Brüning, Heinrich

Brüning, Heinrich

biographical name

(born Nov. 26, 1885, Münster, Ger.—died March 30, 1970, Norwich, Vt., U.S.) German politician. Elected to the Reichstag in 1924, he became noted as a financial expert. Leader of the Catholic Centre Party from 1929, he became chancellor of Germany in 1930. In response to the Great Depression, he instituted harsh austerity measures that paralyzed the German economy. He ignored the Reichstag and governed by presidential decree, which hastened the drift toward rightist dictatorship and Adolf Hitler's rise to power. Forced to resign in 1932, he left Germany in 1934 and eventually moved to the U.S., where he taught at Harvard University (1937–52).

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