Wilhelm von Meister

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Wilhelm von Meister, around 1895

Karl Wilhelm Meister , from 1896 by Meister , (born February 3, 1863 in Frankfurt am Main , † February 14, 1935 in Geneva ) was a German politician and diplomat.

Life and education

Wilhelm von Meister was born as the eldest son of Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Meister , one of the founders of the Hoechst paint factory , and his wife Marie, b. Becker born. After attending the municipal grammar school in 1882/83, von Meister served as a one-year volunteer and then studied law in Bonn , where he joined the Corps Palatia , and Berlin and received his doctorate in law in Heidelberg in 1886 .

District Administrator

After the second state examination in 1891 he was a government assessor at the Hanau district office. In June 1892 he was appointed provisional and in February 1893 regular district administrator of the newly formed district of Höchst . In December 1894 he was appointed provisional district administrator of the Obertaunus district and moved to Homburg vor der Höhe . In July 1895 he was finally confirmed in this position and remained in this office until 1903. In 1898/99 he went on a seven-month trip around the world.


From 1894 to 1895 he was a member of the Nassau municipal parliament for the Höchst district and from 1896 to 1902 for the Obertaunus district . In the communal parliament he was a member of the finance, auditing and road construction committee between 1894 and 1898. In 1901 he became a deputy member of the state committee.

Originally von Meister was a member of the NLP and belonged to its right wing. He later joined the Free Conservative Reich Party . For the Reichstag election in 1912 he was nominated by the Federation of Farmers and the Conservative Association as a candidate for the Reichstag in the Nassau II constituency. However, he did not succeed in running as a common candidate for the bourgeois camp. Both the center and NLP made their own candidates. Without this support from these parties, von Meister saw no chance of success and renounced the candidacy.

District President

After leaving the district administrator, he worked in the Prussian Ministry of the Interior in Berlin from 1902 to 1905 . There he was promoted to the Secret Government Council and Lecturing Council in April 1903. On July 26, 1905, von Meister was appointed district president in the Wiesbaden district. In 1915 he was given the rank of Real Secret Upper Government Councilor.

The work at the head of the administrative district of Wiesbaden ended on June 1, 1919 with the resignation of Meisters. The occasion was the request of the French administrator to submit to the orders of the separatists who had proclaimed a Rhenish Republic on the same day . Master was not ready to comply with this request and withdrew from her by resigning.

He was formally granted leave of absence on June 16 and retired on August 1, 1919.

Supervisory board and diplomat

Von Meister retired in Bad Homburg until 1930. From 1919 to 1926 he was a member of the supervisory board of Farbwerke Hoechst (which his father had founded), and from 1926 to 1935 of IG Farben AG.

From 1930 to 1933 von Meister worked for the League of Nations in Geneva.


Wilhelm von Meister was married to Adele geb. Jordan de Rouville (1872-1897). In 1900 he married his second wife Leila geb. Gardner Trapman (1871-1957). Master was evangelical.


On November 9, 1896, Emperor Wilhelm II and his younger brother Herbert raised him to the hereditary Prussian nobility.

The master tower in Hofheim am Taunus was named after him. He had been an honorary citizen of Kronberg since 1902 . In Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Wilhelm-Meister-Strasse commemorates his father and him. The Wilhelm von Meister Foundation for social causes still exists today.


  • Meister, Wilhelm, from. In: Robert Volz: Reich manual of the German society . The handbook of personalities in words and pictures. Volume 2: L-Z. Deutscher Wirtschaftsverlag, Berlin 1931, DNB 453960294 , p. 1223.
  • Wolfgang Klötzer (Hrsg.): Frankfurter Biographie . Personal history lexicon . Second volume. M – Z (=  publications of the Frankfurt Historical Commission . Volume XIX , no. 2 ). Waldemar Kramer, Frankfurt am Main 1996, ISBN 3-7829-0459-1 .
  • Nassau parliamentarians. Part 2: Barbara Burkardt, Manfred Pult: The municipal parliament of the Wiesbaden administrative district 1868–1933 (= publications of the historical commission for Nassau. 71 = prehistory and history of parliamentarism in Hesse. 17). Historical Commission for Nassau, Wiesbaden 2003, ISBN 3-930221-11-X , pp. 230–232.

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. Kösener Corpslisten 1930, 14 , 470.
  2. ^ Villa Meister, Bad Homburg, Kaiser-Friedrich-Promenade 105 (last accessed on June 26, 2019).
  3. cf. Genealogical manual of the nobility .
  4. Wilhelm von Meister Foundation (PDF; 22 kB; last accessed on June 26, 2019).