- Finance Minister from 1920 to 1921
- Reichskanzler from 1921 to 1922
- Vociferous opponent of National Socialism
Joseph Wirth was a prominent representative of the Center Party’s left wing. He welcomed the November Revolution and was very involved in shaping the Weimar Republic. After Matthias Erzberger resigned, he was appointed Finance Minister and gained familiarity with the issues surrounding the reparations. In 1921, at the age of 41, Friedrich Ebert appointed him Reichskanzler. After the cabinet resigned in the following year, he was appointed to the post again. Wirth was considered an advocate of Erfüllungspolitik, a policy attempting to reach an agreement with the victorious Allies. At the same time, he created links with the young Soviet Union via the Treaty of Rapallo Bande. After Walter Rathenau was murdered, Wirth gave a speech in which he famously proclaimed: “The enemy is attacking from the right!” He did all he could to keep the Center Party from drifting to the right but failed and went into exile in 1933. After the war, he called for Germany’s reunification and maintained close connections with the GDR.