Christian Mergenthaler

Christian Julius Mergenthaler (* 8. November 1884 in Waiblingen; † 11. September 1980 in bath dry home), was a German politician (NSDAP), member of the württembergischen federal state parliament, Reichstag as well as württembergischer Prime Minister and cult Minister.

Christian Mergenthaler (1884-1980), württembergischer Ministerpräsident 1933-1945 (in SA-Uniform)
Christian Mergenthaler (1884-1980), württembergischer Prime Minister 1933-1945 (in SA uniform)

Christian Mergenthaler was born in Waiblingen as a son of a baker master, visited 1894 - 1898 the latin school and/or. Six-form high school in Waiblingen, starting from 1898 the six-form high school in CAN place, which it locked 1902. After a study in Stuttgart, Tübingen and Goettingen he put 1907 down the first service examination for the higher teaching profession, carried for 1908 out - 1909 military service than one year's einjährig-Freiwilliger and became after the second service examination a 1911 upper teacher in latin and six-form high school Leonberg. It participated as an officer of an artillery unit in the entire First World War , most time of it in the front, among other things before Verdun and in Flanders.

After an intermediate play in Stuttgart it became 1920 Gymnasialprofessor in Swabian resounds. A conservative-German national coinage, the radicalizing war experience as well as its feeling for the social question led Mergenthaler politically into the extreme rights. In Swabian resound was it 1922 a joint founder of the NSDAP - local's group, for which it engaged itself as a speaker strongly. After the prohibition of the NSDAP it worked starting from 1923 as a member of the volume-gravel-CH-social block and sat starting from 1924 for this grouping in the württembergischen federal state parliament, in the same year briefly also in Reichstag. Only it occurred 1927 again the NSDAP, because it considered the autocracy Adolf Hitler in the party harmful. For this reason the position was probably withheld from it as NSDAP Gauleiter of Württemberg, on which it believed to have a requirement, and William Murr transfer, from which substantial tensions with this resulted. An office in the NSDAP never dressed Mergenthaler, but only in the SA, where that held the rank of an upper group leader. With public causes it always carried this uniform. 1928 to 1932 it represented as only delegates of the NSDAP the goals of its party in the württembergischen federal state parliament and appeared here - how already during its time in Swabian resound - as aggressive Antisemit. 1929 one shifted it from Swabian resounds after Stuttgart CAN place to the there High School.

After the “landslide victory” the NSDAP 1932 he became a federal state parliament president, 1933 württembergischer Prime Minister and cult Minister. Since the first lost office due to synchronising the countries opposite the gau leader and realm governor Murr substantially at meaning, the function played the more important role as a cult Minister (= Secretary of cultural affairs). In this it also today still interspersed a row some as progressively evaluated measures, for instance the abolishment of the konfessionellen denominational schools, the improvement of the people school teacher training by the establishment of a teacher university, the introduction of structure schools for talented people pupils on the country as well as the extension of the school offer within the range of the vocational training. These achievements are overshadowed however by its strict penetration of National Socialist ideas in the school administration. Mergenthaler reached through inconsiderate in the sense of the LV ideology of unpopular teachers and head masters, whom he shifted or from their offices removed. Young teachers were set under solid pressure to occur and work actively the NSDAP. Mergenthaler with the churches led violent arguments, in particular the Evangelist regional church in Württemberg and their national bishop Theophil worm. Here it used the school administration purposefully as weapon in „the world-descriptive fight. “Mergenthaler, which even 1941 withdrew from the church, intervened substantial in the curricula of the religious education, forbade the treatment of certain parts of the Bible, since they would contradict „moral feeling of the Germanic race “, shortened state contributions to the churches, forbade to ministers, who did not put the loyalty vow down on Hitler, the distribution of the religious education and arranged finally 1939 the introduction of a National Socialist colored „world-descriptive instruction “in place of the religious education. With its hard procedure against the churches it harmed its thing more, than it used, and donated confusion and discord, so that it was partly braked by the gau leader and the LV realm government. On local level its measures often led to bitter conflicts between the representatives of the church and that the NSDAP and the school bureaucracy, which partly caused a recognizable alienation in the church still strongly bound population Württembergs in relation to a party and authorities.

As an Prime Minister Mergenthaler was so insignificant and isolated that active entangling of parts of the württembergischen administration remained obviously hidden for him into the murder by handicapped ones in the course of the so-called euthanasia. Although Antisemit, is not well-known that he would have arranged or would have approved of acts of violence against Jews. A direct entangling in the Holocaust is not to be proven to it. Mergenthalers sense of duty and serving was coined/shaped of its experiences as a soldier. Often personal integrity and unselfishness are certified to it; against corruption of party officials it - however unsuccessfully - tried to proceed. Although it had a not uncritical attitude contrary to most high functionaries of the LV state opposite Hitler and some of its decisions disapproved, it remained faithful for it up to the end of the Second World War. For württembergische resistance fighters like the brothers Berthold and Claus do not give count von Stauffenberg or Eugen Bolz had it the mindeste understanding.

From 1945 to 1949 Mergenthaler was in the internment camp Balingen in detention, in its arbitration board procedure it 1948 as „mainguilty “was condemned, against what he did not insert a contradiction. After its dismissal from the camp it lived withdrawn in its it left house in Korntal Münchingen and did not arise publicly. Starting from 1951 it received a maintenance aid, starting from 1953 on the grace way the pension of a secondary school teacher. 1980 it died in bath dry home.


  • Rudolf Kiess: Christian Mergenthaler. Württembergi cult Minister 1933-1945, in: Magazine for Württembergi national history 54 (1995), S. 281-332
  • Rudolf Kiess: Mergenthaler, Christian Julius, physics and mathematics teacher at higher schools, MdL, MdR - NSDAP, Württembergi Prime Minister and cult Minister, in: Bernd Ottnad (Hrsg.): Biographies of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bd. 2, Stuttgart 1999, S. 317-320.
  • Rudolf Kiess: Christian Mergenthaler (1884-1980), in: R. Smile, J. Thierfelder (Hrsgg.): We could not extract ourselves. Thirty of haven advice to church and national socialism in Württemberg, Stuttgart 1998, S. 159-174
  • Michael Stolle: The Swabian Schulmeister Christian Mergenthaler, Württembergi Prime Minister, law and culture Minister, in: M. Kiessener, J. Scholtyseck (Hrsgg.): The leaders of the province. LV biographies from bathing and Württemberg, S. 445-477

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