Ebert, Friedrich

Friedrich Ebert

b. 4 Feb 1871, Heidelberg
d. 28 Feb 1925, Berlin

Title: Reichspräsident (Reich President)
Term: 11 Feb 1919 - 28 Feb 1925
Chronology: 11 Feb 1919, elected, session of the Verfassunggebende Deutsche Nationalversammlung (German Constituent National Assembly), Deutsches Nationaltheater, Weimar [1]
  21 Aug 1919, took an oath of office as Reich President, session of the German National Constituent Assembly, Deutsches Nationaltheater, Weimar [2][3]
  28 Oct 1922, term of office is extended to 30 Jun 1925, Law on Amendmdent of Art. 180 of the Constitution (passed by the Reichstag 24 Oct 1922, signed into law by Reich President 27 Oct 1922, effective upon the promulgation in Rechsgesetzblatt 28 Oct 1922) [4]
  28 Feb 1925, died
Other offices: Reichskanzler (Reich Chancellor) [9 Nov 1918 - 10 Nov 1918] (see details);
  Volksbeauftragter (People's Commissioner) [10 Nov 1918 - 11 Feb 1919] (see details)
Biography:
A saddler by trade; participated in the socialist movement and joined the Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD) in 1889; after settling in Bremen (1891), he was an activist of the Association of Saddlers and edited the Bremer-Bürgerzeitung newspaper from 1893; became a chairperson in the local SPD organization (1894); served as a member of municipal council (1900-1905) and gained publicity after he presided over the SPD congress in Bremen (1904); held the office of secretary in the SPD executive board in Berlin (1905); was elected to the Reichstag (1912), representing Elberfeld-Barmen constituency; following the death of August Bebel, he and Hugo Haase were elected the SPD co-chairmen (20 Sep 1913); supported the policy of national interests during World War I; emerged as a sole leader of Social Democrats after the resignation of Haase in 1916; after the proclamation of the alleged abdications of Wilhelm II as emperor and king (9 Nov 1918), Maximilian Prinz von Baden transferred the office of Reichskanzler to Ebert who took the office as on behalf of the Regency which was never set up; joined the Council of People's Commissioners (Rat der Volksbeauftragten), a coalition government created by the SPD and the Independent Social Democrats (Unabhängige Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, USPD) on 10 Nov 1918, taking responsibility for internal and military affairs; assumed the position of chairperson of the Council jointly with Haase (to 29 Dec 1918); adhered to a political course excluding establishment of a Soviet republic and applied force to suppress the revolts (1918-1919); became the most influential figure among the people's commissioners and strengthened his position after the USPD members left the council (29 Dec 1918); was confirmed as chairperson with executive functions (30 Dec 1918); oversaw the elections to the National Constituent Assembly (Verfassunggebende Deutsche Nationalversammlung) in 1919; was elected the Reich President by the National Constituent Assembly (11 Feb 1919); promulgated the so-called Weimar Constitution (11 Aug 1919); survived the coup (Kapp putsch) staged by radical nationalists (1920), who planned to restore the monarchy; faced social and political crisis after France and Belgium occupied the Ruhr territory (1923) to settle the issue of reparations imposed by the Treaty of Versailles; the last months of Ebert's life were marred by the court hearings: on 23 Dec 1924, the court ruled that he had committed high treason, at least in the legal sense, during World War I by his support of a munition workers' strike in Berlin in 1918; died of protracted appendicitis (28 Feb 1925).
Biographical sources: "Friedrich Ebert, 1871/1971" (Bonn-Bad Godesberg: Inter Nationes, 1971).
Elections:

Candidate (party) Vote (11 Feb 1919)
Friedrich Ebert (Social Democratic Party) 277
Arthur Adolf, Graf von Posadowsky-Wehner, Freiherr von Postelwitz (National People's Party) 49
Philipp Scheidemann (Social Democratic Party) 1
Matthias Erzberger (Centre Party) 1
invalid 51
total votes cast/absolute majority 379/165
Source of electoral results: "Verhandlungen der verfassunggebenden Deutschen Nationalversammlung. Stenographische Berichte. Von der 1. Sitzung am 6. Februar 1919 bis zur 26. Sitzung am 12. März 1919. Band 326" (Berlin: Druck und Verlag der Norddeutschen Buchdruckerei und Verlags-Anstalt, 1920). S. 40 (A).

[1] "Verhandlungen der verfassunggebenden Deutschen Nationalversammlung. Stenographische Berichte. Von der 1. Sitzung am 6. Februar 1919 bis zur 26. Sitzung am 12. März 1919. Band 326" (Berlin: Druck und Verlag der Norddeutschen Buchdruckerei und Verlags-Anstalt, 1920). S. 40 (A).
[2] "Verhandlungen der verfassunggebenden Deutschen Nationalversammlung. Stenographische Berichte. Von der 71. Sitzung am 31. Juli 1919 bis zur 90. Sitzung am 3. Oktober 1919. Band 329" (Berlin: Druck und Verlag der Norddeutschen Buchdruckerei und Verlags-Anstalt, 1920). S. 2751 (B).
[3] As required by Art. 42 of the Constitution of 1919 (Verfassung des Deutschen Reichs), passed by the German National Constituent Assembly 31 Jul 1919, signed into law by Reich President 11 Aug 1919, effective upon the promulgation in Rechsgesetzblatt 14 Aug 1919; "Verhandlungen der verfassunggebenden Deutschen Nationalversammlung. Stenographische Berichte. Von der 71. Sitzung am 31. Juli 1919 bis zur 90. Sitzung am 3. Oktober 1919. Band 329" (Berlin: Druck und Verlag der Norddeutschen Buchdruckerei und Verlags-Anstalt, 1920). 2193 (C); Reichs-Gesetzblatt. Jahrgang 1919. Nr. 152. S. 1383-1418.
[4] "Verhandlungen des Reichstags. I. Wahlperiode 1920. Band 357. Stenographische Berichte. Von der 257. Sitzung am 17. Oktober 1922 bis zur 290. Sitzung am 25. Januar 1923" (Berlin: Druck und Verlag der Norddeutschen Buchdruckerei und Verlags-Anstalt, 1923). S. 8927 (B); Reichsgesetzblatt. Teil I. 1922, Ausgegeben zu Berlin, den 28. Oktober 1922, Nr. 71. S. 801.
Last updated on: 01 May 2010 02:22:41