German community day

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Law on the German Community Day of December 15, 1933

The German municipality day was during the time of National Socialism , the umbrella organization of German municipalities and municipal associations . It came into being in 1933 as a compulsory union of the former political level of the municipal umbrella organizations ( German Association of Cities , German District Association , Reichsstädtebund , Prussian Landgemeindetag West , German Landgemeindetag and Association of the Prussian Provinces ). He mediated the exchange of experiences in the municipal administration and prepared reports on legislative proposals of the ministries. In this way, the German Municipal Day represented an important communication and coordination platform for Nazi politics.

In 1950, the German Community Association, which was founded in 1947 as the successor to the German Land Community Association, was renamed the German Community Association . In 1973 this merged with the German Association of Cities to form the Association of German Cities and Towns .

The German Community Day under National Socialism


The German Community Congress was officially founded on May 22, 1933 with the consent of the chairmen and executive presidents of the previous umbrella organizations to convert their organizations into a new unitary association. In this way, the previous communal associations were forcibly merged in the course of the " Gleichschaltung ", in this case under pressure from Robert Ley in his function as Reich Organization Leader of the NSDAP and the NSDAP Reichsleiter Karl Fiehler in agreement with Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick . After the German Community Congress on December 15, 1933, took the form of a corporation under public law , all German communities could be forced to join. Subordinated to the supervision of the Reich Ministry of the Interior , which appointed the chairman, the members of the board of directors and the specialist committees, and "oversees" the NSDAP's Main Office for Local Policy, the German Local Council should, according to internal considerations of the NSDAP , implement unpopular measures of the regime through local political initiatives without that empire or states would have to take responsibility for it. In addition, it should be ensured that all communities would be administered in the National Socialist sense. At the same time, an institutionalized local political network was formed, which could give emphasis to the initiatives of individual cities.


On February 14, 1934, the Mayor of Munich , Reichsleiter of the NSDAP and head of the main office for local politics of the NSDAP, Karl Fiehler, became chairman of the community assembly . First deputy was the district mayor of Steglitz, Herbert Treff , and then the mayor of Halle (Saale), Johannes Weidemann . A head office was set up in Berlin with almost 200 civil servants and employees, most of whom had already worked in the former umbrella organizations. Kurt Jeserich became the managing director and Ralf Zeitler became his deputy . By autumn 1933, 23 sub-organizations had been set up in the German states and provinces, most of which were led by active members of the NSDAP on a voluntary basis. The sub-branches were later converted into 10 provincial and 9 provincial offices. After the “ Anschluss of Austria ” in 1938, a branch office of the Municipal Assembly was set up in Vienna , which ran six more offices in the “ Ostmark ”.

In addition to the central department, the office of the parish council itself was divided into six specialist departments, to which two further departments were added for the defense of the empire and eastern territories during the Second World War:

  • I: Constitution and administration and Ia: civil servant, employee and worker issues
  • II: Finance and Taxes
  • III: Welfare, Healthcare and Social Policy
  • IV: Economy and Transport
  • V: school system and Va: cultural maintenance
  • VI: Real estate, construction and housing
  • Rev: defense of the empire
  • Z (central department): general administration, management
  • Department for the Eastern Territories

18 specialist committees met regularly. Regionally organized working groups and working committees discussed current issues. In addition, the community day carried out surveys in order to be able to offer recommendations for exemplary problem solutions. The community day dealt with all political, social and economic matters of the Nazi state in principle. Individual cities were able to present, discuss, modify and coordinate ideas through the bodies and apparatus of the community day. In this way, local initiatives could be implemented centrally.

Dissolution in 1945

The German Community Day was viewed as part of the NSDAP's branches and dissolved by the Control Council Act No. 2 of the Allied Control Council of October 10, 1945. The municipal associations were then initially re-founded in separate form. The German Association of Cities was awarded the Berlin property and administration building of the Association Day. In 1951, together with the Berlin Senate , the “Association for the Care of Communal Scientific Tasks” was founded as an asset holder of the German Municipal Association, which took over the office building on “ Strasse des 17. Juni ”.

Service building

According to the plans of Karl Elkart and Walter Schlempps , the construction of a separate administration building for the community day began in 1938 on the east-west axis planned by Albert Speer between the Brandenburg Gate and Charlottenburg . The building, which was initially completed and occupied in 1942, but damaged in the war, was rebuilt after 1945 and renamed Ernst-Reuter-Haus in 1954 . However, as a result of the effects of the war in August 1943, the German Municipal Assembly had relocated part of its administrative offices to Wels in Austria.

