Reinhold Maier

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Reinhold Maier visiting the German Garden Show in Stuttgart,
June 3, 1950
Reinhold Maier's birthplace in Schorndorf
Maier's grave in the old cemetery

Reinhold Otto Maier (born October 16, 1889 in Schorndorf ; † August 19, 1971 in Stuttgart ) was a German politician ( FVP , DDP and FDP / DVP ) and the first Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg .

Life and work

Maier, who was a Protestant denomination, was born in Schorndorf as the son of the town architect Gottlieb Maier . His older brother Hermann called himself Hermann Maier-Leibnitz after his marriage . After attending the Latin school in Schorndorf, Reinhold Maier switched to the Dillmann Gymnasium in Stuttgart, where he graduated from high school in 1907. He then studied law at the University of Grenoble and at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen . There he was a member of the Tübingen student association “ Akademische Gesellschaft Stuttgardia ”, which is closely related to southern German liberalism . Here he met later political companions such as Eberhard Wildermuth , Karl Georg Pfleiderer , Konrad Wittwer and Wolfgang Haußmann . The clerkship he graduated in Ravensburg , then he was in Heidelberg for doctor of law doctorate . He took part in the First World War as a soldier in the 13th foot artillery regiment . In 1920 he settled in Stuttgart as a lawyer . In 1924 he was accepted into the Masonic lodge “To the 3 Ceders” in Stuttgart (after the Second World War he was a founding member of the Stuttgart lodge “Furchtlos und Treu” in 1946). During the time of National Socialism he worked as a lawyer; his wife Gerta Goldschmidt fled to England with their two children. Reinhold Maier divorced her under pressure from the Nazis and remarried her in 1946.

Reinhold Maier died in Stuttgart in 1971 at the age of 81 and was buried in the old cemetery of Schorndorf , Rems-Murr-Kreis .

Political party

Engaged in the FVP of the imperial era since 1912 , Maier joined the newly founded left-liberal DDP in 1918 , which in 1930 merged with the Young German Order to form the German State Party. In 1924 he became chairman of the Stuttgart district association of the DDP.

In 1945 Maier participated in the founding of the Democratic People's Party (DVP), which must not be confused with the German People's Party of the Weimar Republic, known under the same abbreviation . The DVP joined the FDP in 1948, but carried its old name for a long time. After the formation of the coalition of FDP / DVP, SPD and BHE under his leadership in Baden-Württemberg in 1952, the Hessian FDP state association applied for Maier and state chairman Wolfgang Haußmann to be excluded from the party and the FDP to be separated from the DVP, but was unable to do so push through. The federal main committee of the FDP was only able to bring itself to a disapproval of the coalition in the south-western state. From 1957 to 1960 Maier was federal chairman of the FDP, then honorary chairman until his death.

From 1958 to 1971 he was a member of the board of trustees of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation . Documents on his political activities are in the Archives of Liberalism of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Gummersbach .


Maier was a member of the Reichstag for the German State Party from 1932 to 1933 . At the same time he was a member of the Württemberg state parliament from 1932 to 1933 . On March 23, 1933, he voted for the Enabling Act together with the other four liberal members of the Reichstag, Hermann Dietrich , Theodor Heuss , Heinrich Landahl and Ernst Lemmer . He justified the yes to the Enabling Act. The text of his speech can be read in the minutes of the Reichstag session of March 23, 1933. The final sentence of his speech read: "In the interest of the people and fatherland and in the expectation of a lawful development, we will put aside our serious concerns and agree to the Enabling Act."

According to the information provided by Theodor Heuss in his memoirs, the five liberal members of the Reichstag were initially at odds over the so-called Enabling Act. The committee meeting of the state party had left the decision to them, but with the request to vote uniformly. Heuss had formulated two declarations, one for rejection and one for abstention. However, only Hermann Dietrich stood by his side ; Heinrich Landahl, Ernst Lemmer and Reinhold Maier voted for approval within the Reichstag group. Heuss and Dietrich were outvoted, so that all liberal MPs then voted for the Enabling Act. Heuss's declaration of rejection has not survived. The original declaration of abstention is in the Theodor Heuss Archive, Stuttgart. Reinhold Maier then leaned partially on this draft in the text of the declaration of consent, which he read out on March 23, 1933.

