Reich Governor

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In the time of National Socialism in the German Reich from 1933 to 1945, there were Reichsstatthalter for administrative districts that corresponded roughly to the German states and were directly imperial. As representatives of the Reich Central Office at the Reichsgaue level, you were entrusted with monitoring, intervention and management functions and were responsible for the national alignment , which had been initiated with the Provisional Synchronization Act of March 31, 1933. Their tasks corresponded to those of the country chief or prime minister , in some cases they performed this office in personal union.

Second law for the alignment of the states with the Reich of April 7, 1933


The newly appointed Reichsstatthalter had the task of ensuring that the policy guidelines drawn up by Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler were observed. You essentially had the following powers:

  • Appointment and dismissal of the chairman of the state government,
  • Dissolution and arrangement of the new election of the state parliament,
  • Drafting and promulgation of state laws,
  • Appointment and dismissal of key state officials and judges,
  • the right to pardon .
States and Reichsgaue 1944
District of the NSDAP 1944

Country of Prussia

In Prussia the Chancellor carried out the business of the Reich Governor. With this the dualism Reich / Prussia should come to an end; the largest part of the state should finally merge into the empire. The powers of the Reich governor in Prussia had already been transferred by Hitler to the Prussian Prime Minister Hermann Göring on April 10, 1933 .

Since November 27, 1934, "until the reorganization of the Reich" in Prussia, the upper presidents for the area of ​​their provinces were appointed permanent representatives of the Reich government. They had the authority to be informed in their area by all Reich and Land authorities and "to draw their attention to the relevant aspects and the measures required thereafter ". Furthermore, they were allowed to issue temporary orders in the event of imminent danger .

Non-Prussian countries (excluding Saarland)

A Reich governor was appointed for every major country except Prussian. For countries with less than two million inhabitants, there were districts in common with other countries (e.g. Oldenburg and Bremen, Mecklenburg and Lübeck, Lippe and Schaumburg-Lippe).

In almost all cases Hitler selected appointed Gauleiter of the NSDAP to Reich Governors; besides Prussia, where he and Göring held this office, Bavaria was the only exception with Franz von Epp .

The state political powers of these Reichsstatthalter / Gauleiter formed an important lever for the National Socialist penetration of the state apparatus. At the same time, this resulted in a differentiation in power politics among the Nazi Gauleiter, even within the Reichsstatthalter: after 1935 some were allowed to combine Reichsstatthalter and Prime Minister positions, others Reichsstatthalter and Oberpräsidentamt.

Reich Governor Act of January 30, 1935

Seal mark "The Reichsstatthalter in Thuringia"

Now all Reich governors became permanent representatives of the Reich government for their district and had the task of “observing the policy guidelines drawn up by the Führer and Reich Chancellor”.

They had, like the Prussian baron the power from all imperial and state authorities in their field to make informed and "them to the relevant aspects and the necessary measures after carefully to make." Furthermore, they were allowed to issue temporary orders in the event of imminent danger . In addition, the Reich Governor could also be entrusted with the management of a state government. There was no change in the layout of the districts of the Reichsstatthalter.

Saarpfalz / "Westmark"

After the "reorganization" of the Saar area from March 1, 1935, a new administrative authority was set up in Saarbrücken, which was under the leadership of Josef Bürckel , the already incumbent Gauleiter and Reich Governor of the Bavarian Palatinate , until the end of the war under Willi Stöhr (from 4 October 1944 initially provisional, from January 31, 1945 then as Gauleiter of Gaus Westmark). Bürckel received the title of " Reich Commissioner for the Reintegration of the Saarland" and, as the permanent representative of the Reich government in Saarland, had the task of ensuring that the policy guidelines established by the Führer and Chancellor Hitler were observed.

The name of the authority changed over the years as follows:

  • February 11, 1935: Reich Commissioner for the reorganization of the Saar area ,
  • June 17, 1936: Reich Commissioner for Saarland ,
  • April 8, 1940: Reich Commissioner for the Saar Palatinate (joint administration - no formal amalgamation - of the Saarland and the Bavarian administrative district of the Palatinate ),
  • March 11, 1941: Reich governor in Westmark (joint administration - no formal merger - of the Saarland, the Bavarian administrative district of Palatinate and the CdZ area of ​​Lorraine ).

Reich governor in the old Reich

Governor's District Seat Official
(1940-45 Baden-Alsace)
Karlsruhe Robert Wagner
Bavaria Munich Franz von Epp
Braunschweig / Anhalt Dessau 1933–1935: Wilhelm Loeper
1935–1937: Fritz Sauckel
1937–1945: Rudolf Jordan
Hamburg Hamburg Karl Kaufmann
Hesse Darmstadt Jakob Sprenger
Lippe / Schaumburg-Lippe Detmold Alfred Meyer
Mecklenburg-Schwerin / Lübeck / Mecklenburg-Strelitz
(1934–1937 Mecklenburg / Lübeck)
(1937–1945 Mecklenburg)
Schwerin Friedrich Hildebrandt
Oldenburg / Bremen Oldenburg (Oldenburg) 1933–1942: Carl Röver
1942–1945: Paul Wegener
Prussia Berlin 1933–1935: Adolf Hitler
1935–1945: Hermann Göring (officiating)
Saxony Dresden Martin Mutschmann
Thuringia Weimar Fritz Sauckel
Württemberg Stuttgart Wilhelm Murr

Reich governor in the adjoining Reichsgauen

In the new Reichsgauen ( Sudetenland , Danzig-West Prussia , Wartheland and the Alpine and Danube Reichsgauen ) the Reich Governor headed the administration. He was also Gauleiter of the (party) Gau of the same name of the NSDAP.

Governor's District Seat Official
Gdansk West Prussia Danzig 1939–1945: Albert Forster
Carinthia Klagenfurt 1940–1941: Franz Kutschera
1941–1945: Friedrich Rainer
Niederdonau (Lower Austria) Vienna 1940–1945: Hugo Jury
Upper Danube (Upper Austria) Linz 1940–1945: August Eigruber
Salzburg Salzburg 1940–1941: Friedrich Rainer
1941–1945: Gustav Adolf Scheel
Styria Graz 1940–1945: Sigfried Uiberreither
Sudetenland Reichenberg 1939–1945: Konrad Henlein
Tyrol-Vorarlberg innsbruck 1940–1945: Franz Hofer
Wartheland Poses 1939–1945: Arthur Greiser
Westmark (Palatinate, Saarland, Lorraine) Saarbrücken 1941–1944: Josef Bürckel
1944–1945: Willi Stöhr
Greater Vienna Vienna 1940 -9999: Josef Bürckel
1940–1945: Baldur von Schirach

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Ralf Gebel: “Heim ins Reich!” Konrad Henlein and the Reichsgau Sudetenland (1938–1945). 2nd edition, Oldenbourg, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-486-56468-4 , p. 96 .
  2. ^ Heinz-Jürgen Priamus: Meyer. Between loyalty to the emperor and Nazi perpetration. Biographical contours of a German citizen. Klartext Verlag, Essen 2011, ISBN 978-3-8375-0592-4 .
  3. Joachim Lilla : Stöhr, Willi . In: Minister of State, senior administrative officials and (NS) functionaries in Bavaria from 1918 to 1945 . Bavarian State Library Online . September 11, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2012.

Web links

Wikisource: Reichsstatthaltergesetz  - Sources and full texts