Who's Who - Ernst von Korber

Ernst von Korber Ernst von Korber (1850-1919) was appointed Austrian Minister-President following the assassination of Count Karl von Sturgkh in October 1916, but retained office for little over a month before resigning in the wake of fundamental disagreements with the incoming Emperor, Karl I.

Having already served as Austria's Minister-President and retired from politics while in that office in 1904, Korber returned to the political scene during World War One, accepting an appointment as imperial administrative controller of Bosnia-Herzegovina in February 1915.

A moderate reformer Korber nonetheless held - and practised - views that tended to place Austrian interests above those of Hungary.  It was therefore with some reservation that prominent Hungarians viewed the re-appointment of Korber as Austrian Minister-President following Sturgkh's assassination in late October 1916.

Barely had Korber taken office however than he fell into dispute with the newly-installed Emperor, Karl I having ascended to the throne following the death of the ageing Franz-Josef in November 1916.

The form of their dispute was the impending renewal of the imperial Ausgleich ('compromise') between Austria and Hungary.  Hungary's demand for a division of the army into national components did not sit well with Korber.  He favoured rejection of Hungary's demands whereas the Emperor was inclined to accept them.

Finding his relations with Karl I soured from the start, and determined not to concede the point, Korber tendered his resignation on 14 December 1916.  Thereafter he became something of a focal point for criticism of the new Emperor.

A respirator was a gas mask in which air was inhaled through a metal box of chemicals.

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