Gleichschaltung (German pronunciation: [ˈɡlaɪçʃaltʊŋ]), or in English co-ordination, was in Nazi terminology the process of Nazification by which Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party successively established a system of totalitarian control and coordination over all aspects of German society, "from the economy and trade associations to the media, culture and education".[1]

The apex of the Nazification of Germany was in the resolutions approved during the Nuremberg Rally of 1935, when the symbols of the Nazi Party and the State were fused (see Flag of Germany) and German Jews were deprived of their citizenship (see Nuremberg Laws).

Weimar Republic states map
While the traditional German states were not formally abolished (excluding Lübeck in 1937), their constitutional rights and sovereignty were eroded and ultimately ended. Prussia was already under federal administration when Hitler came to power, providing a model for the process.
Greater German Reich NS Administration 1944 Variant
The Gau system of the Nazi Party effectively replaced the federal structure of the country.


The Nazis used the word Gleichschaltung for the process of successively establishing a system of totalitarian control and coordination over all aspects of German society. It has been variously translated as co-ordination,[2][3][4] Nazification of state and society,[5] synchronization, and bringing into line,[5] but English texts often use the untranslated German word to convey its unique historical meaning. In their seminal work on National Socialist vernacular, Nazi-Deutsch/Nazi-German: An English Lexicon of the Language of the Third Reich, historians Robert Micheal and Karin Doerr define Gleichschaltung as: "Consolidation. All of the German Volk’s social, political, and cultural organizations to be controlled and run according to Nazi ideology and policy. All opposition to be eliminated."[6]

Legal basis

The Nazis were able to put Gleichschaltung into effect due to the legal measures taken by the government during the 20 months following 30 January 1933, when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany.[7]

One day after the Reichstag fire on 27 February 1933, President of Germany Paul von Hindenburg, acting at Hitler's request and on the basis of the emergency powers in article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, issued the Reichstag Fire Decree. This decree suspended most citizen rights provided for by the constitution and thus allowed for the arrest of political adversaries, mostly Communists, and for terrorizing of other electors by the Sturmabteilung (SA) (Nazi paramilitary branch) before the upcoming election.[8]

In this atmosphere the Reichstag general election of 5 March 1933 took place.[9] The Nazis had hoped to win an outright majority and push aside their coalition partners, the German National People's Party. However, the Nazis won only 43.9 percent of the vote, well short of a majority.[10] Despite not securing the necessary vote to secure any amendments to the existing federal constitution, the disaffection with the predecessor Weimar government's attempt at democracy was palpable and subsequent violence followed. SA units stormed the Social Democrats' headquarters in Königsberg, destroying the premises and even beating Communist Reichstag deputy Walter Schütz to death.[11] Other non-Nazi party officials were attacked by the SA in Wuppertal, Cologne, Braunschweig, Chemnitz, and elsewhere throughout Germany, in a series of violent acts which continued to escalate through the summer of 1933; meanwhile the SA's membership grew to some two-million members.[12]

Otto Wels
During the debate on the Enabling Act, Social Democrat chairman Otto Wels spoke the last free words in the Reichstag: "You can take our lives and our freedom, but you cannot take our honour. We are defenseless but not honourless." The subsequent passage of the Act did away with parliamentary democracy.

When the newly elected Reichstag first convened on 23 March 1933—not including the Communist delegates because their party had been banned on 6 March—it passed the Enabling Act (Ermächtigungsgesetz). This law gave the government—and in practice, Hitler—the right to make laws without the involvement of the Reichstag. Throughout Germany, the Nazis were able to tighten their grip upon the state thanks to the Enabling Act.[13] For all intents and purposes, the entire Weimar Constitution was rendered void.[14] Soon afterwards the government banned the Social Democratic Party, as an "avalanche" soon buried the other parties.[15] By midsummer, the other parties had been intimidated into dissolving themselves rather than face arrests and concentration camp imprisonment and all non-Nazi ministers of the coalition government had been compelled to resign their posts.[16]

The "First Gleichschaltung Law" (Erstes Gleichschaltungsgesetz, 31 March 1933), passed using the Enabling Act; this law dissolved the diets of all Länder except the recently-elected Prussian parliament, which the Nazis already controlled. The same law ordered the state diets reconstituted on the basis of the votes in the last Reichstag election (with the exception of Communist seats), and also gave the state governments the same powers the Reich government possessed under the Enabling Act.[17]

