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The NSDAP / AO was the foreign organization of the National Socialist German Workers' Party from 1931 to 1945 .


Organizational scheme (1937)

The party members living outside the borders of the German Reich were grouped together in a special structure, in the foreign organization - initially the foreign department - the NSDAP. On May 1, 1931, this organizational unit was founded on the initiative of Reich Organizational Leader Gregor Strasser and Hans Nieland was given its management . Nieland resigned on May 8, 1933, because he had meanwhile become head of the Hamburg police authority and later a member of the Hamburg state government. Thereupon Ernst Wilhelm Bohle was appointed head of the AO, which acted as the 43rd Gau (" Gau Auslands ") of the NSDAP.

The first grouping of NSDAP party members abroad took place in Paraguay in 1929 . Similar associations were formed in 1930 in Switzerland and the USA . The group in Switzerland was headed by Wilhelm Gustloff from 1932 until his murder in 1936 . These groups were officially recognized by the NSDAP only after the establishment of the foreign department: on August 7, 1931, the Buenos Aires branch , shortly afterwards the Paraguay branch (August 20, 1931) and the Rio de Janeiro branch (October 5, 1931). From 1932 until it was banned in October 1934, there was a national group in South West Africa , administered by the South African Union , which was very popular (see Deutschnamibier ) and had numerous offices in South West Africa (now Namibia ). Their influence expanded as a result of Friedrich von Lindequist's visit in April 1933. Local groups of the NSDAP abroad comprised at least 25, bases more than five party members. Large local groups could still be subdivided into blocks of a maximum of ten party members.

The task of the NSDAP / AO was the ideological training and uniform orientation of all party members on the interests of the German people and the German nation. Members of the AO could only be those who were Reich German ; the so-called Volksdeutsche ( people of German origin who had the nationality of the country in which they lived) were not allowed to join the party. In order to involve naturalized or local sympathizers, there were apron organizations associated with the NSDAP / AO, such as the Unión Alemana de Gremios in Argentina. When a National Socialist mass event with large swastika flags and support speeches for Hitler took place in Luna Park in Buenos Aires in 1938, according to investigations by the Argentine government, the local Nazi followers consisted of the 1,400 members of the foreign organization in addition to the 1,400 members of the foreign organization and 8,000 members organized in other National Socialist associations Followers.

middle East

From 1926 onwards, Alfred Heß , a brother of the later Hitler's deputy Rudolf Heß , built up the NSDAP / AO's Egyptian regional group . Since the group was not very successful at first, the Germans successfully threatened with a boycott of Egyptian cotton, the most important export good, after the transfer of power in 1933. The Egyptian government under King Fu'ad I then reversed its previously anti-Nazi policy and condemned the anti-German boycott movement in the country. In view of the German threat, the Egyptian press now also pilloryed the Jews as destroyers of the Egyptian economy, although such campaigns stopped again in 1936. In 1935 the National Socialists opened a branch of the German News Office in Cairo as a propaganda and secret service center. Just three years later, Germany had risen to become the second largest importer of Egyptian goods.

In autumn 1937, the Beirut group of the AO under its leader Geiger played an important role in the renewed contact of the Mufti Mohammed Amin al-Husseini with the National Socialists in anticipation of the coming war.


With the Control Council Act No. 2 of October 10, 1945, the foreign organization was banned by the Allied Control Council and their property was confiscated.

The leadership of the NSDAP / AO (as of 1937)

The foreign district was divided into (state) offices:

