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Heinrich Brüning

Heinrich Brüning ( listen (help·info)) (26 November 1885 – 30 March 1970) was Chancellor of Germany from 1930 to 1932, during the Weimar Republic. He was the longest serving Chancellor of the Weimar Republic. Soon after Brüning took power, 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 made him very unpopular and lost him the support of the Reichstag. During much of Brüning's tenure, he based his administration on presidential emergency decree ("Notverordnung"). He coined the term "authoritative (or authoritarian) democracy" to describe this form of government based on the cooperation of the president and toleration of the parliament. Brüning remains a controversial figure in German politics. His intentions were to protect the Republican government, but his policies contributed to the gradual demise of the Weimar Republic. Born in Münster in Westphalia, Brüning lost his father when he was one year old and thus his elder brother Hermann Joseph played a major part in his upbringing.


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