Keudell, Waltervon

(1884-1973)
   politician; as Interior Minister, sponsored the controversial School Bill* of 1927. He was born in Koïnigsberg to a family known for its diplomats and military officers; his grandfather orig-inated the idea for the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. Keudell, who completed a doctorate, was a forestry expert and, until his dis-missal in 1920, the Landrat in Konigsberg/Neumark. A nationalist and devout Protestant,* he was prominent in the 1920 Kapp* Putsch. He served in the Reichstag* during 1924-1930, representing the DNVP until 1929, when he joined the Landvolk und christlich-sozialistische Volksdienst (Agrarian and Christian Socialist Party). With Alfred von Tirpitz,* he convinced Hindenburg* to run for the presidency in 1925. Wilhelm Marx* appointed him Interior Min-ister in January 1927, thereby sparking considerable alarm among republicans ("he was no more suited to be the principal guardian of the Weimar constitu-tion* than is the proverbial wolf to guard the sheep," claimed Erich Eyck*). He retired the leading republicans in his ministry (including Arnold Brecht*) and then focused on religious and educational affairs. Determined to enhance Germany's denominational school system, he cooperated with Center deputies in drafting a School Bill. But the measure, which offset the system encouraged by the Constitution,* was opposed by the DVP, a party crucial to Marx's co-alition. The bill induced the cabinet's collapse in February 1928.
   Keudell joined those who left the DNVP in 1929 in protest to Alfred Hugen-berg's* mandates. After Hitler's* appointment he joined the NSDAP and be-came General Forestry Commissioner and Staatssekretar, positions he retained until 1937.
   REFERENCES:Ellen Evans, "Center Wages Kulturpolitik" and German Center Party; Eyck, History ofthe Weimar Republic, vol. 2; NDB, vol. 11.

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

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