Treviranus, Gottfried

(1891-1971)
   politician; helped found the KVP in 1930. Born to a middle-class estate owner in the village of Schieder (in Lippe), he acquired a naval commission in 1912. During World War I he rose to the rank of lieutenant-commander and commanded a destroyer. After Ger-many's defeat he studied agriculture and during 1921-1930 directed Lippe's Landwirtschaftskammer (Chamber of Agriculture). He joined the Stahlhelm* and the DNVP and was among the large DNVP contingent elected to the Reichstag* in May 1924.
   Treviranus was a fervent nationalist and antisocialist, but as a leader of the DNVP's moderate wing, he promoted a conservatism that encouraged compro-mise within the Republic's parliamentary structure; the Party's willingness to govern in coalition during 1925-1927 was largely due to his influence. But the tactic was anathema to the social Darwinism advanced by Alfred Hugenberg.* Already alienated by Hugenberg's anti-Catholicism, Treviranus anticipated prob-lems when the antirepublicanism of Hugenberg and his cohorts began taking shape in 1925. Once Hugenberg became DNVP chairman in October 1928, conflict was inevitable. Publicly censuring Hugenberg during the anti-Young Plan* campaign for "leaning toward the National Socialists," he resigned from the DNVP in December 1929; eleven other Nationalists, all Reichstag deputies, joined him.
   With Walther Lambach, head of the DHV (a white-collar trade union*), Tre-viranus founded the People's Conservative Association (Volkskonservative Ver-einigung) in January 1930. When a second cluster of dissidents followed Kuno von Westarp* out of the DNVP in July 1930, the two groups fused as the Conservative People's Party* (KVP). A moderate conservative alternative, the KVP had slight impact, gaining only four Reichstag seats in the September 1930 elections. Although Treviranus remained in the chamber, the KVP was dis-banded in 1932.
   When Heinrich Brüning* formed his first cabinet in March 1930, he made Treviranus Minister for Occupied Territories. But Treviranus sparked a diplomatic furor when in August 1930 he heralded his resolve to regain "the lost regions in the East" in a speech. Pressured by France, Brüning reshuffled his cabinet; Treviranus became Osthilfe* Commissioner. Yet, as a Brüning loyalist, he returned to Brüning's second cabinet (October 1931 to May 1932) as Trans-portation Minister. Back in Lippe in June 1932, he resumed his leadership of the Landwirtschaftskammer and reestablished the People's Conservative Asso-ciation.
   Treviranus was never friendly with the NSDAP. Although he advised Brüning to add a Nazi to his cabinet after the September 1930 elections, he insulted Hitler* in 1931 by informing him that "nobody wants you in Germany, Herr Hitler." In 1933 the NSDAP dismissed him from the Landwirtschaftskammer and banned his political group. In disguise, he fled Germany in 1934, likely evading his murder in the forthcoming Rohm purge, and lived in England. He returned to Germany after World War II, but eventually settled in Palermo, Italy.
   REFERENCES:Chanady, "Disintegration"; Ellen Evans, German Center Party; Leopold, Alfred Hugenberg; Stachura, Political Leaders.

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

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