Reinhold Maier

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Reinhold Maier
Reinhold Maier.jpg
Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg
In office
25 April 1952 – 30 September 1953
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byGebhard Müller
Minister-President of Württemberg-Baden
In office
19 September 1945 – 25 April 1952
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byOffice abolished
(Himself as M-P. of Baden-Württemberg)
Personal details
Born(1889-10-16)October 16, 1889
Schorndorf, Kingdom of Württemberg, German Empire
DiedAugust 19, 1971(1971-08-19) (aged 81)
Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany
Resting placeAlter Friedhof, Schordndorf
Political partyFDP (from 1948)
Other political
Spouse(s)Gerta Goldschmidt
Alma materUniversity of Heidelberg
AwardsGrand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany[1]
Military service
AllegianceKgm. of Württemberg
UnitFußartillerie-Regiment 13
Battles/warsFirst World War

Reinhold Maier (16 October 1889 – 19 August 1971) was a German politician and the leader of the FDP from 1957–1960. From 1946 to 1952 he was Minister President of Württemberg-Baden and then the 1st Minister President of the new state of Baden-Württemberg until 1953.

He served as the 4th President of the Bundesrat in 1952/53, the only FDP politician in German history to do so to date, as well as one of only two Presidents to not come from either the CDU/CSU or the SPD (the other one is Winfried Kretschmann, who is member of Alliance '90/The Greens and was the 67th President of the Bundesrat in 2012/13).

Maier was born in Schorndorf.

Early life[edit]


Maier, a Protestant, was born the son of a municipal architect, Gottlieb Maier, in Schorndorf.

After attending grammar school in Schorndorf, Reinhold Maier attended the Dillmann-Gymnasium in Stuttgart and, in 1907, received his Abitur. He then studied law at the University of Grenoble and at the University of Tübingen. There he was a member of the South German (and liberally inclined) Tübingen fraternity "Academic Society Stuttgardia Tübingen". Here he met fellow aspiring politicians such as Eberhard Wildermuth, Karl Georg Pfleiderer, Konrad Wittwer and Wolfgang Haussmann. He received his doctorate in law in Heidelberg. During the First World War he took part as a soldier at the foot artillery regiment 13. In 1920 he settled in Stuttgart and practiced as a lawyer. In 1924 he was inducted into the Masonic Lodge "Zu den 3 cedars" in Stuttgart. During the Nazi era he worked as a lawyer; his wife Gerta Goldschmidt flew to the United Kingdom with their two children. Reinhold Maier was forced to divorce her under Nazi pressure but remarried her after the war in 1946.


Already a member of the Progressive People's Party (Germany) (FVP) since 1912, Maier joined the newly formed left-wing liberal German Democratic Party (DDP) in 1918. In 1924 he became chairman of the Stuttgart District Association of DDP. In 1945 Maier participated in the founding of the Democratic People's Party (Germany)(DVP), not to be confused with the German People's Party of the Weimar Republic. The DVP was absorbed by the FDP in 1948. After the formation of the coalition of FDP / DVP, SPD and All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights (BHE) under his leadership in Baden-Württemberg 1952, the Hesse FDP Association requested the expulsion of Maier and the state chairman Wolfgang Haussmann (1903-1989)from the party along with the separation of the DVP from the FDP, but this was not successful. [2] From 1957 to 1960 he was Chairman of the FDP, then until his death honorary chairman.


Sigurd Janssen and Reinhold Maier, Freiburg University 1952

Maier was 1932–1933 a member of parliament for the German State Party. At the same time he was from 1932 to 1933 a member of the Württemberg Landtag [de]. On March 23, 1933, he voted for the Enabling Act together with the other four liberal Reichstag deputies Hermann Dietrich, Theodor Heuss, Heinrich Landahl [de], and Ernst Lemmer [de]. The final sentence of his speech was: For the sake of people and country and in anticipation of a legitimate development, we will rescind our serious concerns and approve the Enabling Act.[3] According to the informations of Theodor Heuss in his memoirs, the five liberal Reichstag deputies have initially been divided with respect to the Enabling Act. Heuss had formulated two explanations, one for rejection, one for abstention. At his side, however, was only Hermann Dietrich. Heinrich Landahl, Ernst Lemmer and Reinhold Maier voted in the Reichstag group for approval. Heuss and Dietrich were overruled, so then all Liberal MPs voted for the Enabling Act.[4] In the Weimar Republic Maier was a member of the German Democratic Party (DDP). In 1945 he was a founder of the Democratic People's Party (DVP), which is now the Baden-Württemberg-Organisation of the FDP.

He died in Stuttgart.


  1. ^ "Bundesanzeiger, Jg. 6, Nr. 25" (Press release) (in German). Federal Ministry of Justice. 5 February 1954.
  2. ^ Christof Brauers: Die FDP in Hamburg 1945 bis 1953. Start als bürgerliche Linkspartei (= Vereinigung Demokratische Offenheit: DemOkrit. Bd. 3). Mit einem Vorwort von Hildegard Hamm-Brücher. M-Press Meidenbauer, München 2007, ISBN 978-3-89975-569-5, S. 560 und 566 (Zugleich: Hamburg, Helmut-Schmidt-Universität, Dissertation, 2004).
  3. ^ "Verhandlungen des Reichstags, stenographischer Bericht, 23. März 1933". p. 38. Im Interesse von Volk und Vaterland und in der Erwartung einer gesetzmäßigen Entwicklung werden wir unsere ernsten Bedenken zrückstellen und dem Ermächtigungsgesetz zustimmen.
  4. ^ Heuss, Theodor (1967). Pikart, Eberhard (ed.). Die Machtergreifung und das Ermächtigungsgesetz. Zwei nachgelassene Kapitel der „Erinnerungen 1905–1933“. Tübingen: Wunderlich. p. 24.

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