Wilhelm Cuno

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Cuno, Wilhelm


Born Feb. 7, 1876, in Suhl; died Mar. 1, 1933, in Aumühle, near Hamburg. German capitalist and politician.

As a prominent official in the exchequer he established close contact with capitalist magnates and in 1918 headed the gigantic Hamburg-American Steamship Line (Hapag). He was a staunch opponent of meeting Germany’s obligations under the Versailles Treaty of 1919. In November 1922 he formed a government that adopted a policy of refusing to make reparation payments and to carry out reparation deliveries. Using the actions of the Cuno government as a pretext, France and Belgium occupied the Ruhr region in January 1923, leading to serious economic consequences for the workers. A stormy upsurge of the mass revolutionary movement caused the collapse of Cuno’s government in August 1923. In 1926 he again became general chairman of the Hamburg-American Steamship Line. In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s he participated in activities of reactionary forces directed toward liquidating the bourgeois-democratic structure and transferring power to the fascists.


Davidovich, D. S. Revoliutsionnyi krizis 1923 g. v Germanii i Gamburgskoe vosstanie. Moscow, 1963.
Das Kabinett Cuno. Boppard am Rhein, 1968.
References in periodicals archive ?
Somewhat paradigmatic of these circumstances is the situation of Wilhelm Cuno, a civil servant in the state treasury and, beginning in 1917, a member of the board of directors of Hapag.