Hans Heinrich Lammers

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Hans Heinrich Lammers (1921)

Hans Heinrich Lammers (born May 27, 1879 in Lublinitz ; † January 4, 1962 in Düsseldorf ) was a German judge , administrative lawyer and ministerial official . In the time of National Socialism he was head of the Reich Chancellery . In the Wilhelmstrasse Trial in 1949 he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity .


Lammers, son of a veterinarian, attended the Protestant Princely School in Pless . After graduating from high school , he studied law at the Silesian Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Breslau and the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg . In Breslau he became a member of the Miltenberg Association Wratislavia Breslau. He passed his legal traineeship exam in 1901 and served as a one-year volunteer in the Prussian Army (1906 lieutenant d. R.). In 1904 he was promoted to Dr. iur. PhD . After the great state examination (1907) he entered the Prussian administration of justice . Initially a court assessor in Breslau, in 1912 he became a district judge in Beuthen , Upper Silesia . On April 29, 1913, he married Elfriede Tepel (1894–1945) in Gleiwitz , who gave birth to two daughters in 1914 and 1918.

First World War and Weimar Republic

In 1914 Lammers volunteered for the 4th Lower Silesian Infantry Regiment No. 51 in Wroclaw. He lost his left eye due to an injury in 1917. Therefore, transferred from the fighting troops to Upper East , he was most recently head of the finance department.

Appointed to the Reich Ministry of the Interior , Department I, at the end of 1920 , he became a senior government advisor in 1921 and a ministerial advisor and head of the constitutional department in the constitutional department in 1922 . He owed Theodor Lewald for his unusually rapid rise in the authority . In the constitutional law department he represented the Reich in trials against the states . His rejection of the Weimar Republic displeased social democratic MPs. Carl Severing reprimanded him in 1928 because he saw in a newspaper article by Lammers an "intentional degradation of the Reich constitution". The fact that Severing's predecessor, the German nationalist Walter von Keudell , had also passed over Lammers for promotions, is assumed to be the reason for joining the National Socialist German Workers' Party in February 1932. As a staunch monarchist and national-conservative civil servant, he had previously been a member of the German National People's Party , the Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten and the Berlin National Club from 1919 .

time of the nationalsocialism

Hitler congratulates Lammers on his 60th birthday
Reich Minister and Head of the Reich Chancellery: Hans Heinrich Lammers (1941)

On the day of Potsdam , the new Chancellor Adolf Hitler appointed Lammers State Secretary and Head of the Reich Chancellery. At this interface between Hitler and the Reich administrative authorities, he organized (with Martin Bormann , Otto Meissner and, from 1938, Wilhelm Keitel ) the business of government. Since there were hardly any cabinet meetings after 1933, he also transmitted Hitler's wishes and orders to the Reich ministries. It was Lammers who translated Hitler's often spontaneous intentions and plans into legally compatible legal texts, thereby ensuring their execution and implementation. Conversely, Lammers was also the decisive entry barrier to Hitler for all things not relevant to the party. Among other things, he helped his half-Jewish former sponsor Theodor Lewald , who had meanwhile become President of the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games in 1936 , to audiences with Hitler quickly and easily and helped to secure extremely generous funding for the Games. Lammers filtered the information and concerns that were brought to Hitler from the administration. Given Hitler's well-known aversion to office work and studying files, it was Lammers who compiled all of the things that were government-relevant from his point of view and then discussed them with Hitler in an oral lecture. Lammers also took over the administration of Hitler's personal assets instead of a salary (sale of stamps with his image, Adolf Hitler donation to the German economy, etc.), most of which were held by the Delbrück bank .

In February 1932 he became a member of the NSDAP, his party membership was registered with effect from March 1, 1932 under the number 1.010.355. His first political appearance for the NSDAP took place on September 24, 1932, when he gave a speech to the main speaker Goebbels at an event for officials in the Prussian state parliament.

On November 26, 1937, Hitler appointed him Reichsminister without portfolio with the official title Reichsminister and Head of the Reich Chancellery . In this function he was responsible for the endowments granted by Hitler .

On September 29, 1933, Lammers had joined the SS (SS No. 118.404) and had received the rank of SS Oberführer . This was followed by promotions to SS-Brigadführer (April 20, 1935), SS-Gruppenführer (January 30, 1938) and SS-Obergruppenführer (April 20, 1940). In 1933 he was one of the founding members of the National Socialist Academy for German Law and from the end of 1933 was leader of the Reich Association of German Administrative Academies .

From November 30, 1939, he was a managing member of the Ministerial Council for Reich Defense, which was chaired by Hermann Göring . Lammers was involved in the T4 campaign . This "euthanasia" camouflage organization was based in Berlin at Tiergartenstrasse 4 .

From 1937 Lammers had the Palais Von-der-Heydt-Straße 18 as his residence (today: headquarters of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation ). As early as 1934, with Hitler's permission, he was allowed to use the hunting lodge of the Reich President on Werbellinsee (former imperial hunting lodge, demolished in GDR times and rebuilt as the Hubertusstock hunting lodge ). In 1944 Hitler gave him the hunting lodge with a donation of 600,000 Reichsmarks for his services.

