Gustav Adolf Scheel

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Gustav Adolf Scheel (1937)

Gustav Adolf Scheel (born November 22, 1907 in Rosenberg (Baden) , † March 25, 1979 in Hamburg ) was a German doctor , National Socialist functionary and SS leader , most recently with the rank of SS-Obergruppenführer and general of the police . During the time of National Socialism he was, among other things, Reich student leader . After the campaign in the west , he was in command of the security police and SD in occupied Alsace . From 1941 he was Gauleiter and Reich Governor in Salzburg . Arrested and interned several times after the war , he lived as a resident doctor in Hamburg from 1954 until his death.

Life until 1933

The son of a Protestant pastor attended humanistic grammar schools in Freiburg, Tauberbischofsheim and Mannheim . Even as a schoolboy he was involved in the nationalist wing of the German youth movement ( Deutsche Freischar , Großdeutscher Jugendbund ). He came into contact with Nazi circles early on.

From 1928 he studied law, economics and theology at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg in order to become a pastor. He intensified his work in student circles and joined the Association of German Students Heidelberg (VDSt) in the winter semester of 1928/29 . A year later he was chairman of this corporation.

In 1929 he joined the National Socialist German Student Union (NSDStB), on October 1, 1930 the SA and on December 1, 1930 the NSDAP ( membership number 391.271). He moved to Tübingen for a short time and began studying medicine , which he continued at the University of Heidelberg . After returning to Heidelberg, he quickly became one of the main propagandists of the National Socialists at the university. As a university group leader of the NSDStB, he led the rallies of Heidelberg students against the pacifist Emil Gumbel , which led to the revocation of his teaching license in 1932.

After the NSDAP came to power in 1933

Full-time student functionary

In May 1933 he took part in organizing the book burning in Heidelberg and also appeared as a speaker at the Heidelberg book burning .

In 1933 Scheel also became chairman of the Heidelberg AStA . During this time he became a mentor of Hanns Martin Schleyer , who joined the NSDAP and the SS under Scheel's guidance. In addition, in his capacity as leader of the Heidelberg student body and member of the rector's management staff, Scheel influenced the university's appointments and personnel policy.

Scheel on the takeover of Karl Ferdinand University and the German Technical University in the Reich administration (Prague, November 4, 1939)

In April 1934 Scheel passed his medical state examination, completed his medical internship and obtained his doctorate in Heidelberg at the end of May 1935. med. He was also appointed to the federal leadership of the NSDStB and appointed Reichsstudentenführer on November 6, 1936 - in this capacity head of the NSDStB and the German student body in personal union . With that Scheel was chief of the NSDAP. As a student functionary and later also as the owner of control over the German Student Union , when it was subordinated to the Reich Student Leader, Scheel advocated the exclusion of "students of Jewish descent" from the "usufruct of social facilities at the university" . On May 26, 1939, the Reichsstudentenführer opened the Institute for Student History and University Studies headed by Arnold Brügmann at the Marienberg Fortress in Würzburg .

Simultaneous career in the SS and the SD

Scheel had been a member of the SS since mid-September 1934 (SS no. 107.189) and from this point on he made a rapid career as a full-time SD employee within this Nazi secret service. Between August 1935 and September 1939 he was in charge of the SD Upper Section Southwest with an office in Stuttgart . As a student functionary, he brought a large number of young Nazi academics to the SD who held high positions after Operation Barbarossa during the German-Soviet War ( Walter Stahlecker , Martin Sandberger , Erwin Weinmann , Albert Rapp , Erich Ehrlinger and Eugen Steimle ). All of the named then went through various departments of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) and became leaders of various task forces after the war against the Soviet Union began .

After the occupation of France and the assignment of Alsace to the NSDAP Gau Baden-Alsace , Scheel acted as commander of the Sipo ( security police ) and the SD in the civil administration in Alsace. On July 2, 1940, he commanded the two Einsatzkommandos (see below) that were subordinate to him , the establishment of the Schirmeck-Vorbruck security camp in a barrack camp set up by the French army, which was opened on August 2, 1940.

All SS violence in Alsace was in his hands.

In October 1940 he organized the deportation of the Karlsruhe Jews as part of the Wagner-Bürckel campaign .

Gauleiter in Salzburg

In 1941 he was already an SS brigade leader and major general of the police. Scheel was from May 1, 1941 to November 24, 1941 Higher SS and Police Leader Alpenland and was appointed Gauleiter and Reich Governor of the Reichsgau Salzburg on November 27, 1941 . After uncovering resistance groups in Salzburg, he organized a large-scale wave of arrests and several executions of railway workers.

In 1943 he campaigned against the " White Rose " resistance group to ensure that its members were "not executed as students" but as "anti-social former members of the Wehrmacht" . In his view, these “criminals” shouldn't have tarnished the image of the student body.

From the end of June 1944, Scheel became the "Reichsdozentenführer" head of the National Socialist German Lecturer Association . He succeeded Walter Schultze here .

On August 1, 1944, Scheel was promoted to SS-Obergruppenführer and at the same time to Gauleiter and Presidential Council in the Reich Research Council .

