Wilhelm Niklas

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Wilhelm Niklas
Minister of Food, Agriculture and Forestry
In office
20 September 1949 – 20 October 1953
Prime Minister Konrad Adenauer
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Heinrich Lübke
Personal details
Born 24 September 1887
Died 12 April 1957(1957-04-12) (aged 69)
Nationality German
Political party Bavarian People's Party (before 1933)
Christian Social Union in Bavaria (1946–57)
Alma mater Technical University of Munich

Wilhelm Niklas (24 September 1887 – 12 April 1957) was a German academic and politician, who was the first minister of food, agriculture and forestry of the German Federal Government in Konrad Adenauer's first cabinet.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Niklas was born in Traunstein, southern Bavaria, on 24 September 1887.[2][3] He studied law and political science for two semesters and then he studied agriculture and veterinary medicine.[2][3] He graduated from Technical University of Munich with a degree in veterinary medicine.[3] In 1914, he received a PhD in veterinary science with the thesis "The development of the Bavarian cattle insurance office in the first 15 years of its existence".[3]


Niklas began his career at his alma mater as a research assistant and worked there until 1912.[3] Then he moved to state veterinary service.[3] He was the department chief for livestock breeding and animal products in the Bavarian ministry of agriculture from 1925 until 1935 when he was fired by the Nazis.[2] Then he dealt with the management of large estates, and bought and ran a farm in southern Bavaria.[2] He was a member of the Bavarian People's Party before 1933.[2] From 1945 to 1947 he was the state secretary at the Bavarian ministry of food, agriculture and forestry.[4] He was a member of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) which he joined in 1946.[2][5] From 1947 to 1949 he served as the deputy director of the department for food, agriculture and forestry at the united economic area.[4] He was also an academic[6] and became professor at the Veterinary Faculty of Munich University in 1947.[2]

From 1948 to 1949 he was the deputy director of the Bizonal food and agriculture administration.[2] He served as the minister of food, agriculture and forestry in the cabinet led by the then prime minister Konrad Adenauer.[5][7] Niklas was in office from 20 September 1949 to 20 October 1953.[8] He was replaced by Heinrich Lübke in the post.[8][9] In a May 1951 by-election in Bavaria he was elected to the Bundestag.[2]

Personal life and death[edit]

Niklas was a Catholic.[3] He died in Munich on 12 April 1957 due to complications following a car accident.[3]


The federal ministry of agriculture has been awarding "Professor-Niklas-Medal” for his memory.[1][4] It is the highest award given by the ministry.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Michael Windfuhr was awarded for his fight against hunger". University of Hohenheim. 2 November 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Niklas, Wilhelm". Elections and Political Parties in Germany, 1945–1952. Salisbury, NC: Documentary Publications. 1952. p. 25. Retrieved 1 September 2013.  – via Questia (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Karl-Ulrich Gelberg (1998). "Niklas, Wilhelm". Neue Deutsche Biographie 19. p. 260. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Professor-Niklas-Medaille". BMELV. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Hans-Peter Schwarz (1995). Konrad Adenauer: A German Politician and Statesman in a Period of War, Revolution and Reconstruction: The Statesman: 1952–1967. Berghahn Books. p. 19. ISBN 978-1-57181-960-4. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Egg, meat prices down". The Sydney Morning Herald. 18 January 1950. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Composition of the first government of Konrad Adenauer (Bonn, 20 September 1949)". CVCE. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Angaben zur Regierungszeit". BMELV. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "Consumer Protection, Food, and Agriculture". Rulers. Retrieved 12 July 2013.