Baron Paul von Eltz-Rübenach: A Catholic who refused to serve Hitler

Baron Paul von Eltz-Rübenach was born on February 9,1875 in Wahn, Rhine Province, Germany. He was the son of Baron Kuno von Eltz-Rübenach and Countess Hugoline von Eltz. He passed his Abitur in 1894 and studied for mechanical engineering. From 1903 to 1932, he was involved in the railway business. From 1903 to 1909, he was the government administrator in Münster. In 1909, he was employed by the Berlin Railway Authority. From 1911 to 1914 in New York, he worked as a technical expert for the German consul. During World War I, he served with railway troops.

After the war, he continued to be involved in the railway business. In July 1924, he was appointed President of the Reichsbahndirecktion Karlsruhe. On June 1,1932, he was appointed Reich Minister for Postal Affairs and Reich Minister for Transportation by Chancellor Franz von Papen. When the Nazis came to power on January 30,1933, he continued to served in his cabinet positions.

On January 30,1937, Adolf Hitler offered him the Golden Party Badge in a cabinet meeting. Eltz-Rübenach, a devout Catholic, refused the Golden Party Badge, and cited the growing hostility between the Catholic Church and the Nazi government. He resigned from his posts immediately. He was monitored by the Gestapo as a “suspect person” and his pension was temporarily revoked. He died on August 25,1943 in Linz am Rhein. He was 68 years old.

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