Wilhelm Frick

Wilhelm Frick (12 March 1877 – 16 October 1946) was a prominent German politician of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), who served as Reich Minister of the Interior in the Hitler Cabinet from 1933 to 1943[1] and as the last governor of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. After World War II, he was tried and convicted of war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials and executed by hanging.

Wilhelm Frick
Wilhelm Frick 72-919
Frick at the Nuremberg Trials in 1946
Reichsminister of the Interior
In office
30 January 1933 – 20 August 1943
PresidentPaul von Hindenburg
Adolf Hitler
(1934–1943; as Führer)
ChancellorAdolf Hitler
Preceded byFranz Bracht
Succeeded byHeinrich Himmler
Protector of Bohemia and Moravia
In office
24 August 1943 – 8 May 1945
Appointed byAdolf Hitler
Preceded byKonstantin von Neurath (de jure)
Kurt Daluege (de facto)
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Born12 March 1877
Alsenz, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Empire
Died16 October 1946 (aged 69)
Nuremberg, Bavaria, Allied-occupied Germany
Political partyNazi Party
  • Elisabetha Emilie Nagel
    (m. 1910; div. 1934)
  • Margarete Schultze-Naumburg (m. 1934)
Alma mater

Early life and family

Frick was born in the Palatinate municipality of Alsenz, then part of the Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany, the last of four children of Protestant teacher Wilhelm Frick sen. (d. 1918) and his wife Henriette (née Schmidt). He attended the gymnasium in Kaiserslautern, passing his Abitur exams in 1896. He went on studying philology at the University of Munich, but soon after turned to study law in Heidelberg and Berlin, taking the Staatsexamen in 1900, followed by his doctorate the next year. Serving as a referendary since 1900, he joined the Bavarian civil service in 1903, working as an attorney at the Munich Police Department. He was appointed a Bezirksamtassessor in Pirmasens in 1907 and became acting district executive in 1914. Rejected as unfit, Frick did not serve in World War I. He was promoted to the official rank of a Regierungsassessor and, at his own request, re-assumed his post at the Munich Police Department by 1917.[2]

On 25 April 1910, Frick had married Elisabetha Emilie Nagel (1890–1978) in Pirmasens. They had two sons and a daughter. The marriage ended in an ugly divorce in 1934. A few weeks later, on 12 March, Frick remarried in Münchberg to Margarete Schultze-Naumburg (1896–1960), the former wife of the Nazi Reichstag MP Paul Schultze-Naumburg. Margarete gave birth to a son and a daughter.[3]

Nazi career

Bundesarchiv Bild 102-00344A, München, nach Hitler-Ludendorff Prozess
Frick (3rd from left) among the defendants in the Munich Beer Hall Putsch trial, 1924. Adolf Hitler is 4th from the right.

In Munich, Frick witnessed the end of the war and the German Revolution of 1918–1919. He sympathized with Freikorps paramilitary units fighting against the Bavarian government of Premier Kurt Eisner. Chief of Police Ernst Pöhner introduced him to Adolf Hitler, whom he helped willingly with obtaining permissions to hold political rallies and demonstrations.

Elevated to the rank of an Oberamtmann and head of the Kriminalpolizei (criminal police) from 1923, he and Pöhner participated in Hitler's failed Beer Hall Putsch on 9 November. Frick tried to suppress the State Police's operation, wherefore he was arrested and imprisoned, and tried for aiding and abetting high treason by the People's Court in April 1924. After several months in custody, he was given a suspended sentence of 15 months' imprisonment and was dismissed from his police job. Later during the disciplinary proceedings, the dismissal was declared unfair and revoked, on the basis that his treasonous intention had not been proven. Frick went on to work at the Munich social insurance office from 1926 onwards, in the rank of a Regierungsrat 1st class by 1933.

