Rudolf Schwander

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Rudolf Schwander

Rudolf Schwander (born December 23, 1868 in Colmar , Alsace ; † December 25, 1950 in Oberursel , Taunus ) was a German politician and social reformer . Among other things, he worked as mayor of Strasbourg and mayor of Hessen-Nassau .


Born in France, Rudolf Schwander was the son of Anne Barbe Schwander and, according to widespread rumors, the mayor of Colmar, Camille Schlumberger. After attending elementary and special school, Schwander initially worked as a clerk and clerk in his native Colmar, but also made up for his Abitur. Between 1897 and 1901 he studied in Strasbourg law and political science and was a thesis on the French poor relief to the doctor of political science doctorate .

In 1900 he entered the municipal service and took over the management of the poor and hospital administration, two years later he was also an alderman of Strasbourg. During this time he carried out pioneering social reforms and established the Strasbourg system in 1905 . Local authorities - so-called poor offices - were entrusted with the task of assessing residents for their need and deciding whether they are entitled to public support and no longer, as before, from volunteers alone. While (female) volunteers were responsible for advice and evaluation on site, the assessment in the administrative offices was the responsibility of (male) full-time employees. By abolishing the so-called Elberfeld system , Schwander took the first step towards professional social welfare .

A year later, Schwander was appointed mayor of Strasbourg. A brief interlude as acting State Secretary in the Reich Economic Office in 1917 was followed by a return to the Strasbourg City Hall in June 1918. Since 1911 he was a member of the 1st Chamber of the Landtag of the realm of Alsace-Lorraine . In October 1918 he became "imperial governor" in the realm of Alsace-Lorraine , but could no longer prevent its subsequent separation from the realm.

From 1919 to 1930, he directed the fortunes of the Hesse-Nassau province as senior president. He always turned down ministerial posts that were offered to him during the Weimar Republic and even after 1945. In the period of inflation in 1923, he saved the Foundation University of Frankfurt from collapse through an agreement between the state and the city. When the rector wanted to make him curator in 1933, he was rejected by the National Socialists because of political unreliability. After the war he became an honorary senator of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University and received several honorary doctorates.

In the 1930s he was the administrator of the Städel Art Institute and the Free German Hochstift in Frankfurt am Main . The Hessian state government appointed him in 1948 as an expert in a cabinet commission that was supposed to work out an administrative reform.

Schwander was temporarily state commissioner for the University of Frankfurt . In 1903 he joined the German Association for Poor Care and Charity , the umbrella organization for public and private welfare institutions, which in 1930 awarded him honorary membership. From 1941 he was chairman of the scientific "Institute of Alsace-Lorraine in the Reich", ELI, at the University of Frankfurt am Main, until it was dissolved in 1945. Here mainly German nationalists and irredentists met who wanted to prevent these provinces from becoming part of the French republic.

Grave of dr. Rudolf Schwander and family in the old cemetery in Oberursel.

Schwander moved to Oberursel in 1932 , where he and his wife Maria geb. Although from Horbourg lived until his death and is buried in the old cemetery . At a memorial service in Frankfurt on the occasion of his death, Reich Chancellor a. D. Hans Luther , The Rector of the Frankfurt University , Rajewski and the Frankfurt Mayor Walter Kolb .


Rudolf-Schwander-Strasse in Kassel and Allée Rudolf Schwander in Strasbourg are named after Rudolf Schwander . After the war, Schwander became an honorary senator of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University and received several honorary doctorates.


Web links

Commons : Rudolf Schwander  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Christoph Müllerleile: "A great (also almost) forgotten in Oberursel" . In: Communications of the Association for History and Local History Oberursel (Taunus) . 2013, issue 52. Oberursel (Taunus), p. 74-75 .