Robert Schmidt (politician)

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Robert Schmidt.
Robert Schmidt.

Robert Schmidt (15 May 1864 – 16 September 1943) was a German trade unionist, journalist, politician and member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. He served as Reichsernährungsminister (Alimentation), Reichswirtschaftsminister (Economic Affairs) and Reichsminister für Wiederaufbau (Reconstruction) in a number of cabinets of the Weimar Republic.


Robert Schmidt was born in Berlin on 15 May 1864. He was apprenticed as a piano builder and from 1890 to 1893 was a member of the board of the association of piano builders of Berlin.[1]

From 1893 to 1902, he was editor for the social-democratic newspaper Vorwärts.

From 1893 to 1898 and from 1903 to 1918, Schmidt was a member of the Reichstag of the German Empire for the Social Democratic Party of Germany. In 1902, he was a member of the Generalkommission of German trade unions and from 1903 to 1910 was head of the Zentral-Arbeitersekretariat.[1]

In 1918, he became Unterstaatssekretär of the Kriegsernährungsamt. After the German Revolution, he was elected to the National Assembly of the Weimar Republic (1919-20). He remained a member of the Reichstag until 1930.[1]

In 1919, Schmidt became Reichsernährungsminister (Minister for Alimentation/Food) in the cabinet of Ministerpräsident Philipp Scheidemann. He continued to serve in the government as Reichswirtschaftsminister (Minister for Economic Affairs) in the cabinet of Gustav Bauer (1919-29). He retained this position in the cabinets of Hermann Müller, and Joseph Wirth from March 1920 to November 1922, interrupted only by the Fehrenbach cabinet (June 1920 - May 1921), which excluded the SPD. In 1923, he was Vice-Chancellor and Minister for Reconstruction in the first cabinet of Gustav Stresemann. In 1929, he again served briefly as Minister for Reconstruction in the second cabinet of Hermann Müller.[2][1]

Schmidt died on 16 September 1943 at Berlin.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Files of the Reichskanzlei: Biografie Robert Schmidt (German)". Bundesarchiv. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Kabinette von 1919 bis 1933 (German)". Deutsches Historisches Museum. Archived from the original on 26 February 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 

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