In the aftermath of the putsch, Wilhelm Frick was elected a member of the German Reichstag parliament in the federal election of May 1924. He had been nominated by the National Socialist Freedom Movement, an electoral list of the far-right German Völkisch Freedom Party and the banned Nazi Party. On 1 September 1925, Frick joined the re-established Nazi Party. He associated himself with the radical Gregor Strasser; making his name by aggressive anti-democratic and antisemitic Reichstag speeches, he climbed to the post of the Nazi parliamentary group leader (Fraktionsführer) in 1928.[4]

In 1929, as the price for joining the coalition government of the Land (state) of Thuringia, the NSDAP received the state ministries of the Interior and Education. On 23 January 1930, Frick was appointed to these ministries, becoming the first Nazi to hold a ministerial-level post at any level in Germany (though he remained a member of the Reichstag).[5] Frick used his position to dismiss Communist and Social Democratic officials and replace them with Nazi Party members, so Thuringia's federal subsidies were temporarily suspended by Reich Minister Carl Severing. Frick also appointed the eugenicist Hans F. K. Günther as a professor of social anthropology at the University of Jena, banned several newspapers, and banned pacifist drama and anti-war films such as All Quiet on the Western Front. He was removed from office by a Social Democratic motion of no confidence in the Thuringian Landtag parliament on 1 April 1931.

Reich Minister

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H28422, Reichskabinett Adolf Hitler
Press session after the first meeting of Hitler's cabinet on 30 January 1933: Frick standing 4th from left

When Reich president Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler chancellor on 30 January 1933, Frick joined his government as Reich Minister of the Interior. Together with Reichstag Speaker Hermann Göring, he was one of only two Nazi Reich Ministers in the original Hitler Cabinet, and the only one who actually had a portfolio; Göring served as minister without portfolio until 5 May. Though Frick held a key position, especially in organizing the federal elections of March 1933, he initially had far less power than his counterparts in the rest of Europe. Notably, he had no authority over the police; in Germany law enforcement has traditionally been a state and local matter. Indeed, the main reason that Hindenburg and Franz von Papen agreed to give the Interior Ministry to the Nazis was that it was almost powerless at the time. A mighty rival arose in the establishment of the Propaganda Ministry under Joseph Goebbels on 13 March.

Frick's power dramatically increased as a result of the Reichstag Fire Decree and the Enabling Act of 1933. The provision of the Reichstag Fire Decree giving the cabinet the power to take over state governments on its own authority was actually his idea; he saw the fire as a chance to increase his power and begin the process of Nazifying the country.[6] He was responsible for drafting many of the Gleichschaltung laws that consolidated the Nazi regime.[7] Within a few days of the Enabling Act's passage, Frick helped draft a law appointing Reichskommissare to disempower the state governments. Under the Law for the Reconstruction of the Reich, which converted Germany into a highly centralized state, the newly implemented Reichsstatthalter (state governors) were directly responsible to him. In May 1934, he was appointed Prussian State Minister of the Interior under Minister-President Göring, which gave him control over the police in Prussia. By 1935, he also had near-total control over local government. He had the sole power to appoint the mayors of all municipalities with populations greater than 100,000 (except for the city states of Berlin and Hamburg, where Hitler reserved the right to appoint the mayors for himself). He also had considerable influence over smaller towns as well; while their mayors were appointed by the state governors, as mentioned earlier the governors were responsible to him.

Bundesarchiv Bild 121-0008, Sudetenland, Besuch Wilhelm Frick
Frick (2nd from left) with Konrad Henlein on visit in Sudetenland, 1938

Frick was instrumental in the racial policy of Nazi Germany drafting laws against Jewish citizens, like the "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service" and the notorious Nuremberg Laws in September 1935.[4] Already in July 1933, he had implemented the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring including forced sterilizations, which later culminated in the killings of the Action T4 "euthanasia" programme supported by his ministry. Frick also took a leading part in Germany's re-armament in violation of the 1919 Versailles Treaty. He drafted laws introducing universal military conscription and extending the Wehrmacht service law to Austria after the 1938 Anschluss, as well as to the "Sudetenland" territories of the First Czechoslovak Republic annexed according to the Munich Agreement.[8]

In the summer of 1938 Frick was named the patron (Schirmherr) of the Deutsches Turn- und Sportfest in Breslau, a patriotic sports festival attended by Hitler and much of the Nazi leadership. In this event he presided the ceremony of "handing over" the new Nazi Reich Sports League (NSRL) standard to Reichssportführer Hans von Tschammer und Osten, marking the further nazification of sports in Germany.[9] On 11 November 1938, Frick promulgated the Regulations Against Jews' Possession of Weapons.

