The Breslau lawyer Felix Porsch belonged to the leading personalities of the German Center Party, whose politics he helped shape, as few others did, over the course of decades. Porsch served as deputy in
the Reichstag from 1881 to 1893 and the Prussian Landtag from 1884 to 1930. In these parliamentary positions, and especially as chairman of the Center Party in Prussia from 1904 onward, Porsch helped
ensure that the one-time Catholic »enemies of the Reich,« whom Bismarck had fought against, succeeded in carving out a crucial parliamentary position and in making the Center Party a pillar of the new
republican order following the November 1918 revolution.
Although a proponent of cooperating with Christian-conservative powers in the Wilhelmine era, the Silesian Center Party chief eventually came to support the »Weimar Coalition,«
cooperating with the German Democratic Party and the Social Democrats. Thanks to his mediating abilities, Porsch – who enjoyed immense prestige as the »Patriarch of the Center Party« – was
able to reconcile competing forces within the ranks of his own party and, at a time of increasing social tensions, repeatedly broker constructive compromises.