Max von Forckenbeck

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Max von Forckenbeck
Max von forckenberg.jpg
Max von Forckenbeck
Mayor of Berlin
In office
21 November 1878 – 26 May 1892
Preceded by Arthur Hobrecht
Succeeded by Robert Zelle
Personal details
Born (1821-10-23)October 23, 1821
Died May 26, 1892(1892-05-26) (aged 70)
Nationality German
Political party Progressive National Liberal
Profession Lawyer

Maximilian (Max) Franz August von Forckenbeck (October 23, 1821 - May 26, 1892) was a German lawyer and politician and served as Mayor of Berlin from 1878 to 1892. His is considered one of the most important mayors of the city because of his prudent management style.


Max Forckenbeck was born in Münster on October 23, 1821. From 1838 to 1841 he studied law in Gießen where he joined the Corps Teutonia Gießen. From 1842 he worked first as a Referendar and from 1847 as an Assessor for the Glogau Municipal Court. In 1848 he acted as president of the Glogauer Konstitutioneller Verein.

In 1859 he was elected a member of the liberal faction in the Prussian House of Representatives (Preußisches Abgeordnetenhaus) and quickly set to create a liberal party. On January 13, 1861, he founded the German Progress Party.

In 1861 Forckenbeck managed the Committee of the German National Association, which he had joined in 1859. During the Prussian Constitutional Conflict, from 1862 to 1866, he tried as leader of the Progressive Party to work out the conflict with Bismarck. Due to his prudent efforts toward an understanding he was made President of the Prussian House of Representatives from 1866 to 1873 and President of the Reichstag from 1874 to 1879. During that time Forckenbeck, along with others, founded the National Liberal Party and on July 8, 1872 became Mayor of Breslau.

Beginning in 1873, Forckenbeck was a member of the Prussian House of Lords and on September 26, 1878 he was elected by an overwhelming majority the Mayor of Berlin. In 1879, he dedicated his time exclusively to his new position, stepping down as President of the Reichstag. During his time in office, Forckenbeck devoted his time to reforming the education system and developing the city's infrastructure. In his first term he improved the sewage system and expanded the city's water supply. Furthermore, he improved the city's hygiene by offering recreational opportunities like those at Viktoriapark in Kreuzberg. Frockenbeck was heavily in favor of the privatization of the urban sector, pushing through laws allowing private companies to manage the city's street lights.

Buoyed by high popularity, Forckenbeck was easily elected for a second term. During his second term he tried to improve the relationship between state and city governments. On May 26, 1892 Max Forckenbeck died from pneumonia. His grave is found at the Protestant Nicolaikirchhof.

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