Johann Roder

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Johann Baptist Roder (born November 30, 1814 in Rheinheim , † March 18, 1890 in Meßkirch ) was a guest, farmer and postman. As a cattle breeder and dealer, he is considered to be the founder of the Meßkircher Höhenfleck cattle breeding program . The Baden revolutionary of 1848/1849 later made a career as a member of the state and Reichstag as well as a politician in the National Liberal Party (NLP). The Hofrat Christian Roder was his nephew.


Johann Baptist Roder was born as the son of a wealthy innkeeper in the “Engel” inn in the village of Rheinheim , today the municipality of Küssaberg in the Waldshut district. He enjoyed a first-class education in Switzerland and Belgium . First he took over his father's business in 1832, but after his marriage in 1839 with Sophie Schalk, a woman from Messkirchen, moved to her home town. At that time, the Baden district town of Meßkirch was like a sleepy and backward provincial nest that had plunged into insignificance after the loss of the royal court. From 1839 on, he mainly ran his father-in-law's inn and post office "Adler".

Roder, who had already participated in the Hecker train in 1848 , was also at the forefront in 1849. During the Baden Revolution of 1848/49 he was one of the spokesmen for the democratic revolution in the Meßkirch district. There he was also elected to the constituent assembly . After the suppression of the revolution, he was arrested, sentenced to three years in prison, but acquitted in the appeal process, much to the displeasure of the Messkirchen chief bailiff, who saw Roder as “the greatest burglar and spoiler” in the whole area.

In addition to his activities as an innkeeper and postman, he was also a farmer. In doing so, he made a living in the structurally weak district through agricultural innovations and many innovations in animal husbandry. He was the initiator of the breeding of the Meßkircher Höhenfleck cattle , for which he created the basis by importing Simmental bullocks . The breakthrough for the new breed of cattle came at the World Exhibition in Vienna in 1873 . The Meßkircher Höhenfleckviehzucht developed into a great success for domestic agriculture , the Fleckvieh was sold as an export hit to Hungary , Russia and America . The foundation of the first breeding cooperative is due to Privatier Roder as well as the first agricultural school in Baden. The Meßkirch breeding cooperative was the first cattle breeding cooperative in Germany, it was incorporated into the Association of Upper Baden Breeding Cooperatives (from 1936: Regional Association of Badischer Cattle Breeders, from 1970: Association of Southern Baden Cattle Breeders, from 1977: Rinderzuchtverband in Baden-Württemberg eV, from 2000: Rinderunion Baden-Württemberg eV).

From 1865 to 1881 and from 1883 to 1889 he represented the electoral district of Meßkirch- Stockach for eleven terms as a member of the Baden state parliament in Karlsruhe . From January 1874 to January 1877 he was a member of the German Reichstag for the constituency of Baden 1 ( Konstanz , Überlingen , Stockach) for the National Liberal Party in Berlin . Above all in the Baden state parliament, he was a member of the parliamentary prominence.

The founding of the Old Catholic parish in Meßkirch goes back to him, but he is also responsible for the unnecessarily sharp disputes of the Baden culture war in the city. The leader of the Meßkirch Liberals died on March 19, 1890 in his apartment in Meßkirch. It was primarily thanks to him that Messkirch became an ambitious, prosperous administrative town at the end of the century. He was buried in the Messkirch cemetery.


The eagle host and cattle breeder was the dominant figure in the history of Messkirchen in the 19th century and is considered one of the most important Baden economists of his time. In contrast to his place of birth Rheinheim, where a home parlor was set up in his birthplace - the Gasthaus "Engel" - as a souvenir of Roder, no street in Meßkirch has been named after him despite multiple requests. Although it is an integral part of Meßkirch's history, there is hardly a reference to its work in the city today. Years ago there was even a discussion about clearing Roder's grave in the so-called “million quarter” on the Messkircher cemetery.

The fact that Messkirch was an economically prosperous and aspiring town at the end of the 19th century was thanks to the liberal bourgeoisie and above all to its spokesman Johann Baptist Roder, an "energetic man of action".