  1. Office I (Northern and Eastern Europe: Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden): Erwin Knörk (* 1901)
  2. Amt II (Western Europe (except Great Britain and Ireland): Algiers, Belgium, France, Las Palmas, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Oran, Portugal, Puerto de la Cruz, Spain, Sta. Cruz de Tenerife, Tunis; unsure: Spanish and French Morocco, islands in the Atlantic ): Friedrich Wilhelm Burbach
  3. Amt III (Southeast Europe, Austria and Middle East: Egypt, Afghanistan, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Iraq, Iran, Yugoslavia, Malta, Palestine, Romania, Syria, Czechoslovakia, Turkey): Rittmeister a. D. Rudolf stamp
  4. Amt IV (Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary): Hauptmann a. D. Richard Koderle
  5. Office V (Africa: Accra, Addis Ababa, Angola, Cameroon, Kenya Colony, Lagos, Monrovia, Port-East Africa, South West Africa, Tanganyika Territory, Union of South Africa): Wilhelm Bisse (* 1881)
  6. Office VI (North America: Canada, USA): Willy Grothe
  7. Office VII (Ibero America: Argentina, Aruba, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Paramaribo, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Venezuela ): Richard Wilhelm Zeißig (born January 27, 1897 in Böhlen near Leipzig , † January 6, 1942 near Wjasma ); June 1938: Regional group leader of Czechoslovakia in Prague. In 1940 he became national group leader of the NSDAP for occupied France in Paris; from June 1941: Eastern Front.
  8. Office VIII (Far East, Australia, Great Britain and Ireland: Australia, British India and Ceylon, China, Great Britain and Ireland, Japan, Manchuria, New Zealand, Netherlands Indies, Samoa, Siam): Rear Admiral a. D. Heinz-Eduard Menche
  9. Maritime Office (with the subordinate section heads): Kurt Wermke (* 1905 in Hamburg)
    1. Weser-Ems (Bremen)
    2. Western Baltic Sea (Kiel)
    3. Eastern Baltic Sea (Stettin)
  10. German Labor Front (DAF) of the foreign organization: Bernhard Ruberg
  11. Office for civil servants (Gau Abroad of the Reich Association of German Civil Servants): Georg Winkelmann
  12. Office for educators (Gau abroad of the National Socialist Teachers' Association (NSLB) ): Walter Lehne
  13. Gaudozentenbund tour abroad: Karl Klingenfuß
  14. Gaustudentenbund leadership abroad: Rolf Gutmann
  15. Gauobmann of the NS cultural community (without organization): Karl Klingenfuß
  16. Leadership of the Nazi Legal Guardian Association: Wolfgang Kraneck
  17. Working group of German women abroad: Wera Behr
  18. Youth Welfare Office (“Abroad” area of ​​the Hitler Youth): W. Lehne
  19. Foreign Trade Office: Wilhelm Bisse
  20. Inspection office: Erich Schnaus (* 1905)
  21. Cultural Office: Karl Klingenfuß (The cultural office is structured and organizationally linked to the Gauwaltung of the NSLB, the Gaudozentbundsführung and the Gaustudentenbundsführung abroad. Gauamtsleiter is also the Gauobmann of the NS-cultural community (paragraphs 12-15)).
  22. Press office: Eugen Beinhauer (* 1907)
  23. Gaugericht: party organizational and factual outside the scope of this list; Listed for information only.
  24. Legal office: Wolfgang Kraneck (born February 28, 1900 in Karlsruhe): From April 1932 to March head of the legal office in personal union with Gaugericht (from November 3, 1933 to May 1939)
  25. Office Office for public speaking: Egidius Adalbert Houben (* 23 June 1908 - † 1 December 1990)
  26. Return migration office: Bruno Andersen
  27. Treasury: Treasurer Theodor Leonhard
  28. Training Office: Hans Tröbst (* 1891 in Weimar; † 1939 in Dalian)
  29. Public Welfare Office: Hans Weidenstrasse
  30. Office for Technology: Heinrich Bohle (acting) - brother of Ernst Wilhelm Bohle
  31. Hamburg branch of A. O .: C. Frisch

Later were built

  • Race Political Office: A. Wölpert
  • Office for Science (1939): Winkler
  • Office for Nazi War Victims Provision: Hans Hellermann

In addition to the regional group leader, the regional groups had a central regional administrative body, which constitutes the staff of the "sovereign" and is in turn directly subordinate to him. The sub-organizations of a regional group are: district groups (KG), local groups (OG), support points (Stüpu) and cells. Each of these subgroups has a body of administrators that was uniformly structured. The following organizations were officially subordinate to the regional group leadership: SA, S, National Socialist Motor Vehicle Corps, Hitler Youth (including the Jungvolks, BDM and Jungmädel), NS-German student union, NS-Frauenschaft, NS-Dozentbund. These organizations formed national groups in the following countries, which were led by a national group leader: France, Luxembourg, Egypt, Cameroon, Union v. South Africa, Tanganyika, Mexico, Peru, Japan. Great Britain and Ireland, Chile, China, Yugoslavia, Poland, Switzerland, Dutch East Indies, Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Bulgaria, Paraguay, Guatemala, Brazil.