When Germany's defeat became apparent in 1944/45, he was still leader of the Volkssturm in the Salzburg district. On April 29, 1945 appointed him Adolf Hitler in his political testament to the Reich Minister of Science, Education and Popular Culture . According to the Archbishop of Salzburg, Andreas Rohracher , at his request at the end of the war, Scheel revoked the order to defend the city of Salzburg and thus prevented the city from being destroyed.

In the post-war period, despite his serious crimes, Scheel was regarded as a “model National Socialist” who looked after students and universities and had patriotic features. In more recent research it is assessed in a more differentiated manner. Because of the lack of scandals and affairs and his rejection of corruption, he is judged more favorably than other Nazi figures. The salvation of Salzburg, which he is credited with, but which is based only on the testimony of a single “witness”, is usually noted positively.

At the end of the war, Scheel brought the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and SS collaborator Mohammed Amin al-Husseini , who was in Austria, from Salzburg with a "reliable man" across the Swiss border to safety from the Allies. For this reason the Grand Mufti Scheel was very grateful; Der Spiegel even states that as a result of this, Scheel received an invitation to Tehran as a doctor and clinic director in 1952, which he declined.

Life after 1945

After Salzburg was surrendered to the Americans without a fight on May 4, Scheel fled, but surrendered to the Americans in St. Veit on May 14, 1945 and was interned. After several positions in camps and prisons, he was released from prison on December 24, 1947. At his own request, he was interned again and taken to Heidelberg for denazification . In the court proceedings there , he was sentenced to five years in a labor camp in 1948 and classified as the "main culprit". His license to practice medicine was revoked . On December 24, 1948, after an appeal, he was classified as an "accomplice". The Archbishop of Salzburg, Andreas Rohracher, intervened in his favor ; because at the end of the war, at his request, Scheel had ignored the order to defend the city and thus prevented the threatened destruction. Scheel then received his license to practice medicine again and was released.

He then worked initially as a night worker in the Port of Hamburg and from the summer of 1949 was a doctor in a Hamburg hospital, then an assistant doctor at the Rautenberg Hospital in Hamburg.

From 1951 to 1953 he was part of the Naumann circle along with other Nazi figures such as Werner Best . In January 1953 he was arrested by the British military police on suspicion of setting up a secret organization and later turned over to German authorities. Scheel spent half a year in the Werl prison and Karlsruhe prison. He was released on June 17, 1953. His case was dropped on December 3, 1954. A friend of his at that time was the former NSDAP politician Alfred Eduard Frauenfeld, who also lived in Hamburg .

From February 1954 to April 8, 1977 he was a resident doctor in Hamburg. Scheel was close friends with Hanns Martin Schleyer until his death.

Scheel had been married since 1935 and had three children.


  • Europe. Handbook of the political, economic and cultural development of the new Europe. Edited by the German Institute for Foreign Policy Research, preface by Joachim von Ribbentrop . Helingsche Publishing House, Leipzig 1943; therein "Reichsstudentenführer Gauleiter Dr. Gustav Adolf Scheel": European studentism.
  • GA Scheel: Discours aux étudiants français, in: German-French monthly DFM, March – April 1938, pp. 106–108 (additional speech in February 1938 in Munich).


Web links


  1. In some sources March 23 is mentioned differently.
  2. ^ Hermann Weiß:  Scheel, Gustav Adolf. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 22, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-428-11203-2 , p. 603 ( digitized version ).
  3. ^ Kyffhäuser Association of German Student Associations. Address book. Vol. 12, 1931, ZDB -ID 504756-0 , p. 194.
  4. For more information, see Lutz Hachmeister : Schleyer. A German story. Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-406-51863-X .
  5. Peter Weidisch: Würzburg in the "Third Reich". In: Ulrich Wagner (Hrsg.): History of the city of Würzburg. 4 volumes, Volume I-III / 2, Theiss, Stuttgart 2001-2007; III / 1–2: From the transition to Bavaria to the 21st century. 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-1478-9 , pp. 196-289 and 1271-1290; here: p. 256 f.
  6. ^ Lothar Kettenacker: National Socialist Volkstumsppolitik in Alsace . Deutsche Verlagsanstalt, Stuttgart 1973, ISBN 3-421-01621-6 , p. 246.
  7. Andreas Pflock: Security Camp Schirmeck-Vorbruck - A first overview of the history of events and reception. PDF In: Memorial circular 133/2006 , Berlin 2006, p. 17.
  8. Ernst Hanisch : Gau of the good nerves. The National Socialist rule in Salzburg 1938–1945. Pustet, Salzburg 1997, ISBN 3-7025-0325-0 , p. 138 ff.
  9. ^ Joachim Lilla : Gustav Scheel in the Bayerische Landesbibliothek Online
  10. the information cannot be verified; Rohracher himself was burdened with NS
  11. 1953
  12. ^ Ernst Klee : The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich . Who was what before and after 1945 (= Fischer. 16048). 2nd Edition. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8 , p. 162. (Source: BA N 1080/272).