Hermann Müller (politician) : biography
‘ (18 May 1876 – 20 March 1931), born in Mannheim, was a German Social Democratic politician who served as Foreign Minister (1919–1920), and twice as Chancellor of Germany (1920, 1928–1930) under the Weimar Republic. In his capacity as Foreign Minister, he was one of the German signatories of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
From 1899 to 1906, Müller was editor of the Socialist newspaper Görlitzer Volkszeitung, and from 1906 onwards was a member of the directing board of the German Social Democratic party. On August 1, 1914, he went to Paris with the object of finding out whether international action by the socialists of France and Germany could be initiated in order to avert World War I. His mission was unsuccessful, and he had great difficulty in making his way back to Germany through the French lines. His report did much to determine the attitude of the German Social Democrats in voting in the Reichstag for the first war credit.
From 1916 to 1918, he was a member of the Reichstag. On June 21, 1919, he was appointed minister of the Reich for foreign affairs — under the chancellorship of Gustav Bauer — and in this capacity went to Versailles and with Colonial Minister Johannes Bell and signed the peace treaty for Germany on June 29, 1919. After the resignation of the Bauer ministry, which followed upon the Kapp coup d’état (March 1920), Müller was appointed chancellor of the Reich, an office which he held till the following June, when the result of the general elections for the Reichstag necessitated the formation of a coalition ministry with Constantin Fehrenbach of the Catholic Centre party as chancellor.
His second government was based on a "Grand Coalition" of Social Democrats, Centre Party, German Democratic Party and German People’s Party. Though the coalition comprised a majority of the Reichstag, the relationships between the partners was uneasy. The coalition finally fell apart as a result of disputes between the Social Democrats and German People’s Party over budgetary issues as a result of the onset of the Great Depression. Müller had strongly argued against his party’s decision to leave the government, but was overruled. In social policy, under Muller’s last government, midwives and people in the music profession became compulsorily insured under a pension scheme for non-manual workers in 1929.Survey of Social Security in the Federal Republic of Germany by Dieter Schewe, Karlhugo Nordhorn, and Klaus Schenke, Translation by Mr. Frank Kenny, M.B.E.
His death the next year following a gallbladder operation was seen as a major blow to the Social Democrats. He is buried in the Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde.
Cabinet March 1920 – June 1920
- Hermann Müller (SPD) – Chancellor and Foreign Minister
- Dr. Erich Koch-Weser (DDP) – Vice Chancellor and Interior Minister
- Dr. Andreas Blunck (DDP) – Justice Minister
- Dr. Joseph Wirth (Centre Party) – Finance Minister
- Robert Schmidt (SPD) – Economics Minister
- Dr. Andreas Hermes (Centre Party) – Food Minister
- Dr. Alexander Schlicke (SPD) – Labour Minister
- Dr. Otto Gessler (DDP) – Defence Minister
- Dr. Johannes Bell (Centre Party) – Transportation Minister
- Johannes Giesberts (Centre Party) – Postal Minister
- Gustav Bauer (SPD) – Treasury Minister
- Dr. Eduard David (SPD) – Minister without Portfolio
- 10 April 1920 – Dr. Adolf Köster (SPD) succeeds Müller as Foreign Minister. Müller remains Chancellor.
- 1 May 1920 – Gustav Bauer succeeds Bell as Transportation Minister. Bauer remains Treasury Minister.
Cabinet June 1928 – March 1930
- Hermann Müller (SPD) – Chancellor
- Dr. Gustav Stresemann (DVP) – Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Carl Severing (SPD) – Minister of the Interior
- Dr. Erich Koch-Weser (DDP) – Minister of Justice
- Dr. Rudolf Hilferding (SPD) – Minister of Finance
- Dr. Julius Curtius (DVP) – Minister of Economics
- Dr. Hermann Dietrich (DDP) – Minister of Food
- Rudolf Wissell (SPD) – Minister of Labour
- Wilhelm Groener – Minister of Defence
- Theodor von Guérard (Centre Party) – Minister of Transport and Occupied Territories
- Dr. Georg Schätzel (BVP) – Postal Minister
- 6 February 1929 – Schätzel succeeds von Guérard as Transportation Minister. Schätzel remains Postal Minister. Severing succeeds von Guérard as Occupied Territories Minister. Severing remains Interior Minister.
- 13 April 1929 – Von Guérard succeeds Koch-Weser as Justice Minister. Adam Stegerwald (Z) succeeds Schätzel as Transportation Minister. Schätzel remains Postal Minister. Joseph Wirth (Z) succeeds Severing as Occupied Territories Minister. Severing remains Interior Minister.
- 3 October 1929 – Stresemann dies. Curtius succeeds him as Foreign Minister.
- 11 November 1929 – Dr. Paul Moldenhauer (DVP) succeeds Curtius as Economics Minister. Curtius remains Foreign Minister.
- 21 December 1929 – Hilferding resigns as Finance Minister.
- 23 December 1929 – Moldenhauer becomes Finance Minister. Robert Schmidt (SPD) succeeds him as Economics Minister.
Müller’s father was a champagne producer who died in 1892. In 1902 he married Frieda Tockus. They had one daughter, Annemarie, in 1905; however, Tockus died several weeks later, due to complications from the pregnancy. He remarried in 1909, and the following year his daughter Erika was born.