Johannes Hoffmann (politician, 1867)

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Johannes Hoffmann

Johannes Hoffmann (born July 3, 1867 in Ilbesheim near Landau in the Palatinate , † December 15, 1930 in Berlin ) was a German politician of the DtVP and SPD . In 1919/20 he was Minister-President of Bavaria .


Hoffmann was the son of the farmer Peter Hoffmann and his wife Eva Maria, née Keller. He spent his youth in Wollmesheim . From 1877 to 1882 he attended grammar school in Landau , then until 1885 the preparatory institute in Edenkoben and until 1887 the teachers' college in Kaiserslautern . As a result, he had several school positions, including Kaiserslautern and Callbach . In 1892 he married Luise Ackermann in Bergzabern , with whom he had two sons. His son Hans was Finance Minister of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate from 1947 to 1951.

From 1899 to 1904 he was a member of the city council of Kaiserslautern for the left-wing liberal German People's Party (not to be confused with the later right-wing or national liberal party of the same name in the Weimar Republic). In 1907 he joined the SPD and in 1908 he was elected as a member of the SPD in the state parliament. As a result of his candidacy for the Social Democrats, the district government in Speyer took disciplinary action against him, whereupon he resigned from the civil service. In 1910 he returned to the city council and was first adjunct; During the war he had to represent Lord Mayor Küffner, who was doing military service.

In 1912 he was elected to the Reichstag for the constituency of Kaiserslautern-Kirchheimbolanden , a member of which he remained until his death. From November 1918 to March 1919 he was Bavarian Minister of Culture in the government of Kurt Eisner . After his assassination, he was elected Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Bavaria on March 17, 1919 as an advocate of pluralistic parliamentary democracy by the state parliament , but also retained the leadership of the Ministry of Culture. Against this government, the Central Council of the Bavarian Republic under Ernst Niekisch and the Revolutionary Workers' Council proclaimed the Bavarian Soviet Republic in Munich on April 7 , which was also joined by several other Bavarian cities. This Soviet republic was in its first phase dominated by pacifist and anarchist intellectuals. After the so-called Palm Sunday coup on April 13, 1919, which was thwarted by the Red Guards , supporters and members of the Communist Party of Germany led the council government.

From mid-April 1919 attacked the after Bamberg ausgewichenen Cabinet Hoffmann to help called Free Corps units , isolated as a white troops referred to the defense of the Soviet Republic and conquered together with Prussian and Württemberg Reichswehr associations Munich until May 2, 1919.. In the course of the fighting there were atrocities on both sides in which hundreds of people died, most of them as victims of the right-wing extremist volunteer corps. After the Kapp Putsch in March 1920, Hoffmann resigned as Prime Minister of the Free State of Bavaria. He was followed by Gustav Ritter von Kahr (Cabinets of Kahr I and II ). At the end of April Hoffmann moved to Kaiserslautern and ran for the office of Lord Mayor of Ludwigshafen am Rhein , but was defeated in the election. Hoffmann returned to school. He was re-elected to the state parliament on June 6, but renounced the mandate on August 24, 1920.

On October 23, 1923, Hoffmann, together with Friedrich Wilhelm Wagner and Paul Kleefoot, declared to the French General Adalbert François Alexandre de Metz that they wanted to form an independent state within the German Empire in the French-occupied Palatinate . The attempt failed and Hoffmann was dismissed from school. An application for the waiver of his immunity as a member of the Reichstag was not pursued further in connection with an amnesty regulation in the Dawes Plan (August 1924).

Hoffmann died in 1930. The Bavarian Council of Ministers refused his widow a pension.


  • Leonhard Lenk:  Hoffmann, Johannes. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 9, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1972, ISBN 3-428-00190-7 , p. 427 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Hans Fenske : Johannes Hoffmann (1867–1930). In: Pfälzer Lebensbilder. Third volume, Publishing House of the Palatinate Society for the Advancement of Science, 1977.
  • Diethard Hennig: Johannes Hoffmann. Social Democrat and Bavarian Prime Minister. KG Saur Verlag, Munich 1990, ISBN 3-598-22022-7 .
  • Gerhard Gräber: Johannes Hoffmann - moralistic pragmatist in times of change. In: Chronicle Wollmesheim 1007-2007. ed. v. Wollmesheim local authority and Landau city archive, Landau 2007, pp. 153–164 ( online )
  • Johannes Merz: Cabinet Hoffmann I, 1919. In: Historisches Lexikon Bayerns. July 8, 2008 ( online )
  • 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 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Imperial Statistical Office (Ed.): The Reichstag elections of 1912 . Issue 2. Berlin: Verlag von Puttkammer & Mühlbrecht, 1913, p. 96 (Statistics of the German Reich, Vol. 250); compare also Carl-Wilhelm Reibel: Handbook of the Reichstag elections 1890–1918. Alliances, results, candidates (= handbooks on the history of parliamentarism and political parties. Volume 15). Half volume 2, Droste, Düsseldorf 2007, ISBN 978-3-7700-5284-4 , pp. 1025-1030.
  2. Florian Sepp: Palmsonntagsputsch, April 13, 1919 , in: Historisches Lexikon Bayerns (online at, accessed on August 30, 2014)