Reich Ministry of Aviation

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Reich Ministry of Aviation, 1938

The Reich Aviation Ministry (RLM) was a ministry founded in April 1933 in the Third Reich . For this ministry, a monumental office building was built in Berlin in 1935 , which is now the seat of the Federal Ministry of Finance .

During the GDR era it was called the 'House of Ministries'; Since 1992, as the headquarters of the Treuhandanstalt, it has been named after the murdered Detlev Rohwedder .

Foundation and first official acts

Ordinance on the Reich Commissioner for Aviation of February 2, 1933
View from Wilhelmstrasse to today's ' Detlev-Rohwedder-Haus ', 2006
The building as a film set for the film Mein Führer , 2006

Reich Commissioner for Aviation

After the takeover of the Nazis on 30 January 1933 it was one of the objectives defined by the Treaty of Versailles to break barriers imposed and the military base for the conquest of so-called " Lebensraum in the East to create". To this end, they operated partly secretly to arm the Wehrmacht .

On February 2, 1933, the Reich President Paul von Hindenburg issued the ordinance on the Reich Commissioner for Aviation . This was a first step towards establishing an air force . In addition to the army and navy, this was to become part of the armed forces of the Reichswehr . Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler had already created the office of Reich Commissioner for Aviation for Hermann Göring , the last commander of Jagdgeschwader 1 , three days earlier, on January 30, 1933 , which has now been renamed Reich Commissioner for Aviation . The Reich Commissioner for Aviation was responsible for the planning and development of aviation . He was directly subordinate to the Reich Chancellor and was the Supreme Reich Authority. To this end, he received all powers relating to civil aviation and air protection from the Reich Ministry of Transport and the Reich Ministry of the Interior .

Reich Minister of Aviation

In April 1933 the authority of the Reich Commissioner was elevated to the rank of Reich Ministry; On May 5, Goering became Reich Minister of Aviation . The real task of the RLM was mainly to promote and support the new air force, of which Göring became the first commander in chief in March 1935. The Reichswehr Minister Werner von Blomberg transferred the air raid protection office to the RLM , which was previously the highest authority for military aviation. The RLM published its own propaganda illustrated titled Der Adler .

One of the first official acts of the RLM was to illegally take over all patents from Hugo Junkers and his companies Junkers & Co. as well as Junkers Motorenbau and Junkers Flugzeugwerk . This related in particular to the rights to the legendary Junkers Ju 52 . For this purpose, Luftfahrtkontor GmbH was founded, which managed the participation in Junkers as a cover company.

State Secretary in the Reich Ministry of Aviation

State Secretary in the Reich Aviation Ministry was Erhard Milch from 1933 to 1945 , who was also Inspector General of the Air Force and from 1941 to 1945 also General Aircraft Master.

Construction of a new office building and its later use

In the years 1935/1936 was in the Wilhelmstrasse in Berlin city center for the personnel now greatly expanded Ministry on Goering's instigation, designed by architect Ernst Sagebiel then the largest office building in Berlin built a new building with 2,000 offices and 56,000 sqm of usable space. After the Second World War , the building, which was hardly destroyed, was used by the GDR Ministry of Finance as the 'House of Ministries'. The building, which has now been completely refurbished and modernized and renamed the ' Detlev-Rohwedder-Haus ', has been the seat of the Federal Ministry of Finance since the government moved to Berlin .

Several designs by Arno Breker for a monumental sculpture on the forecourt to the main entrance of the planned new building complex on Leipziger Strasse have come down to us. As an idea, they show a six-meter-high figure on a pedestal, the hem of the garment, as if raised by a gust, swings backwards into a wing-like shape. She is carrying a torch. In addition, the drafts clearly show that the sculpture with its free arm guides a model-like missile - similar to a javelin thrower.

Organization and further development of the ministry

Rear of the building complex, view from the site of the Topography of Terror exhibition , 2010

The Technical Office of the RLM, which emerged from a flight technology department in the Heereswaffenamt that existed until 1935 , was essentially responsible for the development of new types of aircraft by the aviation industry and their production planning. In 1936 Göring appointed the later Colonel General Ernst Udet to head this office and entrusted him with the duties of State Secretary Erhard Milch , who until then had been the main planner and organizer of the armament of the Air Force. Udet was thus responsible for the development and provision of aircraft, weapons and equipment for all parts of the air force. Udet divided the office into 13 departments, the overview of their responsibilities was lost. After Udet's suicide in November 1941, Erhard Milch took over his duties again.

Compared to similar offices at home and abroad, the RLM was probably no better or worse structured and organized. The excellent personal relationships between Göring and Hitler soon gave the RLM more influence and power than other ministries. Göring used his position at the head of the RLM to find posts for numerous friends or well-deserved Nazi leaders. They were less interested in working in the RLM than in continuing or expanding their political careers.

The supply of materials to the Air Force, including aircraft production, was initially organized by the RLM itself and was thus separate from the production of other armaments, for which the Reich Ministry for Armaments and Ammunition , created on March 17, 1940 and led by Fritz Todt , was responsible. After Todt's accidental death, it was managed by Albert Speer from March 1942 . In connection with the transfer of the air armament to Speer and his ministry in June 1944, the RLM was reorganized and tightly organized. This probably had an impact on the Luftwaffe and the rest of the Second World War.

See also


  • Goering's Ministry. In: Phoenix , January 15, 2018, 9:00 p.m. - 9:45 p.m. Documentation 2016 (Ministry of Aviation, GDR, Treuhand, Ministry of Finance).


Web links

Commons : Reichsluftfahrtministerium  - Collection of images

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ordinance on the Reich Commissioner for Aviation. From February 2, 1933. In: Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  2. ^ A b Joachim Lilla , Martin Döring, Andreas Schulz: extras in uniform. The members of the Reichstag 1933–1945. A biographical manual. Including the ethnic and National Socialist members of the Reichstag from May 1924. Droste, Düsseldorf 2004, ISBN 3-7700-5254-4 , p. 181.
  3. ^ Tobias Rieger: Reich Aviation Ministry (RLM). In: Project “Officials of National Socialist Reich Ministries”, accessed on June 2, 2019.
  4. Ernst Sagebiel in the Architekturmuseum der TU Berlin, accessed on May 24, 2017.
  5. ^ Alan S. Milward : The German War Economy 1939-1945. DVA, Stuttgart 1966. , pp. 123 to 133.

Coordinates: 52 ° 30 '31.2 "  N , 13 ° 23' 2.6"  E