The "Second Gleichschaltung Law" (Zweites Gleichschaltungsgesetz, 7 April 1933) deployed one Reichsstatthalter (Reich Governor) in each state, apart from Prussia. These officers, responsible to Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick, were supposed to act as local proconsuls in each state, with near-complete control over the state governments.[18]

Another measure of Nazi Gleichschaltung was the passing of the "Law for the Restoration of a Professional Civil Service", decreed on 7 April 1933, which enabled the "co-ordination" of the civil service—which in Germany included not only bureaucrats, but also schoolteachers and professors, judges, prosecutors and other professionals—at both the Federal and state level, and authorized the removal of Jews and Communists from all corresponding positions.[19]

On 14 July 1933, the Nazis passed the "Law Against the Founding of New Parties", which declared the NSDAP as the country's only legal political party.[20][a] The "Law Concerning the Reconstruction of the Reich" (Gesetz über den Neuaufbau des Reiches) (30 January 1934) formally did away with the concept of a federal republic, converting Germany into a highly centralized state.[21] The states were reduced to mere provinces, as their institutions were practically abolished altogether. All of their powers passed to the central government. A law passed on 14 February formally abolished the Reichsrat.[22]

Propaganda and societal integration

One of the most important steps towards Gleichschaltung of German society was the introduction of the "Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda" under Joseph Goebbels in March 1933 and the subsequent steps taken by the Propaganda Ministry to assume full control of the press and all means of social communication. This included oversight of newspapers, magazines, films, books, public meetings and ceremonies, foreign press relations, theater, art and music, radio, and television.[23] To this end, Goebbels said:

[T]he secret of propaganda [is to] permeate the person it aims to grasp, without his even noticing that he is being permeated. Of course propaganda has a purpose, but the purpose must be concealed with such cleverness and virtuosity that the person on whom this purpose is to be carried out doesn't notice it at all.[24]

This was also the purpose of "co-ordination": to ensure that every aspect of the lives of German citizens was permeated with the ideas and prejudices of the Nazis. From March to July 1933 and continuing afterwards, the Nazi Party systematically eliminated or co-opted non-Nazi organizations that could potentially influence people. Those critical of Hitler and the Nazis were suppressed, intimidated or murdered.[7]

Every national voluntary association, and every local club, was brought under Nazi control, from industrial and agricultural pressure groups to sports associations, football clubs, male voice choirs, women's organizations—in short, the whole fabric of associational life was Nazified. Rival, politically oriented clubs or societies were merged into a single Nazi body. Existing leaders of voluntary associations were either unceremoniously ousted, or knuckled under of their own accord. Many organizations expelled leftish or liberal members and declared their allegiance to the new state and its institutions. The whole process ... went on all over Germany. ... By the end, virtually the only non-Nazi associations left were the army and the Churches with their lay organizations.[25]

An important part of the "co-ordination" effort was the purging of the civil service, both at the Federal and state level. Top Federal civil servants—the State Secretaries—were largely replaced if they weren't sympathetic to the Nazi program, as were the equivalent bureaucrats in the states, but Nazification took place at every level. Civil servants rushed to join the Nazi Party, fearing that if they did not they would lose their jobs. At the local level, mayors and councils were terrorized by Nazi stormtroopers of the SA and SS into resigning or following orders to replace officials and workers at local public institutions who were Jewish or belonged to other political parties.[26]

The Gleichschaltung also included the formation of various organisations with compulsory membership for segments of the population, in particular the youth of Germany. Boys first served as apprentices in the Pimpfen (cubs), beginning at the age of six, and at age ten, entered the Deutsches Jungvolk (Young German Boys) and served there until entering the Hitler Youth proper at age fourteen. Boys remained there until age eighteen, at which time they entered into the Arbeitsdienst (Labor Service) and the armed forces.[27] Girls became part of the Jungmädel (Young Maidens) at age ten and at age fourteen were enrolled in the Bund Deutscher Mädel (League of German Maidens). At eighteen, BDM members went generally to the eastern territory for their Pflichtdienst, or Landjahr, a year of labor on a farm. By 1940, membership in the Hitler Youth numbered some eight million.[28]

