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Müller, Hermann

Hermann Müller

b. 18 May 1876, Mannheim
d. 20 Mar 1931, Berlin-Tempelhof

Title: Vorsitzender des Zentralrats der deutschen sozialistischen Republik (Chairman of the Central Council of the German Socialist Republic)
Term: 20 Dec 1918 - 14 Apr 1919
Chronology: 19 Dec 1918, elected member of Zentralrat (Central Council) by the First Reich Congress of Councils
  20 Dec 1918, elected Zentralrat chairman at the meeting of the Zentralrat [1]
  21 Dec 1918, joint resolution of Zentralrat and Vollzugsrat der Arbeiter- und Soldatenrate Groß-Berlins on transferring the high state authority to the Zentralrat [1]
  14 Apr 1919, term of the Zentralrat members expired with election of the new Central Council by the Second Reich Congress of Councils
Names/titles: Byname: Müller-Franken; Reichskanzler (Reich Chancellor) [26 Mar 1920 - 21 Jun 1920, 28 Jun 1928 - 30 Mar 1930] (see details)

Son of a sparkling wine producer; attended public schools in Mannheim and Realgymnasium in Dresden-Neustadt; worked as accountant apprentice and salesman in Frankfurt/Main and Breslau; joined the Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD) in 1893; worked as editor of the social democratic newspaper Görlitzer Volkszeitung (1899-1906); member of the municipal council in Görlitz (1903-1906); was elected to the SPD executive board in 1906 after his candidature was proposed by the party leader August Bebel; as moderate social democrat, he was sent to France to coordinate socialist opposition to the impending World War I; elected to the Reichstag (1916-1918) to represent Reichenbach-Neurode and was one of the seven SPD-members elected to the Vollzugsrat der Arbeiter- und Soldatenräte Groß-Berlins (Executive Council of the Workers' and Soldiers' Councils of Greater Berlin) on 10 Nov 1918; elected to the Zentralrat (Central Council) at the First Reich Congress of Councils (16 Dec 1918 - 21 Dec 1918); elected one of the chairmen of the Central Council (20 Dec 1918 - 14 Apr 1919) along with Robert Leinert and Max Cohen-Reuß; elected to the Verfassunggebende Nationalversammlung (National Constituent Assembly); succeeded Friedrich Ebert (with Otto Wels) as co-chairman of the SPD; as foreign minister (21 Jun 1919 - 27 Mar 1920) in the Cabinet of Gustav Bauer, he signed the Treaty of Versailles for Germany; after the failure of the Kapp-Lüttwitz Putsch (1920), he was appointed Reich Chancellor in the government of the "Weimar coalition"; resigned after the "Weimar coalition" suffered defeat in the elections to the Reichstag (6 Jun 1920); failed to form a new government (12 Jun 1920) and was eventually replaced with Konstantin Fehrenbach; after the success of SPD in the 1928 elections (153 seats or 31 percent), formed his second coalition government with the People's Party, the Catholic Centre Party, the Democrats, and the Bavarian People's Party; began a naval construction program and negotiated the Young Plan, which reduced the reparations payments stipulated by the Treaty of Versailles; resigned the office (27 Mar 1930) after he failed to secure the support for his initiative in introducing the unemployment insurance in the conditions of the economic depression; died in 1931 after he underwent surgery.

[1] "Der Zentralrat der Deutschen Sozialistischen Republik 19.12.1918 - 8.4.1919" from the series: "Quellen zur Geschichte der Rätebewegung in Deutschland 1918/19" (Leiden: Verlag E. J. Brill, 1968).
[2] Reichstags-Handbuch. I. Wahlperiode. 1920. Berlin: 1920. S. 291; Reichstags-Handbuch. II. Wahlperiode. 1924. Berlin: 1924. S. 484-485; Reichstags-Handbuch. III. Wahlperiode. 1924. Berlin: 1925. S. 315; Reichstags-Handbuch. IV. Wahlperiode. 1928. Berlin: 1928. S. 395; Reichstags-Handbuch. V. Wahlperiode. 1930. Berlin: 1930. S. 424.