Willibald Plöchl

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Memorial plaque for Willibald Plöchl (2007) on his house at Universitätsstrasse 10 in Vienna

Willibald Maria Plöchl (born July 7, 1907 in St. Pölten , Austria-Hungary , † May 27, 1984 in Vienna ) was an Austrian lawyer and university professor .


Willibald Maria Plöchl grew up as the son of the government councilor and head of the teacher training institute St. Pölten Josef Plöchl (1861–1925). In 1926 he passed the Matura . From 1927 to 1929 he studied at the Consular Academy in Vienna . At that time, Plöchl was already working as a journalist for the Christian-social Viennese daily Reichspost , which was headed by Friedrich Funder . He completed his law studies at the University of Vienna and was awarded a Dr. iur. PhD . After graduating, Plöchl joined the administrative service of the Lower Austrian provincial government and was responsible, among other things, for combating the NSDAP , which had been banned since 1933 . Plöchl made a name for himself politically as a legitimist and was active in various functions under the Austro-Fascist regime , from around July 1936 as a member of the leadership council of the Fatherland Front .

In 1935 , Plöchl completed his habilitation in canon law at the University of Vienna. In 1938, Plöchl was dismissed as a state official and university professor. He emigrated to the Netherlands , where he worked as a lecturer in Nijmegen in 1939/40 . In Paris, Plöchl participated in the Ligue Autrichienne , which tried to establish an Austrian government in exile . Plöchl promoted similar efforts in exile in the USA , where he taught at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC from 1941 to 1947 . In 1941, Plöchl founded the Free Austrian National Council with Hans Rott . His continued efforts to establish an Austrian government in exile were unsuccessful, not least because there were disagreements with Otto von Habsburg and Otto Kallir .

In 1947 Plöchl returned to Austria . In 1948 he became an associate professor for canon law at the Faculty of Law and Political Science in Vienna, in 1949 he was appointed full professor and held this position until his retirement in 1977.

In 1930, Plöchl married Margarete Pittioni. His brother, the chemist Josef Maria Plöchl , was executed in Hamburg in 1944 as a resistance fighter against National Socialism. His nephew Gerhardt Plöchl is the author of the book “Willibald Plöchl and Otto Habsburg in the USA. - Wrestling for Austria's 'government in exile' 1941/42 ”.

Willibald Plöchl was buried in the family grave at the Hietzing cemetery in Vienna (group 57, number 105).



  • 2007 postage stamp. Edited by Eva Herzig-Plöchl
  • 2009 Memorial plaque in Vienna, IX. District, Universitätsstrasse 10


  • Andreas Kowatsch: Willibald M. Plöchl and the "Austrian Archive for Canon Law". Observations on the reform of canon law , EOS - editions Sankt Ottilien, Sankt Ottilien 2016 (Munich Theological Studies. 3, Canonical Department, Volume 71), ISBN 978-3-8306-7810-6 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Weekly review: Austria. In:  Alpenländische Rundschau , July 25, 1936, p. 3 (online at ANNO ).Template: ANNO / Maintenance / alp