Strength Through Joy

An all-embracing recreational organization for workers, called Kraft durch Freude ("Strength Through Joy") was set up under the auspices of the German Labor Front (German: Deutsche Arbeitsfront or DAF), which had been created when the Nazis forcibly dissolved the trade unions on 2 May 1933, thus eviscerating the labor movement.[29] Hobbies were regimented, and all private clubs, whether they be for chess, football, or woodworking, were brought under the control of Strength Through Joy, which also provided vacation trips, skiing, swimming, concerts, and ocean cruises. Some 43 million Germans enjoyed trips via the Strength Through Joy initiative and it was this effort which helped inspire the idea of Germans enjoying the acquisition of automobiles and the construction of the Autobahn. It was the largest of the many organizations established by the Nazis and a propaganda success.[30] Workers were also brought in line with the party, through activities such as the Reichsberufswettkampf, a national vocational competition.[31]


Historian Claudia Koonz explains that the word Gleichschaltung stems from the arena of electricity as it means converting something from A/C to D/C current; it also has no equivalent in any other language and that more than just this word, other mechanical terms were used similarly by the Nazis such as Ausschaltung, which constituted the removal or "switching off" of anyone who stained or soiled the German nation.[32] This clinical terminology captured both the mechanical and biological meaning for members of German society, as one German citizen visiting London explained, "It means the same stream will flow through the ethnic body politic [Volkskörper]."[33]

Former University of Dresden professor of romance languages, Viktor Klemperer, who was dismissed from his post for being Jewish in 1935—and only survived his time in Germany due to being married to a prominent German woman—collected a list of terms employed in everyday speech by the Nazis, which he discussed in his book, Language of the Third Reich—LTI: Lingua Tertii Imperii. In this work, Klemperer contends that the Nazis made the German language itself, a servant to their ideology through its repetitive use, eventually permeating the very "flesh and blood" of its people.[34] If it was sunny and pleasant, it was described as "Hitler weather" for instance, or if you failed to comply with Nazi ideals of racial and social conformity, you were "switched off."[35]

When the blatant emphasis of racial hatred of others seemed to reach an impasse in the school system, through radio broadcasts, or on film reels, the overseers of Nazi Gleichschaltung propaganda switched to strategies that focused more on togetherness and the "we-consciousness" of the collective Volk, but the mandates of Nazi "coordination" remained: pay homage to the Führer, expel all foreigners, sacrifice for the German people, and welcome future challenges.[36] While greater German social and economic unity was produced through the Gleichschaltung initiatives of the regime, it was at the expense of individuality and to the social detriment of any nonconformist;[37] and worse—it contributed to and reinforced the social and racial exclusion of anyone deemed an enemy by National Socialist doctrine.[38][b]

See also


Informational notes

  1. ^ For all practical purposes Germany had been a one-party state since the passage of the Enabling Act.
  2. ^ Nazi Gleichschaltung or "synchronization" of German society—along with a series of Nazi legislation[39]—was part and parcel to Jewish economic disenfranchisement, the violence against political opposition, the creation of concentration camps, the Nuremberg Laws, the establishment of a racial Volksgemeinschaft, the seeking of Lebensraum, and the violent mass destruction of human life deemed somehow less valuable by the National Socialist government of Germany.[40][41]