  • Europe
    • Austria: Adolf Wiebecke (Vienna): Head of Foreign Trade of the NSDAP.
    • Bulgaria: Josef Drechsel (Sofia): Deputy Country Group Leader.
    • Switzerland (Bern district): Hans Habermann (Thun): District leader.
    • Italy (north): Helmut Steinbrecher (Milan): District leader.
    • Italy (South): Erich Kirn (Rome): District leader.
    • Romania: Adolf Konradi (Bucharest): District leader.
    • Luxembourg: Heinrich Diehl (Luxembourg): Country group leader.
    • Greece: Walther Wrede : Regional group leader since December 1935
    • Great Britain and Ireland: Consul General Otto Behne (London): Country group leader.
    • Great Britain and Ireland: Hans Waldemar Heudlass (Edinburgh): Head of Foreign Trade
    • Holland: Kurt Harms (The Hague): Head of Foreign Trade
    • France: Schleier (Paris): National group leader
  • North America
    • North America: Franz Bartels (New York): Head of Foreign Trade of the NSDAP.
  • South America
    • Argentina: Fritz Küster (Buenos Aires): Country group leader.
      • Argentina: Paul G. Siemsen (Buenos Aires): Chief of Staff of the External Commissioner.
      • Argentina: Eugen Reutter (Santa Fé): Head of Foreign Trade of the NSDAP.
    • Brazil: Otto Gauerke (Río de Janeiro): Head of the NSDAP's cultural office.
    • Brazil: George Christians (Río de Janeiro): Foreign Trade Director.
    • Chile: Karl Hübner (Santiago): Country group leader.
    • Guatemala: Gerhard Hentschke (Guatemala): Country group leader.
    • Guatemala-West: Herrmann Toepke (Quezaltenango): District leader.
    • Colombia: Emil Prüfert (Barranquilla): Country group leader.
    • Venezuela: Arnold Margerie (Caracas): Country group leader.
    • Bolivia: Theodor Becker (Bolivia): District leader.
    • Peru: Carl Dedering (Lima): Country group leader.
    • Paraguay: Major a. D. Franz Reitzenstein (Asunción): Regional group leader.
      • Paraguay: Wilhelm Voss (Asunción): Deputy country group leader of the party.
  • Africa
    • Orange Free State: U. M. v. Chelius (Bloemfontein and Johannesburg): Head of Foreign Trade of the NSDAP
    • South Africa: Wolfgang Delfs – Fritz (The Baths): Head of Foreign Trade of the NSDAP
    • Cape Country: Consul Bruno Stiller (Cape Town): Country Group Leader
  • Asia
    • Palestine: Cornelius Schwarz (Jaffa): Country Leader.
    • Dutch East Indies and dispute settlements: William Wickel (Java): Country group leader.
    • Japan: Rudolf Hillmann (Tokyo): Country group leader.
      • Japan: Otto Stolle (Tokyo): Deputy Regional group leader.
  • Australia
    • Walter Schleicher (Samoa): Head of Foreign Trade.

The organizations in the following countries form regional districts, headed by a district leader: Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Bolivia, Romania, Angola, Panama, Uruguay, Greece, Palestine, Venezuela, Canada, Belgium (two districts: Antwerp and Brussels), Italy (two districts: Milan and Rome).

Organization of the NSDAP / AO

  • Gauleiter: Ernst Wilhelm Bohle. Personal advisor Rudolf Tesmann . Adjutant SA-Sturmbannführer Willy Gohert
  • Deputy Gauleiter: Alfred Hess.

Below is a selection of the various sub-authorities, called offices, whose heads were named Gauamtsleiter:

Six country offices for the various regions of the world, including

There were also the following offices:

  • Maritime Office: Gauamtsleiter Kurt Wermke
  • Office for civil servants
  • Office for Educators
  • Cultural Office: Felix Schmidt
  • Working group of women abroad: Gauenfrauschaftsleiterin Wera Behr
  • Legal office, until March 1938: Wolfgang Kraneck, then: District Court Judge Horst Luebbe, at the same time Gau leader of the Gaues Auslands of the NSRB
  • Treasury: Gau treasurer Theodor Leonhardt
  • Training office: Gauamtsleiter Woldemar Troebst
  • Office for Technology: Hermann Bohle , father of Gauleiter Bohle
  • District court: District judge Wolfgang Kraneck

Abroad, the headings were regional group leader, local group leader and base leader, initially these were also state shop stewards and shop stewards.

