Groener, Wilhelm

   general; best known for his pact at the end of World War I with Friedrich Ebert* whereby the army agreed to support the new socialist regime so long as it did not radically reform the army. Born in Ludwigsburg, he joined the army in 1884 and was assigned to the General Staff in 1899. For most of the next seventeen years he worked with the Railroad Section. It was his expertise that enabled the army to quickly and effortlessly deploy at the outbreak of World War I. By perfecting Germany s military supply operations, he earned promotion to major-general in June 1915.
   By the winter of 1916 the Allied blockade* had generated a nutritional emer-gency. Appointed head of the War Food Office in May 1916, Groener assumed responsibility for food reserves and establishment of a ration system. Over time he became a virtual economic dictator, energetically reshaping all labor and raw materials as well as the production of food and munitions. Significantly, his efforts earned him the respect of the SPD. When Erich Ludendorff* was dis-missed as quartermaster general on 29 October 1918, Groener succeeded him.
   Groener's importance lies chiefly in the secret agreement he reached with Ebert on 10 November 1918. Having told the Kaiser on the ninth that the army no longer supported him, he independently contacted Ebert to help solidify the Republic and ensure continuation of the officer corps. Thereafter he supervised the return and demobilization of Germany s armies, assisted with formation of Freikorps* units, and opposed an officers' revolt against the National Assem-bly.* He advised acceptance of the Versailles Treaty* in June 1919 and then retired from military service on 30 September. The right-wing parties and nu-merous officers never forgave him either his role in the Kaiser's abdication or his pact with the Republic.
   Claiming no party affiliation, Groener served in 1920-1923 as Transportation Minister. When Wilhelm Cuno s* government collapsed, he returned to private life and wrote about the 1914 Marne campaign. When scandal forced Otto Ges-sler s* resignation in January 1928, President Hindenburg* asked Groener to become Defense Minister. Insisting that a soldier assume the portfolio, Hinden-burg also recognized the value of someone acceptable to the SPD. At Hinden-burg s request, and notwithstanding disarmament* talks, Groener secretly worked to rearm the Reichswehr.* In 1931 he was also entrusted with the In-terior Ministry. But his 14 April 1932 attempt to protect the Republic from the NSDAP by banning the SA* was abortive and politically suicidal. Exposed to attack from the Right, which accused him of capitulating to the SPD, and from the officer corps, which had seized upon Hitler's* promise to increase military strength, Groener was unable to bridge his loyalty to the Republic with his bond to the army; he resigned as Defense Minister on 13 May. The 30 May collapse of Brüning's* cabinet brought his removal as Interior Minister.
   REFERENCES:Benz and Graml, Biographisches Lexikon; Craig, Politics ofthe Prussian Army; Dorpalen, Hindenburg; NDB, vol. 7.

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

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Groener, Wilhelm — ▪ German general and politician born Nov. 22, 1867, Ludwigsburg, Württemberg [Germany] died May 3, 1939, Bornstedt, near Potsdam, Ger.  German general and politician who helped prevent a communist revolution in Germany after World War I by… …   Universalium

  • Wilhelm Gröner — Wilhelm Groener (1932) Wilhelm Groener (* 22. November 1867 in Ludwigsburg, Königreich Württemberg; † 3. Mai 1939 Potsdam Bornstedt) war ein deutscher Militär und Politiker. Er war ein Sohn des Regimentszahlmeisters Karl Eduard Groener und dessen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wilhelm Groener — (1932) Karl Eduard Wilhelm Groener (* 22. November 1867 in Ludwigsburg, Königreich Württemberg; † 3. Mai 1939 Potsdam Bornstedt) war ein deutscher Militär und Politiker …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wilhelm Groener — Wilhelm Groener. Karl Eduard Wilhelm Groener (22 de noviembre de 1867 3 de mayo de 1939) fue un militar y político alemán. Contenido 1 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Groener — Groener,   Wilhelm, General und Politiker, * Ludwigsburg 22. 11. 1867, ✝ Bornstedt (heute zu Potsdam) 3. 5. 1939; trat 1884 in die württembergische Armee ein; war ab 1899 als Offizier im Großen Generalstab, in dem er 1912 die Leitung der… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Wilhelm Freiherr von Gayl — Wilhelm Moritz Egon Freiherr von Gayl (* 4. Februar 1879 in Königsberg; † 7. November 1945 in Potsdam) war ein deutscher Jurist und Politiker (DNVP). Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben und Beruf 2 Abgeordneter 3 Öffentliche Ämte …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wilhelm Külz — 1946 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wilhelm Sollmann — Friedrich Wilhelm Sollmann, im Exil William Sollmann (* 1. April 1881 in Oberlind, heute Sonneberg; † 6. Januar 1951 in Mount Carmel, Connecticut), war ein deutscher Journalist und Politiker. Leben Sollmann war S …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wilhelm von Gayl — Wilhelm Freiherr von Gayl (ca. 1932) Wilhelm Moritz Egon Freiherr von Gayl (* 4. Februar 1879 in Königsberg; † 7. November 1945 in Potsdam) war ein deutscher Jurist und Politiker (DNVP). Inhal …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wilhelm Groener — Karl Eduard Wilhelm Groener (November 22 1867 May 3 1939) was a German soldier and politician.BiographyHe was born in Ludwigsburg, Württemberg, the son of a regimental paymaster. He entered the Württemberg Army in 1884, and attended the War… …   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.