Alfons Benedikter

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Alfons Benedikter

Alfons Benedikter (born March 14, 1918 in Pettneu am Arlberg , Austria ; † November 3, 2010 in Bozen , Italy ) was a political representative of the German-speaking population in South Tyrol (Italy). For 50 years (1948–1998) he was a member of the South Tyrolean Parliament and thus also of the Regional Council Trentino-South Tyrol , eight years (1952–1960) a member of the regional government of Trentino-South Tyrol and 34 years (1948–1952 and 1959–1989) Member of the South Tyrolean provincial government . He played a major role in the development and implementation of the autonomy of South Tyrol .


In his childhood and youth in Schlanders , Alfons Benedikter experienced the fascist oppression of the German ethnic group in South Tyrol. After graduating from Bozen in 1936 , he began studying law in Naples, which he completed in June 1940. At the Oriental Institute there, he learned fluent Russian. During the acid test of the “ Option ” in 1939 (Hitler-Mussolini Agreement for the resettlement of South Tyroleans), which was tragic for South Tyrol , his family decided to stay. As a result, Alfons Benedikter had to join the Italian military in 1940 and later deserted to the German Reich, where he was immediately recruited by the Wehrmacht. Benedikter did military service on various fronts until April 1945. His knowledge of Russian saved his life on the Eastern Front. Later he cultivated his passion for the Russian language , culture and politics and visited the USSR and later the Russian Federation several times on political missions. Alfons Benedikter lived in Frangart near Bozen from 1960 . His wife Traudl Noldin (daughter of the catacomb teacher Josef Noldin ) died in 1994. Benedikter died on November 3rd, 2010 in the Bolzano Regional Hospital. On October 5, 2012, his son Rudi Benedikter presented the written estate, comprising 500 folders, to the South Tyrolean Provincial Archives in order to make it accessible for contemporary historical research.


Alfons Benedikter belonged to the founding generation of the South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) and was its deputy chairman from 1956 to 1966. He was a co-founder of the CISL union and the Catholic Association of Working People . From 1948 to 1952, Benedikter was a member of the South Tyrolean provincial government in the Erckert I cabinet as regional councilor for handicrafts, trade fairs and markets , and from 1952 to 1960 he represented the SVP in the regional government . From 1959 to 1989 he served as regional councilor for subsidized housing, spatial planning and economic programming (until 1970 also for landscape protection) in the Pupp , Magnago I , Magnago II , Magnago III , Magnago IV , Magnago V and Magnago VI cabinets . During this time he was also Deputy Governor under Silvius Magnago .

In 1960, Benedikter, as a member of the Austrian delegation, took part in the UN negotiations on the South Tyrol issue with Friedl Volgger and Luis Sand . In the conflict with the Italian state about granting real autonomy, he opposed the so-called “package solution” of 1969, which led to the entry into force of the new Statute of Autonomy for South Tyrol in 1972.

As a member of the most important commissions for the implementation of this autonomy, Benedikter was significantly involved in the drafting of the implementing provisions for the statute - such as the establishment of the ethnic proportional representation system - from 1972 to 1989 and took part in around 60 Council of Ministers meetings in Rome to represent the concerns of South Tyrol . During this time he was also chairman of the SVP parliamentary group in the Trentino-Alto Adige regional council and was known as "Magnago's right-hand man".

At the end of the 1980s, Benedikter opposed the conclusion of the negotiations on autonomy and the so-called declaration of dispute settlement by Austria towards the UN, which took place in June 1992. In 1989 he left the SVP and together with Eva Klotz and Gerold Meraner founded the “ Union for South Tyrol ” party, with which he was able to gain a mandate from the state and regional council in 1993. Before the state elections in 1998, Benedikter also withdrew from the "Union" due to internal conflicts and ended his last legislative period as an independent member.

In addition to his role as one of the architects of the autonomy of South Tyrol  , Alfons Benedikter has also received international recognition for his persistent commitment to the preservation of the natural and cultural landscape of South Tyrol and strict spatial planning.



  • Alfons Benedikter: memories. Life and Political Path , Edition Löwentier, Kaltern 2008.
  • Thomas Benedikter (Ed.): Remaining true to the principles. Alfons Benedikters work for South Tyrol in the mirror of memory , Prokopp & Hechensteiner, St. Paul / Eppan 2012.
  • Joachim Gatterer: From the ruins of the war to democracy. On the political career of Alfons Benedikter, Pietro Mitolo and Egmont Jenny , in: Günther Pallaver (Ed.): Politika 11th Yearbook for Politics / Annuario di politica / Anuer de pulitica, Edition Raetia , Bozen 2011, pp. 325–338. ISBN 978-88-7283-388-9 .
  • South Tyrolean provincial government (publisher): Südtirol-Handbuch 1998 . Brochure, Bozen 1998, p. 92 ( online )

Web links

Commons : Alfons Benedikter  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Alfons Benedikter estate now in the South Tyrolean Provincial Archives. Press release of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano - South Tyrol, October 5, 2012, accessed on October 7, 2012 .