Boss, Gustav

(1873-1946)
   municipal leader; first Oberburgermeister of Greater Berlin.* Born in Giessen, he studied finance at that city's university. After working with the Prussian-Hessian Railroad, he relocated to Berlin and became a member of Schoneberg's city council in 1910. His administrative talent brought election in 1912 to the all-Berlin chamber. Finally, in 1921, he became Oberburgermeister of the united municipality of Berlin.
   A committed republican and member of the DDP, Boss was Oberburger-meister until 1929. With uncommon skill he bridged Berlin s sectional and par-tisan differences, centralizing most of the city s municipal functions. But his accomplishments were erased in 1929 through involvement in the Sklarek Scan-dal. Owners of a Berlin clothing factory, the Sklarek brothers contracted for the city's uniform needs. Investigators proved that city officials, including Boss, had received bribes from the Sklareks. After a tedious inquiry by Prussia s* Interior Ministry, he was fined three thousand marks in October 1930. Moreover, having resigned in disgrace, he lost a well-earned pension, and Berlin lost an astute mayor.
   Briefly arrested in 1933 by the Nazis, Boss settled in Bavaria.* Although Gestapo files erroneously labeled him a Marxist/Communist, he lived out his life in peaceful solitude.
   REFERENCES:Engeli, Gustav Boss; Eyck, History of the Weimar Republic, vol. 2; Thom-as Friedrich, Berlin between the Wars; NDB, vol. 2.

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

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