From the mid-to-late 1930s Frick lost favour irreversibly within the Nazi Party after a power struggle involving attempts to resolve the lack of coordination within the Reich government.[10] For example, in 1933 he tried to restrict the widespread use of "protective custody" orders that were used to send people to concentration camps, only to be begged off by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. His power was greatly reduced in June 1936 when Hitler named Himmler the Chief of German Police, which for all intents and purposes effectively united the police with the SS. On paper, Frick was Himmler's immediate superior. In fact, the police were now independent of Frick's control, since the SS was responsible only to Hitler.[11][12] A long-running power struggle between the two culminated in Frick being replaced by Himmler as Minister of the Interior in 1943. However, he remained in the cabinet as a minister without portfolio. Besides Hitler, he and Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk were the only members of the Third Reich's cabinet to serve continuously from Hitler's appointment as Chancellor until his death.

Frick's replacement as Reich Minister of the Interior did not reduce the growing administrative chaos and infighting between party and state agencies.[13] Frick was then appointed as Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, making him Hitler's personal representative in the Czech Lands. Its capital Prague, where Frick used ruthless methods to counter dissent, was one of the last Axis-held cities to fall at the end of World War II in Europe.[14]

Trial and execution

Nuremberg Trials defendant Wilhelm Frick in his cell 1945.jpeg
Frick in his cell, November 1945
Dead wilhelmfrick
The corpse of Frick after his execution at Nuremberg, 1946

Frick was arrested and tried before the Nuremberg Trials, where he was the only defendant besides Rudolf Hess who refused to testify on his own behalf.[15] Frick was convicted of planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and for his role in formulating the Enabling Act as Minister of the Interior and the Nuremberg Laws – under these laws people were deported to concentration camps, and many of those were murdered there. Frick was also accused of being one of the highest persons responsible for the existence of the concentration camps.[8]

Frick was sentenced to death on 1 October 1946, and was hanged at Nuremberg Prison on 16 October. Of his execution, journalist Joseph Kingsbury-Smith wrote:

The sixth man to leave his prison cell and walk with handcuffed wrists to the death house was 69-year-old Wilhelm Frick. He entered the execution chamber at 2.05 am, six minutes after Rosenberg had been pronounced dead. He seemed the least steady of any so far and stumbled on the thirteenth step of the gallows. His only words were, "Long live eternal Germany," before he was hooded and dropped through the trap.[16][17]

His body, as those of the other nine executed men and the corpse of Hermann Göring, was cremated at Ostfriedhof (Munich) and the ashes were scattered in the river Isar.[18][19][20]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience, p 103, ISBN 0-674-01172-4
  2. ^ Biographie, Deutsche. "Frick, Wilhelm - Deutsche Biographie". www.deutsche-biographie.de.
  3. ^ "Deutsches Historisches Museum: Fehler2". www.dhm.de.
  4. ^ a b "Index Fo-Fy". rulers.org.
  5. ^ "Nurnbergprocessen 1". www.bjornetjenesten.dk.
  6. ^ Evans, Richard J. (2003). The Coming of the Third Reich. New York City: Penguin Press. ISBN 978-0141009759.
  7. ^ "Nazi Party organizations, Reich Interior Minister: Wilhelm Frick (1933–1943)".
  8. ^ a b "Nuremberg Trial Defendants: Wilhelm Frick". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org.
  9. ^ Dr. Frick presiding the Breslau Games
  10. ^ A legalistic follower, rather than an initiator, Frick the servant increasingly lost favour with his master, apparently because he misunderstood the basic nature of the Fuhrer's governance. Whereas the Third Reich thrived on inconsistencies, rivalries, and constant evolutionary change, Frick's juristic mind longed for order and legal stabilization. The incongruity was insuperable and it was thus logical enough that in 1943 the minister, whose share of practical power had rapidly diminished in the second half of the 1930s, ultimately even lost his official post.Udo Sautter, Canadian Journal of History
  11. ^ Longerich, Peter (2012). Heinrich Himmler: A Life, Oxford University Press, p. 204.
  12. ^ Williams, Max (2001). Reinhard Heydrich: The Biography: Volume 1, Ulric, p. 77.
  13. ^ Hans Mommsen, The Dissolution of the Third Reich (1943–1945) Archived 7 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Trial:Wilhelm Frick Archived 2 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "The trial of German major war criminals : proceedings of the International Military Tribunal sitting at Nuremberg Germany". avalon.law.yale.edu.
  16. ^ Joseph Kingsbury-Smith, who witnessed the execution of Wilhelm Frick and nine other leaders of the Nazi Party on 1st October 1946 Archived 24 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Today, one can see Wilhelm Frick's military dress uniform at Motts Military Museum in Groveport, Ohio. The uniform was found in his home shortly after Frick was arrested in 1945. The soldier who found and brought the items home was a member of the CIC (Counter Intelligence Corps). Richard Roberts was an attorney from Columbus, Ohio who spent the war years in espionage and counter intelligence.
  18. ^ Thomas Darnstädt (2005), "Ein Glücksfall der Geschichte", Der Spiegel, 13 September (14), p. 128
  19. ^ Manvell 2011, p. 393.
  20. ^ Overy 2001, p. 205.

