Karl Seitz. Photo, around 1920.
Seitz, Karl, b. Vienna, Sept. 4, 1869, d. Vienna, Feb. 3, 1950, teacher (dismissed in 1897) and politician (Social Democrats, SDAP and Austrian Social Democratic Party, SPÖ). From 1897 in the Lower Austrian provincial parliament; 1901-1918 member of the Reichsrat, 1918-1919 one of the three presidents of the Provisional National Assembly and 1919-1920 first president of the Constituent National Assembly (thus 1918-1920 head of state of the Republic); 1920-1934 member of the Nationalrat. After the death of V. Adler 1918-1919 provisional party leader of the SDAP, 1919-1934 party chairman; 1923-1934 mayor and provincial governor of Vienna. Imprisoned in 1934, interned in a concentration camp in 1944/1945. After 1945 honorary president of the SPÖ and 1945-1950 member of the Nationalrat. The community programme characteristic of Socialist Vienna (residential schemes, schools, social measures) was set up during S.'s term as a mayor.
Publications: Volksschule oder Pfaffenschule?, 1902; Arbeiter oder Soldaten?, 1917; Die Schmach von Genf und die Republik, 1922.
Literature: F. Weissensteiner and E. Weinzierl (eds.), Die österreichischen Bundespräsidenten, 1983; R. Spitzer, K. S. Waisenknabe, Staatspräsident, Bürgermeister, 1994.
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