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Related to burgomasters: Burgermeister, Burmistrz


1. the chief magistrate of a town in Austria, Belgium, Germany, or the Netherlands; mayor
2. a popular name for the glaucous gull
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(German, Bürgermeister). (1) The highest official in municipal organs of state government in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and in local organs of administration of some capitalist countries (the Federal Republic of Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Austria). In the GDR the burgomaster is elected by town meetings of deputies and is head of the executive body of the town meeting, the council. In capitalist countries the burgomaster plays a leading role in local administrative bodies; he is the representative of the central government, appoints and removes municipal employees, and is in charge of drawing up and carrying out the budget. Burgomasters are either elected by the municipal councils (for example, in most of the provinces of the Federal Republic of Germany), directly by the people (in the provinces of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg in the Federal Republic of Germany), or appointed by the government (as in the Netherlands). In the provinces of Lower Saxony and Northern Westphalia (FRG), the burgomaster functions chiefly as a representative of the government, and local administration is concentrated in the hands of special officials, known as community directors, who are appointed by the community councils.

(2) In Russia a burgomaster is known as a burmistr.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the fourteenth century, Amsterdam's burgomasters started to issue keuren (decrees), for instance.
During the night of May 10-11, 1535, around forty Anabaptists managed to occupy Amsterdam's city hall, killing several burghers, members of the militia, and a burgomaster. The following day the Anabaptist uprising was defeated and the magistracy of Amsterdam, already criticized by the central government for its lenient treatment of heretics in their city, responded forcefully.
Hooft, a burgomaster of Amsterdam, spoke out against the imprisonment of a religious dissident.
As the speed and regularity of coaches improved, senior officials, burgomasters, aldermen, and entrepreneurs with active careers seized opportunities to travel.
Everywhere, bureaucrats had taken control from people who did the real work: doctors and nurses, schoolteachers, police officers patrolling the streets, burgomasters talking and listening to their constituents.
In Rwanda, of the three Burgomasters named by the commission for some of the worst atrocities, two were killed in the months after the report's publication: one singled out and killed by rebels, the second apparently killed by government death squads to cover up evidence.(120)
Travellers buy daffodils or wayside aperitifs in a marketplace where the blood of princelings, burgomasters and magistrates more than once ran between the cobblestones.
On his list of proscriptions were a burgomaster and a sheriff who had questioned his rights and were promptly beheaded in the market-place.
To ensure that Sunday would be a day of rest, the burgomasters of New Netherland passed a law forbidding drinking, sowing, mowing, building, sawing, smithing, bleaching, hunting, fishing, dancing, card-playing, tick-tacking, bowling, jaunting in a boat or carriage, etc.
Both offices frequently included the same persons, and usually two burgomasters were members of the consistory.
But the burgomasters and regents decided to go ahead, motivated by a desire further to improve orderliness in the city, and reduce crime, as well as the incidence of drunkards falling into the canals at night and drowning.
By 1688, however, the Prince was able to raise the finance and troops to invade England and then to prosecute his crusade against Louis XIV, largely because he was able to rely on the support of Amsterdam including, as one of the two leading burgomasters, Joan Hudde -'the same 'ould rank Commonwealth man' whom Carr had considered no longer of any account in 1681.