Heinrich Ritter von Wittek

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Heinrich Ritter von Wittek
Minister Wittek at his office in Vienna, 1901
17th Minister-President of the Austrian Empire
In office
21 December 1899 – 18 January 1900
Monarch Franz Joseph I of Austria
Preceded by Manfred Fürst von Clary-und-Aldringen
Succeeded by Ernest von Koerber
Personal details
Born (1844-01-29)29 January 1844
Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Died 9 April 1930(1930-04-09) (aged 86)
Vienna, Republic of Austria
Alma mater University of Vienna
Religion Roman Catholic Church

Heinrich Ritter von Wittek (29 January 1844 – 9 April 1930) was an Austrian politician and statesman. For a short time, he served as 17th Minister-President of Cisleithania in 1899/1900.


He was the son of Johann Marzellin Wittek (1801–1876), an officer of the Austrian Imperial and Royal Army, who shortly after Heinrich's birth was appointed an educator of the Habsburg archdukes, the sons of Archduke Franz Karl. The boy grew up at the Austrian court and especially befriended with Archduke Ludwig Viktor, who was almost of the same age. His father was ennobled in 1858 and elevated to the hereditary rank of a Ritter in 1871.[1]

Heinrich attended the Schottengymnasium in Vienna and went on to study law at the University of Vienna. Having received his doctorate, he began a career as a state official at the Ministry of Commerce, where he was concerned with the establishment of the Imperial Royal Austrian State Railways upon the Long Depression from 1873 onwards. He led the ministry for a short while in 1895, and several times served as Minister for Railway Affairs in various Austrian cabinets between 1897 and 1905. During his time in office, the state railroad network was significantly enlarged. Wittek is also credited with improving the social conditions of the railway employees.

From 21 December 1899, he served as acting Austrian Minster-President until the appointment of Ernest von Koerber on 18 Junauary 1900. In 1905 he became an honorary citizen of Vienna and succeeded mayor Karl Lueger as a Christian Social member of the Cisleithanian Imperial Council parliament in 1907.


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