|Wilhelm Külz in March 1946.|
|Minister of the Interior
20 January 1926 – 1 February 1927
|Chancellor||Hans Luther (1926)
Wilhelm Marx (1926–1927)
|Preceded by||Otto Geßler|
|Succeeded by||Walter von Keudell|
18 February 1875|
Borna, Kingdom of Saxony
|Died||10 April 1948
|Political party||German Democratic Party (1918–1933)
Liberal Democratic Party of Germany (1945–1948)
|Alma mater||University of Leipzig
University of Tübingen
Wilhelm Külz (18 February 1875, Borna, Kingdom of Saxony – 10 April 1948, Berlin) was a German politician (DDP, LDPD). In 1926 he was interior minister of the Weimar Republic. After 1945 he took actively part in establishing the LDPD. He founded the Berlin branch of LDPD in summer, 1945 and acted as the LDPD chairman after the initial leader Waldemar Koch was deposed by Soviet orders.
On March 17, 1947 in a conference in Rothenburg ob der Tauber Külz and Theodor Heuss were elected co-chairmen of the planned German Democratic Party aimed at uniting liberals of both Soviet and West occupation zones.
These plans never realized, though, as Wilhelm Külz, unlike the East German CDU leader Jakob Kaiser, participated in SED-dominated German People's Congress for Unity and True Peace that took place on December 6, 1947. This brought about internal fights both within the LDPD as well as between East and West German partners of DPD. Although the LDPD leadership criticized that participation, it was unable to take any further steps demanded by the West German liberals.
On a session of the united leadership of DPD that took place on January 18, 1948 and which Külz refused to attend, Theodor Heuss argued that Liberal Democrats' unwillingness to take any measures against Külz proved their commitment to 'the Russian conception of German unity'. Arthur Lieutenant, the spokesman of LDPD on the matter, declared that under those circumstances and considering reproaches laid against East German liberals, no further co-operation was possible. This was in fact the end of DPD.
Together with Otto Nuschke (CDU) and Wilhelm Pieck (SED), Wilhelm Külz led the German People's Council (Deutscher Volksrat), forerunner of Volkskammer of GDR. From 1945 on, Külz was the publisher of LDPD daily Der Morgen.
Soon after the disappointment of the January 1948, on the morning of 10 April 1948 Wilhelm Külz was found by his party deputy to have died in the night at his Berlin apartment, apparently from a heart attack.
Wilhelm-Külz-Stiftung, a foundation close to the FDP, is named after him.
Works by and on Wilhelm Külz
- Külz, Wilhelm (1989), Robel, Hergard, ed., Ein Liberaler zwischen Ost und West: Aufzeichnungen 1947–1948 (in German), Munich: Oldenbourg, ISBN 3-486-54101-3.
- Schneider, Werner (1978), Die Deutsche Demokratische Partei in der Weimarer Republik: 1924–1930 (in German), Munich: Fink, ISBN 3-7705-1549-8.
- Ludwig Külz: twin brother
- "Tragt mich voraus: Ein Mensch voll väterlicher Güte". 16/1948. Der Spiegel (online). 17 April 1948. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
|Party political offices|
|Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party of Germany