Lobe, Paul

(1875-1967)
   politician; with a brief interruption, served contin-uously as Reichstag* President for twelve years. Born to the large family of a poor cabinetmaker in Liegnitz (now Legnica), he was early interested in politics. At age fourteen he took part in the Reichstag campaign of 1890 by distributing socialist flyers. When family finances precluded hopes of becoming a teacher, he apprenticed as a typesetter and in 1892 published his first piece in Breslau's Volkswacht, an SPD newspaper.* Having joined the SPD in 1893, he became editor for Volkswacht in 1899, a position he retained until 1920. Although his criticisms of the Kaiserreich brought several arrests, he began his political career in 1904 with election to Breslau s city council.
   A Party revisionist, Lobe campaigned before the war for Eduard Bernstein. Although he steadily endorsed the war effort, the Volkswacht was one of two newspapers that called for the Kaiser's abdication in the summer of 1918. Lobe sat in Silesia's provincial assembly during 1915-1918. Late in 1918 he claimed a lack of preparation when he declined an invitation to join the Council of People s Representatives.* But he was soon elected to the National Assembly* and then sat continually in the Reichstag during 1920-1933. In 1921, the year he joined Prussia s* Staatsrat, he vigorously opposed the division of Upper Silesia.* Rejecting the SPD s petition that he run for President following Friedrich Ebert s* death, he claimed that the position required someone made "of harder wood than himself. In fact, he was indecisive and on more than one occasion stirred controversy with an injudicious remark. Yet he was respected for his nonpartisanship. In 1932 he saw himself forced to support Hindenburg s* presidential campaign and he labeled the circumstances "a tragedy for the SPD.
   As President of the Interparliamentary Congress, Lobe led several interna-tional conferences and helped found a movement aimed at European cooperation (he was vice president of the Pan-Europa Union during 1924-1933). Throughout the Weimar era he wrote for Vorwarts* (he was editor in 1932-1933), and, as chairman of the German-Austrian People s League, a Berlin-based group founded in 1918, he championed Anschluss.
   Convinced that Nazi radicalism would be checked, Lobe was among the few leading socialists to remain in Germany in 1933. Selected provisional SPD chair-man in June 1933, he was soon arrested and interned in a concentration camp. After his December 1933 release he was unemployed until Walter de Gruyter hired him in 1935 as a copy editor. Negligibly involved with Carl Goerdeler s* resistance circle, he was arrested after the July 1944 attempt on Hitler s* life. He helped reestablish the SPD after the war.
   REFERENCES:Eyck, History of the Weimar Republic, vol. 2; NDB, vol. 15; Stachura, Political Leaders.

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

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