Hugenberg, Alfred

Hugenberg, Alfred
   politician and business leader; his radical nationalism, rooted in social Darwinism, served to undermine the Re-public and expedite Hitler s* ascendancy. He was born to middle-class circum-stances in Hanover; his father sat in Prussia's* Abgeordnetenhaus as a National Liberal. Soon after completing studies in 1888 in law and economics, he helped found the Pan-German League (Alldeutscher Verband). Although he remained in the background, he swayed the League s long-lived chairman, Heinrich Class.* During 1894-1899, while he was working with the Prussian Coloniza-tion Commission, he began promoting a reduced Polish influence in Posen and West Prussia. He was attached to the civil service* until 1907 and served from 1903 with the Finance Ministry. As chairman of the board at Krupp* steel from 1909, he was among Germany s economic prodigies. His virtuosity at enhancing Krupp's finances and dealing with worker issues was copied by other firms in the Ruhr. Ultimately, his skills brought appointment to the boards of numerous firms and economic organizations.
   Since Hugenberg surmised that democracy could be stifled with territorial acquisitions, he was in the vanguard of those who demanded vast annexations in World War I. To foster his goals, he founded an industrial group in 1916 to purchase and reorganize the large but troubled publishing empire of August Scherl. Growing interest in journalism led him to resign from Krupp in 1918. He was soon one of Germany s newspaper* barons; he added the popular tabloid Berliner Illustrierte Nachtausgabe and used August Scherl G.m.b.H. to assail the liberal press of Ullstein* and Mosse.* In 1927 he augmented his power by purchasing UFA,* Germany's premier film* studio.
   Hugenberg promoted a radical nationalism. His aim to turn Germany into a world power was matched by his urgency that Germany embrace an authoritarian structure. He campaigned against unions, socialism, and the left-liberal par-ties and he promoted the semifeudal ideal of a society led by paternalistic landlords and employers. His long-held aversion to the "democratic system created by Bismarck only sharpened his opposition to Weimar s parliamentary regime.
   From 1919 Hugenberg was successively elected to the National Assembly* and the Reichstag* as a member of the DNVP. He vehemently promoted non-cooperation with the "Weimar system" and launched an offensive in 1927 against a DNVP leadership that had struggled to work with the Republic. In the wake of a disastrous election the Party elected him chairman on 20 October 1928. Exercising dictatorial power, he castigated colleagues who had worked within the system and resisted all gestures that might sustain the Republic. His bitter campaign against the Young Plan,* pursued with Hitler in an effort to discredit the foreign policy of Gustav Stresemann,* epitomized his impact on German politics: it not only split his own Party but enhanced the respectability of the NSDAP.
   Hugenberg lent further credibility to the NSDAP s conservative credentials by aligning with Hitler in the 1931 Harzburg Front.* Although he began to grasp the danger posed by Hitler in 1932, he remained convinced that he could control him and, dismissing his qualms, joined Hitler's cabinet in January 1933 as Minister for both Economics and Agriculture. He realized too late that he wielded little influence, and his isolation led him to resign on 27 June 1933. Although he was forced to sell many of his holdings—in 1937 he sold UFA—he survived World War II with much of his fortune intact. He maintained his po-litical convictions until his death.
   REFERENCES:Chanady, "Disintegration"; Eksteins, Limits of Reason; Grathwol, Strese-mann and the DNVP; Leopold, Alfred Hugenberg; NDB, vol. 10; Walker, "German Nationalist People s Party.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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  • Hugenberg, Alfred — born June 19, 1865, Hannover, Hannover died March 12, 1951, Kükenbruch, W.Ger. German industrialist and political leader. As chairman of the Krupp family s industrial concern (1909–18), he built a huge newspaper and film empire and greatly… …   Universalium

  • Hugenberg, Alfred — (19 jun. 1865, Hannover, Hannover–12 mar. 1951, Kükenbruch, Alemania Occidental). Industrial y dirigente político alemán. Como presidente del consorcio industrial de la familia Krupp (1909–18), construyó un enorme imperio periodístico y… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Hugenberg — Hugenberg,   Alfred, Wirtschaftsführer und Politiker, * Hannover 19. 6. 1865, ✝ Kükenbruch (heute zu Extertal) 12. 3. 1951; Verwaltungsjurist, beteiligte sich 1891 an der Gründung des »Alldeutschen Verbandes«. 1907/08 war er Direktor der Berg und …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Alfred — /al fred, frid/, n. a male given name: from the Old English words meaning elf and counsel. * * * I known as Alfred the Great born 849 died 899 King of Wessex (871–99) in southwestern England. He joined his brother Ethelred I in confronting a… …   Universalium

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  • Alfred Hugenberg — Mandats Ministre du Reich à l …   Wikipédia en Français

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