Wilhelm Külz

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Wilhelm Külz 1946
Memorial plaque at the birthplace in Borna, Martin-Luther-Platz 8
Honor roll for Wilhelm Külz in the St. Augustin Grimma high school (in the passage of the main portal)
Postage stamp with a portrait of Wilhelm Külz '

Wilhelm Leopold Friedrich Külz (born February 18, 1875 in Borna , † April 10, 1948 in Berlin ) was a German politician ( DDP , LDPD ). In 1926 he was Reich Minister of the Interior and from 1945 to 1948 chairman of the LDPD.


Local politician

Külz came from a Saxon pastor's family and passed the Abitur at the State School Sankt Augustin in Grimma in 1894 . He studied law and political science at the Universities of Leipzig and Tübingen and received his doctorate. sc. pol. In Leipzig he was from 1894 a member of the artistic student union Akademischer Gesangverein Arion , the history of which he wrote, and in 1929 he received honorary membership of the Gotia singers in Göttingen, whose corporation house he was instrumental in advancing; In 1931 he became an honorary member of the Arminia Dresden fraternity .

In 1901 Külz first worked as a town clerk in Zittau , and from 1903 as the deputy mayor of Meerane . From 1904 to 1912 he was mayor (from 1909 mayor ) of Bückeburg . He was elected to the state parliament of Schaumburg-Lippe , to which he belonged from 1906 to 1912, and from 1910 held the office of the state parliament president.

In 1907 Külz was also appointed Reich Commissioner for Self-Administration in German South West Africa and spent a year in Africa. The local government introduced there in 1909 was designed by him. In 1912, Wilhelm Külz was elected Lord Mayor of Zittau . Külz served four years in the Saxon Army in World War I and was demobilized as a major in the reserve . In 1923 he moved to Dresden as 2nd Mayor , where he was responsible for city finances.

Member of Parliament, Minister of the Interior and City Councilor

Külz was initially a supporter of the National Liberal Party . In 1918 he became a member of the German Democratic Party (DDP). From 1920 to 1933 he was DDP state chairman in the Free State of Saxony. In 1919 he was a member of the Weimar National Assembly and from 1922 to 1932 of the German Reichstag .

In January 1926 he was appointed Reich Minister of the Interior in the cabinet of Chancellor Hans Luther . He retained this position in the following cabinet under the leadership of the center politician Wilhelm Marx until his overthrow in December of the same year.

In the elections to the Dresden city council on November 17, 1929, Külz won a mandate. The DDP received a total of five seats out of a total of 75.

As Reich Commissioner for the Pressa in Cologne in 1928 and the International Hygiene Exhibition in Dresden in 1930 , he was responsible for supraregional coordination tasks. In the latter, which was under the scientific direction of Marta Fraenkel , he saw a great instructive contribution to "public health care" and paid tribute to the regional and international work of the German Hygiene Museum on the occasion of the opening of its new building complex in 1930. As later Lord Mayor of Dresden he assumed an even greater responsibility for the extended exhibition in 1931.

Lord Mayor of Dresden

On February 9, 1931, Külz was elected Lord Mayor of Dresden with 36 out of 70 votes cast in the city council. Since he long refused to dismiss unpleasant employees and elected officials, and in March 1933 refused to hoist the swastika flag on the town hall, he was removed from office by Reich Commissioner Manfred von Killinger . In 1935 he moved to Berlin-Wilmersdorf , worked as a lawyer and employee of business associations and maintained contacts with various resistance groups.

Political activity after 1945

Memorial plaque to Wilhelm Külz at the town hall in Zittau .

In mid-June 1945 he belonged to the founding circle of the Liberal Democratic Party of Germany (LDPD) in Berlin and became its chairman in November of the same year after Waldemar Koch was ousted by the Soviet occupying power . In addition, from 1945 he was editor of the LDPD newspaper Der Morgen . On March 17, 1947, he was elected chairman of the Democratic Party of Germany (DPD) together with Theodor Heuss in Rothenburg ob der Tauber .

After three quarters of a year, the attempt by a cross-zone party to allow the LDPD to participate in the SED- dominated 1st  German People's Congress for Unity and Just Peace failed . Külz did not want to leave the field alone at the congress. Instead, he wanted to set his own accents as a representative of the second largest party in the Soviet occupation zone . The LDPD main committee on January 6, 1948 in Weimar discussed this controversially, but the majority backed its chairman.

Külz was discharged from the DPD board meeting on January 18, 1948 in Frankfurt am Main . Heuss accused the LDPD there of having taken part in the People's Congress "for the Russian view of the unity of Germany". The board passed a press release that the LDPD suggested to draw personal conclusions. LDPD managing director Arthur Lieutenant stated that under these circumstances, “continuing work ... initially impossible” was for the Eastern Liberals. That was the de facto end of DPD. There was no formal resolution. After Külz's death on April 10, 1948, there was no by-election of a chairman.

Together with Otto Nuschke ( CDU ) and Wilhelm Pieck ( SED ) took Külz 1948 the presidency of the German People's Council , a precursor of the later GDR - People's Chamber .


Documents about his political activities, etc. a. his memoirs and a diary are in the archive of liberalism of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Gummersbach.


His twin brother was the tropical doctor and university professor Ludwig Külz . His son Helmut R. Külz (1903–1985) was Justice Minister of the State of Thuringia for the LDPD from 1946 to 1948 and, after fleeing to the western zones, belonged to the Federal Administrative Court as Senate President from 1953 to 1971 . Together with his wife Erna and his son Helmut, Wilhelm Külz found his final resting place in the Wilmersdorf cemetery .