From the Grand Duke he received the Knight's Cross II. Class in 1869, and in 1866 the Knight's Cross First Class of the Order of the Zähringer Löwen. For his golden wedding anniversary in 1889 he received a handwritten letter. But he also had to experience that his only son had a fatal accident while riding.

Nevertheless, the majority faction in the Messkirch City Council (CDU) reluctantly for decades to honor Roder's services, as he was a strong opponent of conservative forces and vehemently opposed Roman Catholic views. He was also a co-signer of the Old Catholic Laws in the Baden state parliament and founder of the Old Catholic community of Messkirch. The prevailing opinion in Meßkirch is that he drove the Roman Catholic Christians out of the parish church during the time of the Kulturkampf. The state government granted the Old Catholics the right to use the church. Simultaneous use, however, was expressly forbidden to the Roman Catholic believers by the Archdiocese of Freiburg, so that they only had to leave the church. In addition, the accusation persists to this day that Roder was to blame for Messkirch not being expanded into a railway junction. This accusation is also unfounded. There are many examples of how Roder's reputation should be deliberately cast in a negative light in the decades after his death.

As part of the 750th anniversary of the city in 2011, Roder was really recognized for the first time in the listed historical piece “Between Being and Time”. The actors of the Kolpingsbühne Meßkirch asked the city to name a street after him. In 2013, the Free Voters brought up this idea again. Roder was one of three proposals, but the city council was initially unable to agree. So the name of Albert Zimmermann was determined by lot, a controversial editor of the Heuberger Volksblatt. At the insistence of the SPD and FWV, however, the decision was made on December 17, 2013 to consider the other two proposals after the series of drawings in the future. This cleared the way for a "Johann-Roder-Straße". After the municipal council's decision to name the street after Albert Zimmermann, a controversial letter to the editor debated in the local press. The local council then struck Zimmermann off the list. The street in the “Am Hauptbühl III” building area will now be called “Johann-Roder-Straße”.


  • Johann Baptist Roder , in: Badische Biographien (editor Friedrich von Weech), 4th part, Karlsruhe 1891, pp. 355–358 online in the Baden state library
  • Hermann Kalkoff (Ed.): National Liberal Parliamentarians 1867–1917 of the Reichstag and the individual state parliaments. Publication distribution center of the National Liberal Party of Germany, Berlin 1917.
  • Armin Heim: Johann Baptist Roder (1814-1890). A liberal from Messkirch . In: Edwin Ernst Weber (ed.): Renitenz and Genie: Meßkirch and the Baden Lake District between 1848/49 and the Kulturkampf . Anthology ed. on behalf of the district of Sigmaringen and the Upper Swabian Society for History and Culture. (Series: Heimatkundliche Schriftenreihe des Landkreis Sigmaringen, Volume 8 / Oberschwaben - Views and Prospects, Volume 5). UVK Verlagsgesellschaft, Konstanz 2003, ISBN 3-89669-761-7 , pp. 129–152.


  1. According to other information also December 1, 1814 and December 1, 1815

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hans-Peter Becht: Baden parliamentarians 1867-1874: Historical photographs and biographical manual. (= Photo documents on the history of parliamentarism and political parties, Volume 3 ), Droste Verlag, Düsseldorf 1995, ISBN 3-7700-5187-4 .
  2. a b Herrmann-Peter Steinmüller (hps): It used to be a station for tired travelers. In: Südkurier of September 16, 2008.
  3. ^ Emil Baader: New home parlors on the Upper Rhine . In: Heimat am Hochrhein, Volume 2 , 1965/66, p. 144.
  4. a b c d e f Heim (aha): revolutionaries, breeders and politicians . In: Südkurier of June 11, 2011.
  5. ^ Clemens Rehm, Hans-Peter Becht, Kurt Hochstuhl: Baden 1848/49: Coping with and aftermath of a revolution. (= Upper Rhine Studies, Volume 20 ) Verlag Thorbecke, 2002, p. 46.
  6. ^ Gregor Moser (mos): The secretive freedom fighter . In: Südkurier of June 11, 2011.
  7. Armin Heim: Weltanschauung versus information . In: Südkurier of April 2, 2011.
  8. ^ Emil Müller-Ettikon: Brief overview of the history of Küssaberg , Municipality of Küssaberg (ed.), 1981, p. 135.

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