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Brüning, Heinrich, 1885-1970



  • Existence: 1885 - 1970


Heinrich Brüning was born on November 26, 1885 in Muenster Germany. After graduating from Gymnasium Paulinum he first leaned towards the legal profession but then studied Philosophy, History, German and Political Science at Strasbourg, the London School of Economics and Bonn, where, in 1915, he received a doctorate for his thesis on the financial, economical and legal implications of nationalizing the British railway system. During World War I he served in the German infantry after which he became a political scientist and Christian social activist. he entered politics in the 1920s and was elected to the Reichstag in 1924. Shortly after Brüning took office as Chancellor on 30 March 1930 he was confronted by an economic crisis caused by the Great Depression. Brüning responded with a tightening of credit and a rollback of all wage and salary increases. These policies increased unemployment and made Brüning highly unpopular, losing him support in the Reichstag. As a result, Brüning established a so-called presidential government, basing his government's authority on presidential emergency decrees invoking President Paul von Hindenburg's constitutional powers. He resigned on May 30, 1932. Fearing arrest after the Nazi regime's ascent to power, Brüning fled Germany in 1934, eventuallu setteling in the United States. In 1937 he became a visiting professor at Harvard University in 1937 and was the Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Government at Harvard from 1939 to 1952. He briefly returned to Germany in 1951 to take up a post as professor of political science at the University of Cologne, but returned to the United States in 1955. Brüning died on March 30, 1970.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Heinrich Bruening papers

Identifier: MS-39
Date(s): 1935 to 1937

Heinrich Brüning (1885-1970), politican and academic. The collection contains correspondence concerning the difficulties in arranging for Bruening's lecture at Dartmouth and the subsequent publication of his lecture. Correspondents include Foster Stearns, Harold J. Tobin, George N. Shuster, Albert I. Dickerson.

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