Alfred Hugenberg

Alfred Hugenberg : Nazi Germany

Alfred Hugenberg, the son of a Prussian politician, was born in Hanover, Germany, on 19th June, 1865. He studied law in Heidelberg and Berlin.

Hugenberg joined the Prussian finance ministry before being appointed by Gustav Krupp as chairman of the board of directors of Krupp Armaments Company in 1909. He also built up his own business interests and by the end of the First World War owned UFA, Germany's largest film company and several provincial newspapers.

Hugenberg held right-wing views and in 1919 he joined with Hugo Stinnes in establishing the German Nationalist Party (DNVP). The following year he was elected to the Reichstag and soon afterwards became chairman of the party. His substantial fortune enabled him to fund his political campaigns against the Versailles Treaty, Locarno Treaty and the Young Plan.

In 1929 Hugenberg began funding Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. He also joined with Hitler to help oust Heinrich Brüning from power in December, 1932.

When Hitler became chancellor in January 1933 he appointed Hugenberg as his Minister of Agriculture and Economics. However, he resigned from office six months later in protest against the Nationalist Party being closed down.

Hugenberg remained a member of the Reichstag but he no longer had any political influence. He also lost control of his newspaper empire when it purchased by the Nazi Party in 1943. Alfred Hugenberg died in Kukenbruch, West Germany, on 12th March, 1951.