| Chancellor of Germany |
22 November 1922 –12 August 1923
|Preceded by||Joseph Wirth|
|Succeeded by||Gustav Stresemann|
Wilhelm Carl Josef Cuno
2 July 1876
Suhl, German Empire
|Died||3 January 1933 56) (aged|
Aumühle, Weimar Republic
|Spouse(s)||Martha Berta Wirtz|
Wilhelm Carl Josef Cuno (2 July 1876 – 3 January 1933) was a German businessman and politician who was the Chancellor of Germany from 1922 to 1923, for a total of 264 days. His tenure included the episode known as the Occupation of the Ruhr by French and Belgian troops and the period in which inflation in Germany accelerated notably, heading towards hyperinflation. Cuno was also general director of the Hapag shipping company.
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.
The Occupation of the Ruhr was a period of military occupation of the German Ruhr valley by France and Belgium between 11 January 1923 and 25 August 1925. The occupation was a response to the German Weimar Republic widely and regularly defaulting on reparation payments in the early 1920s. The total reparation sum of £6.6 billion had been dictated by the victorious powers in the Treaty of Versailles, and the reparation payments were due to last several decades.
Hyperinflation affected the German Papiermark, the currency of the Weimar Republic, between 1921 and 1923. It caused considerable internal political instability in the country, the occupation of the Ruhr by France and Belgium as well as misery for the general populace.
Wilhelm Carl Josef Cuno was born on 2 July 1876 in Suhl, in what was then Prussian Saxony and is now in Thuringia. He was the son of August George Wilhelm Cuno (1848-1915) and his wife Catherina Elisabeth Theresia, née Daske (1852-1878).
Suhl is a city in Thuringia, Germany, located 50 kilometres SW of Erfurt, 110 kilometres NE of Würzburg and 130 kilometres N of Nuremberg. With its 37,000 inhabitants, it is the smallest of the six urban districts within Thuringia. Together with its northern neighbour-town Zella-Mehlis, Suhl forms the largest urban area in the Thuringian Forest with a population of 46,000. The region around Suhl is marked by up to 1,000-meter high mountains, including Thuringia's highest peak, the Großer Beerberg, approximately 5 kilometres NE of the city centre.
The Province of Saxony, also known as Prussian Saxony was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and later the Free State of Prussia from 1816 until 1945. Its capital was Magdeburg.
Thuringia, officially the Free State of Thuringia, is a state of Germany.
In 1906, Cuno, a Roman Catholic, married Martha Berta Wirtz (born 1879), daughter of Hamburg merchant Hugo Wirtz. They had three sons and two daughters.
Cuno studied law in Berlin and Heidelberg and was awarded a Juris Doctor.He was a member of K.D.St.V. Arminia Heidelberg, a Catholic student fraternity that is a member of the Cartellverband der katholischen deutschen Studentenverbindungen.
Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.
Heidelberg is a university town in Baden-Württemberg situated on the river Neckar in south-west Germany. In the 2016 census, its population was 159,914, with roughly a quarter of its population being students.
The Juris Doctor degree, also known as the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree, is a graduate-entry professional degree in law and one of several Doctor of Law degrees. The Juris Doctor is earned by completing law school in Australia, Canada, the United States, and some other common law countries. It has the academic standing of a professional doctorate in the United States, a master's degree in Australia, and a second-entry, baccalaureate degree in Canada.
He was employed by the Reichsschatzamt (Treasury) in 1907, initially as Regierungsassessor. Cuno was promoted in 1910 to Regierungsrat and in 1912 to Geheimer Regierungsrat. His tasks mainly involved preparing parliamentary bills and presenting them to the Reichstag.
The Reichstag was the Parliament of Germany from 1871 to 1918. Legislation was shared between the Reichstag and the Bundesrat, which was the Imperial Council of the reigning princes of the German States.
During World War I, Cuno was involved in organizing food supplies for the German army, first directing the Reichsgetreidestelle from its inception until July 1916. He then was attached to Secretary of State (i.e. Minister) Batocki to help organize the Kriegsernährungsamt (war food department). In late 1916, Cuno was put in charge of the Generalreferat (section) on economic issues relating to the war at the Treasury.
World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.
Max Johann Otto Adolf Tortilowicz von Batocki-Friebe, usually known as Adolf von Batocki-Friebe was a German noble, lawyer and politician, and belonged to a Lithuanian noble family.
At the request of Albert Ballin, Cuno quit the civil service to join the Hapag shipping company as a director in November 1917. After Ballin's death in November 1918, Cuno was promoted to Hapag's general director in December.
As an economic expert, Cuno participated in the post-war negotiations on the armistice, on reparations and peace terms and in other international conferences, including the Genoa Conference, which he left in protest after the signature of the Treatyof Rapello with the Soviet Union. Cuno was also an important negotiator in talks between the German shipping firms and the government, regarding compensation for the merchant ships delivered to the Allies under the terms of the peace treaty (1920/21).
