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Heeremann von Zuydwyk

Catholic statesman and writer on art, b. Aug. 26, 1832, at Surenburg near Riesenbeck, Westphalia; d. March 23, 1903, at Berlin

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Heeremann von Zuydwyk, CLEMENS AUG. ANT., FREIHERR VON, Catholic statesman and writer on art, b. August 26, 1832, at Surenburg near Riesenbeck, Westphalia; d. March 23, 1903, at Berlin. He studied law at the Universities of Bonn, Heidelberg, and Berlin. In the German capital he took an active part in the organization of a reading circle for Catholic students. For several years he was employed as referendary to the Circuit Court, and later to the Governmental Council of Munster, and in 1874 was appointed a member of the Governmental Council of Merseburg. In 1870 he was chosen a member of the Prussian Diet (Landtag), and in 1871 of the Reichstag for the district of Munster-Cosfeld. During the Kulturkampf, towards the end of 1875, he resigned as a government official and devoted himself exclusively to parliamentary labors on behalf of the oppressed Church. His efforts were chiefly directed against the Law of May 31, 1875, which threatened the existence of several charitable orders devoted to the care of the sick, and he secured several important modifications of that law. He was at this time one of the leaders of the center Party. From 1879-82 he was second vice-president of the Prussian Landtag, and from 1882 to the time of his death first vice-president of the same body. After the death of Freiherr von Schorlemer-Alst (1889) he was chosen chairman of the center Party in the Landtag, and in 1900 retired as its honorary president.

In the course of his active parliamentary career he took a leading part in the debates on the tariff, in 1879, and on all subjects relating to the interests of the Church, schools, and fine arts. His acknowledged ability as an art critic is displayed in the work on “Die alteste Tafelmalerei Westfalens” (1882). He was also an active member of the Gorres-Gesellschaft, president of the Kunstverein of Westphalia, and encouraged the study of the history and archaeology of his native country. Above all, he was a devout, practical Catholic. His tact and moderation won the admiration and respect of men of all political creeds, and although he was not so fervent an orator as Freiherr von Schorlemer, he was a diligent and painstaking worker. One of his admirers characterizes him as a “refined art critic, an eminent member of parliament, a former chairman of the center Party, a glorious champion of the Church, a friend of the religious orders and a self-sacrificing promoter of Catholic Congresses“. In 1887 he invited a number of friends of art to assemble at Bonn; one of the immediate results of this meeting was the establishment of the “Zeitschrift fur christliche Kunst” (Magazine of Christian Art), still published at Dusseldorf.


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