Waldemar von Knoeringen

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Detail of the grave of Waldemar von Knoeringen in the Waldfriedhof in Munich

Waldemar Freiherr von Knoeringen (born October 6, 1906 in Rechetsberg near Weilheim in Upper Bavaria , † July 2, 1971 in Bernried am Starnberger See ) was a German politician ( SPD ). In the resistance against Nazism active, he was instrumental in the reconstruction of the SPD Bayern involved after the 1945th


Waldemar von Knoeringen came from the Swabian noble family von Knoeringen ; the participation of ancestors in the crusades can be proven. The family coat of arms can be found on an image of the Council of Constance , which von Knoeringens represented several bishops and abbots in the history of the Roman Catholic Church in Bavaria.


In 1926 von Knoeringen, who worked as an administrative clerk, joined the SPD and took on leading positions in the Socialist Workers' Youth (SAJ) in Munich. For him, only this party embodied the connection between justice and freedom. Since imperial barons only rarely became social democrats at this time , he was nicknamed The Red Baron . In 1933 even ready to armed resistance against National Socialism , Knoeringen fled to Austria, certain that such resistance would be hopeless . The Gestapo arrested in search of his fiancée Juliane and threatened to release them only when voluntarily put Knoeringen. She went on a hunger strike, was released and also fled to Tyrol . From 1933 von Knoeringen was a member of the resistance group New Beginning . Knoeringen lived from lectures, most of which he gave to the SPÖ ; later in France he opened a photo studio. During the Weimar Republic he was a member of the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold organization for the protection of the republic .

After the Dollfuss Putsch (July 1934), Knoeringen had to flee Austria . He fled to Czechoslovakia , where he headed a border secretariat for Sopade in Neuern (Nýrsko) and then headed the domestic work of Neu Beginnen from Prague and coordinated the resistance work of a network of 13 bases and groups in the Bavarian and Austrian region. There he met Léon Blum , who distributed entry visas to him and other Social Democrats present for France , where he stayed from 1938. When the war started, von Knoeringen was finally in England . From 1940 to 1943 he worked for the German-language program of the BBC as well as for the broadcaster of the European revolution . He left the BBC because he was no longer allowed to work on his own responsibility and the BBC requested that he inspect the broadcast manuscripts before the broadcast.

At the end of 1945 Knoeringen returned to Germany as a major in the British Army and was in some cases severely attacked because of his emigration and his “work for the enemy” . Knoeringen was state chairman of the SPD in Bavaria from 1947 to 1963 and one of the deputy national chairmen of the SPD from 1958 to 1962. From 1946 to 1970 he was a member of the state parliament (until 1958 as parliamentary group chairman), from 1949 to April 3, 1951, he was also a member of the Bundestag . Together with Wilhelm Hoegner , he set up the Georg von Vollmar School from 1948 (from 1968: Georg von Vollmar Academy ), of which he was chairman until his death in 1971. His goal was to enable people to actively support social democracy through political education and training , in order to counteract the National Socialist ideas that still existed among many. At the Georg von Vollmar Academy, von Knoeringen repeatedly organized discussion groups of scientists who sometimes kept a great distance from social democratic ideas. He was - for the time - undogmatic and endeavored to develop new social and political ideas and new sections of the population for the SPD. On the other hand, however, he criticized Hoegner's strong federalist stance and in 1949 demanded that his "blue-white social democracy" should come to an end.

In 1954, in coalition negotiations with the Bavarian party , FDP and GB / BHE , von Knoeringen achieved the formation of the so-called " four-party coalition " under Wilhelm Hoegner and thus the replacement of the CSU as the ruling party in Bavaria.

In his opening speech at the federal party conference in 1959, Knoeringen, who is considered to be rhetorically gifted, campaigned for the Godesberg program that was being voted on . He played a leading role in its development. Through his insistence on the need for theoretical foundations or his suggestion of basic mobilization in the election campaign, he anticipated many ideas in the early 1950s that would prevail in the SPD years later. He was part of Willy Brandt's shadow cabinet in the event of a victory in the 1965 federal election .

He was buried in the old part of the forest cemetery in Munich .

Rosenheim workers library

Knoeringen opened the first and only workers' library in Rosenheim in 1927, with a book inventory of around 2,000 volumes in 1932. In 1933 it was forcibly dissolved by the National Socialists.



  • Franz Menges:  Knoeringen, Waldemar von. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 12, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1980, ISBN 3-428-00193-1 , p. 204 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Thomas Zunhammer / Pichelmeier Werner: Library history of Rosenheim. A contribution to the cultural development of the city. Snayder-Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-932319-53-2 .
  • Grebing, Helga; Süß, Dietmar (Ed.): Waldemar von Knoeringen 1906–1971. A renewer of the German social democracy. On behalf of the Georg-von-Vollmar-Akademie eV, Volume I: Essays. 255 pages, Volume II: Letters and Documents - 455 pages. Forward book, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-86602-290-5 .
  • Mehringer, Hartmut: Waldemar von Knoeringen: a political biography. The way from revolutionary socialism to social democracy. 529 pages. Series of publications by the Georg von Vollmar Academy, Volume 2. KG Saur-Verlag, Munich 1989.
  • Werner, Emil: Waldemar von Knoeringen 1906–1971. Brochure 63 pages, self-published by Georg-von-Vollmar-Akademie eV, 1981.

Web links

Commons : Waldemar von Knoeringen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. ^ Wilhelm Högner . In: The time . September 3, 1953, ISSN  0044-2070 ( zeit.de [accessed March 12, 2017]).
  2. Grave No. 90-W-11