Württemberg at the time of National Socialism

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coat of arms flag
Coat of arms of Württemberg( Details ) Flag of Württemberg
Situation in the German Reich
Weimar Republic - Wurttemberg (1925) .svg
Designation until 1933 People's State of Württemberg
Incorporated into Württemberg-Baden ;
Today (part of): Baden-Württemberg
Data from 1933
State capital Stuttgart
Reich Governor Wilhelm Murr
Head of government Christian Mergenthaler
Consist until 1945
surface 19,508 km²
Residents 2,696,324 (June 16, 1933)
Population density 138 inhabitants / km²
Religions 65.2% Ev.
31.1% Roman Catholic
0.4% Jews
3.3% others
License Plate III A, III C, III D,
administration 34 rural districts and three independent cities (1938)
1,875 municipalities
Württemberg 1810-1918

At the time of National Socialism, Württemberg ,like all German states, lost its sovereign rights to the German Reich . As early as 1933, as part of the policy of harmonization , the country hadeffectively sunk to a province in the now centrally organized empire. The old borders remained unchanged, although the existence of the NSDAP -Wuerttemberg-Hohenzollern party association made it possible to unify the areas of Wuerttemberg and Hohenzollern under state law to form a Reichsgau , which was not carried out until the end of the Nazi dictatorship.

As in the rest of the Reich, the support of the people of Württemberg for Hitler's person and politics grew steadily and reached their respective climax with the annexation of Austria in March 1938 and the victory over France in June 1940. Many people in Württemberg overlooked or accepted that the Nazi regime relentlessly persecuted political opponents and handed them over to a compliant judiciary. As everywhere in the Reich, the regime discriminated, abducted and abused unpopular people - above all the Jews - and murdered many in concentration and extermination camps .

The general euphoria of the Germans after the victory over France gave way to great disillusionment in the further course of the Second World War . From 1943 onwards, the larger cities of Württemberg such as Stuttgart , Heilbronn and Ulm were largely destroyed in the aerial warfare .

In April 1945 US and French troops occupied the Württemberg state territory. After the end of the war , Württemberg went under the Allied military governments in the newly founded states of Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern .

Rise of the NSDAP in Württemberg

Württemberg, a country with strong liberal traditions and a stronghold of Pietism , was not easy political terrain for the National Socialists. Nevertheless, the German defeat in World War I and the crises that followed acted as a midwife for völkisch-national endeavors of various kinds, which saw the blame for the lost war primarily in the supposedly “socially and culturally corrosive work” of Jews and communists .

Since 1920 there was a local branch of the NSDAP in Stuttgart. The public hardly noticed it, however, as its members tended to use bourgeois manners, as Joseph Goebbels found disapprovingly during a visit to Stuttgart in 1926. At the end of 1923, the NSDAP was banned across Germany because of the Hitler putsch in Munich, but was re-established in 1925. In the state elections in 1924, the Völkisch-Soziale Block took the place of the banned NSDAP in Württemberg and won three seats. Gauleiter of the NSDAP in Württemberg was Eugen Munder from 1925 to 1928 before Wilhelm Murr took over this position on February 1, 1928 . On June 12, 1927, in the presence of Hitler in Stuttgart, Christian Mergenthaler's National Socialist Freedom Movement (NSFB) merged with the NSDAP. In the state elections on May 20, 1928, however, the NSDAP only obtained one mandate for Mergenthaler, but only in 1929 in the way of an action before the State Court . Until the outbreak of the global economic crisis, the importance of the National Socialists in Württemberg remained low. The fiercest political competitor of the NSDAP in Württemberg was the farmers' union , which appeared as an independent party and kept the more than 65% Protestant population from voting for Hitler's party for longer than in other German countries.

Intra-party disputes at the district and state level determined the everyday political life of the NSDAP, the arbitration of which the autocratic Gauleiter Wilhelm Murr knew little to contribute. In those years a rivalry arose between Murr and Mergenthaler, which lasted until 1945, when Mergenthaler sought the position of Gauleiter for himself. With the onset of the global economic crisis at the end of October 1929, the rise of the NSDAP from a splinter party to taking power in 1933 began. Now the meeting rooms in Württemberg also filled up when the NSDAP rallied. On December 7, 1930, Hitler spoke to an audience of 10,000 in the Stuttgart city hall during the election campaign for the early Reichstag election. In the 1930 Reichstag election , however, the votes of the Württemberg people for the NSDAP were only half as numerous as at the Reich level as a whole, where the NSDAP achieved 18.3% of the valid votes cast and thus the number of its seats in the Reichstag rose from 12 to 107.