Further reading

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Franz Bracht
German Minister of the Interior
Succeeded by
Heinrich Himmler
Government offices
Preceded by
Konstantin von Neurath
Kurt Daluege (acting)
Protector of Bohemia and Moravia
Succeeded by
Office abolished
1930 in Germany

Events in the year 1930 in Germany.


Alsenz is a municipality in the Donnersbergkreis district, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Alsenz has an area of 12.88 km² and a population of 1,793 (as of December 31, 2006).

Eidgenössische Sammlung

Eidgenössische Sammlung (German; literally "Confederate Collection") was a Swiss political party, founded in 1940 by Robert Tobler as a successor to the recently dissolved National Front.The party demanded an adjustment in Swiss policy to favour the Axis powers. This was particularly important as, after June 1940 the country was surrounded by fascist and Nazi states. It was open in its loyalty towards Nazi Germany.The Eidgenössiche Sammlung was closely supervised by the state because of its origins and so could not develop freely. In 1943 the police finally cracked down on the group and it was outlawed along with all of its sub-organisations as part of a wider government initiative against the National Front and its offshoots.

Expert Committee on Questions of Population and Racial Policy

The Expert Committee on Questions of Population and Racial Policy (German: Sachverständigen-Beirat für Bevölkerungsfragen und Rassenpolitik) was a Nazi Germany committee formed on 2 June 1933 that planned Nazi racial policy. On July 14, 1933, the committee's recommendations were made law as the Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring, or the "Sterilization Law".The committee was organized by Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick, and brought together many important Nazi figures on racial theory, including Ernst Rudin, Alfred Ploetz, Arthur Gutt, Heinrich Himmler, Fritz Thyssen, Fritz Lenz, Friedrich Burgdorfer, Walther Darre, Hans F. K. Günther, Charlotte von Hadeln, Bodo Spiethoff, Paul Schultze-Naumburg, Gerhard Wagner, and Baldur von Schirach.

Fritz Klimsch

Fritz Klimsch (10 February 1870 – 30 March 1960) was a German sculptor, and the younger brother of the painter Paul Klimsch. He was one of the famous artists in the era of Weimar republic.

Klimsch was born on 10 February 1870 in Frankfurt am Main to a family of artists, studying at the Royal College for the Academic Fine Arts in Berlin, and was then a student of Fritz Schaper. In 1898, Klimsch was a founding member of the Berlin Secession.

After the seizure of power by the Nazis, they ordered artworks at the established artist, e.g. busts of Adolf Hitler, Erich Ludendorff and Wilhelm Frick. According to a diary entry by Joseph Goebbels, Klimsch was the most mature of our sculptors. A genius.. In September 1944, Goebbels added Klimsch to the Gottbegnadeten list, a list of prominent artists considered crucial to Nazi Culture, and became one of only 12 visual artists to be featured on the list. After Nazi Germany's defeat in World War II, Klimsch and his family settled in Salzburg, Austria, but in 1946 was deported by the local burgermeister, Richard Hildmann, for being a German citizen. The family moved to Freiburg im Breisgau, in Baden-Württemberg, West Germany. Klimsch's was never a member of the Nazi Party, but being honored by the Nazi regime made him a controversial post-war figure, and led to his expulsion from the academy of the arts in 1955. However shortly before his death in 1960, Klimsch received the Federal Cross of Merit from Hans Filbinger, the Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, on his 90th birthday.

