Conservative People's Party

(Konservative Volkspartei, KVP)
   founded on 23 July 1930 by Kuno von Westarp* and Gottfried Treviranus,* former Nationalists disheartened by the direction in which Alfred Hugenberg* was leading the DNVP. The KVP, while strictly conservative, sought to support Heinrich Bruäning s* cabinet in cooperation with elements in parties to the Left of the DNVP. Various conservative groups did in fact sustain the KVP in pub-lishing an appeal in favor of Bruäning s reforms. But while several business leaders supported Treviranus and Westarp in their defection from the DNVP, efforts to unite anti-Hugenberg conservatives were dashed when the Deutsches Landvolk (a coalition of the Bavarian Peasants League and the Christian-National Peasants' and Farmers' Party) and the Christlich-Sozialer Volksdienst (Christian Social People s Service), both earlier defectors from the Hugenberg-led DNVP, ran separate candidates in the September 1930 Reichstag* elections.
   Although the KVP was organizationally weak, it had substantial business support. IG Farben* and the Ruhrlade (a group of iron and steel industrialists) provided staff to run the Party s campaign. Bruäning, previously close to the DNVP s moderate elements, placed great hope in the KVP. Thus he was quite depressed when the Party mustered under 1 percent of the votes and only four seats in the September elections.
   Despite its size, the tiny KVP faction, led by Westarp, orchestrated Wilhelm Groener s* dismissal as Defense Minister in May 1932. By this point, however, Westarp was lending his name to the new National Front of German Estates (Nationale Front deutschen Stande), and the KVP was largely moribund.
   REFERENCES:Chanady, "Disintegration ; Eyck, History ofthe Weimar Republic, vol. 2; Larry Jones, German Liberalism; Struve, Elites against Democracy; Turner, German Big Business; Walker, "German Nationalist People s Party.

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

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