Haussmann, Conrad

(1857-1922)
   politician; chairman of the Con-stitutional Committee. Born in Stuttgart, he studied law and opened a legal practice with his twin brother Friedrich in Stuttgart. A left-liberal, he represented the Progressive Party in Württemberg's Landtag from 1889 and in the Reichs-tag* from 1890. He was opposed to the Kaiserreich's autocracy and was among the chief proponents for enlarging the Reichstag's power. His efforts produced ties with men of diverse outlook, including the socialist August Bebel and Prinz Max* von Baden. He worked between 1910 and the outbreak of war to improve Germany's relationship with both England and France; he advocated a peace of understanding throughout the war and was insistent that Belgium be restored. In 1917 he sat with the Reichstag committee that drew up the Peace Resolution. After serving without portfolio in Prinz Max's cabinet (14 October to 9 Novem-ber 1918), he returned to Württemberg and, with long-time colleague Friedrich Payer, founded the state's chapter of the DDP. He was elected to the National Assembly* and served as the chamber's Vice President while heading the Con-stitutional Committee. Some colleagues claimed that Haussmann, given his leg-islative agility, was more deserving of the title father of the Constitution*" than Hugo Preuss.*
   The Versailles Treaty* was a watershed for Haussmann. Among the first Progressives to work for a negotiated peace, he was embittered by the peace process. He rejected the thesis that Germany alone was responsible for the war and denounced the treaty as intolerable and unacceptable. After its signature he helped found a revisionist group known as both the Alliance for a Politics of Justice (Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Politik des Rechts) and the Heidelberg Coalition (Heidelberger Vereinigung). Versailles colored his relations with colleagues, led him to vehemently oppose alliances with either the SPD or Matthias Erzberger,* spawned his denunciation of the May 1921 London Ultimatum, and almost caused him to topple Joseph Wirth's* cabinet in October 1921 over the issue of Upper Silesia.* Although he had once been a pragmatist, by the end of his career Haussmann's wounded nationalism had blinded him to the manner in which his attitude was weakening both his Party and parliamentary democracy. He is thus best remembered for the yeoman work he did for peace and consti-tutional democracy through the spring of 1919.
   REFERENCES:Frye, Liberal Democrats; Larry Jones, German Liberalism; NDB, vol. 8.

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

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