Local strongholds of the NSDAP in Württemberg were the constituency of Nagold , where the NSDAP received 16.8% of the valid votes on September 14, 1930, and the constituency of Ulm with 16.3% of the votes. In all other Wuerttemberg constituencies, the NSDAP was below 15% of the vote in the election on September 14, 1930, in areas with a large Catholic population it was mostly below 5%.

The relative weakness of the NSDAP in elections in Württemberg compared to the Reich and especially to the neighboring state of Baden was assessed by research as an unusual statistical phenomenon. A population structure that was Protestant, medium-sized, and agriculturally like in Württemberg around 1930 should have guaranteed a high proportion of the votes of the NSDAP. In spite of this, the NSDAP in Württemberg was less successful than in the Catholic and more industrialized Baden.

Election research explained the relatively weaker performance of the NSDAP in Württemberg through the interaction of several factors: The central economic crisis indicators such as unemployment, national debt and housing shortages were significantly lower in Württemberg than in Baden or the Reich. In comparison to the Reich, there was traditionally stronger anchoring of left-wing liberalism in Württemberg . The Protestant population of Württemberg harbored skepticism and aversion to large political organizations and to new ideas and developments. In the old Wuerttemberg areas there was a strongly pronounced pietism, which contained an anti-secular, anti-secular and social basic trait. In addition, there was the robust solidarity of the Protestant rural population with the Württemberg farmers and wine gardeners' association , which was able to successfully bind its voters until 1933. He thus represented an anomaly in the political structure of the Reich. He relied on anti-Semitism as well as on a style similar to the NSDAP up to the Führer principle and therefore made it even more difficult for Hitler's party to successfully position itself as a new force. The church affiliation was overall higher in Württemberg than in the empire. The compact Catholic electoral segment was in relatively homogeneous Catholic areas within the primarily Protestant country. Because of their real or perceived status as a religious-cultural minority, the Catholic voters in Württemberg were particularly loyal to the center.

Another important factor that counteracted the efforts of the NSDAP in Württemberg was the relatively stable ruling coalition of the center , liberal and Protestant-conservative parties. Thus, the Nazi agitation in Württemberg lacked a central target, since the Weimar system, which was hated by the opponents of the republic, had no longer been in government responsibility there since 1924. It was not until 1933 that the NSDAP achieved its final breakthrough in Württemberg.

The following table shows a comparison of the election results of the NSDAP in Württemberg and at the Reich level. Since the NSDAP was banned in 1924, the results of the Württemberg election for the Völkisch-Soziale Block and the National Socialist Freedom Party in the Reichstag election on May 4, 1924 and the National Socialist Freedom Movement (NSFB) in the Reichstag election on December 7, 1924 are for that year listed.

Results of the NSDAP in state and Reichstag elections in Württemberg (1924–1933)
election day State election result Reichstag election results
(in Württemberg)
Reichstag election results
(throughout the Reich)
May 4, 1924 3.98% 4.23% 6.55%
December 7, 1924 no state election 2.16% 3.00%
May 20, 1928 1.81% 1.89% 2.63%
September 14, 1930 no state election 9.38% 18.33%
April 24, 1932 26.4% no parliamentary elections no parliamentary elections
July 31, 1932 no state election 30.53% 37.36%
November 6, 1932 no state election 26.46% 33.09%
March 5, 1933 no state election 42.00% 43.91%

In the state elections on April 24, 1932, the vote share of the opponents of the republic (NSDAP, DNVP , WBWB and KPD ) exceeded the absolute majority for the first time. The NSDAP became the strongest political force in the country with 23 seats, but the KPD, which was hostile to the National Socialists, was also able to gain ground.

