Richard Drauz

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Richard Drauz

Richard Drauz (born April 2, 1894 in Heilbronn , † December 4, 1946 in Landsberg am Lech ) was a German National Socialist and from 1932 the NSDAP - district leader of Heilbronn. From November 1933 until the collapse of National Socialism, he was also a (not freely elected) member of the Reichstag . In 1946 he was executed as a war criminal by the American occupation forces .


Drauz was born in 1894 as the son of post office clerk Christian Heinrich Drauz (1865–1937) and his wife Friederike Johanna, geb. Dederer (1866–1938), born in Heilbronn. The parents came from long-established Heilbronn vineyard families . After attending secondary school, he did an apprenticeship as a mechanic and signed up as a volunteer for the First World War in 1914 , in which he made it to the rank of Vice Sergeant . From 1919 to 1921 he studied at the higher mechanical engineering school (today technical college for technology ) in Esslingen am Neckar . From 1921 to 1928 he worked as an engineer in refrigeration engineering at the Esslingen machine factory . There he got to know the later Württemberg Gauleiter and Reich Governor Wilhelm Murr .

Drauz was married twice. From his first marriage (1923 until the divorce in 1937) had three children, from his second marriage to Klara Schoch (* 1910 in Talheim , † 1996) four children from 1937. On April 1, 1928, he joined the NSDAP as member 80.730 and shortly afterwards moved with his family to Dortmund , and in 1930 to Essen . His occupation there is unclear; according to the files of the NSDAP district in Essen, he was active as a representative.

In 1932, Wilhelm Murr, now Württemberg Gauleiter, asked him to become NSDAP district leader in Heilbronn, a difficult city for the NSDAP with a loyal SPD and DDP / DStP electorate that was supposed to bring Drauz on a Nazi course, according to his even in a speech in 1933 praised "National Socialist virtue": "Our leading men are ruthless enough to destroy everything that gets in their way."

Drauz returned to Heilbronn on September 5 and became district leader on October 1, 1932 (initially on a voluntary basis, from 1938 onwards). In addition, he was also (until 1938) publishing director of the National Socialist daily Heilbronner Tagblatt , which had been published since the beginning of 1932 and which, after the seizure of power through reprisals, was able to force all other Heilbronn daily newspapers out of business and take them over. On April 6, 1933 he was appointed political commissioner for the Heilbronn Oberamt . From August 1933 to October 1935 he was also a member of the Heilbronn municipal council and at times deputy to the mayor Heinrich Valid , but this was only a matter of form, since Drauz was above valid in the party hierarchy.

From November 1933 until the fall of National Socialism in 1945, he was one of 18 members of the Württemberg parliament. Within the SA he rose to the position of SA Sturmbannführer . In August 1939 the city of Heilbronn acquired a villa at Bruckmannstraße 28, which had previously been owned by the Jewish cigar manufacturer Josef Kahn, and had it converted into an office and residential building for Drauz at the city's expense.

In a number of companies, clubs and associations in Heilbronn and the surrounding area, Drauz had a significant position on the board of directors or supervisory board, B. at the mechanical engineering company Heilbronn , the Glashütte Heilbronn AG, the district settlement Heilbronn, the Portland cement works in Lauffen am Neckar or the traditional sports club VfR Heilbronn , which he founded in March 1934 in the wake of the "Franz affair" around the paid player Andreas Franz dissolved and at the same time re-established as SV Heilbronn 96 with Drauz as chairman. He responded to the rejection of his request for a position on the supervisory board of the food manufacturer Knorr with defamatory letters. The Heilbronner Tagblatt printed numerous of his speeches on all possible occasions over the years.

Because of his character and behavior, Drauz was unpopular with many people, even in his own ranks. There were several proceedings against him before the NSDAP internal Gaugericht. In 1934, two complainants, themselves NSDAP members, accused him of “purely arbitrary policies based solely on violence” and complained that he led “in a moral sense a life that defies description and is devoted to the movement to the greatest extent possible damage". In doing so, they referred to - according to their statements - well-known drinking bouts and numerous love affairs of the married Drauz. Drauz was also not afraid to be physical and abused, for example. B. 1935 the Jewish landlord of the Adlerbrauerei, a meeting place for opponents of the regime, which earned him another court trial. All proceedings ended with acquittal, presumably because of the protection of Gauleiter Murr. Drauz reacted by insulting his opponents and removing them from all party functions. He immediately fired someone who was employed by the Heilbronner Tagblatt . He let someone else know that he would "completely ruin it economically and morally" and actually made efforts in this regard.

On January 16, 1944, Drauz gave the slogan "Fight, Work, Believe" as the annual slogan at the district meeting of the NSDAP, and on January 30, he demanded "new, increased commitment" for the "final victory" on the market square. In August 1944, Drauz invited the operations managers of the Heilbronn companies to an information event, during which he called for the mobilization of all available forces under the sign of the "total war". As a result, the city orchestra and the city ​​theater stopped playing. After the first heavy air raid on Heilbronn on September 10, 1944, spiritual life in Heilbronn practically collapsed, and Drauz 'slogans to persevere took its place.

Towards the end of the Second World War , Drauz became more and more violent, tried to follow Hitler's most absurd orders and wanted to leave "scorched earth" in the almost completely destroyed city of Heilbronn, which he partially succeeded in with his order to withdraw the fire brigade syringes that were still in existence. On April 3, 1945 he had the deputy local group leader of Heilbronn-Sontheim , 57-year-old Karl Taubenberger, shot dead because he had not prevented the dismantling of an anti-tank barrier . Drauz left Taubenberger's body on the street for 24 hours. A sign reading “I am a traitor” was hung around the dead man.

