Georg Gradnauer
Georg Gradnauer was a newspaper editor and politician for the Social Democratic Party of Germany
Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...

 (SPD), and the first elected Minister-President of Saxony following the abolition of the Kingdom of Saxony
Kingdom of Saxony
The Kingdom of Saxony , lasting between 1806 and 1918, was an independent member of a number of historical confederacies in Napoleonic through post-Napoleonic Germany. From 1871 it was part of the German Empire. It became a Free state in the era of Weimar Republic in 1918 after the end of World War...


Born in Magdeburg
Magdeburg , is the largest city and the capital city of the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Magdeburg is situated on the Elbe River and was one of the most important medieval cities of Europe....

, Gradnauer earned a PhD
PHD may refer to:*Ph.D., a doctorate of philosophy*Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*PHD finger, a protein sequence*PHD Mountain Software, an outdoor clothing and equipment company*PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...

 in 1889, and became editor of the Sächsischen Arbeiterzeitung, the SPD paper in Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

, in 1891. A relative moderate within the Saxon SPD, he was replaced as editor by radicals Alexander Parvus
Alexander Parvus
Alexander Lvovich Parvus , born Israel Lazarevich Gelfand , was a Marxist theoretician, a Russian revolutionary, and a controversial activist in the Social Democratic Party of Germany...

 and Julian Marchlewski
Julian Marchlewski
Julian Baltazar Marchlewski was a Polish communist. He was also known under the aliases Karski and Kujawiak....

 in 1896. Gradnauer subsequently moved to the SPD's Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 paper, Vorwärts
Vorwärts was the central organ of the Social Democratic Party of Germany published daily in Berlin from 1891 to 1933 by decision of the party's Halle Congress, as the successor of Berliner Volksblatt, founded in 1884....

, where he worked from 1897 with fellow reformists
Reformism is the belief that gradual democratic changes in a society can ultimately change a society's fundamental economic relations and political structures...

 Friedrich Stampfer and Kurt Eisner
Kurt Eisner
Kurt Eisner was a Bavarian politician and journalist. As a German socialist journalist and statesman, he organized the Socialist Revolution that overthrew the Wittelsbach monarchy in Bavaria in November 1918....

, until 1905, when they were ousted in favor of editors from the SPD's left wing. Gradnauer then returned to head the Sächsischen Arbeiterzeitung once more, which had by that point been renamed the Dresdner Volkszeitung, and remained in that role until the outbreak of the German Revolution
German Revolution
The German Revolution was the politically-driven civil conflict in Germany at the end of World War I, which resulted in the replacement of Germany's imperial government with a republic...

 in 1918. In parallel with this newspaper work, he served as an SPD delegate to the Reichstag
Reichstag (German Empire)
The Reichstag was the parliament of the North German Confederation , and of the German Reich ....

, in two stints: 1898 to 1907, and 1912 to 1918.

Following the German Revolution
German Revolution
The German Revolution was the politically-driven civil conflict in Germany at the end of World War I, which resulted in the replacement of Germany's imperial government with a republic...

, Gradnauer initially served as Minister of Justice in the new republican government of Saxony in 1918, and soon succeeded Richard Lipinski as Minister of the Interior and chair of the provisional government. The SPD won a plurality of the votes in the first Saxon elections under the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

, on February 2, 1919, and Gradnauer ended up forming a minority government, becoming Saxony's first constitutional Minister-President on March 14. His minority government was formed after an attempt to form a coalition with the Independent SPD (USPD) foundered over the USPD's demand for recognition of workers' councils, and Gradnauer's preferred alternative, a coalition with the German Democratic Party (DDP), was rejected by the majority of SPD delegates.

Gradnauer served as Minister-President for a little over a year. In May 1919, he used the military and Freikorps
Freikorps are German volunteer military or paramilitary units. The term was originally applied to voluntary armies formed in German lands from the middle of the 18th century onwards. Between World War I and World War II the term was also used for the paramilitary organizations that arose during...

 to put down left-wing radicals in Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

, in a small-scale reprise of the actions taken by the SPD national government under Friedrich Ebert
Friedrich Ebert
Friedrich Ebert was a German politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany .When Ebert was elected as the leader of the SPD after the death of August Bebel, the party members of the SPD were deeply divided because of the party's support for World War I. Ebert supported the Burgfrieden and...

 in putting down the Spartacist uprising
Spartacist uprising
The Spartacist Uprising , also known as the January uprising , was a general strike in Germany from January 5 to January 15, 1919. Its suppression marked the end of the German Revolution...

 some months prior. This furthered the rift with the USPD, but enabled an SPD–DDP coalition in October 1919, with Gradnauer continuing as Minister-President at the head of the now-majority government. Left-wing resentment within the SPD began to build in early 1920, however, and Gradnauer was forced to resign in April 1920, with opposition to his use of the military against the radical left being joined by discontent over his unwillingness to replace conservative elements of the bureaucracy with Social Democrats. He was succeeded as Minister-President by Wilhelm Buck
Wilhelm Buck
Wilhelm Buck was a German politician and representative of the Social Democratic Party and the splinter party, Old Social Democratic Party of Germany. From 5 May 1920 to 21 March 1923 he was minister-president of the Free State of Saxony.-References:...


After resigning as Minister-President, Gradnauer was reelected to the Reichstag, serving from 1920 to 1924, and briefly (1921) holding a cabinet post as Minister of the Interior
Federal Ministry of the Interior (Germany)
The Federal Ministry of the Interior is a ministry of the German federal government. Its main office is in Berlin, with a secondary seat in Bonn. The current minister of the interior is Dr...

 under Joseph Wirth
Joseph Wirth
Karl Joseph Wirth, known as Joseph Wirth, was a German politician of the Catholic Centre Party who served as Chancellor of Germany from 1921 to 1922.-Biography:...

. He also served as delegate of the Saxon government to Berlin from 1921 to 1932.

He was initially arrested by the Nazis in 1933, but released. Being of Jewish extraction, he was eventually sent to Theresienstadt concentration camp
Theresienstadt concentration camp
Theresienstadt concentration camp was a Nazi German ghetto during World War II. It was established by the Gestapo in the fortress and garrison city of Terezín , located in what is now the Czech Republic.-History:The fortress of Terezín was constructed between the years 1780 and 1790 by the orders...

in 1944, but survived and was liberated in 1945. He died a year later in Berlin.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.