Leader of the student corporation associations

Lammers, a member of the black student union Wratislavia Breslau , was the leader of the Miltenberger Ring (MR). On September 21, 1933 he ordered the conversion of the MR-connections into corps , the introduction of the determination censorship and the accession to the National Socialist community of corps student associations ; this disintegrated in February 1934. In January 1935 he took over the leadership of the Association of Student Associations (GStV), which had the goal of “maintaining and strengthening” the corporate student body and at the same time committed itself to “constant internal educational work more and more in the National Socialist state to grow into ". In March 1935, the GStV was recognized by the NSDAP and the National Socialist German Student Union as the overall representative of the student associations. However, after Hitler internally expressed his general aversion to student connections in July 1935 and after there had been disagreements with several associations, Lammers resigned from the GStV in September 1935. This dissolved a few days later.

Trial and detention

Hans Heinrich Lammers (1947)
Hans Heinrich Lammers at the Wilhelmstrasse Trial, 1948

Shortly before the end of World War II , Lammers was arrested in April 1945 for supporting the attempt to replace Hitler with Göring. Before the execution by the SS ordered by Hitler, he was captured by American troops . Until August 1945 he was interned with other Nazi figures and high military personnel in the Luxembourg Bad Mondorf in Camp Ashcan .

On April 8 and 9, 1946, Lammers appeared as a witness in the Nuremberg trial of the major war criminals . In the Wilhelmstrasse Trial against employees of various ministries of the German Reich from 1933 to 1945 , he was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment by the IV Allied Military Tribunal on April 11, 1949 for war crimes and crimes against humanity , including participating in the murder of European Jews . On January 31, 1951, this sentence was reduced to 10 years by the American High Commissioner John Jay McCloy ; on December 16, 1951 he was pardoned and released from prison in Landsberg am Lech .



  • Imperial Constitution and Imperial Administration. Berlin 1929, addendum 1930.
  • Basics, structure and economic order of the National Socialist state. 3 vols., Berlin 1936.


  • Wolfgang Benz , Hermann Graml (Ed.): Biographical Lexicon for the Weimar Republic. Munich 1988.
  • Files of the party chancellery of the NSDAP. Reconstruction of a lost stock. Vol. 1-4. Edited by Helmut Heiber , Munich / Vienna 1983 f.
  • Peter Diehl-Thiele: Party and State in the Third Reich. Studies on the relationship between the NSDAP and general internal state administration 1933–1945. Munich 1969.
  • Georg Franz-Willing : The Reich Chancellery 1933–1945. Role and importance under the Hitler government. Tubingen 1984.
  • Robert MW Kempner , Carl Haensel : The verdict in the Wilhelmstrasse trial. Schwäbisch Gmünd 1950.
  • Peter Longerich : Hitler's deputy. Leadership of the party and control of the state apparatus by the Hess staff and the party chancellery Bormanns. Munich 1992.
  • The trial of the main criminals before the International Military Court in Nuremberg, November 14, 1945 to October 1, 1946. 21 double volumes, reprint. Munich 1976.
  • Dieter Rebentisch:  Lammers, Hans Heinrich. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 13, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1982, ISBN 3-428-00194-X , p. 449 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Dieter Rebentisch : Führer State and Administration in the Second World War. Constitutional development and administrative policy 1939–1945. Stuttgart 1989.
  • Dieter Rebentisch, Karl Teppe (Ed.): Administration versus leadership in the state of Hitler. Studies on the political-administrative system. Goettingen 1986.
  • Hermann Weiß (Ed.): Biographical Lexicon for the Third Reich . S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 3-10-091052-4 .

Web links

Commons : Hans Heinrich Lammers  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Dissertation: Hans Heinrich Lammers: Die Rentenschuld des Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, jur. Diss., University of Breslau, 1904, 44 pp.
  2. Lammers wears the uniform of an SS group leader of the General SS , on which the iron cross and the NSDAP party badge as well as a medal buckle are attached
  3. Arnd Krüger , Rolf Pfeiffer: Theodor Lewald and the instrumentalization of physical exercises and sport. In: Uwe Wick, Andreas Höfer (ed.): Willibald Gebhardt and his successors. (= Series of publications by the Willibald Gebhardt Institute, Vol. 14) Meyer & Meyer, Aachen 2012, ISBN 978-3-89899-723-2 , pp. 120–145.
  4. Lammers, Hans Heinrich (1879–1962) on future needs memory
  5. a b Gerd R. Ueberschär , Winfried Vogel : Serving and earning. Hitler's gifts to his elites. Frankfurt 1999, ISBN 3-10-086002-0 .
  6. ^ Yearbook of the Academy for German Law, 1st year 1933/34. Edited by Hans Frank. (Munich, Berlin, Leipzig: Schweitzer Verlag), p. 255.
  7. In: Uwe Hoßfeld , Jürgen John , Oliver Lemuth, Rüdiger Stutz (eds.): Combative Science: Studies at the University of Jena in National Socialism. Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar 2003 ( Google Books )
  8. ^ Raimond Reiter: Hitler's secret policy. Verlag Peter Lang 2008, ISBN 3-631-58146-7 , p. 92.
  9. Quoted from: Michael Grüttner : Students in the Third Reich. Paderborn 1995, p. 302.
  10. ^ Michael Grüttner: Students in the Third Reich. Paderborn 1995, p. 308 f.