On April 6th, Drauz and companions set out to leave the already contested city center in the direction of the Gaffenberg . In Schweinsbergstrasse on the outskirts of the city there were white cloths from five or six houses, including the house of the city councilor Karl Kübler, who has been the administrator of the mayor , who has been drafted for the Volkssturm , since April 1 . The residents had hoisted the flags on the advice of passing and withdrawing Wehrmacht soldiers, who had previously reported the superiority of the approaching Americans. Drauz stopped and ordered his companions without any investigation: “Get out, shoot, shoot everything!” Three of his companions then shot at random anyone who showed up at the window or opened the door. Kübler's wife Anna, who stood protectively in front of her husband, was shot, as were Kübler himself, the 72-year-old pastor Gustav Beyer and the 46-year-old Elsa Drebinger. Several other residents were also shot at, but not hit. Dairy farm director Karl Weber (1904–1984), who barely escaped the hail of bullets, later reported that the mayor, who had been drafted into the Volkssturm, had advised his representative Kübler to hand over the town without a fight, but Kübler had no more weight with district manager Drauz : “Drauz was too powerful and didn't want a handover. He had everything in hand. "

After the end of the war

Drauz and his family were initially able to flee to Tübingen. After leaving the children in Tübingen, Drauz and his wife fled further to the Rhineland, where Drauz found shelter under an assumed name in the Dernbach monastery near Montabaur . In July 1945, after Drauz's wife and the children had returned to Talheim and had been interrogated, the American CIC military intelligence service tracked him down and arrested him. The Americans were looking for him because of his involvement in an incident on March 24, 1945, in which an American pilot who had surrendered as a prisoner of war was shot. Drauz had shot the American, but, as far as is known, missed him. An American military court in Dachau sentenced him to death as a war criminal on December 11, 1945 during the aviation trials. On December 4, 1946, he was executed by hanging in the war crimes prison in Landsberg am Lech - exactly two years after the destruction of Heilbronn, which was certainly not intended by the Americans, but was registered with satisfaction in Heilbronn.

In 1949/1950 a posthumous denazification process took place before the central court in Ludwigsburg. Drauz was classified as the main culprit, but the usual atonement of the collection of the estate was converted into a fixed sum of DM 1,000 by means of a pardon .


  • Uwe Jacobi : The missing council minutes. Record of the search for the unresolved past . 3. Edition. Verlag Heilbronner Voice, Heilbronn 1995, ISBN 3-921923-09-3 ( Heilbronner Voice / book series . Volume 1)
  • Joachim Lilla , Martin Döring, Andreas Schulz: extras in uniform. The members of the Reichstag 1933–1945. A biographical manual. Including the national and national socialist members of the Reichstag from May 1924. Droste, Düsseldorf 2004, ISBN 3-7700-5254-4 , pp. 109–110.
  • Susanne Schlösser: Whatever gets in the way, beat with destruction: Richard Drauz, NSDAP district leader of Heilbronn . In: Michael Kißener , Joachim Scholtyseck (Ed.): The leaders of the province: Nazi biographies from Baden and Württemberg . 2nd Edition. Univ.-Verl., Konstanz 1999, ISBN 3-87940-679-0 / ISBN 3-87940-566-2 , pp. 143–159, 876 (1st edition)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ernst Klee: Das Personenlexikon zum Third Reich , Frankfurt am Main 2007, p. 118
  2. Hans Franke: History and Fate of the Jews in Heilbronn. From the Middle Ages to the time of the National Socialist persecution (1050-1945). Heilbronn city archive, Heilbronn 1963, ISBN 3-928990-04-7 , p. 312 and 384 ( PDF, 1.2 MB )
  3. Susanne Schlösser: The Heilbronn NSDAP and their "leaders". An inventory of National Socialist personnel policy at the local level and its effects “on site”, p. 306. Special print from: Christhard Schrenk · Peter Wanner (Ed.) Heilbronnica 2 contributions to the city's history Sources and research on the history of the city of Heilbronn 15 2003 Heilbronn city archive ( PDF )
  4. Uwe Jacobi: The missing council minutes. Verlag Heilbronner Demokratie, Heilbronn 1981, ISBN 3-921923-09-3 , pp. 74f.
  5. ^ Rudolf Oswald: The VfR Heilbronn and the "Affair Franz". Football in the field of tension between club fanaticism and Nazi local politics . In: Heilbronnica 4. Contributions to the city and regional history (= sources and research on the history of the city of Heilbronn . Volume 19). Heilbronn City Archives, Heilbronn 2008, ISBN 978-3-940646-01-9 , pp. 383-403. ( Digitized version ; PDF; 546 kB)
  6. Christhard Schrenk: The year 1944 . In: Hubert Bläsi, Christhard Schrenk: Heilbronn 1944/45 - life and death of a city . Stadtarchiv Heilbronn, Heilbronn 1995 (sources and research on the history of the city of Heilbronn, 6), ISBN 3-928990-53-5 ( online as PDF; 22 MB )
  7. ^ LG Heilbronn, May 24, 1947 . In: Justice and Nazi crimes . Collection of German criminal judgments for Nazi homicidal crimes 1945–1966, Vol. I, edited by Adelheid L. Rüter-Ehlermann, CF Rüter . Amsterdam: University Press, 1968, No. 19, pp. 399–408 Shooting of a civilian who had taken part in the removal of a tank barrier in Sontheim ( memento of the original from July 22, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link became automatic used and not yet tested. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. Uwe Jacobi: The end of the war. Scenes 1944/45 . Heilbronner Voice, printing company a. Verl.-Anst., Heilbronn 1985 ( Heilbronner Voice / Book Series . Volume 2)