  1. ^ Strupp 2013.
  2. ^ Evans 2003, p. 381.
  3. ^ Kershaw 1999, p. 479.
  4. ^ Burleigh 2000, p. 272.
  5. ^ a b Hirschfeld 2014, pp. 101, 164.
  6. ^ Michael & Doerr 2002, p. 192.
  7. ^ a b Evans 2003, pp. 381–390.
  8. ^ Evans 2003, pp. 332–333.
  9. ^ Evans 2003, pp. 339–340.
  10. ^ Evans 2003, p. 340.
  11. ^ Evans 2003, pp. 340–341.
  12. ^ Evans 2003, pp. 341–342.
  13. ^ Childers 2017, p. 254.
  14. ^ Evans 2003, pp. 351–355.
  15. ^ Childers 2017, pp. 261–262.
  16. ^ Evans 2003, pp. 355–361.
  17. ^ Benz 2007, pp. 28–30.
  18. ^ Benz 2007, p. 30.
  19. ^ Evans 2003, pp. 382, 437.
  20. ^ Benz 2007, p. 34.
  21. ^ Shirer 1990, pp. 200–201.
  22. ^ Hildebrand 1984, p. 7.
  23. ^ Bytwerk 2004, pp. 58–66.
  24. ^ Evans 2005, p. 127.
  25. ^ Evans 2005, p. 14.
  26. ^ Evans 2003, pp. 381–383.
  27. ^ Benz 2007, pp. 73–77.
  28. ^ Stachura 1998, p. 479.
  29. ^ Childers 2017, p. 310.
  30. ^ Childers 2017, pp. 310–311.
  31. ^ Schoenbaum 1997, p. 95.
  32. ^ Koonz 2003, p. 72.
  33. ^ Koonz 2003, pp. 72–73.
  34. ^ Klemperer 2000, p. 14.
  35. ^ Koonz 2003, p. 73.
  36. ^ Koonz 2003, pp. 161–162.
  37. ^ Taylor & Shaw 1997, p. 109.
  38. ^ Laqueur & Baumel 2001, p. 241.
  39. ^ Taylor & Shaw 1997, p. 110.
  40. ^ Wildt 2012, pp. 9, 109, 125–128.
  41. ^ Laqueur & Baumel 2001, pp. 241–251.


  • Benz, Wolfgang (2007). A Concise History of the Third Reich. Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-52025-383-4.
  • Burleigh, Michael (2000). The Third Reich: A New History. New York: Hill and Wang. ISBN 0-8090-9325-1.
  • Bytwerk, Randall L. (2004). Bending Spines: The Propagandas of Nazi Germany and the German Democratic Republic. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press. ISBN 978-0870137105.
  • Childers, Thomas (2017). The Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-45165-113-3.
  • Evans, Richard J. (2003). The Coming of the Third Reich. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-303469-3.
  • Evans, Richard J. (2005). The Third Reich in Power. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-303790-0.
  • Hildebrand, Klaus (1984). The Third Reich. London & New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-0494-3033-5.
  • Hirschfeld, Gerhard (2014). The Policies of Genocide: Jews and Soviet Prisoners of War in Nazi Germany. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1317625728.
  • Kershaw, Ian (1999). Hitler: 1889–1936: Hubris. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-04671-0.
  • Klemperer, Victor (2000). Language of the Third Reich – LTI: Lingua Tertii Imperii. New York & London: Continuum. ISBN 978-0-82649-130-5.
  • Koonz, Claudia (2003). The Nazi Conscience. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press (Harvard University Press). ISBN 978-0-674-01172-4.
  • Laqueur, Walter; Baumel, Judith Tydor (2001). The Holocaust Encyclopedia. New Haven & London: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-30008-432-0.
  • Michael, Robert; Doerr, Karin (2002). Nazi-Deutsch/Nazi-German. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-32106-X.
  • Schoenbaum, David (1997). Hitler's Social Revolution: Class and Status in Nazi Germany, 1933–1939. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-39331-554-7.
  • Shirer, William (1990). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. New York: MJF Books. ISBN 978-1-56731-163-1.
  • Stachura, Peter D. (1998). "Hitler Youth". In Dieter Buse; Juergen Doerr (eds.). Modern Germany: An Encyclopedia of History, People, and Culture, 1871–1990. 2 Vols. New York: Garland Publishing. ISBN 978-0-81530-503-3.
  • Strupp, Christoph (30 January 2013). "'Only a Phase': How Diplomats Misjudged Hitler's Rise". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  • Taylor, James; Shaw, Warren (1997). The Penguin Dictionary of the Third Reich. New York: Penguin Reference. ISBN 978-0-14051-389-9.
  • Wildt, Michael (2012). Hitler's 'Volksgemeinschaft' and the Dynamics of Racial Exclusion: Violence against Jews in Provincial Germany, 1919–1939. Oxford & New York: Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-0-85745-322-8.

