Kulz, Wilhelm

(1875-1948)
   politician; served as Reich Interior Minister. Born in Borna, a town near Leipzig, to a family rich in Evangelical pastors, he studied law (1894-1897) before entering Saxony's* municipal administration in 1899. In 1901 he took a doctorate at Tübingen in political science. Several municipal postings in Saxony brought appointment in 1904 as deputy Burger-meister of Bückeburg, a position he held until 1912. He was concurrently Reichskommissar in German Southwest Africa in 1907-1908. After a futile bid for the Reichstag* in 1912, he became Oberburgermeister of Zittau and retained this post until 1923. Having held a reserve officer's commission since 1899, he attained the rank of captain in World War I and was leading a battalion at war's end.
   A member of Saxony's Landtag during 1904-1912, Külz joined the DDP in 1918, was elected to the National Assembly,* and served in the Reichstag during 1920-1932. He was concerned with retirees and housing shortages and became a voice for German cities. From 1923 until Hans Luther* made him Interior Minister in January 1926, he was Dresden's deputy Burgermeister. As Interior Minister, an office he retained under Wilhelm Marx,* he faced a range of issues including the flag controversy* and the disposition of properties belonging to Germany's former princes. In November 1926 he endorsed the Law for the Protection of Youth against Trash and Filth,* a bill opposed by most of his Party. He also helped author an unsuccessful draft of a School Bill,* one that would have instituted the predominance of nondenominational schools. The bill helped trigger the collapse of Marx's third cabinet in December 1926 and ended Külz's cabinet activity.
   Külz became Dresden's Oberburgermeister in 1931. Dismissed in March 1933 after refusing to fly the swastika on the Rathaus, he settled in Berlin* and eventually founded a private consulting firm. In 1945 he helped establish the Liberal Democratic Party in the Soviet zone and served briefly with Theodor Heuss* as one of the Party's cochairmen.
   REFERENCES:Bosl, Franz, and Hofmann, Biographisches Worterbuch; Schumacher, M.d.R.; Stachura, Political Leaders.

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

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