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Deutscher Forstverein

and their Reichstagung


The Forstverein was a civil union, founded in 1899, whose members were either Foresters or Forest owners and was founded to give more "power" to their interests when dealing with the Governments of the states or the Reich. Their "targets" were mainly economical with some "spreads" of caring for nature and forests. The aim of the association was: to take care of the German forest, the promotion of forest economy and science and the exchange of personal ideas.
Leaders in TR period were the Generalforstmeister (v. Keudell and Alpers). But how far their influence reached - we don´t know. Especially after september 1939 with introduction of the "Kriegswirtschaft" their power will have been limited.


The leader of the organisation was always the Generalforstmeister. First it was Walter von Keudell and later he was replaced by Friedrich Alpers. This was the situation in 1939:

Vereinsleiter (club leader): Generalforstmeister Alpers

Vereinsleiterstellvertreter (deputy club leader): Oberlandforstmeister Eerlein and Ministerialdirektor Bachmann

Ehrencurator (honorary curator): Ministerialdirektor Wappes

Ehrenmitglied ( honorary member): Landforstmeister Kranold

There where also alot of members in the 'beirat' (advisory board), ranging from oberforstmeisters to forstmeister.

The Deutscher Forstverein was divided in different groups for every part of Germany. Below the different groups and their 'gruppenleiters' (group leaders). The second in command was the 'gruppenleiterstellvertreter' (deputy group leader). Every group also had a 'beirat' (advisory board), a 'schriftführer' (secretary) and a 'schatzmeister' (treasurer).

Gruppe Preussen - Ost und Westpreussen: Landforstmeister Conrad

Gruppe Preussen - Pommern: Landforstmeister Kamlah

Gruppe Preussen - Mark Brandenburg: Landforstmeister Lach

Gruppe Preussen - Schlestien: Landforstmeister Schulz-Brüggemann

Gruppe Preussen - Nordwesten: Landforstmeister Mener

Gruppe Preussen - Westfalen und Niederrhein: Landforstmeister Von Sachs

Gruppe Preussen - Kurhessen: Landforstmeister Drener

Gruppe Preussen - Nassau: Landforstmeister Rechtern

Gruppe Preussen - Harz-Solling: Landforstmeister Neuser

Gruppe Preussen - Rheinland: Landforstmeister Wegener

Gruppe Bayern: Minsterialrat Spengler

Gruppe Sachsen: Forstmeister Mener

Gruppe Württemberg: Oberforstrat Böpple

Gruppe Baden: Landforstmeister Hug

Gruppe Hessen: Oberforstmeister Deuster

Gruppe Thüringen: Forstmeister Hornschu

Gruppe Medlenburg: Oberlandforstmeister Von Bülow

Gruppe Niederdonau-Wien: Graf Ubenspreg und Traun

Gruppe Oberdonau-Salzburg: Hofrat Hoffmann

Gruppe Steiermark-Kärnten: Hofrat Dr. Schönwiese

Gruppe Tirol-Vorarlberg: Hofrat Happak

Gruppe Sudetengau: Dr. Graf Waldstein-Wartenberg


Generalforstmeister Alpers on the left


In 1939 they organized a big event called Reichstagung Deutscher Forstverein (Conference of the German Forest Association). In 1936 there was a smaller version of this event, but the 1939 was their first big event and also the last one.

The first part of the preface of the book: Deutscher Forstverein Jahresbericht 1939 (Berlin):

The first Greater German Reich Conference of the German Forest Association will go down in German history as the largest forest event ever.  It also deserves an outstanding place in forestry around the world. The preparations for this conference were large-scale, and their goal was clear from the start: the first Greater German Reich Conference in Berlin was to become a historic landmark for the entire Greater German forestry industry. With this in mind, the presentations at the general and partial meetings were selected and compiled. Leading men from the political party, the state, business and science have expressed their willingness in a grateful manner to fill in and help fulfill the broad-based ideas of the conference. The lectures, scientific reports and economic lectures on the main topic of the entire event, the German forestry in the shaping of life in the Greater German area, were indulged by the magnificious speech of our Reichsforstmeister Hermann Göring, the conference's patron, who outlined and defined the tasks of the future in clear programmatic matter. The opening ceremony, its solemn setting in the plenary hall of the Reichstag and its roaring echo of the applause for the speech of the Reichsforstmeister will remain unforgettable for every conference participant.

The event was organized by Oberlandforstmeister Dr. Eissfeldt and forstassessor Rathe. It was a week event, held from monday 26th of June until saturday the 1st of July. The highlights of the event:

Monday the 26th of June:

16.00u: Festive opening ceremony in the Kroll Opera House with a speech of the conference's patron, Generalfeldmarschall, reichsforstmeister Hermann Göring.

16.30u: Tea reception in the aviator's house, hosted by Frau Emmy Göring.

20.30u: Banquet in the Kroll halls.

Tuesday the 27th of June:

10.30u: 1st plenary session in the Kroll opera.

16.00u: Fashion tea in the Frasquita.

16.30u: Lecture series for the forestry of neighboring countries.

21.00u: Reception for foreign guests in the hotel Kaiserhof.

Further: Visits from 9.55u.

Wednesday the 28th of June:

8.15u: 2th plenary session in the Kroll opera.

10.30u: Hunting breakfast at the Schorfheide, hosted by the Reichsforstmeister.

20.30u: Summer party at Kroll.

Further: Visits at 10.00u and 15.55u.

Thursday the 29th of June:

9.30u: 3th plenary session in the Kroll opera.

12.00u: 4th plenary session in the Kroll opera.

15.15u: Demonstration forestwork

15.15u: Meeting Forstschutz

16.15u: Meeting

20.45u: Beer night in Marmorhall from the zoo.

Friday the 30th of June and saturday the 1st of July:

Teaching excursions and visits.

In addition, the following events took place as part of the Greater German Reich Conference on Forestry:

1. Forest study flight on July 1 and 2, 1939

2. Foreigners excursion through northern Germany from July 2 to 4, 1939

3. Foreigners excursion through southern Germany from July 2 to 10, 1939


Jahresbericht 1939 of the Deutscher Forstverein, alot of info about the verein and the event came out of this book. (own collection)

Cap badge of the 1939 event. The details on this badge are very good. (best guess, when you see the pins on the back. No photos found from this badge in wear)


Photo of the event in 1936, held from 16 until 22th of august.


Reichsforstmeister Generalfeldmarschall Hermann Göring walking through the honor trellis formed by forest students in front of the Kroll opera.


The Reichsforstmeister enters the Kroll opera. Behind him the club leader, Generalforstmeister Alpers.

The Reichsforstmeister during his speech in the Blenar hall of the Reichstag (Kroll opera). To the left of him the club leader Alpers and to his right Hauptgeschäftsführer, oberforstmeister  Raab.


Picture of the negotiation room, waiting for the speech from the Reichsforstmeister.


State-secretary Körner waiting to do his speech. Left: Oberlandforstmeister Dr. Eikfeldt. Right: Oberforstmeister Raab. 


Reception for foreigners in the hotel Kaiserhof. The head of the association, Generalforstmeister Alpers, with the President of the International Forestry Center, Baron V. Waldbott (Hungary)


Overview map for the educational excursion of the German Forest Association from the Preussische Staatsoberförsterei in Springe - 1930


Last but not least, a big thank you to Max for the professional scans of the Deutscher Forstverein Jahresbericht!

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