Palatinate (Bavaria)

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Coat of arms with the Palatinate lion

As Rhine district which was from 1816 to 1837 left-bank territory of the Kingdom of Bavaria called. Before the French Revolutionary Wars (1792), the area had largely belonged to the Electoral Palatinate . With the death of Maximilian III. Joseph died out on December 30, 1777, the Bavarian line of the Wittelsbacher , so that under the Palatinate Elector Karl Theodor Bavaria and the Palatinate were reunited after almost 450 years of separation to the Electorate Palatinate-Bavaria . At the Congress of Vienna in 1815 it was initially awarded to the Austrian Empire , after it had been under a provisional joint Austrian-Bavarian administration since 1814. Austria ceded it to Bavaria with the Treaty of Munich in 1816 . Since 1909, the region's unofficial flag was the black and gold Palatinate flag , which was banned from 1915, but is now used again.

In 1837 the Rhine district was renamed Pfalz . The name Rheinpfalz was also in use . Many people spoke of Rhine Bavaria , Bavarian Palatinate or Bavaria on the other side of the Rhine (from a Munich perspective). The area remained Bavarian until the founding of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate on August 30, 1946 , with the exception of the part that was separated off in 1920, which roughly corresponds to today's Saarpfalz district .


The Rhine district largely coincided with today's Palatinate region , which lies west of the Rhine in the south of Rhineland-Palatinate , but also contained the Saarland districts of Homburg and St. Ingbert . These were incorporated into the Saar area in 1920 after the end of the First World War and in 1974 merged to form the Saarpfalz district . After the Second World War , smaller territories were ceded to the Saarland , especially in the St. Wendel area . As part of the regional reform in 1969 , the area known as the Palatinate within Rhineland-Palatinate was changed somewhat on its northern border. The diocese of Speyer and the Evangelical Church of the Palatinate still exist mainly within the historical borders of the Rhine district.



Before 1792, the area of ​​the Rhine District, which was created in 1816, was divided into a total of 45, in some cases very small, secular and spiritual territories . The largest were the Electoral Palatinate , the Duchy of Zweibrücken and the Hochstift Speyer . Dynastic connections via the Wittelsbachers had existed between the Electoral Palatinate and Bavaria for centuries .

The left bank of the Rhine and thus also the Palatinate within the borders of that time was occupied by French revolutionary troops from 1794 . With the Peace of Campo Formio (1797) France annexed the area and introduced its administrative system in 1798. The later Rhine district comprised major parts of the Donnersberg department and smaller parts of the Saard department and the Lower Rhine department .

After Napoleon's defeat in the Battle of Leipzig (1813) and the Allies took the left bank of the Rhine in January 1814, the region was initially under the provisional administration of the Central Rhine General Government from February 2, 1814 (seat initially in Trier , later Koblenz and Mainz ) and from June 16, 1814 under the administration of the “k. k. austrian and k. Bavarian joint state administration commission ”(seat Worms ).

Administrative region of the Palatinate in the Kingdom of Bavaria


The Palatinate area as a Bavarian district (around 1900)

In the main contract of June 9, 1815 concluded at the Congress of Vienna (1815), Article 51 stipulated that (among other things) the former departments of the Saar and the Donnersberg on the left bank of the Rhine, unless otherwise stated in the same contract, come under the rule of Sr. Maj. the Emperor of Austria with full sovereignty and property rights. The joint Austrian-Bavarian administration was retained for the time being.

On April 14, 1816, a treaty was signed between Austria and Bavaria in which various changes to the area were agreed. According to Article 2 of the treaty, Emperor Franz I of Austria ceded the following areas to King Maximilian I of Bavaria in addition to various areas on the right bank of the Rhine on the left bank of the Rhine:

In the department of Thunder Mountain:
  1. the districts of Zweibrücken, Kaiserslautern and Speier; the latter with the exception of the Cantons of Worms and Pfeddersheim;
  2. the Canton Kirchheim-Bolanden, in the district of Alzei.
In the Saar department:
  1. the Cantons Waldmohr, Blieskastel and Kusel, the latter with the exception of a few places on the road from St. Wendel to Baumholder, which are to be compensated for by a further area adjustment to be corrected in agreement with the authorized representatives of the allied powers gathered at Frankfurt.
In the Lower Rhine department:
  1. Canton, city and fortress Landau, the latter as a federal fortress in accordance with the provisions of November 3, 1815;
  2. the Cantone Bergzabern, long Kandel and the entire share of the department of the Lower Rhine on the left Lauter-shore, which in the Paris treaty November 20, 1815 has been assigned .

