Hermann Lindrath (born 29 June 1896 in Eisleben, died 27 February 1960 in Mannheim) was a German politician (CDU). From 1957 to 1960 he was Federal Minister of Public Holdings (Federal Patrimony) (Bundesminister für wirtschaftlichen Besitz des Bundes), one of the few federal ministers who died in office.[1]

Career

In 1914 Lindrath volunteered to serve in World War I. After the war he studied law and economics, completed his Ph.D. (Dr. rer. pol.) on "Enterprise models in the mining industry", worked in a bank, with the municipal administration and as a chartered accountant in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, before he joined the management of HeidelbergCement.[2]

In 1953 Lindrath defeated industrialist Richard Freudenberg (of Freudenberg Group) who had held the constituency of Mannheim-Land in his first bid for a Bundestag seat. In 1957 he was reelected to represent his constituency for a second term.[3] The same year he was appointed to serve as Minister in chancellor Adenauer's government. Lindrath's appointment helped to achieve a balance between Catholics and Protestants among the cabinet members. Some say that exactly for this religious consideration Lindrath was given preference over Kurt-Georg Kiesinger from the same region.[4]

Lindrath's major contribution to German politics was his effort to sell off companies held by the German state, the Federal Republic of Germany, to the general public in a program of "popular capitalism" (called Volksaktien in German), which was initiated by Ludwig Erhard. Lindrath successfully sold the majority stake in Preussag, a diversified company with holdings in mining and transportation, and he concluded a deal with the state of Lower Saxony that paved the way for the privatization of Volkswagen, the VW car manufacturer, which was implemented after his successor, Hans Wilhelmi, had taken over responsibility.[5]

References

  1. ^ Udo Kempf and Hans-Georg Merz (eds.), Kanzler und Minister 1949-1998. Biografisches Lexikon der deutschen Bundesregierungen, Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag, 2001, pp. 443-444.
  2. ^ Udo Kempf and Hans-Georg Merz (eds.), Kanzler und Minister 1949-1998. Biografisches Lexikon der deutschen Bundesregierungen, Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag, 2001, pp. 443-444.
  3. ^ Fritz Sänger and Klaus Liepelt: Wahlhandbuch 1965, Frankfurt: Europäische Verlagsanstalt, 1965, section 2.22, p. 61.
  4. ^ Jürgen Domes: Bundesregierung und Mehrheitsfraktion, Cologne and Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1964, pp. 139-154.
  5. ^ Udo Kempf and Hans-Georg Merz (eds.), Kanzler und Minister 1949-1998. Biografisches Lexikon der deutschen Bundesregierungen, Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag, 2001, pp. 445–446.

Bibliography