Ignaz Seipel. Photo.
Seipel, Ignaz, b. Vienna, July 19, 1876, d. Pernitz (Lower Austria), Aug. 2, 1932, theologian, priest (prelate in 1921) and politician (Christian Social Party). Son of a cab driver, ordained in 1899, 1909-1917 university professor of moral theology in Salzburg, from 1917 in Vienna. Minister of Welfare in the cabinet of H. Lammasch, the last cabinet of the monarchy, from Oct. to Nov. 1918; 1919-1920 member of the Constituent National Assembly, 1920-1932 member of the Nationalrat, 1921-1929 party head of the Christian Social Party, Chancellor 1922-1924 (severely wounded on June 1, 1924 in an assassination attempt) and 1926-1929, Foreign Minister in 1930; in 1931 he proposed a coalition agreement to the Social Democratic Party (SDAP) which was refused. The most important Austrian politician of the First Republic, he succeeded in obtaining the League of Nations Loan in Geneva in 1922 and put an end to post-war inflation by the measures he took to stabilise the Schilling, known as Economic Reconstruction. He formed an anti-Marxist conservative bloc made up of the Christian Social Party, the Landbund and the Pan-Germans, fought the Social Democrats and promoted the Heimwehr (para-military force) after 1927. At first in favour of union with Germany, S. supported the Austrian republic after 1918 and later an authoritarian corporate state.
Publications: Die wirtschaftsethischen Lehren der Kirchenväter, 1907; Nationalitätenprinzip und Staatsgedanke, 1915; Nation und Staat, 1916; Soz. Frage und soz. Arbeit, 1917; Reden in Ö. und anderswo, ed. by J. Geßl, 1926; Der Kampf um die ö. Verfassung, 1930; Der christl. Staatsmann, 1931; Gespräche, ed. by A. M. Knoll, 1932; Tagebuch, 1933; Der Friede, 1937; Im Dienst des Worts, 1955 (collection of sermons).
Literature: E. K. Winter, I. S. als dialektisches Problem, 1966; V. Reimann, Zu groß für Ö. S. und Bauer im Kampf um die 1. Republik, 1968; K. v. Klemperer, I. S., Staatsmann einer Krisenzeit, 1976; F. Rennhofer, I. S., Mensch und Staatsmann, 1978; W. Rauscher, I. S., E. Benesch und der Mitteleuropagedanke in den ö.-tschech. Beziehungen 1917-1929, 1993.
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