May 1st, 1816 was agreed as the date of taking possession.

The Baden-Bavarian border dispute over the Palatinate on the right bank of the Rhine was decided in favor of Baden at the Aachen Congress in 1818 .

Structure and administration

The capital Speyer around 1900

In accordance with the Bavarian administrative structure at the time , the area was given the name "Rheinkreis" and Speyer became the capital. The subdivision of the area into cantons , mayorships and municipalities was retained from the previous French administrative structure . The cantons served as districts of the lower administration and jurisdiction, which were initially designated as peace districts, from 1854–1879 as rural districts and since then as district court districts . In 1852 so-called district parishes were set up as self- governing authorities in these judicial districts , which were replaced after 1919 by a self-governance of the entire district offices (see below).

At the next higher level there was initially a division into four district directorates (Frankenthal, Kaiserslautern, Landau and Zweibrücken). These authorities had emerged from the French sub-prefectures of the arrondissements , but Frankenthal took over the official seat of Speyer , which had already become the capital of the Rhine district, while the district headquarters in Landau was newly established after the Bavarian occupation. In 1818, several cantons were merged into twelve administrative districts. These were given the designation Landkommissariate (renamed district offices in 1862 and districts in 1939 ).

The Bavarian King Maximilian I Joseph decreed on September 24, 1816 the renewed convocation of the General Council of the Donnersberg department under the new name "Landrath". Its 20 members, each nominated by the king for three years, came from the upper classes. They did not pursue a politics of interests, but committed themselves sustainably to the common good. The district administrator of the Rhine district and later the Palatinate regularly used his right to point out the Palatinate interests. In doing so, he campaigned intensively for the development and promotion of the Palatinate and its institutions. King Maximilian appointed Hofrat Franz Xaver von Zwack as the first district president , from whose name the popular Palatine name “ Zwockel ” for the Bavarian officials goes back.

Legal Status

Within the Kingdom of Bavaria, the Palatinate enjoyed a special legal and administrative position, as the Bavarian government retained essential achievements of the French period. In the Palatinate, the manorial rule was abolished (which only happened in Bavaria on the right bank of the Rhine in 1848), the separation of administration and justice was enforced down to the lowest level (regional commissariats and regional courts) and complete freedom of trade was in effect. Moreover, who was the Civil Code until the entry into force of the Civil Code (BGB) in 1900 as a civil law of the Palatinate. One historian describes the relationship between Bavaria on the right bank of the Rhine and the Palatinate with special privileges as a relationship between “main state and subsidiary state”. In connection with the Freising Bishops' Conference , the Palatinate ( Diocese of Speyer ) continues to belong to Bavaria under canon law.

Democracy Movement and Emigration

The Hambach Castle , in 1832 the scene of the Hambach Festival

Under the influence of the French July Revolution of 1830 , a great freedom rally took place in Hambach Castle near what was then Neustadt an der Haardt, which went down in history as the Hambach Festival . The demands for political say went further than the Bavarian constitution of 1818 provided. The event was not originally about the Palatinate, but about Germany and the German nation.

On November 29, 1837, the Rhine district was renamed "Palatinate" by a "Royal Highest Ordinance". This name lasted until the end of World War II. In addition, the names "Rheinpfalz" or "Rheinbayern" were also in use.

As a result of the revolution of 1848 and the Frankfurt National Assembly, the Palatinate uprising occurred in May 1849 during the imperial constitution campaign . The Palatinate broke away from Bavaria. The aim was the creation of a Palatinate Republic and the adoption of the Paulskirche constitution . In June, Prussian troops under Moritz von Hirschfeld ended the uprising within a week without encountering major resistance .

The rule of the Bavarian royal family was expressed through building projects such as the royal Villa Ludwigshöhe near Edenkoben and the extensive restoration of the Speyer Cathedral . At the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich , from 1866 onwards, many students from the “Trans-Rhine Palatinate” formed the Fröhlich Palatinate , later the Corps Transrhenania .

