Civil Service

   A considerable section of Germany's middle class (seeMit-telstand) consisted of civil servants (Beamten). Since the great mass of this group performed "politically neutral tasks such as teaching, tax collection, postal and railroad operations, municipal services, and the filling of Protestant* pulpits, it is difficult to reconcile its ambivalence (indeed hostility) to the Re-public. But like its landowners and officers, Germany's bureaucracy revered the monarchy; indeed, many landowners were Beamten and many Beamten had served as officers under the Kaiser. As with military commissions, a civil-service appointment was a lifetime pledge. Even the Weimar Constitution* (Article 129) accorded special esteem to the "inviolable" and "well-acquired rights" of Beamten. Since such officials deemed themselves professional servants rather than ministerial subordinates (political appointees), they lacked connection to the new crop of ministers who governed after November 1918. Yet they might have come to accept the Republic had it given evidence of success; instead, they increasingly judged it a threat to both their living standard and their social standing.
   The lower civil-service ranks, never sufficiently paid, were forced into intol-erable living standards in the wake of World War I. Poor salaries had often been supplemented in the Kaiserreich with interest paid on private wealth. But the inflation* ravaged the value of set salaries while eliminating many private fortunes. Moreover, wartime investments into government bonds were lost. The Kaiserreich often "paid" Beamten for years of loyal service with titles and decorations, which were almost as important as salary. The respect bestowed by granting an honorific "von" was the Kaiser's simplest means of consoling un-derpaid Beamten. The Republic suspended endowment of all such honors. Then, after years of inaction or cutbacks (1923-1924), the Reichstag* passed an ex-cessive salary increase (21-25 percent) in 1927 for federal bureaucrats, a step inducing similar increases at state and municipal levels (both requiring federal subsidies). Unfortunately, with the 1929 economic crash, the new salaries could not be maintained; Heinrich Brüning's* deflationary reductions led many Beam-ten to fear, with predictable results, that they would slip into the lower middle class (untere Mittelstand). In his memoirs Otto Braun* recorded that the "ex-cessive salary increase [of 1927] scarcely won any civil servants to democracy, but the salary cuts which later proved necessary drove countless officials into the National Socialists camp.
   REFERENCES:Balfour, Withstanding Hitler; Brecht, Political Education; Dahrendorf, Society and Democracy; Michael Hughes, "Private Equity, Social Inequity ; Jacob, German Administration; Jarausch, "Crisis of German Professions"; Röhl, "Higher Civil Servants.

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

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Civil Service F.C. — Civil Service F.C. Full name Civil Service Football Club Union Football Association Rugby Football Union Nickname(s) War Office Founded pre 1863 Civil Service F.C. is an English …   Wikipedia

  • Civil service — (Royaume Uni) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Service civil (homonymie).  Pour les autres articles nationaux, voir Fonction publique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • civil service — n. The professional staff and workers of a government. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008. civil service in the …   Law dictionary

  • Civil service — Civil Civ il, a. [L. civilis, fr. civis citizen: cf. F. civil. See {City}.] 1. Pertaining to a city or state, or to a citizen in his relations to his fellow citizens or to the state; within the city or state. [1913 Webster] 2. Subject to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • civil service — ˌcivil ˈservice noun the civil service the government departments of a country and the people who work for them : • Before taking up his present job, he used to work in the civil service. * * * civil service UK US noun [S] GOVERNMENT ► the… …   Financial and business terms

  • Civil Service —   [ sɪvɪl səːvɪs, englisch] der, ,    1) in Großbritannien der öffentliche Verwaltungsdienst der Krone (ohne Richter und Lehrer); die Bediensteten der Lokalverwaltungen zählen nicht zum Civil Service, der seit 1855 durch viele Kabinettsbefehle… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • civil service — n the civil service the government departments that manage the affairs of the country …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • civil service — c.1785, originally in reference to non military staff of the East India Company. Civil servant is from 1800 …   Etymology dictionary

  • civil service — n. [orig. applied to the civilian staff of the British East India Company] 1. all those employed in government administration except in the armed forces, legislature, or judiciary 2. any government service in which a position is secured through… …   English World dictionary

  • civil service — ► NOUN ▪ the branches of state administration, excluding military and judicial branches and elected politicians …   English terms dictionary

  • Civil service — Not to be confused with civilian service. The term civil service has two distinct meanings: A branch of governmental service in which individuals are employed on the basis of professional merit as proven by competitive examinations. The body of… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.