Julius Curtius

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Julius Curtius
Bundesarchiv Bild 102-10108, Reichsaussenministers Curtius mit Familie (cropped).jpg
President Paul von Hindenburg
Chancellor Hans Luther, Wilhelm Marx, Hermann Müller, Heinrich Brüning
Reichswirtschaftsminister (Economic Affairs), Weimar Republic
In office
January 1926 November 1929
Preceded by Rudolf Krohne  (de )
Succeeded by Paul Moldenhauer
Reichsaußenminister (Foreign Affairs), Weimar Republic
In office
November 1929 3 October 1931
Preceded by Gustav Stresemann
Succeeded by Heinrich Brüning
Personal details
Born(1877-02-07)7 February 1877
Duisburg, Prussia
Died 10 November 1948(1948-11-10) (aged 71)
Heidelberg, West Germany
Political party German People's Party (DVP)
Spouse(s) Adda Carp
Children 5
Profession Lawyer, politician

Julius Curtius (7 February 1877 – 10 November 1948) was a German politician who served as Minister for Economic Affairs (from January 1926 to December 1929) and Foreign Minister of the Weimar Republic (from October/November 1929 to October 1931).

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Weimar Republic Germany state in the years 1918/1919–1933

The Weimar Republic is an unofficial historical designation for the German state from 1918 to 1933. The name derives from the city of Weimar, where its constitutional assembly first took place. The official name of the republic remained Deutsches Reich unchanged from 1871, because of the German tradition of substates. Although commonly translated as "German Empire", the word Reich here better translates as "realm", in that the term does not have monarchical connotations in itself. The Reich was changed from a constitutional monarchy into a republic. In English, the country was usually known simply as Germany.


Early life

Julius Curtius with his wife and two daughters, 1930 Bundesarchiv Bild 102-10108, Reichsaussenministers Curtius mit Familie.jpg
Julius Curtius with his wife and two daughters, 1930

Julius Curtius was born on 7 February 1877 at Duisburg in what was then the Prussian Rhine Province.

Duisburg Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Duisburg is a city of about 500,000 inhabitants in Germany’s Rhineland, at the confluence of the Rhine and the Ruhr. In medieval times, it was a member of the powerful Hanseatic League, and later became a major centre of iron, steel, and chemicals. For this reason, it was heavily bombed in World War II. Today it boasts the world's largest inland port, with 21 docks and 40 kilometres of wharf. The city supports a large Turkish community.

Prussia state in Central Europe between 1525–1947

Prussia was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany.

Rhine Province province of Prussia

The Rhine Province, also known as Rhenish Prussia (Rheinpreußen) or synonymous with the Rhineland (Rheinland), was the westernmost province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia, within the German Reich, from 1822 to 1946. It was created from the provinces of the Lower Rhine and Jülich-Cleves-Berg. Its capital was Koblenz and in 1939 it had 8 million inhabitants. The Province of Hohenzollern was militarily associated with the Oberpräsident of the Rhine Province.

His father Friedrich (1850-1904) owned a ultramarine works at Duisburg and an alum works at Eichelkamp  (de ). Friedrich's brother was Theodor Curtius, a professor of chemistry. Julius' mother was Adele (1824–98, née Brockhoff). [1]

Ultramarine A deep blue color pigment which was originally made with ground lapis lazuli

Ultramarine is a deep blue color pigment which was originally made by grinding lapis lazuli into a powder. The name comes from the Latin ultramarinus, literally "beyond the sea", because the pigment was imported into Europe from mines in Afghanistan by Italian traders during the 14th and 15th centuries.

Alum chemical compound

An alum is a type of chemical compound, usually a hydrated double sulfate salt of aluminium with the general formula XAl(SO
, where X is a monovalent cation such as potassium or ammonium. By itself, "alum" often refers to potassium alum, with the formula KAl(SO
. Other alums are named after the monovalent ion, such as sodium alum and ammonium alum.

Theodor Curtius German chemist

GeheimratJulius Wilhelm Theodor Curtius was professor of Chemistry at Heidelberg University and elsewhere. He published the Curtius rearrangement in 1890/1894 and also discovered diazoacetic acid, hydrazine and hydrazoic acid.

