Constantin Fehrenbach, sometimes Konstantin Fehrenbach, (January 11, 1852, Bonndorf, Baden – March 26, 1926, Freiburg im Breisgau) was a GermanCatholic politician who was one of the major leaders of the Centre Party. He served as President of the Reichstag in 1918, and then as President of the Weimar National Assembly from 1919 to 1920. Upon the resignation of the Social Democrats from the government in June 1920 as a result of their poor showing in the elections of that year, Fehrenbach became Chancellor of Germany, forming a coalition with the left-wing liberal DDP and the national-liberal DVP. His government lasted 323 days, the government resigning in April 1921 in protest against the allied reparations assessment which was announced that month. Fehrenbach headed the Center Party's Reichstag fraction from 1923 until his death in 1926. His critique of the military as a state within the state is well known in modern political Germany.
The 1920 parliamentary election saw the collapse of the Weimar coalition, since the SPD lost a significant share of the vote to her left party competition the USPD . Thus came a bourgeois minority cabinet of the center, DDP and DVP, the central question was on the support of the SPD. For this Coalition a,man of compensation was sought, and was found in the 68 years old Parliament Minister Constantin Fehrenbach after much hesitation.
The most important task of his chancellorship was the fulfillment of the Treaty of Versailles . However, this only put the framework for numerous conferences dealing with the question of reparations. At the Conference of Spa, 5 to 16 July 1920, the first time representative of Germany were allowed to participate, Chancellor Fehrenbach led the German delegation. In his address to the representatives of the Entente, he called to concede the German Empire instead of the planned reduction of the Treaty of Versailles to 100,000 army strength at least twice. The same time taking place the referendum on the fate of West Prussia and Upper Silesia in Germany resulted in a large majority for the preservation of the territorial situation.
At the conferences in Paris and London in early 1921 were discussing the total amount and commonalities of reparations. Fehrenbach protested with his Foreign Minister Walter Simons against the policy of the victorious powers, whereupon they responded with the occupation of the Rhine bridgeheads. Nevertheless Fehrenbach reached with the German delegation that the sum of the reparation in comparison to the proposed Treaty of Versailles was reduced. The Entente was made to force Germany to accept the reparations, the so-called London ultimatum . The divisions within the coalition of the political center first showed very clearly on the question of adoption of the ultimatum. Fehrenbach was not able to bridge these and therefore on 4 May 1921 after a year of chancellorship he was forced to resign. After the end of his chancellorship, Constantin Fehrenbach remained politically active. Fehrenbach retained the chairmanship of the Centre Party in the Reichstag Until his death.