Joseph Wirth

Karl Joseph Wirth ( born September 6, 1879 in Freiburg, Grand Duchy of Baden, † January 3, 1956 ) was a German politician ( German Centre Party ) and of 10 May 1921 to the November 14, 1922 Chancellor of the Weimar Republic. Wirth was the youngest German chancellor.

The left wing of the Catholic party associated Wirth was abused as a fulfillment politician as he sought the cooperation with the victors of World War I in principle. However, he went in April 1922, from anger over small concessions from the West, on a contract offer Russia a. The result was the Treaty of Rapallo. In the early Federal Republic Wirth participated in reunification initiatives that were controlled by the Communists.

Imperial period

1879 Joseph Wirth was born as the son of the foreman Karl Wirth in Freiburg. His parents allow him and his two brothers to graduate school. After obtaining the matriculation examination, he began his studies of the social economy and mathematics at the Albert- Ludwigs- University of Freiburg, where he graduated in 1906 with a mathematical thesis. In 1908 he found employment as a professor at the grammar school in his hometown. In 1909 he was one of the founders of the Association Vincent, a Catholic organization for aid to disadvantaged groups. During this time, Wirth joined the Centre Party, for which he sat in the city council from 1912. A year later he entered the Badische national assembly. In 1914 he became a member of the Reichstag. After the outbreak of the First World War, Wirth reported as a volunteer. He was declared unfit for service; then he volunteered for the Red Cross, for which he worked as a nurse on the Western Front until 1918.

Weimar Republic

Joseph Wirth welcomed the November Revolution of 1918, though he had a year earlier identified with the castle peace policy of Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann -Hollweg. 1918 Wirth was Baden Finance. Following the resignation of Matthias Erzberger appointed Chancellor Hermann Müller Freiburg as his successor in the office of the Reich Minister of Finance. In Fehrenbach, Joseph Wirth worked into the matter of reparations. After the resignation of the government Constantin Fehrenbach's due to the London ultimatum in which the Entente had demanded the adoption of Reparationsplanes, Joseph Wirth rose to become Chancellor.

In May 1921, the spokesman of the left - wing center with 41 years was sworn in today recent German Chancellor. At first he still held the office of the Reich Minister of Finance. His government was based on the so-called Weimar coalition of centrist parties: SPD, DDP and center. The Cabinet Wirth I soon decided to accept the London ultimatum to demonstrate the fulfillment of the demands their practical impossibility. Wirth calculated by total exceeding the economic performance of the empire, which is why the reparations would be revised anyway. Rights groups opposed the policy of appeasement of the Chancellor in the strongest terms.

On March 20, 1921 vote on the membership of Germany was held in Upper Silesia, which resulted in a 60 % majority to remain in the existing borders. The League of Nations decided that what was foreseen in the Treaty of Versailles as an opportunity, the division of the industrially important region between Germany and Poland. In protest against the eye of the German government to violate the self-determination of the peoples control the first cabinet Wirth resigned.

President Ebert asked again Wirth to form a government. In October 1921, the Cabinet Wirth II, the work took on. The most crucial personnel change was recorded in the field of foreign policy: Foreign Minister Friedrich Rosen was - after briefly Wirth himself held this office - replaced by Walther Rathenau. In April 1922 a German delegation took under Wirth and Rathenau first time on an equal footing at the World Economic Conference in Genoa part. On April 16, it was proposed by the Rathenau surprising conclusion of this important Treaty of Rapallo. This reflects the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic ( later a founding member of the Soviet Union) and the German Reich recognized by international law and renounced reparations. This was for the German Reich a piece- wide recovery of sovereignty but dar. This diplomatic success did not detract the hatred of the extreme right to the fulfillment of policy. Walther Rathenau was given on June 24, 1922 a political assassinated. On this occasion, Wirth went before the Reichstag and called at the end of his very emotional speech, pointing to the right, the hitherto known words:

"There is the enemy who pours his poison into the wounds of a people. - There stands the enemy - and there is no doubt: this enemy is right "!

When he held a few weeks later on July 11, a speech for the acceptance of the Republic of protection law by the parties in the Reichstag, he also came to an inflammatory articles of the German national parliament Henning to speak, who had rants with respect to the well- respected Rathenau, the German glory be lost, since they had fallen into the hands of a Jew. Wirth called it outrageous that such slanders might be uttered and expressed his regret about the fact that the German National Party have not found the courage to separate from such members.

In November 1922, the attempt to DVP bring together all democratic forces of the SPD in coalition failed, Chancellor Joseph Wirth resigned.

In the following years, the former chancellor began Reichsbanner black-red- gold for the Republic Bureau. He also published the magazine German republic, while he remained deputy. In August 1925, the Centre Party was in government I Luther first time a coalition with the DNVP one, why Wirth resigned from the parliamentary party. Hermann Müller reactivated him for the office of the Reich Minister for the Occupied Territories in the first grand coalition. In the government Heinrich Brüning Wirth held the office of Minister of the Interior (1930 /31). There he acted as an intermediary between the Chancellor and the tolerant, but not coalescing SPD, in which the former chancellor enjoyed great popularity. 1931 Joseph Wirth resigned on personal instigation of the Reich President Paul von Hindenburg, which the Baden was directed as to the left, from the Cabinet.

Nazi period

In March 1933, the Enabling Act in the Reichstag was in question, whose rejection he made ​​clear in an impassioned speech. On 24 March 1933, after the adoption of the Enabling Act, the Centre Party, including Wirth himself agreeing closed due to the strict possessed fraction coercion, staunch opponents of the Nazi ideology left the German Empire and emigrated to the neutral Switzerland.

Wirth acquired a villa in Lucerne and traveled to meet with leading statesmen of France and Great Britain. On a trip along the east coast of the United States, he lectured at Harvard University, where he met with the living in exile in America, former Chancellor Brüning, and Princeton, to clarify the methods of the Nazi regime. From 1935 to 1939 Wirth lived in Paris. He then returned to Luzern. He sought personal relationships to Rome to a directed against the anti-Semitic policies in Germany opinion of the Vatican. He also had contacts with the resistance groups Solf circle and circle Auer circle.

Federal Republic of

1949 Joseph Wirth returned to his homeland after the French occupation authorities had prevented this to date. He rejected the policy of Konrad Adenauer, as these cements the division of Germany. Therefore Wirth founded together with Wilhelm Elfes the neutralist, by the SED initiated " Federation of German for unity, peace and freedom " ( BdD ) and the German People's Daily. The former chancellor was enemy a pure integration with the West and believed in the tradition of Rapallo to a settlement with the Soviet Union, although he did not approve of their politics. For political talks dwelt Wirth in 1951 for the first time in Moscow. In the CDU Wirth was left as an outsider.

The Federal Republic refused him because of his association with Communists and discussions with representatives of the GDR, the payment of a pension, such as those Heinrich Brüning and Hans Luther received. In the CIA Act ​​The background of Joseph Wirth even an activity is claimed as a Soviet agent. In contrast to the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic endorsed the former chancellor to smaller grants. 1954 Wirth was awarded the East German Peace Medal.

1956 Joseph Wirth died in his hometown of Freiburg from heart failure.