Jarres, Karl

(1874-1951)
   municipal leader; Oberburgermeister of Duis-burg and Reich Interior Minister. Born in Remscheid, he studied law and earned a doctorate at Erlangen in 1897. As a young attorney, he was drawn to city administration. Named deputy Burgermeister of Düren in 1903, he assumed the same post in Cologne in 1907 and then returned to Remscheid in 1910 as Ober-burgermeister. He revealed himself a prudent and socially conscious adminis-trator. Jarres next served two long terms as Duisburg's Oberburgermeister (1914-1923 and 1925-1933). During the wartime blockade* he managed to provision Duisburg with food; he then countered leftist efforts to form a council government during the Armistice.*
   Intensely nationalistic, Jarres championed passive resistance during the 1923 Ruhr occupation.* The occupying forces turned him out of office, brought him before a Belgian military court, and early in 1923 sentenced him to two months' imprisonment. The episode caught Germany's attention, and after his release he represented both the Prussian and Reich governments in the occupied territories. Operating from unoccupied Münster, he came to realize that resistance was feeding the inflation* and damaging the Republic's reputation in the Ruhr. Gus-tav Stresemann* named him Interior Minister in November 1923; he retained the office under Wilhelm Marx* (through December 1924) and added that of Vice Chancellor.
   Although Jarres was politically unaffiliated, he stood closest to the DVP. After the Ruhr crisis his economic liberalism made him Stresemann's steady defender. At the Foreign Minister's urging in March 1925, he represented the rightist Reichsburgerblock (an alliance of the DVP and the DNVP) as candidate for President, an office vacated upon Friedrich Ebert's* death. Although he received the most votes (10.7 million, or 38.8 percent), the Constitution* required an absolute majority: the Burgerblock replaced him on the second ballot with Paul von Hindenburg.* Jarres soon returned to Duisburg and was reelected Ober-burgermeister. He hoped to renew the city's industrial district—Duisburg was home to much heavy industry, including United Steel Works—but was forced to devote himself to rising unemployment. Dismissed upon Hitler's* seizure of power, he remained a leader in Duisburg's industrial community through 1945. After World War II he was key to revitalizing the Ruhr's industrial base.
   Jarres is counted with Konrad Adenauer,* Hans Luther,* Otto Gessler,* and Carl Goerdeler* among the era's notable Oberburgermeisters. His success at modernizing Duisburg's economic structure was matched by his skill in devel-oping its theater* and opera. In politics, his blend of nationalism and managerial expertise was typical of the era. Never a partisan politician—his devotions con-sistently blended a traditional middle-class outlook with German nationalism— he nevertheless retained a connection with the DVP until the NSDAP forced the Party's dissolution. Free of reactionary sentiment, he tried to support the Republic while remaining intellectually lost somewhere between it and the old monarchy.
   REFERENCES:Benz and Graml, Biographisches Lexikon; Larry Jones, German Liber-alism; NDB, vol. 10.

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

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