Julius married Adda Carp (died 1950), sister of industrialist Werner Carp, in 1905. They had two sons and three daughters. [1]

Curtius studied law at Kiel, Strasbourg and Bonn and was awarded a doctorate at Berlin. In 1905, he started practicing law at Duisburg. After 1911, he began working on issues in the field of public policy (Staatswissenschaften) at Heidelberg. He served in the First World War, finishing at the rank of Hauptmann (captain) of the Landwehr and Batterieführer and was awarded both Iron Crosses. He remained at Heidelberg where he also was a member of the city council (Stadtverordneter) until 1921. He then worked as a lawyer at the Kammergericht Berlin. He mainly represented (also as a member of supervisory boards) firms in the steel and coal, potash and railway rolling stock businesses. From 1920 to 1932, he was a member of the Reichstag for the German People's Party (DVP). [1]

Kiel Place in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Kiel is the capital and most populous city in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of 249,023 (2016).

Strasbourg Prefecture and commune in Grand Est, France

Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department. In 2016, the city proper had 279,284 inhabitants and both the Eurométropole de Strasbourg and the Arrondissement of Strasbourg had 491,409 inhabitants. Strasbourg's metropolitan area had a population of 785,839 in 2015, making it the ninth largest metro area in France and home to 13% of the Grand Est region's inhabitants. The transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 915,000 inhabitants in 2014.

Bonn Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

The Federal City of Bonn is a city on the banks of the Rhine in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with a population of over 300,000. About 24 km (15 mi) south-southeast of Cologne, Bonn is in the southernmost part of the Rhine-Ruhr region, Germany's largest metropolitan area, with over 11 million inhabitants. It is famously known as the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven in 1770. Beethoven spent his childhood and teenage years in Bonn.


Curtius became Reichswirtschaftsminister (Minister for Economic Affairs) in January 1926 as a member of the second cabinet of Hans Luther and remained in that office in several different cabinets that followed. After Gustav Stresemann died on 3 October 1929, Curtius became the acting Foreign Minister and in November vacated his old position and took over the Auswärtiges Amt. [1]

Hans Luther German chancellor

Hans Luther was a German politician and Chancellor of Germany for 482 days in 1925 to 1926. As Minister of Finance he helped stabilize the Mark during the hyperinflation of 1923. From 1930 to 1933, Luther was head of the Reichsbank and from 1933 to 1937 he served as German ambassador to Washington.

Gustav Stresemann German politician, statesman, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate

Gustav Ernst Stresemann was a German statesman who served as Chancellor in 1923 and Foreign Minister 1923–1929, during the Weimar Republic. He was co-laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1926.

As a minister he supported job-creation schemes and a close cooperation with the Soviet Union, especially in economic affairs. His main achievement was - as collaborator and "heir" of Stresemann - progress in the question of wartime reparations and the return of the occupied Rhineland. As the minister responsible for the Young Plan, Curtius was heavily criticized by DNVP, Stahlhelm, Nazis and the Pan-German League, who labelled him a "traitor to the fatherland". [1]

Curtius unsuccessfully worked with Austria's Johann Schober in March 1931 to set up a German-Austrian custom union. However, France blocked this by putting economic pressure on Austria and by bringing about a decision by the Permanent Court of International Justice at Den Haag , which voted 8:7 to rule the union in contradiction of the Geneva protocol of 1922 (see Anschlussverbot  (de )). This caused Curtius to resign on 3 October 1931. [1]

To prevent the union being established, the French had withdrawn a number of short loans they had made to Austria; the withdrawal of the French loans helped to cause the collapse of Creditanstalt, Austria's largest bank, in May 1931, which in its turn brought about a series of banking collapses all over Central Europe in the summer of 1931.[ citation needed ]

Curtius was intimately involved in the negotiations that led to the issuing of the Hoover Moratorium by the U.S President Herbert Hoover that halted war reparations payments by Germany in June 1931 as part of the effort to limit the financial fall-out of the banking collapse.[ citation needed ]

Later life and death

Following his resignation, Curtius left politics and worked as a lawyer, asset manager and farmer. After his house in Berlin was destroyed in World War II and his estate in Mecklenburg was seized by the Communist authorities he moved to Heidelberg in July 1946. Curtius died at Heidelberg on 10 November 1948. [1]


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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Biografie Julius Curtius (German)". Bayerische Nationalbibliothek. Retrieved 7 August 2015.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Gustav Stresemann
Foreign Minister of Germany
1929 – 1931
Succeeded by
Heinrich Brüning