Kilmsch died on 30 March 1960 in Freiburg im Breisgau, and was buried in Saig bei Lenzkirch, where he was an honorary citizen.

German re-armament

German rearmament (Aufrüstung, German pronunciation: [ˈaʊ̯fˌʀʏstʊŋ]) was a policy and practice of rearmament carried out in Germany during the interwar period (1918–1939), in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. It began on a small, secret, and informal basis shortly after the treaty was signed, but it was massively expanded after the Nazi Party came to power in 1933.

Despite its scale, German re-armament remained a largely covert operation, carried out using front organizations such as glider clubs for training pilots, and sporting clubs and Nazi SA militia groups for teaching infantry combat techniques. Front companies like MEFO were set up to finance the rearmament by placing massive orders with Krupp, Siemens, Gutehofnungshütte, and Rheinmetall for weapons forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles.

Carl von Ossietzky exposed the reality of the German rearmament in 1931 and his disclosures won him the 1935 Nobel Peace Prize but he was imprisoned, tortured and killed by the Nazis in 1938. Von Ossietzky's disclosures also triggered the Re-armament policy in the United Kingdom, which escalated after Adolf Hitler withdrew Germany from the League of Nations and the World Disarmament Conference in 1933.Despite notable warnings by Carl von Ossietzky, Winston Churchill and others, successive governments across Europe failed to effectively recognize, cooperate and respond to the potential danger posed by Germany's re-armament. Outside of Germany, a global disarmament movement was popular after World War I and Europe's democracies continued to elect governments that supported disarmament even as Germany pursued re-armament. By the late 1930s the German military was easily capable of overwhelming its neighbors and the rapidly successful German conquests of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France proved just how poorly prepared Germany's neighbors were to defend themselves.

Konstantin von Neurath

Konstantin Hermann Karl Freiherr von Neurath (2 February 1873 – 14 August 1956) was a German diplomat remembered mostly for having served as Foreign minister of Germany between 1932 and 1938. Holding this post in the early years of Adolf Hitler's regime, Neurath was regarded as playing a key role in the foreign policy pursuits of the Nazi dictator in undermining the Treaty of Versailles and territorial expansion in the prelude to World War II, although he was often averse to Hitler's aims tactically if not necessarily ideologically. This aversion eventually induced Hitler to replace Neurath with the more compliant and fervent Nazi Joachim von Ribbentrop.

Neurath served as "Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia" between 1939 and 1943, though his authority was only nominal after September 1941. He was tried as a major war criminal in Nuremberg and sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment for his compliance and actions in the Nazi regime.

Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service

The Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service (German: Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums, shortened to Berufsbeamtengesetz), also known as Civil Service Law, Civil Service Restoration Act, and Law to Re-establish the Civil Service, was a law passed by the National Socialist regime of Germany on 7 April 1933, two months after Adolf Hitler had attained power.

Article 1 of the Law claimed that in order to re-establish a "national" and "professional" civil service, members of certain groups of tenured civil servants were to be dismissed. Civil servants who were not of Aryan descent were to retire. Non-Aryans were defined as someone descended from non-Aryans, especially those descended from Jewish parents, or grandparents. Members of the Communist Party, or any related or associated organisation were to be dismissed. This meant that Jews, other non Aryans, and political opponents could not serve as teachers, professors, judges, or other government positions. Shortly afterward, a similar law was passed concerning lawyers, doctors, tax consultants, musicians, and notaries.

As the law was first drafted by the Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick, all those of "non-Aryan descent" were to be fired immediately at the Reich, Länder and municipal levels of government. However, the President of Germany, Paul von Hindenburg objected to the bill until it had been amended to exclude three classes of civil servants from the ban:

World War I veterans who had served at the front

those who had been in the civil service continuously since 1 August 1914 (i.e. since the start of the War)

those who lost a father or son in combat in the Great WarHitler agreed to these amendments and the bill was signed into law on 7 April 1933. In practice, the amendments excluded most Jewish civil servants and not until after Hindenburg's death in 1934, were they disallowed. Nonetheless, passage of the Berufsbeamtengesetz was a crucial turning point in the history of German Jewry for it marked the first time since the last German Jews had been emancipated in 1871 that an anti-Semitic law had been passed in Germany. In one particularly notable example of the law's effect, Albert Einstein resigned his position at the Prussian Academy of Sciences and emigrated to the United States before he could be expelled.

