Citizens' Campus: Dr. Arnold Paulssen and the Founding of the State of Thuringia in 1920
In the Historical Cemetery of Weimar is the honorary grave of Dr. Arnold Paulssen (1864 -1942). It bears the inscription "HIS LIFE'S WORK WAS THE UNIFICATION OF THURINGIA". But what role did this unjustly somewhat forgotten administrative lawyer play in the founding of the state? As Minister of the Interior of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach, Paulssen had liberalized the electoral law and reformed the administrative jurisdiction during the Grand Ducal period. As a long-time representative of Thuringian states to the Federal Council, he witnessed the end of the monarchy in Berlin. He then used his political experience in the negotiations for the founding of the state of Thuringia, in which he took over the chairmanship of the state ministry in 1920, thus becoming its first minister-president. The political career of the politician, who until then had been respected across party lines, ended with the participation of the National Socialists in government in 1930. He gave up the chairmanship of the board of the Nietzsche Archive Foundation when Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche also began to court the Nazis.
Dr. Bernhard Post
Director (ret.) of the State Archives of Thuringia Weimar