Eberhard Wildermuth

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Eberhard Wildermuth (standing on the far right) in Trent Park , November 1944

Hermann-Eberhard Wildermuth (born October 23, 1890 in Stuttgart , † March 9, 1952 in Tübingen ) was a German politician ( FDP / DVP ). From 1949 until his death he was Federal Minister for Housing . He is a grandson of the Swabian writer Ottilie Wildermuth and the father of basketball official Burkhard Wildermuth .


After graduating from high school in 1908, Wildermuth studied law and political science in Tübingen , Leipzig and Berlin from 1909 to 1914 . In Tübingen he was a member of the Tübingen student association “ Akademische Gesellschaft Stuttgardia ”, which shaped southern German liberalism . Here he met later political companions such as Reinhold Maier , Karl Georg Pfleiderer , Konrad Wittwer and Wolfgang Haußmann . In 1921 he finally passed the Great State Examination in Law . He then worked for the city of Stuttgart , at the Reichsanstalt für Arbeitsvermittlungs und Arbeitslosenversicherung in Berlin and finally at the Reich Ministry of Labor as a senior government councilor. From 1928 he was director of the Deutsche Bau- und Bodenbank and, from 1930, a board member, later president, of the German Society for Public Works .


Wildermuth served in 1908/09 as a one-year volunteer in the Grenadier Regiment "Queen Olga" (1st Württembergisches) No. 119 of the Württemberg Army . As an officer in this regiment, he took part in the First World War from 1914 to 1918 and was deployed on the western and eastern fronts and in Italy .

From 1919 to 1921 he was the commander of temporary volunteer organizations in Tübingen to put down anti-republican uprisings.

Wildermuth was drafted into the Army (Wehrmacht) as a major in reserve at the outbreak of the Second World War and was commander of the 2nd Battalion in Infantry Regiment 272 during the French campaign December 1, 1941 was promoted to lieutenant colonel. From May 1, 1942, he was in command of the 371 Infantry Regiment in Army Group Center on the Eastern Front. On December 1, 1942, he was promoted to colonel of the reserve.

A by Ernst Jünger “On the roof of the Majestic. May 1943 Hptm. Jünger u. Colonel Wildermuth ”labeled photo shows the writer with Wildermuth on the roof of a Paris hotel with the Arc de Triomphe in the background. In the same month Wildermuth was deployed as commander of the 578 Infantry Regiment in Italy, and from August 12, 1944 as the fortress commander of Le Havre in France.

On September 12, 1944, he was taken prisoner by the Allies and was interned on November 5, 1944 in the Trent Park officers' camp in England. The British secret service valued Wildermuth as a staunch patriot and brave officer who vehemently opposed the Nazi regime. He was anxious to re-educate young National Socialists. In a wiretapped conversation in Trent Park, he said that in May 1944 he had agreed to the resistance fighter Carl Friedrich Goerdeler that he would be involved in a putsch against Hitler.


In 1918 Wildermuth was a member of a soldiers' council and in 1919 joined the left-wing liberal DDP . After the war he joined the DVP .

From 1947 to 1949 he was a member of the FDP / DVP state executive. In 1948 he was elected to the FDP federal executive committee , to which he belonged until 1952. Besides Carl-Hubert Schwennicke from Berlin, he was the only candidate to receive all 89 delegate votes. From January 1952 until his death he was Deputy Federal Chairman.

From 1947 to 1950 Wildermuth was a member of the Landtag of Württemberg-Hohenzollern and from 1949 until his death also a member of the German Bundestag .

Public offices

In 1946 Wildermuth was appointed State Secretary for Economic Affairs in the provisional government of Württemberg-Hohenzollern . Of 22 July 1947 to 20 September 1949, he was Minister of Economic Affairs of Württemberg-Hohenzollern in the Cabinet of Gebhard Müller .

After the federal election in 1949 , Wildermuth was appointed Federal Minister for Reconstruction on September 20, 1949 (from 1950: Federal Minister for Housing) in the Federal Government led by Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer . He is one of the few federal ministers who have died in office.

Wildermuth was always aware of the difficulty of his work: the economic miracle had not yet begun, but in war-torn West Germany several million apartments were missing for bombed out, refugees and displaced persons . He therefore drafted the “First Housing Act”, which made it possible to complete 370,000 residential units in the year it came into force (1950). In total, more than four million apartments were built in the eight years up to 1957 in which the special support provided by this law was effective.

Wildermuth was also highly regarded by his political opponents: the Social Democratic Press Service wrote on his death that "a man has been divorced from political life here, whose human decency, his objective efforts and his democratic reliability have always been valued by the opposition."

Wildermuth, who had been badly wounded in both world wars, particularly supported the construction of handicapped-accessible apartments for those seriously injured in the war. He succeeded in persuading the federal states to make several million German marks available for this purpose .


During the Second World War Wildermuth u. a. Awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on August 15, 1940 and the German Gold Cross on December 25, 1942 .

In addition to the Wildermuthweg in Hanover , which was laid out in 1952, the year Wildermuth died , various streets are named after the politician. a. in Hamburg (Wildermuthring) as well as in Kassel and Herne (Eberhard-Wildermuth-Straße) and Bremen. The common barracks of the Border Guard and Railway Police Office in Stuttgart and the 5th Riot Police Department in Böblingen was renamed "Eberhard Wildermuth Barracks" in 1965 ; it used to be the seat of the Bundeswehr's 17 Homeland Security Brigade . In Tübingen , the new housing estate built in the 1960s and 1970s on the Denzenberg (between Tübingen-Nordstadt and Tübingen-Lustnau ) was called Eberhard-Wildermuth-Siedlung . There is another Eberhard Wildermuth settlement in Frankfurt am Main .


  • Wilhelm Kohlhaas : Eberhard Wildermuth. An upright citizen. A picture of life. Domus, Bonn 1960.
  • Sönke Neitzel : bugged. German generals in British captivity 1942–1945. 2nd edition, Propylaeen, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-549-07261-9 .
  • Eberhard Wildermuth October 23, 1890 - March 9, 1952. In: Aareal Bank (Ed.): 90 years. Trusted since 1923 (commemorative publication on the 90th anniversary of Aareal Bank AG). ABT Print und Medien GmbH, Weinheim 2013, pp. 52–55.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. http://www.bbwbasketball.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/bbw_chronik.pdf
  2. a b Veit Scherzer : Knight's Cross bearer 1939–1945. The holders of the Iron Cross of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and armed forces allied with Germany according to the documents of the Federal Archives. 2nd edition, Scherzers Militaer-Verlag, Ranis / Jena 2007, ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2 , p. 786.
  3. ^ Helmut Zimmermann : Wildermuthweg , in ders .: The street names of the state capital Hanover . Hahnsche Buchhandlung Verlag, Hannover 1992, ISBN 3-7752-6120-6 , p. 266