Rudolf Amelunxen

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Rudolf Amelunxen in the Federal Assembly on July 17, 1954

Wilhelm Rudolf Konrad Amelunxen (born June 30, 1888 in Cologne , † April 21, 1969 in Grafschaft Monastery , today in Schmallenberg ) was a German politician of the Center Party and the first Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia .


Amelunxen was the son of an accountant at the Royal Prussian Railway Directorate in Cologne. In 1909 he made his Abitur at the same school as Konrad Adenauer , the apostle grammar school . He studied law , history and psychiatry at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg . Through his work in the social student movement Carl Sonnenschein , he became aware of the social problems of the workers. He first moved to the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Berlin , then to Bonn and passed the first state examination and then the second state examination in 1912 . In 1914 he was at the University of Erlangen with the issue of the violation of the maintenance obligation of the illegitimate father of criminal and poor policing point of view, the doctor of the rights doctorate .

Amelunxen worked in the Prussian administrative service from 1919 to 1933 , first in the Ministry of Welfare, then in the State Ministry from 1923, where he was promoted to ministerial advisor and finally became personal assistant to the social democratic Prime Minister Otto Braun . From 1926 he was the district president in Münster . After the Prussian strike , he was put into temporary retirement on March 30, 1932 and replaced by the State Secretary of the Reich Chancellery , Hermann Pünder . It is possible that, as Amelunxen himself assumed, a personal hostility of Reich Chancellor Franz von Papen , whose unusually high allowance as honorary mayor of Merfeld near Dülmen, he had drastically reduced several years earlier.

During the time of National Socialism he worked as an auxiliary fitter.

Amelunxen was buried in the Nordfriedhof (Düsseldorf) .

Political party

Amelunxen was already a democrat during the Empire , after 1919 he was considered a representative of the left wing of the Center Party , which he rejoined in 1947 after the re-establishment. In 1949 Amelunxen was the Center Party's candidate for the office of Federal President , but received only the third-most votes behind Theodor Heuss ( FDP ) and Kurt Schumacher ( SPD ) with 28 (1st ballot) and 30 votes (2nd ballot ). Amelunxen was a staunch opponent of efforts towards nuclear armament during the 1950s.


In 1946/47 Amelunxen was a member of the Zone Advisory Council for the British zone of occupation . In 1949 he was elected to the German Bundestag , but resigned his mandate on October 7th to remain a member of the government in North Rhine-Westphalia. Until 1958 he was a member of the state parliament , to which he had been a non-attached member since 1946, then as a member of the center from 1947.

Public offices

Amelunxen at the Prime Minister's meeting in Munich in June 1947

After the Second World War , he was appointed by the British occupying forces on July 5, 1945, as the chief president of Westphalia and on July 24, 1946, as the first prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia , where he was (at that time) an administrative expert who was not bound by party politics and was preferred to the chief president of the North Rhine Province , Robert Lehr , and the Mayor of Düsseldorf Karl Arnold , who had also been considered. On August 29, 1946, the first Amelunxen cabinet began its work. There he briefly took over the office of minister of education .

With the first state election in 1947, Amelunxen was replaced as Prime Minister by Karl Arnold ( CDU ) and took over the office of social affairs in his government until 1950 , and then until 1958 in the government of Fritz Steinhoff ( SPD ) that of Justice Minister .


  • Student youth court assistance. Secretariat of social student work, M. Gladbach 1911 (student library; H. 4).
  • Law studies and social work. Secretariat for social student work, M. Gladbach 1913 (student library; H. 6).
  • Big city misery. Volksvereins-Verlag, M. Gladbach 1913 (pamphlets of the secretariat of social student work; issue 8).
  • Justice and the people: a word to non-lawyers, youth educators and the like Friends of the people. Breer & Thiemann, Hamm (Westf.) 1914 (Frankfurt contemporary brochures; N. F. Volume 33, no.7).
  • The violation of the maintenance obligation of the illegitimate father from the criminal and poor police point of view. Borna / Leipzig 1914 (Erlangen, Jur. Diss., 1914).
  • The act of love of the adoption of war orphans: A call to friends of children, youth protection associations and the like. Orphan offices. Boisserée, Cologne 1915.
  • Limited ability to work and care work. Secretariat Soz. Student work, M. Gladbach [1915] (The World War; 14).
  • The hospital attendant. Secretariat of Social Student Work, M. Gladbach [1916] (The World War; 62).
  • We want to go on living, speeches d. Rudolf Amelunxen . Edited by d. Press office d. Westf. Provinzial-Regierg. Lechte, Emsdetten [1946].
  • Building block for the new Reich: Landtag North Rhine-Westphalia opens October 2, 1946 [Addresses by Rudolf Amelunxen [below] W. Sholto Douglas]. Schwann, Düsseldorf 1946.
  • Paths to the People's State: Speeches. Merkur-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1947.
  • Fight against hardship: speeches. West publishing house, Essen / Kettwig 1948.
  • The Cologne event. 2., unchanged. Edition. Ruhrland. Verlag-Ges., Essen 1956.
  • Small panopticon: 8 men and one woman. Ruhrland. Verlag-Ges., Essen 1957.
  • Carl Sonnenschein: a city apostle; Commemorative speech on the 30th anniversary of his death on February 23, 1958 in Berlin. Civic education center of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf 1958.
  • Men of Honor and Warlocks: Experiences and Reflections. Olzog, Munich 1960.


In the Cologne district of Sülz , a street near the justice center is named after Amelunxen.

See also

Cabinet Amelunxen I - Cabinet Amelunxen II - Cabinet Arnold I - Cabinet Steinhoff (North Rhine-Westphalia)


  • Clemens Amelunxen : Forty years of service to the social rule of law - Rudolf Amelunxen on his 100th birthday, portrait of a democrat. Extended version of a lecture given to the Legal Society in Berlin on April 20, 1988. de Gruyter, Berlin 1988, ISBN 3-11-011704-5 .
  • Peter Hüttenberger : Rudolf Amelunxen. In: Walter Först (Hrsg.): Between Ruhr struggle and reconstruction. Cologne / Berlin 1972, pp. 119–126.
  • Karl Teppe : Rudolf Amelunxen. In: Walter Först (Ed.): From thirty years. Rhenish-Westphalian politician portraits. Cologne 1979, pp. 48-65.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Rudolf Amelunxen, History of the CDU, Konrad Adenauer Foundation . In: Konrad Adenauer Foundation . ( [accessed on May 23, 2017]).
  2. ^ LWL: Internet portal "Westphalian History" - Rudolf Amelunxen
  3. Clemens Amelunxen: Forty years of service to the social constitutional state - Rudolf Amelunxen on the 100th birthday, portrait of a democrat. ISBN 3-11-011704-5 , p. 66.