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Hermann Josef Pünder (born 1 April 1888 in Trier; died 3 October 1976 in Fulda) was a German politician in the German Centre Party and the Christian Democratic Union. His older brother was the lawyer Werner Pünder.
After attending school in Bad Münstereifel, Pünder studied Law in Freiburg im Breisgau, Berlin and London. He finished his studies in 1911 with a Dr. jur. In 1919 he became a senior official in the Reich Ministry of Finance, and was then the state secretary from 1926 to 1932 in the Reich Chancellery under the Chancellors Hans Luther (Centre Party), Wilhelm Marx (Centre Party), Hermann Müller (SPD) and Heinrich Brüning (Centre Party).
In his spare time he also taught at the Deutsche Hochschule für Politik in Berlin, partly at the same time as the later President of Germany Theodor Heuss. After the assassination attempt against Hitler on 20 July 1944, Pünder was arrested by the Gestapo, and deported for participating in the conspiracy against Hitler to the concentration camps at Buchenwald and Dachau. He belonged to a group of relatively prominent prisoners of the security services of the Third Reich, who were transported all across Germany and were freed in South Tyrol at the end of the war by the Wehrmacht officer Wichard von Alvensleben.
From 1947 to 1973, Pünder was the chairman of the Zentral-Dombauverein zu Köln von 1842. He was married to Magda, née Statz. After his death in Fulda, he was buried in the Melaten-Friedhof in Cologne.
Durin the Weimar Republic, Pünder was a member of the Centre Party. In 1945, he was one of the founders of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Westphalia. From 15 October to 30 November 1945, Pünder was the First Chairman of the CDP (later the CDU) in Münster.
In 1947, Pünder was elected to the Landtag, the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia, having already previously belonged to the appointed Landtag. In 1949 and 1953 he was elected to the German Bundestag to represent the constituency of Cologne II, and remained a member until 1957.
From 1949 to 1953 he was chairman of the Bundestag committee on Marshall Plan matters and from 20 March 1952 until the end of the first legislative session, he was the chairman of the committee on local government affairs.
From 16 July 1952 to 1 July 1956 he was also a member of the European Parliament. For a time he was also a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, where in 1957 he led the committee for budget matters and intergovernmental work programs.
On 1 April 1932, after the Preußenschlag, Pünder was named the successor of the dismissed Rudolf Amelunxen as Regierungspräsident of Münster, but already on 1 July 1933, he was placed in temporary retirement by the National Socialists. In 1933 he was also for a brief time the acting Oberpräsident of the Province of Westphalia. In 1934 Pünder was definitively dismissed from government service.
In 1953 Pünder was awarded the "Great Cross of Merit with Star and shoulder ribbon" (Großes Verdienstkreuz mit Stern und Schulterband) of the Federal Republic of Germany. In the same year he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Cologne. In 1967 the same university named him an honorary senator. Streets are named after Pünder in Bad Münstereifel, Cologne, Munich and Hamm. He was an honorary member of the Studentenverbindung A. V. Rheinstein Köln, which is in the Cartellverband der katholischen deutschen Studentenverbindungen, and of the Studentenverbindungen Katholischer Studentenverein Askania-Burgundia Berlin and Urach Freiburg, in the Kartellverband katholischer deutscher Studentenvereine.
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