Ignaz Seipel

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Ignaz Seipel
Wenzl Weis - Ignaz Seipel.jpg
6th Chancellor of Austria
In office
31 May 1922 – 20 November 1924
President Michael Hainisch
Preceded by Johann Schober
Succeeded by Rudolf Ramek
8th Chancellor of Austria
In office
20 October 1926 – 4 May 1929
President Michael Hainisch (1926-1928)
Wilhelm Miklas (1928-1929)
Preceded by Rudolf Ramek
Succeeded by Ernst Streeruwitz
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
20 October 1926 – 4 May 1929
Chancellor himself
Preceded by Rudolf Ramek
Succeeded by Ernst Streeruwitz
In office
30 September 1930 – 4 December 1930
Chancellor Carl Vaugoin
Preceded by Johann Schober
Succeeded by Johann Schober
Personal details
Born (1876-07-19)19 July 1876
Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Died 2 August 1932(1932-08-02) (aged 56)
Pernitz, Austria
Political party Christian Social Party (CS)
Alma mater University of Vienna
Profession Theologian
Religion Roman Catholic

Ignaz Seipel (19 July 1876 – 2 August 1932) was an Austrian prelate and politician of the Christian Social Party (CS), who served as Federal Chancellor twice during the 1920s.

Career[edit]

Seipel studied theology at the University of Vienna and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1899. He gained his doctorate in theology in 1903, followed by his habilitation at the Vienna university, being one of the first scholars writing on business ethics in the context of Catholic social teaching. From 1909 until 1917 he taught moral theology at the University of Salzburg.

Seipel was a member of the clerical conservative Christian Social Party established by the Vienna mayor Karl Lueger in 1893, and served as cabinet secretary in the Austro-Hungarian government during World War I. At that time he also wrote and published a number of famous works, including Nation und Staat (Nation and State) (1916), which helped cement his later prominent role in the party. In these writings, unlike most contemporaries swept up by Wilsonian rhetoric, he saw the state as the primary vindication of sovereignty, rather than the nation.[1] In October 1918 he was appointed Minister for Labour and Social Affairs in the last Cisleithanian cabinet under Minister president Heinrich Lammasch.

Seipel preaching at Bingen, 1929

After World War I, Seipel, a member of the constituent assembly of German Austria, re-established the formerly monarchist Christian Social Party, now operating – the empire having been lost – in the First Austrian Republic. Party chairman from 1921 until 1930, he served as chancellor between 1922 and 1924, and again from 1926 until 1929, then also as Foreign Minister.

To restore the Austrian economy, Chancellor Seipel and his delegate Mensdorff-Pouilly-Dietrichstein on 4 October 1922 signed the Protocol for the reconstruction of Austria at the League of Nations: by officially renouncing accession to Germany, he obtained an international bond. In order to fight the hyperinflation of the Krone currency the government at the same time re-implemented the independent National Bank of Austria with the task of securing monetary stability. However, these policies let to growing discontent by socialist workers' organizations, and in June 1924 an attempt was made on Seipel's life by a frustrated worker [1].

Leading a right-wing coalition government supported by the Greater German People's Party and the Landbund, his main policy was the encouragement of cooperation between wealthy industrialists and the paramilitary units of the nationalist Heimwehren. This alignment led to an increase in street violence and armed conflicts with the left-wing Republikanischer Schutzbund, culminating in the Vienna July Revolt of 1927 claiming numerous casualties. The Social Democratic opposition thereafter referred to Seipel as the "Bloody Prelate". He finally resigned in 1929 and was succeeded by his party fellow Ernst Streeruwitz. In the following year he once again served in a short-time term as Foreign Minister in the cabinet of Chancellor Carl Vaugoin.

Seipel died during a stay at a sanatorium in the Vienna Woods. He is buried in an Ehrengrab at the Vienna Zentralfriedhof.

Legacy[edit]

Memorial in the Vienna University

Seipel's antisemitic manners were the pattern for the character of Chancellor Dr. Schwerdtfeger in Hugo Bettauer's 1922 novel Die Stadt ohne Juden (The City Without Jews), picturized by Hans Karl Breslauer in 1924.

Bibliography[edit]

See link for Deutsche Nationalbibliothek [2]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ John W. Boyer, Culture and Political Crisis in Vienna: Christian Socialism in Power, 1897-1918, p. 411.
  • Ignaz Seipel: Christian statesman in a time of crisis by Klemens Von Klemperer (Princeton University Press, 1972, ISBN 0-691-05197-6)
  • Fascist Movements in Austria : from Schönerer to Hitler by F. L. (Francis Ludwig) Carsten (London, 1977, ISBN 0-8039-9992-5, ISBN 0-8039-9857-0)
  • Angelo Maria Vitale: Das politische. Denken Ignaz Seipels zwischen Scholastik und Korporativismus, in F. S. Festa, E. Fröschl, T. La Rocca, L. Parente, G. Zanasi (Hrsg.), Das Österreich der dreißiger Jahre und seine Stellung in Europa, Peter Lang Verlag, Frankfurt/Main 2012, ISBN 978-3-653-01670-3
  • "From Class Conflict to Class Cooperation: The Evolution of Austrian Cooperation" [3]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Johann Schober
Chancellor of Austria
1922 – 1924
Succeeded by
Rudolf Ramek
Preceded by
Rudolf Ramek
Chancellor of Austria
1926 – 1929
Succeeded by
Ernst Streeruwitz
Preceded by
Rudolf Ramek
Foreign Minister of Austria
1926 – 1929
Succeeded by
Ernst Streeruwitz
Preceded by
Johann Schober
Foreign Minister of Austria
1930
Succeeded by
Johann Schober