Brüning, Heinrich(hīn`rĭkh brün`ĭng), 1885–1970, German chancellor. Elected to the Reichstag in 1924, he was a leader of the Catholic Center party and a fiscal expert. In 1930 he was appointed chancellor of the Reich to put German finances in order. The Reichstag, which failed to support him, was dissolved (1930), and new elections were ordered. The new Reichstag was equally unable to produce a working majority, but Brüning continued to govern by decree. His drastic deflationary measures were very unpopular. In foreign policy he attempted to gain equality for Germany among the great powers and to persuade the former Allied powers to rescind German arms limitation. Brüning was forced to resign in 1932 by President Hindenburg, who appointed Franz von Papen as the new chancellor. Brüning left Germany in 1934 and from 1937 to 1952 was a member of the faculty at Harvard. In 1951 he resumed residence in Germany and became a professor of political science at the Univ. of Cologne. From 1955 until his death he was professor emeritus there.
Born Nov. 26, 1885, in Münster; died Mar. 30, 1970. German political figure.
From 1920 to 1930, Brüning held responsible positions in the Catholic trade union organization. In 1924 he was elected to the Reichstag, and in 1929 he became the leader of a splinter group of the Center Party. He had close ties with the Vatican. From March 1930 to May 1932 he was chancellor of the Reich. Brüning’s government made broad application of Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution of 1919 in order to pass extraordinary and antidemocratic laws. It also issued decrees lowering the wages of workers and servants and imposing new taxes on the working class, and it persecuted antifascist workers’ organizations, especially the Communist Party. The policies of Brüning’s government facilitated the establishment in Germany of an openly fascist dictatorship. In 1934, Brüning emigrated to the USA.