Further reading

  • Bracher, Karl Dietrich (1972) "Stages of Totalitarian 'Integration' (Gleichschaltung): The Consolidation of National Socialist Rule in 1933 and 1934" in Republic To Reich The Making of the Nazi Revolution Ten Essays edited by Hajo Holborn, New York: Pantheon Books. pp. 109–28
  • Gisevius, Hans Bernd (1947). To The Bitter End: An Insider's Account of the Plot to Kill Hitler, 1933–1944. New York: Da Capo Press.
  • Hughes, Everett (December 1955) "The Gleichschaltung of the German Statistical Yearbook: A Case in Professional Political Neutrality". The American Statistician. Vol. IX. pp. 8–11.
  • Kroeschell, Karl (1989) Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte 3 (seit 1650), 2nd ed., ISBN 3-531-22139-6
  • Kroeschell, Karl (1992) Rechtsgeschichte Deutschlands im 20. Jahrhundert, ISBN 3-8252-1681-0

External links

Administrative divisions of Nazi Germany

Gaue (Singular: Gau) were the de facto main administrative divisions of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945.

The Gaue were formed in 1926 as Nazi Party regional districts in Weimar Germany based on the territorial changes after the First World War. The Gau system was established in 1934 as part of the Gleichschaltung process, replacing the de jure system of Länder (states) and Prussian provinces, which held no administrative purpose since the Enabling Act of 1933 and were reduced to rudimentary bodies. Each Gau was headed by an administrative leader, the Gauleiter, a high-ranking Nazi Party official with near-autocratic powers.

Germany consisted of 32 Gaue in 1934, eventually peaking at 42 Gaue with regions occupied in 1938 to early 1939 (Austria, Sudetenland, Memelland) and conquered during the Second World War incorporated into existing Gaue or organised as Reichsgaue, a special type of Gau where the Gauleiter also carried the position of Reichsstatthalter. The Gaue system was dissolved on May 8, 1945, following the surrender of Nazi Germany.

Bund der Asienkämpfer

The Bund der Asienkämpfer (BdAK), more rarely mentioned as Bund Deutscher Asienkämpfer (BDAK), meaning "League of Asian Warriors" or "League of German Asian Warriors", was a social welfare organization for German veterans who had been in the Asien-Korps, the units of the German Empire at the service of the Ottoman Empire in the Near East and the Balkans during World War I.

The BdAK was established in 1918, at the end of the war, by German ex-armymen. One of their main purposes was to investigate what had happened to entire missing German units of the Asien-Korps, including German nurses (German Red Cross Sisters), when the Palestine-Transjordan front collapsed at the end of September 1918. At that time many Germans fighting along Turkish troops in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign suddenly found themselves behind enemy lines, fighting for their lives.

This association issued a magazine, the "Orient Rundschau," during its heyday, which was during the 1920s, until well into the Nazi time. In the name of Gleichschaltung, the Bund der Asienkämpfer was affiliated to the NSDAP after the Nazi takeover of power in 1933. It was finally disbanded by the Nazi authorities in 1938.


Coordination may refer to:

Coordination (linguistics), a compound grammatical construction

Language coordination, the tendency of people to mimic the language of others

Coordination (political culture), a Utopian form of political regime

Motor coordination, in animal motion

A chemical reaction to form a coordination complex

Gleichschaltung the process of Nazification in Germany after 1933, often translated as "coordination"

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Vorgeschichte

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Vorgeschichte (DGV) (German Society for Prehistory) was a society founded in 1909 by Gustaf Kossinna with the participation of Hans Hahne, Wilhelm Ohnesorge and others. The organization was committed to national prehistory and early history research and to providing a broad basis fo German Archeology as a discipline with a historical goal. In its first year the first edition of the magazine Mannus was published. In 1913, at a special general meeting, the change of name to Gesellschaft für Deutschen Vorgeschichte (GDV) was approved by a large majority. After Kossinna's death, Alfred Götze initially took over the leadership of the society. In 1933, in the course of Gleichschaltung, the board decided to "expand" itself to the Reichsbund für Deutsche Vorgeschichte at the request of Hans Reinerth. This decision was confirmed a year later by the General Assembly. Also in 1934 Reinerth became leader (Bundesführer) of the Reichsbund.

In 1968, the society was re-founded as the Gesellschaft für Vor- und Frühgeschichte (Bonn) by Bolko von Richthofen. He again published a periodical called Mannus. The members, who are mainly associated with right to far-right extremist views, included, among others the "Atlantis Researchers" Jürgen Spanuth, Herman Wirth, and Haye W. Hansen. "Mannus" was discontinued in 1994 after 24 issues.