In 1920, Cuno led Hapag into an alliance with United American Lines, helping to reestablish Hapag as a passenger line. He also unofficially represented the Reich's foreign policy interests during his travels abroad.
Cuno rejected several proposals to assume the post of foreign minister (autumn 1922) or minister of finance (after Matthias Erzberger's resignation in 1920), but agreed to form a cabinet after the resignation of Joseph Wirth's second cabinet. Cuno was appointed Reichskanzler on 22 November 1922, by presidential decree and without a vote in the Reichstag. He was the first chancellor in the Weimar Republic who was not a member of a party. Politically, he was quite far from the president, Social Democrat Friedrich Ebert who selected him as chancellor. Cuno had a somewhat aloof position towards the republic and its parliamentary system. He held the Reichstag in fairly low esteem and felt the bickering between the parties to be distasteful. Cuno formed a government mostly composed of non-party economists and members of the German People's Party, German Democratic Party, German Center Party and Bavarian People's Party. The government was referred to, alternatively as a Geschäftsministerium, Regierung der Wirtschaft or Kabinett der Persönlichkeiten, emphasizing that it was not the result of an explicit coalition between the parliamentary parties.
Hopes were high for this government of experts, led by a man with excellent connections abroad, to make headway in the difficult talks with the Allies. They were, however, disappointed. Cuno's plan to settle the reparations issue and to stabilize the Mark in the foreign exchange market was rejected by the Allies at the urging of French prime minister/foreign minister Poincaré. When Germany fell a bit behind on its shipments of wood and coal (made as reparations in lieu of lacking gold currency) the French declared this to be a deliberate breach of the agreements and on 11 January 1923 ordered troops to occupy the Ruhr (later joined by Belgians). This move, widely seen as illegal even outside Germany, caused the outraged Cuno government to call for passive resistance: Reparation shipments to France and Belgium were stopped, the mines were told not to make any more deliveries to these states, civil servants and Reichsbahn personnel were told to disobey orders by the occupation authorities.
The Ruhr economy, the industrial heartland of Germany, came almost to a complete stop. Financial support payments by the Reich government to those inhabitants of the occupied zone affected by firm closures, deportations and arrests quickly added up to vast sums, mostly financed by printing money. This caused inflation to increase rapidly and the Mark to go into free fall.
Attempts by the government to resume talks about reparations in May and June 1923 failed as Poincaré refused to negotiate unless passive resistance was ended first. A wave of strikes against the government began in August 1923. On 12 August 1923, Cuno and his cabinet resigned as a result of a vote of no-confidence initiated by the SPD.
Cuno retired from politics and returned to serve as a director at Hapag. In 1926, he once again became its director general. He was involved in negotiations about the release of German property impounded in the U.S. during the war and in working towards the merger with Norddeutsche Lloyd, which happened in 1930.
During the 1925 election for Reichspräsident, Cuno was outspoken in his support for Paul von Hindenburg, rather than the candidate of the Centre Party, Wilhelm Marx.
In 1932, Cuno joined Wilhelm Keppler to advise Adolf Hitler economically.
Cuno died on 3 January 1933 at Aumühle near Hamburg.
Albert Ballin was a German shipping magnate. He was the general director of the Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft (HAPAG) or Hamburg-America Line, which for a time was the world's largest shipping company. Being the inventor of the concept of the cruise ship, he is known as the father of modern cruise ship travel.
Constantin Fehrenbach, sometimes falsely, Konstantin Fehrenbach, was a German Catholic politician who was one of the major leaders of the Centre Party or Zentrum. He served as President of the Reichstag in 1918, and then as President of the Weimar National Assembly from 1919 to 1920. In June 1920, Fehrenbach became Chancellor of Germany. He resigned in May 1921 over the issue of war reparation payments to the Allies. Fehrenbach headed the Centre Party's Reichstag fraction from 1923 until his death in 1926.
Wilhelm Marx was a German lawyer, Catholic politician and a member of the Centre Party. He was Chancellor of Germany twice, from 1923 to 1925 and again from 1926 to 1928, and he also served briefly as Minister President of Prussia in 1925, during the Weimar Republic. He was the longest-serving Chancellor during the Weimar Republic.
Events in the year 1922 in Germany.
This Weimar Timeline charts the chronology of the Weimar Republic, dating the pre-history before the adoption of the actual Weimar constitution. This timeline stops when Hitler establishes the Third Reich.
The Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft (HAPAG), often referred to as Hamburg America Line, was a transatlantic shipping enterprise established in Hamburg, in 1847. Among those involved in its development were prominent citizens such as Albert Ballin, Adolph Godeffroy, Ferdinand Laeisz, Carl Woermann, August Bolten, and others, and its main financial backers were Berenberg Bank and H. J. Merck & Co. It soon developed into the largest German, and at times the world's largest, shipping company, serving the market created by German immigration to the United States and later immigration from Eastern Europe. On 1 September 1970, after 123 years of independent existence, HAPAG merged with the Bremen-based North German Lloyd to form Hapag-Lloyd AG.
