The emphatically pro-republican orientation of the Frankfurt Center Party, especially of the circle around the Rhein-Mainische Volkszeitung (founded in 1923), has attracted increasing interest among
historians in recent years. Until now, however, there has been no comprehensive treatment of Center Party politics in Frankfurt during the Weimar Republic, a situation remedied by Heinz
Blankenberg’s new book. One area of emphasis in Blankenberg’s study is the municipal politics of the regional Center Party. These demonstrate that, from the beginning, political
Catholicism in the former Free Reich City supported the republic and aimed for cooperation with the Social Democrats (SPD) and the German Democratic Party (DDP) on account of local factors.
Still, no formal coalition in the city parliament between these parties ever came to fruition. Particularly in the last phase of the Weimar Republic, the local Center Party proved to be a reliable
pillar of support for the city council policies pursued by Lord Mayor Ludwig Landmann of the DDP and the German State Party.
Alongside municipal politics, Blankenberg stresses the attitude of Frankfurt’s Center Party to the most important national political events, as well as the conflicts
that took place within the party. The impulses emanating from political Catholicism in the metropolis on the Main assumed concrete form in the activities of the city’s two Center Party
delegates to the Reichstag, Friedrich Dessauer and Jean Albert Schwarz. The energetic publication efforts of the circle around the Rhein-Mainische Volkszeitung exercised even wider influence at the
national level. With their emphatic commitment to a social republic and their struggle against National Socialism, these people helped decisively shape the first German democracy.