Seizure of power in Württemberg

On January 30, 1933, Reich President Hindenburg appointed Hitler Chancellor in Berlin . The attempt by the KPD to thwart the takeover of power by means of a general strike only met with a response throughout Germany in Mössingen, Wuerttemberg , but had no lasting effect here either (cf. Mössingen general strike ). After the dissolution of the Reichstag, an election campaign based on massive street terror on the part of the NSDAP began. During the election campaign, the National Socialists systematically disrupted the events of President Eugen Bolz , Justice Minister Josef Beyerle and Economics Minister Reinhold Maier . On February 4, 1933, the government restricted the freedom of the press and freedom of assembly by means of an emergency ordinance. The government in Stuttgart tried to stick to constitutional methods as long as possible against the development at Reich level in Württemberg. The governments in Baden and Bavaria acted similarly , much to the annoyance of the National Socialists. On February 15, 1933, Hitler came to Stuttgart for an election speech. This speech became memorable because political opponents managed to cut a transmission cable and thus interrupt the live broadcast on the radio. With the Reichstag Fire Ordinance, the Reich government was able to undo the previous rule of law before the election and initiate the massive state-sanctioned persecution of the members of the KPD . The new rulers allowed the KPD to take part in the election so that the SPD would not be able to give the SPD votes from otherwise unable KPD voters.

In the Reichstag election on March 5, the NSDAP in Württemberg achieved a 42.0% share of the vote, which is just below the Reich average. In Württemberg, the NSDAP succeeded in mainly winning over previous non-voters and new voters. The turnout in Württemberg rose from 71.7% in the Reichstag election in November 1932 to 85.7% in the election in March 1933. Only constituencies with a high proportion of regular voters for the center, such as today's state of North Rhine-Westphalia, had lower proportions of votes for the NSDAP on. On March 8, the Reich government installed Dietrich von Jagow as Reich Commissioner in Württemberg. He now had many opposition members, mainly communists, arrested and brought to the Heuberg concentration camp near Stetten on the cold market .

With the help of the votes of the Württemberg Citizens' Party and the Württemberg Farmers and Vineyards Association, the National Socialists elected Wilhelm Murr as the new state president on March 15, 1933 in the state parliament. Thirty-six MPs voted for Murr, the Center and the DDP abstained with 19 votes, while the 13 SPD MPs voted against. The communists had already been expelled from the state parliament. In addition to Murr and Mergenthaler, the newly formed government also included the previous and future Finance Minister Alfred Dehlinger , who had expressed his approval of National Socialism during the election campaign .

The Enabling Act for Hitler of March 24th and the Act to bring the Länder into line with the Reich of March 31st ended the political independence of Württemberg. The Württemberg state parliament was reorganized according to the result of the Reichstag election on March 5. With the second law for the synchronization of the states of April 7, 1933, the Reich government created the offices of Reich Governors . The previous President Murr became Hitler's governor for Württemberg. The new state government with Christian Mergenthaler as the formal head of government was subordinate to Murr. At the last session of the Württemberg state parliament, all parliamentary groups except the SPD passed an enabling law on June 8, 1933 , which suspended the democratic Württemberg constitution of 1919. The state government was now allowed to decree new laws. With the law on the rebuilding of the Reich of January 30, 1934, the residents of the country finally lost their de jure still existing Württemberg citizenship in favor of German citizenship . The state parliament was abolished and the previously existing sovereign rights of Württemberg were transferred to the Reich. The Württemberg cabinet, which continued to work until 1945, had thus sunk to a central authority of the Reich.

Rule of the regime in Württemberg

Gau Württemberg-Hohenzollern 1925–1945

Gaue of the NSDAP in the German Reich in 1944

The Gau Württemberg-Hohenzollern was an administrative unit of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP). It existed since 1925. Gauleiter was Eugen Munder from 1925 to 1928 and Wilhelm Murr from February 1, 1928 , and his deputy from March 1933 to 1937 was the previous Gau manager Friedrich Schmidt . From 1933 onwards more and more state tasks were transferred to the Gauleitung. In addition to Württemberg, the Hohenzollern Lands belonged to the Parteigau, which remained a Prussian administrative district under constitutional law (among others, under the government president Carl Simons to Wilhelm Dreher ). A Gauführerschule existed in Kressbronn on Lake Constance in the Schlössle .