List of honorary citizens of Berlin

Recipients of the honorary citizenship of Berlin (German: Ehrenbürger von Berlin), in order of date of presentation. In total 119 people have been awarded honorary citizenship.

Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk

Johann Ludwig "Lutz" Graf Schwerin von Krosigk (Born Johann Ludwig von Krosigk; 22 August 1887 – 4 March 1977) was a German senior government official who served as Minister of Finance of Germany from 1932 to 1945 and de facto Chancellor of Germany in May 1945.

A non-partisan conservative, he was appointed to the post by Franz von Papen in 1932. At the request of President Paul von Hindenburg, he continued in that office under Kurt von Schleicher and Adolf Hitler. He and his ministry were involved in the persecution of German and European Jews, including by stealing their property, and laundering money. During May 1945, after the suicides of Hitler and his designated successor Joseph Goebbels, he also served as "Leading Minister" of the short-lived Flensburg government of President Karl Dönitz. Schwerin von Krosigk also held the essentially nominal offices of Foreign Minister and Finance Minister in the provisional government that controlled only a small, progressively shrinking portion of Germany, due to the rapid advance of the Allied forces who finally dissolved it and arrested its members.

Besides Adolf Hitler himself, Schwerin von Krosigk and Wilhelm Frick were the only members of the Third Reich's cabinet to serve continuously from Hitler's appointment as Chancellor until his death. By receiving the golden National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) Badge from Adolf Hitler, given for honour on 30 January 1937, he became a member of the NSDAP (membership number: 3,805,231). He also joined the Academy of German Law in 1937.

At the 1949 Ministries Trial, he was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to 10 years in jail; his sentence was commuted in 1951. He later worked as an author and publicist.

Nazi concentration camps

Nazi Germany maintained concentration camps (German: Konzentrationslager, KZ or KL) throughout the territories it controlled before and during the Second World War. The first Nazi camps were erected in Germany in March 1933 immediately after Hitler became Chancellor and his Nazi Party was given control of the police by Reich Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick and Prussian Acting Interior Minister Hermann Göring. Used to hold and torture political opponents and union organizers, the camps initially held around 45,000 prisoners. In 1933–1939, before the onset of war, most prisoners consisted of German Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats, Roma, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, and persons accused of 'asocial' or socially 'deviant' behavior by the Germans.Heinrich Himmler's Schutzstaffel (SS) took full control of the police and the concentration camps throughout Germany in 1934–35. The role of the camps expanded to hold so-called "undesirables" such as Jews, Romanis/Sintis, Serbs, Soviet POWs, Poles, disabled people, and clergymen. The number of people in the camps, which had fallen to 7,500, grew again to 21,000 by the start of World War II and peaked at 715,000 in January 1945.Beginning in 1934 the concentration camps were administered by the Concentration Camps Inspectorate (CCI), which in 1942 was merged into SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt, and they were guarded by SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV).

Holocaust scholars draw a distinction between concentration camps (described in this article) and extermination camps, which were established by Nazi Germany for the industrial-scale mass murder of Jews in the ghettos by way of gas chambers.

Nuremberg executions

The Nuremberg executions took place on 16 October 1946, shortly after the conclusion of the Nuremberg Trials. Ten prominent members of the political and military leadership of Nazi Germany were executed by hanging: Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Alfred Jodl, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Alfred Rosenberg, Fritz Sauckel, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, and Julius Streicher. Hermann Göring was also scheduled to be hanged on that day, but committed suicide using a potassium cyanide capsule the night before. Martin Bormann was also sentenced to death in absentia, but reportedly had committed suicide while attempting to escape Berlin on 2 May 1945.

The sentences were carried out in the gymnasium of Nuremberg Prison by the United States Army using the standard drop method instead of long drop.The executioners were Master Sergeant John C. Woods and his assistant, military policeman Joseph Malta. Woods may have miscalculated the lengths for the ropes used for the executions, such that some of the men did not die quickly of an intended broken neck but instead strangled to death slowly.Some reports indicated some executions took from 14 minutes to 28 minutes. The Army denied claims that the drop length was too short or that the condemned died from strangulation instead of a broken neck.Additionally, the trapdoor was too small, such that several of the condemned suffered bleeding head injuries when they hit the sides of the trapdoor while dropping through.The bodies were rumored to have been taken to Dachau for cremation, but were instead incinerated in a crematorium in Munich and the ashes scattered over the river Isar.Kingsbury Smith of the International News Service wrote an eyewitness account of a reporter watching the hangings. His historical press account of it appeared with photos in newspapers.