Dienstleiter (NSDAP)

Dienstleiter, (Service Leader) was a high-ranking Nazi Party political rank of Nazi Germany which existed between 1933 and 1945. The rank was first created after the Nazi assumption of power and served as the second highest rank of the Reichsleitung Nazi Party organizational level, subordinate to the Reichsleiter.

Free State of Prussia

The Free State of Prussia (German: Freistaat Preußen) was a state of Germany from 1918 to 1947.

The Free State of Prussia was established in 1918 following the German Revolution, abolishing the German Empire and founding the Weimar Republic in the aftermath of the First World War. The new state was a direct successor to the Kingdom of Prussia, but featured a democratic, republican government and smaller area based on territorial changes after the war. Despite bearing the brunt of Germany's territorial losses in Europe, Prussia remained the dominant state of Germany, comprising almost ​5⁄8 (62.5%) of the country's territory and population, and home to the federal capital, Berlin. Prussia changed from the authoritarian state it had been under previous rulers to a democratic bastion within the Weimar Republic where, unlike in other states, democratic parties always ruled in majority.

The Free State of Prussia's democratic government was overthrown in the Preußenschlag in 1932, placing the state under direct rule in a coup d'etat led by Chancellor Franz von Papen and forcing Minister-President Otto Braun from office. The establishment of Nazi Germany in 1933 began the Gleichschaltung process, ending legal challenges to the Preußenschlag and placing Prussia under the direct rule of the National Socialist German Workers' Party, with Hermann Göring as Minister-President. In 1934, all German states were de facto replaced by the Gaue system and converted to rudimentary bodies, effectively ending Prussia as a single territorial unit of Germany. After the end of World War II in 1945, Otto Braun approached Allied officials in occupied Germany to reinstate the legal Prussian government, but was rejected and Prussia was abolished in 1947.


The Führerprinzip [ˈfyːʀɐpʀɪnˌtsiːp] (listen) (German for "leader principle") prescribed the fundamental basis of political authority in the governmental structures of the Third Reich. This principle can be most succinctly understood to mean that "the Führer's word is above all written law" and that governmental policies, decisions, and offices ought to work toward the realization of this end. In actual political usage, it refers mainly to the practice of dictatorship within the ranks of a political party itself, and as such, it has become an earmark of political fascism.

Jacquier and Securius Bank

The Jacquier and Securius Bank was a prominent private bank founded in 1817 by August Jacquier and Henrich Securius. The bank's headquarters were located in central Berlin in a building nicknamed the Red Castle (German: Rotes Schloß). Originally under Jewish ownership, the bank began the process of Aryanization in 1933, which Richard Lenz and Robert Kraus becoming the majority stakeholders.

Jakob Sprenger

Jakob Sprenger (24 July 1884 – 7 May 1945) was a Nazi politician.

Sprenger was born in Oberhausen near Bad Bergzabern in the Palatinate. In 1922, when employed as a postal inspector, Sprenger became a member of the Nazi Party. He was anti-Semitic, and rose quickly through the ranks, first to Gauleiter of Hesse-Nassau-South in 1927, and by September 1930 was an elected member of the Reichstag.

On 5 May 1933 Sprenger was appointed Reichsstatthalter of Hesse and leader (Gauleiter) of the new Gau formed from the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau, which included the federated state of Hesse-Darmstadt. In the process of the Gleichschaltung, in particular due to the 'Reichsstatthaltergesetz' of 30 January 1935, he was able to take over leadership of the provincial government from Philipp Wilhelm Jung. Besides Martin Mutschmann of Saxony, he was the only governor charged with such a double function.

On 1 September 1939, SA-Obergruppenführer Sprenger became Reich Commissar of Defense District XII, and as of 1 December 1943 also in the Gau of Hesse-Nassau. Later Sprenger was appointed High President (Oberpräsident) of the Prussian province of Nassau in 1944, after Prince Philip of Hesse-Kassel had been removed. On the night of 25 to 26 March 1945, Sprenger fled from the advancing U.S. Army from Frankfurt to Kössen, Austria, where the Russians and US Army were subsequently in a pincer to cover the whole country. Trapped, he and his wife committed suicide on 7 May 1945.

