Ernst Kienast

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Ernst Kienast (born May 31, 1882 in Nauen , † May 1, 1945 in Berlin ) was a German civil servant. From 1934 to 1945 he was director of the Reichstag .


After graduating from school with the upper secondary qualification in 1898 and after studying law, Kienast worked for five and a half years in the district administration in Nauen and then moved to Potsdam as a government official . On December 1, 1910, he joined the parliamentary administration of the Prussian House of Representatives as government secretary. There he became a calculator and registrar on April 1, 1917 and a state archivist on April 1, 1923. During the First World WarKienast, who was not called up as a soldier, was awarded the Cross of Merit for War Aid. On December 15, 1925, he became a senior councilor. At the same time he became "permanent representative of the director at the Prussian state parliament". On January 30, 1930, Kienast was appointed director of the Prussian state parliament .

After the Prussian House of Representatives was dissolved in 1933, Kienast initially took over the administrative business of the Prussian House Foundation , which was directly subordinate to the Prussian Prime Minister by law of October 26, 1933 .

After the early dismissal of the director at the Reichstag Reinhold Galle (1869-1954) on June 30, 1934, Kienast was entrusted with the management of the office at the Reichstag in July 1934 and was appointed director of the Reichstag on October 1, 1934, or since 1938 as director of the " Greater German Reichstag ". Kienast continued his work as director of the “Preußenhaus” foundation. The change from the state parliament to the Reichstag presumably came about at the request of the former President of the House of Representatives Hanns Kerrl . Kerrl had become First Vice President of the Reichstag and was entrusted on December 12, 1933 by the former Prussian Prime Minister and Reichstag President (since 1932) Hermann Göring (1893-1946) with the running of day-to-day business.

Kienast, who was considered very in need of information by employees, had filled his position as director of the Reichstag to the greatest satisfaction of Goring, who was not particularly interested in his duties as President of the Reichstag. While Kerrl's reputation with Göring steadily waned until 1939, Kienast managed to maintain Göring's trust. As a thank you, Göring successfully campaigned for the "Führer and Reich Chancellor" Adolf Hitler in 1939 for Kienast's post to be upgraded to a B7a conductor. From then on, Kienast's official title was ministerial conductor at the Greater German Reichstag. The reassessment of the head of the Reichstag office from director to ministerial conductor went hand in hand with comparable upgrades in other Reich authorities, regardless of the post holder. When the "Executive President" of the Reichstag, Kerrl, died on December 15, 1941, Göring transferred the management of the business to Kienast.

The non-party Kienast was probably brought closer to the NSDAP by the President of the Prussian House of Representatives, Kerrl, who had been in office since May 1932. Nevertheless, he only became a member of the NSDAP on May 1, 1937 . Kienast's sons were members of the SS . At the time it was suspected that in the Kienast family the wife was the driving force behind getting involved in the interests of the NSDAP.

Kienast and his wife were killed during the last days of the Second World War when the Red Army marched into Kienast's official apartment at Leipziger Strasse 4 in Berlin. As early as May 24, 1945, it was rumored among the former members of the Reichstag administration that Kienast and his wife had been killed by Russian soldiers. A few days later, it was suspected that Kienast shot his wife and then himself after his wife and niece or daughter-in-law were raped by Russian soldiers .

Fonts (selection)

  • (Ed.): The German Reichstag 1936, III. Electoral term . R. v. Decker's publishing house, G. Schenck, Berlin 1936


  • Parliamentary practice in the Weimar Republic. The conference reports of the Association of German Parliamentary Directors 1925 to 1933 , edit. by Martin Schumacher (= sources on the history of parliamentarism and political parties, series 3: The Weimar Republic, vol. 2), Düsseldorf 1974
  • M. Günther: Parliamentary Practice in the Weimar Republic. On an important new publication in the history of parliament , in: Neue Stenographische Praxis 22 (1974), p. 87
  • Gerhard Hahn: The Reichstag Library in Berlin - a mirror of German history. With a description of the history of the libraries of the Frankfurt National Assembly, the German Bundestag and the People's Chamber as well as an appendix: Foreign parliamentary libraries under National Socialist rule and documents (= publication of the Commission for the History of Parliamentarism and Political Parties in Bonn), Düsseldorf 1997
  • Eugen Fischer-Baling 1881–1964: manuscripts, articles, letters and diaries , ed. And included. by Ralf Forsbach (= German historical sources of the 19th and 20th centuries, vol. 62), Munich 2001