Karl Erckert

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Karl Erckert (born June 2, 1894 in Meran , † December 15, 1955 in Bolzano ) was a South Tyrolean politician .

Youth in the First World War

Erckert was the oldest of the three children of Georg Erckert, the head of the nursery at the Merano spa administration. Erckert's father grew up in the vicinity of Nuremberg and moved to Meran .

After graduating from the Benedictine grammar school in Meran, Erckert signed up for military service in 1914 and remained in the Kaiserjäger regiment until the end of the First World War . He was deployed and wounded on the Eastern Front, then transferred to Monte di Valdella in Trentino . Erckert returned to Merano as a highly decorated first lieutenant .

In the first years after the war, Erckert studied from 1919 to 1922 at the law faculty in Innsbruck. During this time he was a member of AV Austria Innsbruck , then in the CV , today in the ÖCV . After completing his doctorate, Erckert practiced for a lawyer and later opened his own law firm in South Tyrol.

Mayor in the time of National Socialism

Announcements by the two acting mayors of Bozen (Fritz Führer) and Meran (Karl Erckert) in the Bozner Tagblatt on December 16, 1944

In 1939 Erckert had decided in the context of the German-Italian resettlement agreement ( option ) for German citizenship; however, he did not have to obey the actual relocation in those years. With the invasion of the German armed forces in northern Italy and the establishment of the National Socialist operational zone in the foothills of the Alps in 1943, Erckert was appointed acting mayor of Merano by the occupying forces on October 11th. He held this post until the military defeat of the Third Reich in 1945.

First governor of South Tyrol after 1945

In contrast to other officials in the foothills of the Alps, such as Karl Tinzl , Erckert was finally granted Italian citizenship again by the Republic of Italy on November 23, 1948, as several advocates of Italian mother tongue, including senior staff from the municipality of Merano, pleaded for his integrity and thus enabled its rapid denazification. Already on September 24, 1948, the municipality of Meran granted him the right to vote again. Erckert was then able to work in the newly formed South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) as district chairman in the burgrave office , after having been a committee member in the SVP's central management since November 1945.

In the first regional council elections on November 28, 1948, Erckert was elected for the SVP in the regional council of Trentino-South Tyrol and thus at the same time in the South Tyrolean parliament . In the state parliament he was elected the first governor of the province of South Tyrol on December 20, 1948 , although he could not be sworn in as a regional council member until January 5, 1949 due to an accident on the way to the constituent session of the regional council. After the regional council elections of 1952 he was confirmed in this office.

During this time, Erckert, as an exponent of the former resettlers ( optants ), maintained good relations with the formerly anti-Nazi exposed Dableibern around Erich Amonn and Hans Egarter , and tried to overcome the differences between the two groups. During his tenure as governor in the Erckert I and Erckert II cabinets , the first immediate tasks of the infrastructural reconstruction fell, whereby the construction of accommodation for the so-called resettlers who returned to South Tyrol from the destroyed German Empire represented a particular challenge.

Erckert died unexpectedly on December 15, 1955 in Bozen during a meeting of the South Tyrolean provincial government . He was buried on December 18th in Meran- Untermais, first in the family grave and later in an honorary grave of the province of South Tyrol.


Erckert married Anna Gruber (1904–1986, called Anny) on November 26, 1930 and had two sons with her, Wilfried (* 1932) and Karl Heinz (1936–2016, called Karheinz). Wilfried Erckert was a pediatrician , Karlheinz worked as a lawyer in the public service, most recently as General Director of the South Tyrolean Parliament, and as President of the Diocesan Institute for the Maintenance of the Clergy (DIUK).


  • Various awards for achievements in World War I, including:
  • In Meran a primary school is named after Karl Erckert.
  • In Lana a park is named after Karl Erckert.


  • Karlheinz Erckert: Karl Erckert (1894–1955): first governor of South Tyrol . In: Der Schlern , No. 2, 2014, pp. 1–81

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Erckert himself named June 2nd as his birthday in his résumé, see Karlheinz Erckert: Karl Erckert (1894–1955): First Governor of South Tyrol . The date February 2nd recorded on the website of the South Tyrolean Parliament is incorrect.
  2. a b Paolo Valente : Porto di mare. Trento 2005, pp. 156-161
  3. ^ A b c d e Karlheinz Erckert: Karl Erckert (1894–1955): first governor of South Tyrol . In: Der Schlern , No. 2, 2014, pp. 1–81
  4. Volksbote from November 22, 1945, p. 4 , digitized version of the state library “Dr. Friedrich Teßmann ” , accessed on June 2, 2019.
  5. Archived copy ( Memento from April 13, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  6. Minutes of the 36th session of the South Tyrolean Parliament, held in the plenary hall of the South Tyrolean Parliament on December 12, 1989.
  7. https://www.tageszeitung.it/2016/07/18/erckert-ist-tot/