Karl Rudolf Heinze was a German jurist and politician. During the Weimar Republic, as a member of the right-of-centre German People's Party (DVP) he was Vice-Chancellor of Germany and Minister of Justice in 1920/21 in the cabinet of Konstantin Fehrenbach and from 1922 to 1923 again Minister of Justice under Wilhelm Cuno.
Heinrich Friedrich Albert was a German civil servant, diplomat, politician, businessman and lawyer who served as minister for reconstruction and the Treasury in the government of Wilhelm Cuno in 1922/1923. During his tenure as commercial attaché to the German embassy to the U.S. in 1914-17, he was suspected of engaging in espionage and sabotage.
Johann Becker was a German lawyer and politician of the German People's Party. From January 1916 to November 1918 he served as finance minister of the Grand Duchy of Hesse. He was elected a member of the Weimar National Assembly in 1919. He continued to serve as a delegate in the Reichstag until 1930. In 1922/1923 he was Minister of Economics, under Chancellor Wilhelm Cuno, during the onset of hyperinflation.
The Cuno strikes were nationwide strikes in Germany against the government of Chancellor Wilhelm Cuno in August 1923. The wave of strikes demanded, eventually with success, the resignation of the Cuno government, which occurred on 12 August 1923, after only nine months. The strikes also buoyed the hopes of the Communist International of an imminent revolution.
Cabinet Müller I or the first Cabinet Müller was the third democratically elected government of Germany and the second in office after the Weimar Constitution came into force in August 1919. It was named after the new Chancellor (Reichskanzler) Hermann Müller of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The cabinet was based on the same three centre-left parties as the previous one: the SPD, the German Center Party (Zentrum) and the German Democratic Party (DDP). It was formed in March 1920 after the resignation of the Cabinet Bauer. The Cabinet Müller resigned in reaction to the outcome of the Reichstag elections of 6 June 1920.
The Fehrenbach cabinet was the fourth democratically elected Reichsregierung of the German Reich. It was named after Reichskanzler (chancellor) Konstantin Fehrenbach and took office on 25 June 1920 when it replaced the First Müller cabinet.
The First Wirth cabinet was the fifth democratically elected Reichsregierung of the German Reich. It was named after Reichskanzler (chancellor) Joseph Wirth and took office on 10 May 1921 when it replaced the Fehrenbach cabinet.
The Second Wirth cabinet was the sixth democratically elected Reichsregierung of the German Reich, during the period in which it is now usually referred to as the Weimar Republic. The cabinet was named after Reichskanzler (chancellor) Joseph Wirth and took office on 26 October 1921 when it replaced the First Wirth cabinet.
Rudolf Oeser was a German journalist and liberal politician. From 1922 to 1924 he was a member of several governments of the Weimar Republic, serving as Minister of the Interior and Minister of Transport.
The Cuno cabinet was the seventh democratically elected Reichsregierung of the German Reich, during the period in which it is now usually referred to as the Weimar Republic. The cabinet was named after Reichskanzler (chancellor) Wilhelm Cuno and took office on 22 November 1922 when it replaced the Second Wirth cabinet under Joseph Wirth. The Cuno cabinet was forced to resign on 12 August 1923 and was replaced the next day by the first cabinet of Gustav Stresemann.
The First Stresemann cabinet was the eighth democratically elected Reichsregierung of the German Reich, during the period in which it is now usually referred to as the Weimar Republic. The cabinet was named after Reichskanzler (chancellor) Gustav Stresemann and took office on 13 August 1923 when it replaced the Cuno cabinet under Wilhelm Cuno. The cabinet resigned late on 3 October 1923 and was replaced on 6 October by another cabinet formed by Stresemann.
The Second Stresemann cabinet was the ninth democratically elected Reichsregierung of the German Reich, during the period in which it is now usually referred to as the Weimar Republic. The cabinet was named after Reichskanzler (chancellor) Gustav Stresemann and took office on 6 October 1923 when it replaced the First Stresemann cabinet which had resigned on 3 October. Stresemann's second cabinet resigned on 23 November 1923 and was replaced on 30 November by the first cabinet under chancellor Wilhelm Marx.
The First Marx cabinet was the tenth democratically elected Reichsregierung of the German Reich, during the period in which it is now usually referred to as the Weimar Republic. The cabinet was named after Reichskanzler (chancellor) Wilhelm Marx and took office on 30 November 1923 when it replaced the Second Stresemann cabinet which had resigned on 23 November. Marx' first cabinet resigned on 26 May 1924 and was replaced on 3 June by another cabinet under his chancellorship.
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| Chancellor of Germany |
1922 - 1923