Heinrich Ritzel

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Heinrich Ritzel

Heinrich (Georg Johannes) Ritzel (born April 10, 1893 in Offenbach am Main , † June 19, 1971 in Basel , Switzerland ) was a German politician ( SPD ).

Life and work

After attending elementary school and advanced training school, Ritzel completed a degree in economics, law and political science and municipal sciences at the Academy for Labor in Frankfurt a. M. and at the University of Giessen .

At the age of 26 he was elected to an administrative office for the first time. In 1930 the Hessian government appointed him to the provincial administration of Upper Hesse as senior government councilor . Ritzel represented the SPD in the Hessian state parliament from 1924 and in the Reichstag from 1930 . Due to his professional activity in the administrative service and in his capacity as a member of the SPD, Ritzel was exposed to violent attacks from the National Socialists in the last years of the Weimar Republic . In April 1933 pinion was arrested, he succeeded in June to escape and took refuge in the under League of Nations administration standing Saar . Until 1935, Ritzel worked as an officer of the League of Nations in the management of the Saar police administration. After the Saar referendum in January 1935, he first fled to Lorraine and in June 1935 emigrated to Switzerland , where he founded the - largely uninfluential - working group “Democratic Germany” together with Joseph Wirth and Otto Braun . He was a member of the Swiss European Union, whose central secretary he became in 1939. Ritzel took part in the meeting of the federalists for a united Europe in September 1946 in Hertenstein ( canton Lucerne ). After his return to Germany he was Secretary General of the Europa-Union from 1947 .

The focus of Ritzel's political work after the war was his work as a member of the Bundestag.

As a "European from the very beginning", he was a member of the first delegation of the Federal Republic to the Strasbourg Council of Europe . In 1957, he demonstratively rejected his re-election out of disappointment with the work of the council.

Ritzel has also emerged as an author of non-fiction and crime novels.

After a serious traffic accident, Ritzel decided not to run again for the Bundestag in 1965. He died while visiting relatives in Basel.

His son Gerhard Ritzel worked as a diplomat and ambassador for the Foreign Office and as a ministerial director in the Federal Chancellery under Willy Brandt .

His second son Günther Ritzel was a professor at the University of Basel and was elected by the government council to be the main school doctor in Basel-Stadt.

Political party

Ritzel had been an SPD member since 1915 and deputy state chairman of the party in Hesse . Of the numerous functions at local and regional level, his work as district chairman of the Erbacher SPD, member of the SPD district executive of Hessen-Süd and the state committee should be mentioned.


In the Weimar Republic he was a member of the Hessian Landtag from 1924 to 1930 and from 1930 to 1933 a member of the Reichstag .

From 1949 to 1965 he was a member of the German Bundestag , where he was chairman of the committee for election review, rules of procedure and immunity throughout his term of office . This committee had to work out the rules of procedure of the Bundestag in the first legislative period, after the parliament initially worked provisionally with the rules of procedure of the Reichstag.

Ritzel was also a member of the finance committee. On January 23, 1952, he opened the first Bundestag Question Time in its history with a question to Federal Finance Minister Fritz Schäffer . As a directly elected member of parliament, he represented the former Hessian constituency of Dieburg .

From 1950 to 1951 Ritzel was a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe .

Public offices

Pinion was with 26 years of full-time Mayor of Michel city , was built in 1930 by the Hessen government as a senior civil servant appointed to the Provincial Directorate Oberhessen in Giessen, was also district director in Gießen district and provincial deputy director of the province of Upper Hesse .


  • with Harald Koch , Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag, adopted on December 6, 1951, text and commentary. Frankfurt / Main 1952
  • One of 402. Offenbach / Main 1953
  • Dictatorship of the parliamentary committees. In: Spirit and Action. 1954, No. 12, pages 389-393
  • Parliamentary rules of procedure in the Weimar Reichstag and in the German Bundestag. In: The Reichstag. Frankfurt / Main 1963, pages 145-154
  • Auditing as an instrument of democracy. In: 250 years of auditing. Frankfurt / Main 1964, pages 129-132
  • Democracy in the Federal Republic of Germany. Frankfurt / Main 1966
  • One of 518. Hanover 1967
  • Orderly influence. In: The New Society. 1968, No. 3, pages 211-216
  • 20 years of the Bundestag. Personal memories. In: The New Society. 1969, special issue, pages 47-54



  • Jochen Lengemann : The Hessen Parliament 1946–1986 . Biographical handbook of the advisory state committee, the state assembly advising the constitution and the Hessian state parliament (1st – 11th electoral period). Ed .: President of the Hessian State Parliament. Insel-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1986, ISBN 3-458-14330-0 , p. 363–364 ( hessen.de [PDF; 12.4 MB ]).
  • 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. 312.
  • 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 , No. 720.
  • Martin Schumacher (Hrsg.): MdR The Reichstag members of the Weimar Republic in the time of National Socialism. Political persecution, emigration and expatriation, 1933–1945. A biographical documentation . 3rd, considerably expanded and revised edition. Droste, Düsseldorf 1994, ISBN 3-7700-5183-1 .
  • Martin Schumacher:  Pinion, Heinrich Georg Johannes. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 21, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-428-11202-4 , p. 674 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Axel Ulrich: Heinrich Georg Ritzel. From the anti-fascist defensive struggle in the People's State of Hesse to the discussions on democratic reorganization in exile in Switzerland , in: Renate Knigge-Tesche, Axel Ulrich (Ed.): Persecution and Resistance in Hesse 1933-1945 . Frankfurt / M. 1996, ISBN 3-8218-1735-6 , pp. 358-373

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