Königsberg City Archive

The Königsberg City Archive (German: Stadtarchiv Königsberg) was the municipal archive of Königsberg, Germany.

The towns of Altstadt, Kneiphof, and Löbenicht were united to form the city of Königsberg in 1724. The city's archives were subsequently located in Altstadt Town Hall, but moved to the original campus of the University of Königsberg in Kneiphof in 1911/12. Its directors included August Wittich (1875 to 1897), Ernst Seraphim (1911), Christian Krollmann (1924), and Fritz Gause (1938).

The Nazi Party did not take an interest in the archive during Gleichschaltung. However, Gauleiter Erich Koch prevented the archive from being evacuated in 1944 during World War II. It was subsequently destroyed by the 1944 bombing of Königsberg and the 1945 Battle of Königsberg.

National Socialist Bloc

National Socialist Bloc (in Swedish: Nationalsocialistiska Blocket) was a Swedish national socialist political party formed in the end of 1933 by the merger of Nationalsocialistiska Samlingspartiet, Nationalsocialistiska Förbundet and local National Socialist units connected to the advocate Sven Hallström in Umeå. Later Svensk Nationalsocialistisk Samling merged into NSB.

The leader of the party was Colonel Martin Ekström. The party maintained several publications, Landet Fritt (Gothenburg), Vår Kamp (Gothenburg), Vår Front (Umeå), Nasisten (Malmö) and Riksposten.

NSB differentiated itself from other Swedish National Socialist groups due to its liaisons with the Swedish upper class. NSB was clearly smaller than the two main National Socialist parties in Sweden at the time, SNSP and NSAP. Gradually the party vanished.

National Socialist Flyers Corps

The National Socialist Flyers Corps (German: Nationalsozialistisches Fliegerkorps; NSFK) was a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party that was founded 15 April 1937 as a successor to the German Air Sports Association; the latter had been active during the years when a German air force was forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles. The NSFK organization was based closely on the para-military organization of the Sturmabteilung (SA). A similar group was the National Socialist Motor Corps (NSKK).

During the early years of its existence, the NSFK conducted military aviation training in gliders and private airplanes. Friedrich Christiansen, originally a Generalleutnant then later a Luftwaffe General der Flieger, was NSFK Korpsführer from 15 April 1937 until 26 June 1943, followed by Generaloberst Alfred Keller until 8 May 1945.


Ortsgruppenleiter (Local Group Leader) was a Nazi Party political rank and title which existed between 1930 and 1945. The term first came into being during the German elections of 1930, and was held by the head Nazi of a town or city, or in larger cities, of a neighbourhood, for the purposes of election district organization. After 1933, through the process of Gleichschaltung, the position of Ortsgruppenleiter evolved into the Nazi leader of a large town or city or of a city district.


The Preußenschlag of 1932 (German pronunciation: [ˈpʁɔʏsənˌʃlaːk], Prussian coup), also known in English as the coup in Prussia or the putsch in Prussia, was the takeover of the Free State of Prussia, the largest German state, by Chancellor Franz von Papen, using an emergency decree issued by President Paul von Hindenburg under Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution on July 20, 1932.

It was a major step towards the end of the Weimar Republic, as it later facilitated the Nazification (Gleichschaltung) of Germany after Adolf Hitler's rise to power.

The pretext for this measure was violent unrest in some areas of Prussia and the alleged inability of the Prussian government to handle the matter. The main trigger was the "Altonaer Blutsonntag" ("Altona Bloody Sunday"), a shootout between the SA and Communists in Altona on 17 July 1932, which claimed 18 lives.

It is more likely however that the Prussian government headed by Minister-President Otto Braun, with authority over the powerful Prussian police force, was simply one of the last major forces standing in the way of Papen's plans for nationalist rule.The move was facilitated by the unstable situation of the Prussian government. The centre-left coalition of the Social Democrats, Centre Party and liberal German Democratic Party had ruled Prussia without interruption since 1918, but had lost its majority in the Landtag (state parliament) in the 1932 elections. However, under the Prussian constitution, a government could be removed from office only if there was a positive majority for a prospective successor. This provision, known as a "constructive vote of no confidence," was intended to ensure that a government had sufficient support to govern.

