Hans Ehard

Hans Ehard (10 November 1887 – 18 October 1980) was a German lawyer and politician, a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU) party.

Hans Ehard
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F011950-0010, Hans Ehard cropped.jpg
Hans Ehard (1961)
Minister President of Bavaria
In office
21 December 1946 – 14 December 1954
Preceded byWilhelm Hoegner
Succeeded byWilhelm Hoegner
In office
26 January 1960 – 11 December 1962
Preceded byHanns Seidel
Succeeded byAlfons Goppel
Minister of Justice of Bavaria
In office
11 December 1962 – 5 December 1966
Preceded byAlbrecht Haas
Succeeded byPhilip Held
In office
28 May 1945 – 18 October 1945
Succeeded byWilhelm Hoegner
Personal details
Born(1887-11-10)10 November 1887
Bamberg, Bavaria, Germany
Died18 October 1980(1980-10-18) (aged 92)
Munich, Bavaria, West Germany
Political partyCSU
Spouse(s)Annelore Max (m.1916-d.1957)
Sieglinde Odörfer (m.1960)


Hans Ehard was born in Bamberg in 1887, the son of a local official, August Ehard. He was married in 1916 to Annelore Maex. After his wife died in 1957, he married Sieglinde Odörfer in 1960.

After studying jurisprudence in Munich and Würzburg Ehard became public prosecutor in the Bavarian Ministry of Justice in 1919. In this office, he was the main prosecutor of Hitler and Ludendorff in 1924, after their failed attempt to overthrow the Bavarian government in 1923. In 1933 he became President of the high court in Munich, a position he held until the end of the war. He sympathised with the Bavarian People's Party but was not politically active in those years.

After the war, in 1945, he briefly served under Schäffer as Minister of Justice, later serving in Hoegner's first cabinet as undersecretary of state in the Ministry of Justice. He was a member of the constituent assembly, and was elected Minister President on 21 December 1946 with a coalition of CSU, SPD and the Economic Structure Combination (Wirtschaftliche Aufbau-Vereinigung). He became the first freely elected Bavarian prime minister since 1933. He was a member of the Bavarian Landtag from 1946 to 1966.

When the SPD withdrew its Ministers from the coalition he was able to form a CSU-only government on 21 September 1947. During the formation years of the Federal Republic of Germany, he advocated a strongly federalist concept for the new country, in opposition to most of the SPD-ruled states, who wanted a strong central government.[1] He also argued for a form of European federation.[2] From 1949 to 1955 he was also chairman of the CSU. From 1954 to 1957, his party was in opposition to the SPD-lead coalition government. As of 2008, this three years were the CSU's only period outside of government. Ehard held in those years the position of President of the Landtag, from 1954 to 1960.

Between 26 January 1960 to 11 December 1962 he again served as Minister President, stepping down to become Justice Minister, in which capacity he served until 5 December 1966

Ehard had been President of the Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald (SDW), an environmental charity, as well as of the Bavarian Red Cross. In 1957 he was made an honorary citizen of city of Munich, the British equivalent being Freedom of the City.

Hans Ehard was the oldest former Minister-President of Germany from 9 June 1980 to November 1985, preceded by Wilhelm Kaisen and succeeded by Max Seydewitz. Counting only the Ministers-President of the FRG he was succeeded by Bruno Diekmann on 27 March 1990. He died in Munich.

Plaque marking the house where Ehard was born.

Post-War careerEdit

  • 1945 Bavarian Minister of Justice
  • 1946–1954 Bavarian Prime Minister
  • 1949–1955 Chairman of the CSU
  • 1950–1951 President of the Bundesrat
  • 1951–1952 Bavarian transport minister
  • 1954–1960 President of the Bavarian Landtag
  • 1960–1962 Bavarian Prime Minister
  • 1961–1962 President of the State Senate
  • 1962–1966 Bavarian Minister of Justice

Honours and awardsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The United States and Germany in the Era of the Cold War, 1945-1990: A Handbook google book review, author: Detlef Junker, Philipp, publisher: Cambridge University Press, page 87, accessed: 9 May 2008
  2. ^ Documents on the history of European integration google book review, author: Walter Lipgens, Wilfried Loth, publisher: Walter de Gruyter, page 508, accessed: 9 May 2008


External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Alois Hundhammer
Presidents of the Landtag of Bavaria
Succeeded by
Rudolf Hanauer