Erich Koehler

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Erich Köhler is elected (first) President of the Bundestag and speaks to the MPs
Köhler's birthplace and parental home in Erfurt

Erich Köhler (born June 27, 1892 in Erfurt , † October 23, 1958 in Wiesbaden ) was a German politician ( CDU ) and the first President of the German Bundestag .


Köhler attended the royal high school "Zur Himmelspforte" in Erfurt. It was followed by the study of economics and political science in Marburg , Berlin , Leipzig and Kiel . After participating in the First World War from 1914 to 1918, Köhler was awarded a Dr. sc. pol. doctorate on the subject of relations between Thuringian industry and the world market . From 1919 to 1933 Köhler was managing director of employers' associations in Kiel. He was politically active in the DVP . After 1933 he was discriminated against because of his marriage to Helene Freund, a Jew. He was fired on September 11, 1933, his wife's birthday. Only in the winter of 1939/40 did he find another job as an insurance agent. In September 1943 he and his wife had to vacate the apartment due to the law on renting out . His wife was forced to work in a printing company. In January 1945 he was threatened with imprisonment in a concentration camp.

In 1945 Köhler, after the war chief executive of the Wiesbaden Chamber of Industry and Commerce , co-founded the CDU. From 1946 he led their faction in the appointed advisory state committee , the constitution advisory state assembly (Greater Hesse) and the Hessian state parliament , at the same time he was a member of the economic council of the Bizone , of which he was also president.

In 1949 he was elected to the first German Bundestag for the constituency of Wiesbaden , where he held the office of first Bundestag President until 1950. He was elected into this with a majority of 346 out of 402 votes. In his inaugural address, Köhler said: "We want to serve the poor and needy, we should keep the selfish in check and we want to protect the weak from the strong."

However, Köhler soon encountered severe criticism in his administration; there was even a vote of no confidence. After Köhler suffered a nervous breakdown in the Federal Palace, he also lost the support of his own parliamentary group . On October 18, 1950, Köhler resigned from the office of President of the Bundestag.

Koehler intended, after leaving the diplomatic service to find and use as Consul General to Australia to be sent. However, these plans could not be implemented politically.

His successor was Hermann Ehlers . Köhler was a member of the first Bundestag committee for economic policy, money and credit and the special committee for the London debt agreement . In 1951/1952 he was the deputy chairman of the “Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry to examine whether abuses in the Foreign Service were caused by personnel policy”.

In 1953 Köhler was also elected to the second German Bundestag in the constituency of Obertaunuskreis . In 1957, he decided not to run again for health reasons. In the same year Köhler was awarded the Great Federal Cross of Merit with a star and shoulder ribbon.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ For example, Hans Baumgarten: Disordered parliamentary work. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , December 9, 1949, p. 2.