  • The life and pursuit of the Arion Academic Choral Society during the 50 years of its existence. Festschrift for the 50th anniversary. Dedicated to all arions by an old man . Leipzig 1899.
  • German South Africa in the 25th year of German patronage . Süsserott, Berlin 1909.
  • The community policy of the German Democratic Party . Democratic publishing house, Berlin undated (1920).
  • German rebirth . Party leadership d. Liberal Democratic Party of Germany, Berlin undated (1947).
  • From speeches and essays . Edited by Manfred Bogisch , Der Morgen publishing house, Berlin 1984.
  • A Liberal Between East and West: Notes 1947–1948 . Edited by Hergard Robel, Oldenbourg, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-486-54101-3 .


  • Gabriele Baumgartner: Külz, Wilhelm. In: Gabriele Baumgartner, Dieter Hebig (eds.): Biographical manual of the SBZ / GDR 1945–1990 . tape 1 . KG Saur, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-598-11176-2 , p. 448 f .
  • Armin Behrendt : Wilhelm Külz. From the life of a seeker. The morning, Berlin 1968.
  • Christel Hermann: Lord Mayor of Dresden Wilhelm Külz. In: Stadtmuseum Dresden (Ed.): Dresdner Geschichtsbuch. Volume 5. Self-published, Altenburg 1999, pp. 138-149.
  • Wolfgang Hofmann: Wilhelm Leopold Friedrich Külz (1875–948) In: Kurt GA Jeserich , Helmut Neuhaus (ed.): Personalities of the administration. Biographies on German administrative history 1648–1945. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1991, ISBN 3-17-010718-6 , pp. 337-340.
  • Ekkehart Krippendorf:  Külz, Wilhelm. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 13, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1982, ISBN 3-428-00194-X , p. 210 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Thomas Kübler: Wilhelm Külz as a local politician . In: Yearbook on Liberalism Research . Volume 18, 2006, pp. 101-110.
  • Jörg Meyer zu Altenschildesche: From Monarchist to Liberal Democrat - The Politician Wilhelm Külz (1875–1948). In: Liberal. 33rd volume, 1993, No. 3, pp. 78-85.
  • Wolfgang Mischnick : Memories of Wilhelm Külz. Wilhelm Külz Foundation, Dresden 1995.
  • Helmut Müller-EnbergsKülz, Wilhelm . In: Who was who in the GDR? 5th edition. Volume 1. Ch. Links, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86153-561-4 .
  • Gerhard Papke : Wilhelm Külz's post-war policy - aspects of a reassessment. In: Tilman Mayer (Ed.): “Open the gate”. Jacob Kaiser Studies. Spitz, Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-87061-529-X , pp. 67-94.
  • Helmut Stubbe da Luz : Wilhelm Külz - Mayor in the Duodec principality. In: The town hall. Local politics magazine. 36 vol., 1983, pp. 61-64.
  • Thorsten Tonndorf: Wilhelm Külz's career as a politician up to the establishment of the National Socialist dictatorship. In: Sächsische Heimatblätter. 41st vol., 1995, No. 1, pp. 28-35.
  • Helge bei der Wieden: Wilhelm Külz as Lord Mayor of Bückeburg. In: Schaumburg-Lippische Mitteilungen. No. 21, 1971, pp. 107-126.
  • Wilhelm Külz Foundation (ed.): Wilhelm Külz - a Saxon liberal. Colloquium of the Wilhelm Külz Foundation on April 4, 1998 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of Wilhelm Külz in the Dresden City Museum. Wilhelm Külz Foundation, Dresden 1999.

Web links

Commons : Wilhelm Külz  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Helge Dvorak: Biographical Lexicon of the German Burschenschaft. Volume I: Politicians. Volume 7: Supplement A – K. Winter, Heidelberg 2013, ISBN 978-3-8253-6050-4 , p. 611.
  2. Hubert Höing (Ed.): Schaumburger Profile . Publishing house for regional history, Bielefeld 2008, p. 184.
  3. ^ Extract from the German lists of losses (Sächs. 540) of September 24, 1918, p. 26504 .
  4. ^ Statistical Office of the City of Dresden (Ed.): The Administration of the City of Dresden 1930 . Dresden 1931, pp. 10-11.
  5. ^ Wilhelm Külz: The idea of ​​humanity of the intern. Hygiene exhibition . In: International Hygiene Exhibition Dresden 1930. Official guide. Dresden 1930.
  6. ^ Statistical Office of the City of Dresden (Ed.): The Administration of the City of Dresden 1930 . Dresden 1931, p. 5.
  7. The stations of the warning process perpetrator traces 2015 ( memento from February 9, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) on the website of the alliance Dresden-Nazifrei .
  8. Karl-Heinz Grundmann (Ed.): Between willingness to understand, adjustment and resistance. The Liberal Democratic Party of Germany in Berlin and the Soviet Zone of Occupation 1945–1949 . FDP parliamentary group, Bonn 1978, p. 99 ff., 105.
  9. ^ Wolfgang Hoffmann: Attempt and failure of an all-German democratic party 1945-1948 . Buchverlag Der Morgen, Berlin 1965, p. 171 f.
  10. Grundmann, 1978, p. 103.
  11. Grundmann, 1978, p. 104.
  12. Theodor Heuss: Educators for Democracy. Letters 1945–1949 . KG Saur Verlag Munich, 2007, p. 330 ff.
  13. Grundmann, 1978, p. 110.
  14. Grundmann, 1978, p. 109.
  15. ^ Knerger.de: The grave of Wilhelm Külz .
predecessor Office successor
Bernhard Blüher Lord Mayor of Dresden
Ernst Zörner