The Communists and National Socialists held over half the seats between them, but would not cooperate with each other or with other parties. Thus, no politically realistic alternative government was possible, and the Braun-led coalition remained in office.

However, Papen also lacked majority support in the Reichstag. His only means to govern was through the emergency provisions of Article 48, and hence via decrees issued by the Reichspräsident Hindenburg, over whom Papen had great influence. The emergency decree of July 20 dismissed the Braun government and declared Papen Reichskommissar (Reich Commissioner) for Prussia, vested in him all the competences of the Prussian ministries, and gave him direct control over the Prussian government.The decree was declared partially unconstitutional on October 25, 1932, by the German Constitutional Court, but only in so far as the formal existence of the Prussian cabinet was concerned. The transfer of power to Papen was upheld, while the Braun cabinet retained the right to represent Prussia in the Reichsrat.

Prussia remained under direct administration of the federal government until April 1933. The Enabling Act of 1933 gave Hitler the effective power to enact legislation (including extraconstitutional laws) without the consent of the Reichstag. One of Hitler's first legislative acts was to dissolve all of the state parliaments (except Prussia's) and replace them with legislatures that were constituted based on the results of the partly-free federal election held in March. Prussia was excluded from this measure because it had held state elections at the same time, with a similar result (a Nazi plurality). With the banning of the Communist and Social Democratic parties, the Nazis now had a majority in the Prussian parliament, which elected Hermann Göring as Minister-President. However, under Hitler's rule, German states were effectively replaced by Nazi Gaue, so Göring's post was largely ceremonial.

The state of Prussia was finally dissolved by the Allies after the end of World War II.

Reich Chamber of Culture

The Reich Chamber of Culture (Reichskulturkammer) was a government agency in Nazi Germany. It was established by law on 22 September 1933 in the course of the Gleichschaltung process at the instigation of Reich Minister Joseph Goebbels as a professional organization of all German creative artists. Defying the competing ambitions of the German Labour Front (DAF) under Goebbels' rival Robert Ley, it was meant to gain control over the entire cultural life in Germany creating and promoting Aryan art consistent with Nazi ideals.

Every artist had to apply for membership on presentation of an Aryan certificate. A rejected inscription de facto resulted in an occupational ban.


The Reichsberufswettkampf (translated as "Reich vocational contest" or "national trade competition") was an annual vocational competition held in Nazi Germany as part of the Gleichschaltung of German society.

The competition was organised by the German Labour Front with the aid of the Hitler Youth and the National Socialist German Students' League. It was held at the local, Gau and national level, and was subdivided into numerous vocational and academic branches. Competitors were tested in the theory and practice of their profession, as well as in their adherence to Nazi ideology. Women were also tested in housekeeping. The winners were presented to Labour Front head Robert Ley and to Hitler in person, and could expect substantial professional advancement.

The number of competitors grew from some 500,000 in 1934 at the first competition to 3,500,000 in 1939. Students were admitted in 1935 and adults in 1938. The competition was suspended at the outbreak of World War II in 1939, with the exception of a wartime competition (Kriegsreichsberufswettkampf) in 1944.


The Reichsfilmkammer (RFK; English: Reich Chamber of Film) was a statutory corporation controlled by the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda that regulated the film industry in Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. Membership in the association was obligatory for everyone in the German Reich who wanted to work on films in any capacity; lack of membership meant in effect a ban on employment. Based in Berlin, the establishment of the RFK was an important element of the Gleichschaltung process and Nazi film policy.


The Reichsstatthalter (German: [ˈʁaɪçsˌʃtathaltɐ], Imperial lieutenant) was a title used in the German Empire and later in Nazi Germany.


Strasserism (German: Strasserismus or Straßerismus) is a strand of Nazism that calls for a more radical, mass-action and worker-based form of Nazism—hostile to Jews not from a racial, ethnic, cultural or religious perspective, but from an anti-capitalist basis—to achieve a national rebirth. It derives its name from Gregor and Otto Strasser, two brothers initially associated with this position.

Otto Strasser, who strategically opposed the views of Adolf Hitler, was expelled from the Nazi Party in 1930 and went into exile in Czechoslovakia, while Gregor Strasser was murdered in Germany on 30 June 1934 during the Night of the Long Knives. Strasserism remains an active position within strands of neo-Nazism.


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