From 1945 to 1949 Maier was a member of the state council of the American occupation area and later that of the bizone . From 1946 to 1952 he was a member of the state parliament of Württemberg-Baden . From 1952 to 1964 Maier was a member of the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg . Maier was a member of the Bundestag from 1953 to May 14, 1956 and from 1957 to September 30, 1959 .

Public offices

From 1930 to 1933 Reinhold Maier was Minister of Economic Affairs in Württemberg , in the cabinet of President Eugen Bolz .

After the war ended in 1945, the American military government transferred Maier to the post of Prime Minister of Württemberg-Baden , which he held until the state was dissolved in 1952. On April 25, 1952, Maier ( FDP / DVP ) was elected Prime Minister of the newly formed state of Baden-Württemberg by the state constituent assembly. Surprisingly, after his election, Maier formed a coalition of FDP / DVP, SPD and BHE and sent the CDU as the strongest party in the opposition. From September 7, 1952 to September 6, 1953 he was President of the Federal Council . In 1953 Maier was also Minister of Justice for a short time in Baden-Württemberg.

When the CDU achieved an absolute majority in the federal elections of September 6, 1953 in Baden-Württemberg, Maier resigned from the office of Prime Minister, his successor being Gebhard Müller on October 7, 1953 . Maier went to Bonn to exercise his mandate in the Bundestag.

For almost 70 years Reinhold Maier was the only FDP politician who was head of government in a German state that still exists today. It was not until 2020 that Thomas Kemmerich became a member of the FDP again as Prime Minister. With a term of office of 27 days in Thuringia, he was the short-term head of government of a German state (see: Government crisis in Thuringia 2020 ).


In 1953 he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany. The city of Stuttgart granted Maier honorary citizenship in 1969 , as did the cities of Schorndorf (1949) and Welzheim . The Reinhold Maier Foundation , which is close to the FDP, is named after him.

See also


  • End and turn. The Swabian fate 1944–1946. Letters and diary entries. Wunderlich, Stuttgart / Tübingen 1948, DNB 453183077 .
  • Belonged family. Wunderlich, Tübingen 1962, DNB 453183085 .
  • A foundation stone is laid. The years 1945–1947. Wunderlich, Tübingen 1964, DNB 453183093 .
  • Memories. 1948-1953. Wunderlich, Tübingen 1966, DNB 457487763 .
  • They talk. Volume 1. Foreword by Jürgen Morlok . (=  Series of publications by the Reinhold Maier Foundation. Volume 12). Reinhold Maier Foundation Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart 1982, DNB 821036904 .
  • Selected speeches. Foreword by Ulrich Goll . (=  Series of publications by the Reinhold Maier Foundation. Volume 37). Reinhold Maier Foundation Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart 2014, DNB 1125916907 .


Web links

Commons : Reinhold Maier  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. lodges story on the website of the Masonic Lodge "Fearless and Faithful" .
  2. Reinhold Maier's grave .
  3. Christof Brauers: The FDP in Hamburg 1945 to 1953. Start as a bourgeois left party (= Association for Democratic Openness: DemOkrit. Vol. 3). With a foreword by Hildegard Hamm-Brücher . M-Press Meidenbauer, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-89975-569-5 , pp. 560 and 566 (also: Hamburg, Helmut Schmidt University, dissertation, 2004).
  4. Negotiations of the Reichstag, stenographic report, March 23, 1933, p. 38 .
  5. ^ Theodor Heuss : The seizure of power and the enabling law. Two posthumous chapters of the "Memories 1905–1933". Edited by Eberhard Pikart. Wunderlich, Tübingen 1967, p. 24.
  6. ^ Theodor Heuss: The seizure of power and the enabling law. Two posthumous chapters of the "Memories 1905–1933". Edited by Eberhard Pikart. Wunderlich, Tübingen 1967. Note No. 12, p. 50.
  7. ^ Arnulf Baring : An opponent of Adenauer , in: Zeit Online , September 23, 1966.