Local government

In Württemberg, the mayors were directly elected by the citizens, mostly non-party administrative experts. Usually they came from the higher administrative service of other municipalities, so that in addition to their technical competence they could also take on a mediating role. It was therefore difficult to accuse the mayors of Württemberg of lacking the trust of the population or of being incompetent party registry officials. With a few exceptions, such as in Sternenfels , the SPD and KPD played almost no role in the Württemberg municipal administration. At the beginning of 1933, for example, the NSDAP saw in many cases no reason to clean up on site, especially since appropriate specialists from the ranks of the National Socialists were often not available. Around three quarters of all 1875 mayors in Württemberg therefore remained untouched by the NSDAP's policy of harmonization. Around 8% of the mayors, i.e. around 150, had to give up their post, around 17% were transferred. In the seven largest cities in Württemberg, the National Socialists replaced all mayor positions by 1939 at the latest with people from their own ranks, in the remaining 17 cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants another five mayors were affected by an exchange. Together with the poor penetration of the country by NSDAP organizational units, this repeatedly gave rise to certain scope for decision-making for lower political levels and mayors.

The following table lists the mayors of the seven largest Württemberg cities who were replaced in the course of the NSDAP's takeover.
The population figures are those of June 16, 1933.

population (1933)
Mayor before 1933
term of office as Mayor
OB the Nazi era
tenure as OB
Karl Lautenschlager
1911 to 1933
Karl Strölin (NSDAP)
1933 to 1945
Emil Schwamberger
1919 to 1933
Friedrich Foerster (NSDAP)
1933 to 1945
Emil Beutinger
1921 to 1933
Heinrich Valid (NSDAP)
1933 to 1945
Esslingen am Neckar
Ingo Lang von Langen
1930 to 1933
Alfred Klaiber (NSDAP)
1933 to 1945
Erich Schmid
1927 to 1930
Karl Frank (1937: NSDAP)
1931 to 1945
Karl Haller
1929 to 1933
Richard Dederer (NSDAP)
1933 to 1945
Adolf Scheef
1927 to 1939
Ernst Weinmann (NSDAP)
1939 to 1945

According to the democratic municipal code of Württemberg, the municipal councils were mostly made up of locally known dignitaries due to personal choices . The party affiliation did not play a major role. Now, with the Gleichschaltunggesetz of March 31, 1933, the municipal councils were also reassembled based on the result of the previous Reichstag election. The mandates for the communists had to be dropped here too. In the course of 1933 the National Socialists forced unpopular people who did not belong to their party to resign their seats through psychological or physical violence. At the end of 1934, the Württemberg municipal councils were largely dominated by the National Socialists. With the German municipal code of January 30, 1935, the Führer principle finally prevailed: the state government now appointed the mayors of the cities and municipalities in the state. Local NSDAP representatives appointed the local councils for six years without popular elections.

As early as April 25, 1933, the Württemberg municipal assemblies and district councils were abolished and their powers were transferred to the district administrators. The Württemberg district order of January 27, 1934 replaced Württemberg designations with Prussian ones: "Oberamt" became "Kreis", "Amtskorperschaft" became "Kreistag" and "Bezirksrat" became "Kreisrat". The composition of the two committees, district council and district council, was ultimately solely subject to the will of the NSDAP. The district council included the district administrator, the NSDAP district leader, the mayors of the communities in the district and, depending on the number of inhabitants, other members appointed by the mayors. The district council consisted of the district administrator, the NSDAP district leader and another five members appointed by mutual agreement from the previous two. However, not a single Nazi functionary was appointed district administrator in Württemberg until 1945.

The German municipal code introduced eleven urban districts in Württemberg, which, however, apart from Stuttgart, still belonged to their respective upper offices or now districts. On October 1, 1938, the traditional administrative structure of Württemberg changed again significantly. The 61 districts that had gone back to the earlier senior offices were merged into larger units. In the process, 34 new rural districts and three independent cities were created.

The party developed a variety of activities to train civil servants in the spirit of National Socialism. In addition to evening events and weekend courses, several days of instruction at the Gau school in Metzingen, which was set up especially for Württemberg-Hohenzollern, or at the Gau training castle in Kreßbronn or the Kapfenburg were considered.