The poor economic situation caused numerous people from the Palatinate to emigrate until the middle of the 19th century , especially to North America . At times, was Palatines ( English Palatine ) in the United States a generic term for all German-speaking immigrants. Well-known German-Americans with Palatine roots from this time are the food entrepreneur Henry John Heinz , whose father Johann Heinrich Heinz emigrated from Kallstadt to Pennsylvania in 1840 , and the US President Donald Trump , who was elected in 2016 . Trump's paternal grandparents were also from Kallstadt; his father Fred C. Trump was conceived there shortly before the family finally emigrated to the United States under pressure from the Bavarian authorities. Heinz 'and Trump's ancestors not only came from the same village, but were also distantly related: Johann Heinrich Heinz's mother was a born Trump and a great-aunt of Fred C. Trump.

With the especially in the early days onset of industrialization , which, however, was mostly limited to centers such as Ludwigshafen, Kaiserslautern and Pirmasens, the economic conditions improved slightly.

Administrative region of Pfalz in the Free State of Bavaria

First World War and its aftermath

After the First World War , the Palatinate was occupied by French troops until 1930 in accordance with the terms of the armistice and peace , even though it was still part of Bavaria. District President Friedrich von Chlingensperg auf Berg prevented the proclamation of a neutral and independent republic on the left bank of the Rhine, which might have been dominated by political Catholicism .

The Versailles Treaty of 1919 decreed the separation of western areas of the Palatinate, which were assigned to the newly formed Saar area , which in turn was placed under the administration of the League of Nations . In today's Saarland, these parts of the area form the Saarpfalz district . The district office of St. Ingbert , parts of the district office of Homburg and communities of the district office of Zweibrücken , which were attached to the district office of Homburg, were separated from the Palatinate and incorporated into the Saar area. Under constitutional law, these 424 square kilometers remained part of the Palatinate, i.e. H. Bavaria. As was the case with the city of Landau in 1910, a further seven cities were removed from the district offices in 1920 and declared to be urban districts, all of which today still have the status of an independent city .

During the French occupation there were separatist movements in the Palatinate. This began on November 6, 1923 with uprisings in Kaiserslautern, Neustadt and Landau and ended with a storm on the district office in Pirmasens on February 12, 1924. They led to the proclamation of the Autonomous Palatinate , which, however, did not last. The Palatinate landowner Franz Josef Heinz , known as Heinz-Orbis , had proclaimed an autonomous Palatinate on November 6, 1923 ; this initiative ended after a few weeks with his murder. The French troops evacuated the Palatinate in the summer of 1930 after the Young Plan had been adopted in the Berlin Reichstag .

As a result of the global economic crisis that began in 1929, the population's resentment grew in the rural region, which was reflected in the electoral successes of anti-democratic parties: Despite the democratic tradition, the NSDAP and its long-time Gauleiter Josef Bürckel were able to quickly establish itself in the Palatinate towards the end of the Weimar Republic achieved above-average election results.

Period of National Socialism and World War II

During the time of National Socialism , the status of the Palatinate was significantly interfered with. The Gauleiter of the NSDAP for the Gau Rheinpfalz was Josef Bürckel since 1926 . He wanted to separate the Palatinate from the Bavarian state and take over political control himself. He turned down the offer to take over the office of district president in Speyer, as he feared subordination to the state government in Munich in this position. An appointment as "political representative" for the Palatinate in May 1934 remained an episode. Instead, Bürckel initially secured rule over the Palatinate without assuming any state office, and appointed Friedrich Wenner, a provisional district president who was dependent on him , in the Speyer district government. Reich Governor Franz von Epp and Prime Minister Ludwig Siebert in Munich increasingly lost their influence on the Rhine Palatinate.

District and community structure of the Bavarian administrative district Pfalz in 1941

In 1935, the Saar area was reorganized and the united Gau Pfalz-Saar was formed, which was renamed Gau Saarpfalz in 1936 .

At the beginning of the Second World War , after France declared war on September 3, 1939, the places near the border in the “ Red Zone ” (in front of the Siegfried Line, built from 1938 ) were evacuated and the population was taken to reception areas in the rest of the Reich. From 1940 the Bavarian administrative district Palatinate was administered by the "Reich Commissioner for the Saar Palatinate". The legal status of the Palatinate also changed in 1940: through a decree of the Council of Ministers for the Reich Defense , the district government (new name for the district government) and the Reich Commissioner for the Saarland (which Bürckel had led since the reorganization of the Saar area in 1935) became Bürckel amalgamated as Reich Commissioner for the Saar Palatinate with headquarters in Kaiserslautern . Bürckel had tried for years to unite both areas, but had now only achieved the merger of the two administrations. Formally, the Palatinate continued to be part of Bavaria, which was also emphasized in the aforementioned decree, but was hardly of any significance in reality.