Order of the German Eagle

The Order of the German Eagle (German: Verdienstorden vom Deutschen Adler) was an award of the German Nazi regime, predominantly to foreign diplomats. The Order was instituted on 1 May 1937 by Adolf Hitler.

It ceased to be awarded following the collapse of Nazi Germany at the end of World War II in Europe. The wearing of the Order of the German Eagle is prohibited in the Federal Republic of Germany.

People's Court (Bavaria)

The People's Courts of Bavaria (Volksgerichte) were Sondergerichte (special courts) established by Kurt Eisner during the German Revolution in November 1918 and part of the Ordnungszelle that lasted until May 1924 after handing out more than 31,000 sentences. It was composed of two judges and three lay judges. One of its most notable trials was that of the Beer Hall Putsch conspirators, including Adolf Hitler, Erich Ludendorff, Wilhelm Frick, Friedrich Weber, and Ernst Röhm, which lasted from 26 February 1924 until 1 April 1924.Initially established in each court district by the Order of 16 November 1918 (Verordnung vom 16 November 1918) by the government of Kurt Eisner, it was furthered by the government of Johannes Hoffmann in the Law on the Establishment of People's Courts in Civil Disturbances of 12 July 1919 (Gesetz über die Einsetzung von Volksgerichten bei inneren Unruhen vom 12 Juli 1919). An agreement between the federal government and the government of Bavaria had fixed the deadline for the abolition of the courts on 1 April 1924. In this form they remained until May 1924 after handing out more than 31,000 sentences. Initially intended as a short-term solution for events surrounding the German Revolution, they became seen as part of the Ordnungszelle.


The Reichskunstwart (German: Imperial Art Protector) was an official position within the Ministry of the Interior of the Weimar Republic, which was concerned with artistic matters and other regulatory issues. It mediated between regulators and artists. Its official address was Berlin NW 40, Platz der Republik 6. The role also covered monitoring the aesthetic quality of the new currency, lags, stamps and other such emblematic creations of the Weimar state.When the post was announced, a number of people were suggested including Ernst Grisebach, Wilhelm Worringer, Wilhelm Valentiner. However on 29 December 1919, Edwin Redslob was appointed to the post. His investiture occurred on 1 July 1920. On 27 February 1933, the new Minister of the Interior, Wilhelm Frick, ordered the immediate dismissal of Redslob. The duties of the position were transferred to the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.


Reichsleiter (national leader or Reich leader) was the second highest political rank of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), next only to the office of Führer. Reichsleiter also served as a paramilitary rank in the Nazi Party and was the highest position attainable in any Nazi organisation.The Reichsleiter reported directly to Adolf Hitler. The Reichsleiter formed part of the Reichsleitung of the NSDAP which was originally located in the "Brown House" in Munich.


The Sicherheitspolizei (English: Security Police), often abbreviated as SiPo, was a term used in Germany for security police. In the Nazi era, it was used to describe the state political and criminal investigation security agencies. It was made up by the combined forces of the Gestapo (secret state police) and the Kriminalpolizei (criminal police; Kripo) between 1936 and 1939. As a formal agency, the SiPo was folded into the RSHA in 1939, but the term continued to be used informally until the end of World War II in Europe.

Situation Hopeless... But Not Serious

Situation Hopeless... But Not Serious is a 1965 comedy film directed by Gottfried Reinhardt and starring Alec Guinness, Mike Connors and Robert Redford. It is based on the novel The Hiding Place by Robert Shaw.

The title is a variation of an old Viennese saying; "The situation is desperate but not serious."

The Immortals (neo-Nazis)

The Immortals (German Die Unsterblichen) was a neo-Nazi organization based in Germany that uses flash mobs to coordinate, gather and demonstrate. The members wear black clothing with white facial masks and carry torches when they march.

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Notable members
Related articles
Major defendants at the Nuremberg trials
Sentenced to death
Imprisoned (terms)
No decision

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