Ludwig Frank

Ludwig Frank (23 May 1874 – 3 September 1914) was a German lawyer and politician (SPD). He represented his party in the Baden Ständeversammlung (the Grand Duchy's parliament) in Karlsruhe between 1905 and 1914, as well as in the Imperial Parliament (Reichstag) in Berlin between 1907 and 1914.

He was active as an organiser within the socialist youth movement, and emerged at an early stage as an advocate of political reformism in south Germany. He was willing to work with liberal politicians in matters of shared concern, such as the need for improvements in state institutions and working conditions. The replacement of the infamous "Dreiklassenwahlrecht" (three-class voting system) of Prussia was a particular priority, though he died before this democratic reform was enacted. Much of the reformist agenda that he backed was already considered relatively mainstream in Baden, his home region, but drew more concerted criticism in other parts of Germany.

During the build-up to the First World War Frank tried to engineer an understanding between parliamentarians in France and Germany. At his instigation parliamentarians in Switzerland invited German and French counterparts to a conference in Bern in order to progress the project by devising international criminal justice mechanisms that could contribute to the peaceful settlement of disputes between governments. The Bern conference was held in May 1913, but the outbreak of war in July 1914 demonstrated the near-term limitations of the project. Over the next few weeks of the war Ludwig Frank emerged as a leading and uncompromising SPD proponent in the Reichstag of a parliamentary truce for the duration of the war. Ludwig Frank volunteered for military service on 5 August 1914 and was enrolled into the Imperial Army on 13 August 1914 as a member of the "Mannheim Landwehr Battalion". Despite his passionate attempts to avoid the outbreak of war, now that it was under way he became convinced that "the foundations for unforeseeable progress will be laid in this war", as he explained in a letter to his friend and political ally Albert Südekum, sent from the frontline on 31 August 1914. His first experience of battle came on 3 September 1914 in a skirmish near Nossoncourt, a strategically located village in the hill-country south-east of Nancy. He was shot in the head and died a few hours later. Provided by Wikipedia

by Frank, Ludwig
Published 1913
Springer Berlin Heidelberg