Selection of some regional group leaders of the NSDAP / AO from different countries and periods

See also



  • Louis de Jong : The German fifth column in World War II . Translated from d. Holl. by Helmut Lindemann. Stuttgart: Dt. Verl.-Anst. 1959 (Original title: De duitse vijfde colonne in de tweede wereldoorlog ).
  • Volker Koop : Hitler's fifth column: The foreign organization of the NSDAP. be.bra Verlag, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-89809-085-8 .
  • Donald M. McKale: The swastika outside Germany . Kent State Univ. Press, XVI., Kent / Ohio 1977, ISBN 0-87338-209-9 .
  • Arthur L. Smith Jr .: Hitler's Gau Auslands , in: Political Studies , Volume 14, Issue 1, February 1966, pp. 90–95.

Writings on regions

  • Ralf Balke: Swastika in the Holy Land: the NSDAP regional group Palestine. Sutton, Erfurt 2001, ISBN 3-89702-304-0 .
    • Jüdische Zeitung 2006: short version of the book, see web links
  • Victor Farías : The Nazis in Chile. Translated from the Spanish by Kerstin Claussen. Philo, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-8257-0298-7 (original title: Los nazis en Chile ).
  • Olaf Gaudig: The reflection of Nazism: the image of National Socialism in the German-language press of Argentina, Brazil and Chile 1932–1945. Wissenschaftlicher Verl., Berlin / Mannheim 1997, ISBN 3-932089-01-4 . (Additional dissertation: Freie Univ., Berlin 1994/95.)
  • Jürgen Müller: National Socialism in Latin America - the foreign organization of the NSDAP in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico, 1931–1945. Akademischer Verlag Heinz, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-88099-672-5 . (Historamericana 3; also dissertation: Heidelberg 1994/95.)
  • Günter Lachmann: The National Socialism in Switzerland 1931-1945: a contribution to the history of the foreign organization of the NSDAP. Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft, Berlin-Dahlem 1962. (Additional dissertation: Freie Univ. Berlin, December 18, 1962.)

Contemporary writings

  • Foreign Policy Yearbook . Edited by Friedrich Berber. Publication of the Institute for Foreign Policy Research. Different years
  • Emil Ehrich: The foreign organization of the NSDAP . Junker & Dünnhaupt, Berlin 1937 (Writings of the German University of Politics 2; The organizational structure of the Third Reich 13)
  • National Socialism. Basic principles, their application by the Nazi Party's foreign organization, and the use of Germans abroad for Nazi aims . Prepared in the Special Unit of the Division of European Affairs by Raymond E. Murphy, Francis B. Stevens, Howard Trivers, Joseph M. Roland. United States of America, Department of State, Washington 1943.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ André du Pisani : SWA / Namibia: The politics of Continuity and Change . Jonathan Ball Publishers , Johannesburg 1986. ISBN 0-86850-092-5 , pp. 77-78.
  2. Federico Rivas Molina: Un documento oculto durante casi 80 años revela la ruta del dinero nazi desde Argentina. In: El País , March 3, 2020, accessed March 4, 2020 (Spanish).
  3. Wolfgang G. Schwanitz : Safwa, Najda Fathi Al-'Alam al-'Arabi Fi Watha'iq Sirriyya Almaniyya 1937-1941 (The Arab World In German Secret Documents), Beirut 2006; Wildangel, René: Between Axis and Mandate Power. Palestine and National Socialism, Berlin 2007 (review). In: H-Soz-u-Kult, February 22, 2008.
  4. cf. Ehrich, Emil : The Foreign Organization of the NSDAP, Berlin: Junker and Dünnhaupt, 1937, p. 15 ff.
  5. Kerstin Thieler: Koop, Volker: Hitler's Fifth Column. The foreign organization of the NSDAP. Berlin 2009 (review). In: H-Soz-u-Kult, February 5, 2010.
  6. Frank-Rutger Hausmann : Farías, Víctor: Los nazis en Chile. Barcelona 2000 (review). In: H-Soz-u-Kult, January 9, 2001.