Heuss, Theodor

Theodor Heuss

b. 31 Jan 1884, Brackenheim, Württemberg, German Reich
d. 12 Dec 1963, Stuttgart, West Germany

Title: Bundespräsident (Federal President)
Term: 12 Sep 1949 - 12 Sep 1954
Chronology: 12 Sep 1949, elected, session of the Bundesversammlung (Federal Assembly), Bundeshaus, Bonn [1]
  12 Sep 1949, took an oath of office as Federal President, session of the Bundestag, Bundeshaus, Bonn [2]
  12 Sep 1954, expiration of term
Term: 12 Sep 1954 - 12 Sep 1959
Chronology: 17 Jul 1954, elected, session of the Bundesversammlung (Federal Assembly), Ostpreußenhalle, West Berlin [3]
  12 Sep 1954, commencement of term
  12 Sep 1959, expiration of term
Biography:
After receiving a degree in economics, Heuss was an editor on several newspapers and taught at the "Hochschule für Politik" in Berlin. A member of the German Democratic Party (DDP) since 1918, he served in the Reichstag in 1924-28. Then he joined the German State Party (DSP) and also was elected to the Reichstag in 1930-33. Heuss was an author of many biographical books about German celebrities written in 1937-1945. After World War II, he headed the Democratic People's Party in the US occupation zone. In 1946 he was elected to the constituent assembly and to the Landtag of Württemberg-Baden. Heuss helped found the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and became its first chairman in December 1948. He was elected to the Bundestag in the course of the first federal elections on 14 Aug 1949. The Federal Assembly elected Heuss first Federal President on 12 Sep 1949. The office of federal president moved to Bonn in December 1950. Heuss easily won reelection in 1954 and succeeded in promoting the image of a new democratic Germany. When his second presidential term came to an end, there were proposals for amending the constitution to allow the third reelection, but Heuss declined it and retired from politics.
Biographical sources: "Die Bundespräsidenten: Biographien eines Amtes", by Günther Scholz (Heidelberg: Decker & Müller, 1990).
Elections:

Candidate (party) 1st vote (12 Sep 1949) 2nd vote (12 Sep 1949)
Theodor Heuss (FDP) 377 416
Kurt Ernst Karl Schumacher (SPD) 311 312
Rudolf Amelunxen (Centre Party) 28 30
Hans Schlange-Schöningen (CDU) 6 2
Karl Arnold (CDU) 1 0
Josef Müller (CSU) 1 0
Alfred Loritz (WAV) 1 0
abstentions 76 37
invalid 2 3
total votes cast 803 800
total votes/absolute majority: 804/403 804/403

Candidate (party) Vote (17 Jul 1954)
Theodor Heuss (FDP) 871
Alfred Weber (KPD) 12
Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer (CDU) 1
Karl Dönitz 1
Prinz Louis Ferdinand Viktor Eduard Albert Michael Hubertus von Preußen 1
Herzog Ernst August Georg Wilhelm Christian Ludwig Franz Josef Nikolaus von Braunschweig und Lüneburg 1
Marie-Elisabeth Lüders 1
Franz-Josef Wuermeling 1
abstentions 95
invalid 3
total votes cast 987
total votes/absolute majority: 1,018/510
Source of electoral results: Verhandlungen des Deutschen Bundestages, 1. Wahlperiode, Bd. 1, S. 4 (vor S. 1); Verhandlungen des Deutschen Bundestages, 2. Wahlperiode, Bd. 21, S. 5.

[1] Verhandlungen des Deutschen Bundestages, 1. Wahlperiode, Bd. 1, S. 1-4 (vor S. 1).
[2] Verhandlungen des Deutschen Bundestages, 1. Wahlperiode, Bd. 1, S. 9-11.
[3] Verhandlungen des Deutschen Bundestages, 2. Wahlperiode, Bd. 21, S. 1-9.
  Image: photograph, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin.
Last updated on: 26 Jun 2009 03:35:56