Bernhard Adelung

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Bernhard Adelung's tomb in the main cemetery in Mainz

Bernhard Adelung (born November 30, 1876 in Bremen , † February 24, 1943 in Darmstadt ) was a social democratic politician and President of the People's State of Hesse .


Adelung was the son of the railway worker Johann Adelung and his wife Wilhelmine nee Manfeld. In 1903 he married Johanna Groß, the daughter of the director Franz Groß.

Bernhard Adelung was a trained printer and typesetter. In 1896 he went on a hike and finished it a year later in Mainz . In 1897 he joined the SPD. In 1902 he became editor of the Mainzer Volkszeitung and just a year later he had to go to prison for three months for insulting majesty . On December 1, 1903, he was elected to the state parliament of the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt for the constituency of the city of Mainz II . From 1911 he represented the constituency Starkenburg 17 Bieber / Mühlheim in the estates. After the provincial estates passed into the Landtag of the People's State of Hesse in 1919 , he was also elected to this Landtag; he belonged to it until it was dissolved by the Nazi regime in 1933. In 1915 he took part in the First World War as a volunteer. In 1918 he was chairman of the workers 'and soldiers' council in Mainz. From 1920 to 1928 Adelung was an alderman with the official title of mayor in Mainz , where he repeatedly came into conflict with the French occupying power and was deported twice to the unoccupied part of the country to Darmstadt.

On February 14, 1928, Adelung was elected as the successor to his mentor Carl Ulrich as President (corresponds to today's Prime Minister ) of the People's State of Hesse. His government, consisting of a coalition of the SPD, the center and the DDP , u. a. with Wilhelm Leuschner as Minister of the Interior, resigned on December 8, 1931 after the state elections of November 1931 due to severe loss of votes. However, since there was no majority for the formation of a new state government, the government remained in office under ennobling for 15 months. After their victory in the Reichstag election in 1933 , the National Socialists massively demanded participation in the state government. Eight days later, the NSDAP politician Ferdinand Werner was elected as the new President of the People's State of Hesse by the members of the NSDAP and the Center on March 13, 1933.

After his impeachment by the Nazis in spring 1933 as part of the seizure of power , he lived in retirement.

Adelung died of arteriosclerosis in 1943 ; his grave is in the main cemetery in Mainz .

His memoirs “To be and become - From a book printer in Bremen to a state president in Hesse” appeared in Offenbach in 1952, edited by Karl Friedrich.


The Bernhard Adelung School and a street in Darmstadt were named after Bernhard Adelung . An Adelungstraße is also named after him in the Upper Town of Mainz .

In the municipality of Messel near Darmstadt, a street was named after Bernhard Adelung.


  • Reichs Handbuch der Deutschen Gesellschaft - The handbook of personalities in words and pictures. First volume, Deutscher Wirtschaftsverlag, Berlin 1930, pp. 7/8, ISBN 3-598-30664-4
  • Wilhelm Lührs : Adelung, August Bernhard. In: Historical Society Bremen, State Archives Bremen (ed.): Bremische Biographie 1912–1962 , Hauschild, Bremen 1969, p.4 (Sp.1).
  • Karl Friedrich:  Adelung, Bernhard. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 1, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1953, ISBN 3-428-00182-6 , p. 65 ( digitized version ).
  • Klaus-Dieter Rack, Bernd Vielsmeier: Hessian MPs 1820–1933. Biographical evidence for the first and second chambers of the state estates of the Grand Duchy of Hesse 1820–1918 and the state parliament of the People's State of Hesse 1919–1933 (= Political and parliamentary history of the State of Hesse. Vol. 19 = Work of the Hessian Historical Commission. NF Vol. 29) . Hessian Historical Commission, Darmstadt 2008, ISBN 978-3-88443-052-1 , p. 119.
  • Jochen Lengemann : MdL Hessen. 1808-1996. Biographical index (= political and parliamentary history of the state of Hesse. Vol. 14 = publications of the Historical Commission for Hesse. Vol. 48, 7). Elwert, Marburg 1996, ISBN 3-7708-1071-6 , p. 51.
  • Karl Friedrich: "To be and to become - from printer in Bremen to President of Hesse" , 1952.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Adelung, Bernhard. Hessian biography. (As of August 9, 2018). In: Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen (LAGIS).
  2. a b Adelung, Bernhard ( Memento from December 2, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  3. ^ Hans Baumann: Dates of the city history of Mainz. In: City of Mainz (ed.): Quarterly books for culture, politics, economy, history. Verlag Hermann Schmidt Mainz, II / 1993.