resisted the attempts by the SA
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...

 to overthrow his government at first but due to receiving no support from the German army, who had orders from Berlin to stay out of domestic politics, he could ultimately not hold off the Nazis. The office of Bavarian prime minister was abolished and replaced by a Reichsstatthalter, a purely administrative position with no political power. Held retired from politics, first escaping to Lugano
Lugano is a city of inhabitants in the city proper and a total of over 145,000 people in the agglomeration/city region, in the south of Switzerland, in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, which borders Italy...

, Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, where his son Josef lived, later withdrawing to Regensburg. His government pension as a former prime minister was revoked by the Nazis.

His son Philipp became one of the first inmates at the Dachau concentration camp in 1933.

On 4 August 1938, Heinrich Held died in Regensburg
Regensburg is a city in Bavaria, Germany, located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, at the northernmost bend in the Danube. To the east lies the Bavarian Forest. Regensburg is the capital of the Bavarian administrative region Upper Palatinate...


  • Honorary doctorate at the universities of Munich
    Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

    , Innsbruck
    - Main sights :- Buildings :*Golden Roof*Kaiserliche Hofburg *Hofkirche with the cenotaph of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor*Altes Landhaus...

     and Würzburg
    Würzburg is a city in the region of Franconia which lies in the northern tip of Bavaria, Germany. Located at the Main River, it is the capital of the Regierungsbezirk Lower Franconia. The regional dialect is Franconian....