Hans Luther

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This article is about the German Chancellor. For the father of Martin Luther, the theologian, see Hans Luther (15th century).
Hans Luther
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1969-008A-07, Hans Luther.jpg
Chancellor of Germany
9th Chancellor of the Weimar Republic
In office
15 January 1925 – 12 May 1926
Preceded by Wilhelm Marx
Succeeded by Wilhelm Marx
Personal details
Born (1879-03-10)10 March 1879
Died 11 May 1962(1962-05-11) (aged 83)
Political party None
Profession lawyer
Religion Lutheran

Hans Luther (10 March 1879 – 11 May 1962) was a German politician and Chancellor of Germany for 482 days.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Berlin, Luther started in politics in 1907 by becoming the town councillor in Magdeburg. He continued on becoming secretary of the German Städtetag in 1913 and then mayor of Essen in 1918. In December 1922, Chancellor Wilhelm Cuno appointed Luther minister of Food and Agriculture.

He kept his position in 1924 when Wilhelm Marx became Chancellor. In 1925, he was appointed Chancellor of Germany, but Marx resumed office the following year. Luther also briefly acted as head of state following the death of Friedrich Ebert.[citation needed]

In domestic policy, a number of reforms to social insurance were carried out during Luther’s time as Chancellor. A decree promulgated by the Reich’s Minister of Labour in May 1925 extended accident insurance coverage to include 11 occupational diseases,[1] a law of July 1925 extended workmen’s compensation coverage to all accidents from and to places of work, and vocational care was introduced that same month. In addition, a decree of May 1925 established compensation for occupational diseases.[2]

In 1930, Hans Luther was made president of Reichsbank. Soon after he was made German ambassador to the United States, a position he held from 1933 to 1937, after which he retired.

In 1933, Luther lectured at the Columbia University campus. Luther's speech stressed Hitler's "peaceful intentions" toward his European neighbors. Nicholas Murray Butler, Columbia's president, rejected student appeals to cancel the invitation, calling the request "illiberal" and citing the need for academic freedom.[3]

After the Second World War, Luther came out of retirement to become an advisor for the new government.

He died in Düsseldorf.

Hans Luther's First Cabinet, January – December 1925[edit]


  • 26 October 1925 – Schiele, Schlieben, and Neuhaus resign from the Cabinet. They are replaced on an acting basis by Gessler (who remains also Defense Minister) at Interior, Luther (who remains also Chancellor) at Finance, and Krohne (who remains also Transport Minister) at Economics.
  • 21 November 1925 – Frenken resigns as Justice Minister and is replaced on a temporary basis by Chancellor Luther

Luther's Second Cabinet (January – May 1926)[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Clingan, C. Edmund (2010). The Lives of Hans Luther, 1879–1962: German Chancellor, Reichsbank President, and Hitler's Ambassador. Lexington Books. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Wilhelm Marx
Chancellor of Germany
Succeeded by
Wilhelm Marx
Preceded by
Friedrich Ebert
Acting President of Germany
February 28– March 12, 1925
Succeeded by
Walter Simons