In 1941, Bürckel's sphere of influence was once again expanded by a Führer decree : his office as head of the civil administration of Lorraine was combined with that of the Reich Commissioner; Bürckel now acted as Reich Governor in Westmark , based in Saarbrücken . The planned unification of the three sub-areas into a Reichsgau Westmark (the renaming of Saarpfalz in Westmark took place in 1940) did not take place. Through the “ Reichsstatthalter in der Westmark ” these three areas - Palatinate and Saarland, from 1941 also Lorraine - were administered in personal union without a formal amalgamation of the areas. The incumbent was Josef Bürckel until his death in 1944, from 1944 to 1945 Willi Stöhr .

In view of the approaching Allied troops, the Westmark leadership had to leave Saarbrücken in December 1944. While the administration came to Speyer one last time, the management staff around Gauleiter and Reich Governor Willi Stöhr , who had been the successor of the late Bürckel since September 1944, withdrew to Landstuhl . The Nazi rule over the Palatinate ended in March 1945 in Operation Undertone .

Separation from Bavaria

After the end of the Second World War in 1945, the Palatinate belonged to the French zone of occupation . In accordance with Regulation No. 57 of the French High Command, it was incorporated into the newly formed state of Rhineland-Palatinate in 1946. There was therefore no reunification with the Palatinate on the right bank of the Rhine even after 1945. The seat of the district government was now Neustadt an der Weinstrasse (until 1950 under the name Neustadt an der Haardt ). On April 22nd, 1956, a referendum to reunite the area with Bavaria failed because instead of the required 10%, only 7.6% approval was achieved. In 1968, the merger of the Palatinate was performed using the administrative district of Rheinhessen for Rheinhessen-Pfalz ; the district government kept its seat in Neustadt until 2000, when the Rhineland-Palatinate administration was restructured .

District President

Official Term of office (beginning) Term of office (end)
Franz Xaver von Zwack May 18, 1816 April 16, 1817
Joseph von Stichaner April 16, 1817 February 10, 1832
Ferdinand von Andrian-Werburg February 10, 1832 June 22, 1832
Carl Albert Leopold von Stengel June 22, 1832 November 22, 1837
Karl Theodor von Wrede November 22, 1837 April 30, 1841
Eugen von Wrede May 1, 1841 February 9, 1845
Karl von Schrenck February 9, 1845 May 27, 1846
Franz Alwens May 30, 1846 June 30, 1849
Johann Baptist von Zenetti July 5, 1849 April 2, 1850
Gustav von Hohe April 2, 1850 December 1, 1866
Sigmund von Pfeufer April 24, 1867 April 21, 1871
Paul von Braun October 1, 1871 February 26, 1892
Julius von Auer April 1, 1892 1897
Ludwig von Welser June 1, 1897 October 31, 1902
Adolf von Neuffer November 1, 1902 March 31, 1918
Theodor von Winterstein April 1, 1918 May 31, 1919
Lorenz Wappes May 31, 1919 June 5, 1919
Friedrich von Chlingensperg June 5, 1919 January 23, 1923
Jacob Mathèus January 24, 1923 June 30, 1928
Theodor Pfülf July 1, 1928 May 31, 1932
Ludwig Osthelder June 1, 1932 September 30, 1933
Franz Roeder October 1, 1933 May 3, 1934
Richard Imbt May 3, 1934 June 20, 1934
Friedrich Wenner August 1, 1934 August 31, 1939
Karl Barth September 1, 1939 April 30, 1940
Friedrich Wenner ( 2nd time ) April 8, 1941 November 30, 1943
  1. a b c d executive
  2. ↑ delegated to the Reich Commissioner for Austria; did not actually carry out his office
  3. took over the post still provided for in the Bavarian state budget; did not exercise any administrative activity