Role of the community day during the National Socialist rule

The forums and meetings of the community day served to coordinate the administration in everyday rulership practice at regional and local level. The role of the community assembly in the National Socialist regime is therefore increasingly being reassessed. Originally, the community day was said to have asserted the interests of the communities against the ideas of the NSDAP. In fact, the community day was the target of sharp criticism from the "Main Office for Local Policy of the NSDAP" - regardless of the fact that Karl Fiehler headed both organizations. The aim was to eliminate the parish council, which was defamed as a remnant of the " system time ".

More recent research, on the other hand, has emphasized the active role of municipalities in the implementation and conception of National Socialist policies. “The community day”, as the historian Wolf Gruner summarizes, “represented a very independent political line in the persecution of the Jews, which at certain times was far more radical than that of the Nazi leadership.” Mobilizing function assigned. Without prejudice to the polycratic rulership structure of National Socialism, it enabled sustainable administrative action.


  • Federal Archives, Deutscher Gemeindetag, R 36. 1906–1945.
  • The parish day. Magazine for German community politics. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, Berlin 1933–1943.
  • News service of the German Community Assembly. , Berlin 1933, 1945.
  • Meeting of the boards of directors of the German Municipal Assembly and its state and provincial offices. , Berlin 1936, 1938.
  • Business distribution plan of the German Municipal Assembly. , Berlin 1941.
  • The rural community. Official Organ d. German community day for rural self-government. Cabbage hammer; New municipal publisher, Berlin 1936, 1941.
  • German Congregation Day 1936, Berlin. Meeting of the boards of directors of the German Municipal Assembly and its regional and provincial offices in Berlin on June 6, 1936. 1936.
  • German Congregation Day 1937, Berlin. Meeting of the boards of directors of the German Municipal Association and its state and provincial offices in Berlin on April 7th and 8th, 1937. 1937.
  • Law on the German Municipal Assembly and the statutes of the German Municipal Assembly. , Berlin 1934.
  • Heinz von Hausen and Bernhard Eckelmann: The German municipal code . January 30, 1935; with the first regulation for the implementation of the German municipal code of March 22, 1935, the first instruction for the implementation of the German municipal code of March 22, 1935, the provisional implementation instruction for the 6th part of the German municipal code of March 23, 1935, the regulation for the implementation of § 118 of the German Municipal Code of March 26, 1935 and the Thuringian Transitional Regulation to the German Municipal Code of April 5, 1935; Text output with references, comments and key words. Panse, Weimar 1934.
  • Budget of the German Municipal Assembly and its state and provincial offices. , Berlin 1934-1940.
  • Municipal archive. Berg, Berlin 1934–1940.
  • Municipal Legislative Archives. KGA; based on the system of the municipal budget. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, Berlin 1939, 1939.
  • The National Socialist Community. Central bl. d. NSDAP for local politics. Rather, Munich 1943, 1944.
  • Heinz Steffens: Law on the general state administration of July 30, 1883 in the currently applicable version, and law on the adaptation of the state administration to the principles of the National Socialist state - Adaptation Act - of December 15, 1933. Deutscher Gemeindetag, Berlin 1937.
  • Heinz Steffens: The trade regulations. On hand d. Files d. German Community days under consideration. d. latest jurisprudence for communities. German Municipal Day, Berlin 1938, 1938.
  • Ralf Zeitler: Statistical yearbook of German municipalities. Fischer, Jena.
  • Journal of Public Economics. Neuer Kommunalverl., Berlin 1934, 1944.


  • Horst Matzerath : National Socialism and Local Self-Government. Stuttgart 1970.
  • Wolf Gruner : Public welfare and persecution of the Jews. Interaction between local and central politics in the Nazi state (1933–1942). Munich 2002.
  • Wolf Gruner: The municipalities under National Socialism. Domestic political actors and their powerful networking. In: Sven Reichardt u. Wolfgang Seibel (Ed.): The precarious state. Rule and administration under National Socialism. Frankfurt / Main 2011, pp. 167-211.
  • Bernhard Gotto: Polycratic self-stabilization. Middle and lower levels of authority in the Nazi dictatorship. In: Rüdiger Hachtmann u. Winfried Suss (ed.): Hitler's commissioners. Special powers in the National Socialist dictatorship. Göttingen 2006, pp. 28–50 (= contributions to the history of National Socialism 22).

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gruner: Public welfare and the persecution of the Jews. Pp. 321-322.