Schwerin von Krosigk, Lutz Graf

(1887-1977)
   bureaucrat; Finance Minister for Franz von Papen* and Kurt von Schleicher.* The scion of old nobility (von Krosigk) rooted in Saxony, Mecklenburg, and Pomerania, Schwerin was born in the Anhalt village of Rathmannsdorf. He traveled widely, studied political science at Lausanne and Oxford (as a Rhodes scholar), and took a law degree in 1909. A career civil servant in Prussia's* judicial system when World War I erupted, he served as an officer in a Pomeranian cavalry regiment and was awarded the Iron Cross (First and Second Class) for bravery. After the Armistice* he became a government assessor in Upper Silesia.*
   Although Schwerin refused to join a party during the Weimar era, his sym-pathies were with the DNVP. He was linked with monarchists and nationalists, but his skill and connections assured rapid promotion from 1920 in the Finance Ministry. In 1929 he became ministerial director and head of the Budget De-partment; the year 1931 brought expanded duties as chief of the Reparations Department. Among Heinrich Briining's* key advisors, he helped sponsor the emergency decrees that sustained the Chancellor's deflationary fiscal strategies. From 1931 he urged that the NSDAP be included in the cabinet.
   Schwerin joined Papen's "cabinet of barons" with reluctance and only after President Hindenburg* appealed to his patriotism. As a critic of the Sozialstaat, he took steps to further reduce public expenditure. A perennial delegate at the international financial and reparations* meetings of 1931-1932, he championed cancellation of reparation payments at the 1932 Lausanne Conference.* Al-though he had Papen's trust, Schwerin opposed the Chancellor's retaining office after the November Reichstag elections. He continued as Finance Minister under both Schleicher and Hitler*; indeed, sustaining Hitler's rearmament program, he held office until 2 May 1945, when Admiral Doenitz imprudently named him Foreign Minister. Sentenced in 1949 to ten years' imprisonment, he was released in 1951.
   REFERENCES:Benz and Graml, Biographisches Lexikon; Dorpalen, Hindenburg; James, Reichsbank; Stachura, Political Leaders.

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

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