See also


  • Karsten Ruppert: The Palatinate in the Kingdom of Bavaria. History, culture and identity , Verlag Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2017, ISBN 978-3-17-032401-5 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Royal Highest ordinance concerning the division of the Kingdom of Bavaria from November 29, 1837. In Government Gazette for the Kingdom of Bavaria , 58/1837 ( online ).
  2. ^ A b Friedrich Wilhelm Hermann Wagener: State and Society Lexicon , F. Heinicke, 1867, p. 140 ( online ).
  3. ^ Adalbert Heib: Official Directory and Statistics of the Royal Bavarian Government District of the Palatinate , Speyer, Kranzbühler, 1863, p. 58 ff. ( Online ).
  4. F. W. A. ​​Schlickeysen: Repertory of laws and ordinances for the royal. Prussian Rhine provinces , Trier: Leistenschneider, 1830, p. 8 ff. ( Online ).
  5. ^ Stefan Schaupp: Trees of freedom - dreams of freedom: The history of the Palatinate from 1816 to 1945. Geography for the curious , G. Braun Buchverlag, Leinfelden-Echterdingen 2011, p. 14
  6. Main treaty of the Congress of European Powers, Princes and Free Cities assembled in Vienna, along with 17 special treaties , Article 51, p. 101 ( digitized version ).
  7. Munich Treaty of April 14, 1816 in GM Kletke: The State Treaties of the Kingdom of Bavaria ... from 1806 up to and including 1858 , Regensburg, Pustet, 1860, p. 310 ( online ).
  8. ^ Wilhelm Volkert, Richard Bauer: Handbook of the Bavarian offices, municipalities and courts 1799-1980 . Munich 1983, ISBN 3-406-09669-7 , pp. 125, 606 ff.
  9. ^ Wilhelm Volkert, Richard Bauer: Handbook of the Bavarian offices, municipalities and courts 1799-1980 . Munich 1983, p. 96.
  10. ^ Wilhelm Volkert, Richard Bauer: Handbook of the Bavarian offices, municipalities and courts 1799-1980 . Munich 1983, p. 43.
  11. ^ Rainer Scharf: State servants on outposts. The higher officials of the internal administration of the Palatinate 1870-1918 (series of publications on Bavarian history 129), Munich 2001, p. 82.
  12. Johann von Birnbaum, History of the City and Federal Fortress Landau, with accompanying documents , 2nd edition, Kaiserslautern 1830, p. 418.
  13. ^ Wilhelm Volkert, Richard Bauer: Handbook of the Bavarian offices, municipalities and courts 1799-1980 . Munich 1983, pp. 43, 97, 98.
  14. Heiner Haan: Bavaria and the Palatinate 1816-1870. (No longer available online.) In: 7th research report. University of Regensburg, 1997, archived from the original on February 21, 2008 ; Retrieved March 23, 2008 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  15. Historical and geographical information system HGIS Germany (1820 to 1914) .
  16. Gwenda Blair: The Trumps. Three Generations of Builders and a Presidential Candidate . Simon & Schuster, New York 2015. p. 102.
  17. Joshua Kendall: America's Obsessives: The Compulsive Energy That Built a Nation. Grand Central Publishing, New York, Boston 2013, p. 64.
  18. Jahrhundert)# Franz.C3.B6sische_Besatzung_1918-1930
  19. ^ Wilhelm Volkert, Richard Bauer: Handbook of the Bavarian offices, municipalities and courts 1799-1980 . Munich 1983, p. 90.
  20. Helmut Gembries: French occupation of the Palatinate, 1918 / 19-1930. Historical Lexicon of Bavaria, February 9, 2010, accessed June 7, 2010 .
  21. ^ Werner Schineller: The regional presidents of the Palatinate . Speyer 1980, p. 13 f.
  22. GVBl. 1934, p. 266. (Announcement about the appointment of political representatives of the state government to the district governments. From April 25, 1934)
  23. ^ Lothar Wettstein: Josef Bürckel: Gauleiter, Reichsstatthalter, crisis manager Adolf Hitler . Norderstedt 2010, p. 174 ff.
  24. RGBl. 1940 I, p. 632. (Ordinance on the amalgamation of the offices of the Reich Commissioner for Saarland and the District President in Speyer. From April 8, 1940)
  25. RGBl. 1941 I, p. 163. (Decree of the Führer and Reich Chancellor on the designation of the Reich Commissioner for the Saar Palatinate. From March 11, 1941)
  26. Ulrich Springorum: Development and structure of the administration in Rhineland-Palatinate after the Second World War (1945–1947) . Berlin 1982, p. 50
  27. ^ Palatinate (19th / 20th century), 1956: The popular initiative to reorganize the country fails. Historical Lexicon of Bavaria , 2016, accessed on December 28, 2016 .