Organization of the police

After the Reichstag election of March 5, 1933, the Reich government appointed Dietrich von Jagow as Reich Commissioner for Württemberg to replace the Württemberg government Bolz , which was formally still in office, as the executive body. Jagow had been SA Group Leader Southwest since 1931, with over 17,000 SA men subordinate to him by the fall of 1931. On March 8th, he took over command of the entire Württemberg police force and reinforced it by setting up an auxiliary police force made up of members of the SA , the Stahlhelm and the SS . With the election of Wilhelm Murr as the new Württemberg state president and the formation of the new NS government Murr on March 15, 1933, Jagow's position as Reich Commissioner in Württemberg was no longer valid, but Murr now appointed him State Police Commissioner of Württemberg. Jagow left Württemberg at the end of March and became SA Obergruppenführer in Frankfurt am Main . In March and April 1933, Gottlob Berger was an honorary special commissioner for the Supreme SA leadership in the Württemberg Ministry of the Interior.

On April 28, 1933, Gauleiter Murr, in his capacity as Württemberg Interior Minister, released the political police department from the responsibility of the Stuttgart Police Headquarters and created an independent Württemberg Political Police , which he had transformed into the State Political Police Office on January 27, 1934 . As early as December 9, 1933, the Württemberg Political Police had been subordinate to Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler , whereas responsibility for the Württemberg state police had initially been with the Reich Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of the Interior in Stuttgart since the federal states were brought into line. On June 17, 1936, Himmler became head of all police organizations in the German Reich. From the Political State Police Office, the State Police Headquarters in Stuttgart emerged as an office of the Secret State Police , which, as part of the Security Police , took on all political and criminal police matters. The state police headquarters in Stuttgart naturally played a leading role in the violent implementation of the Nazi dictatorship in Württemberg.

The heads of the political police in the respectively changing organizational forms for Württemberg were

In addition to the security police , there was the order police , which consisted of the precincts of the former state police. The former barracked riot police were incorporated into the Wehrmacht in June 1935 .

Judicial system

National Socialism permanently undermined the independence of the judiciary. In addition, those responsible removed Communist or Jewish judges, state attorneys and lawyers from the litigation system. The newspaper NS-Kurier advertised in its April 26, 1933 edition that Aryan lawyers should join the NSDAP. The Association of National Socialist German Jurists (BNSDJ) was also formed in Württemberg . The judicial system was standardized throughout the Reich from January 1934 to January 1935. As a result, Württemberg lost the Ministry of Justice headed by Oswald Lehnich until 1935 . The judges and public prosecutors changed from state officials to Reich officials. Since March 25, 1933, there was a special court for the district of the Stuttgart Higher Regional Court . Its three judges were entrusted with the rapid punishment of "political crimes" on the basis of the Reichstag Fire Ordinance. There was no appeal against the judgments of the special court. From October 1937 to November 1944 it was headed by the particularly loyal judge Hermann Cuhorst , who was known for his harsh and quick judgments.

Prisons and concentration camps

Ulm concentration camp - Oberer Kuhberg: View of the redoubt

The concentration camp primarily used by Württemberg-Hohenzollern was located on the area of ​​the Stetten military training area on the cold market in Baden. This Heuberg camp was set up by the National Socialists as one of their first concentration camps in Germany. It existed from March 20 to December 1933. The regime held several thousand opponents here, for example Kurt Schumacher, who later became the first post-war chairman of the SPD . The Oberer Kuhberg concentration camp was a "concentration camp for the Gau Württemberg-Hohenzollern" in the period from November 1933 to July 1935. It was housed in Fort Oberer Kuhberg of the Federal Fortress Ulm , built around 1850. The Gestapo Stuttgart took Welzheim protective custody camp from 1935 as a concentration camp-like Württemberg Police prison in operation. She used the former district court prison in Welzheim . In 1942, the Gestapo - Stapo headquarters in Stuttgart - set up a " labor education camp " for women in Rudersberg , which also served as a prison for political, Jewish and other female prisoners.

Württemberg penal institutions were located in Heilbronn , Ludwigsburg , Rottenburg am Neckar and Schwäbisch Gmünd .

The National Socialists set up one of the assembly camps for Jews in Dellmensingen ( Erbach ) in the early 1940s , which was also known as the Jewish “old people's home” Dellmensingen. There were other Jewish forced retirement homes in Eschenau Castle and in Herrlingen ( Blaustein ), Oberstotzingen , Tigerfeld and Weißenstein .

Persecution of political opponents

As Reich Commissioner, Dietrich von Jagow initiated the smashing of the still existing political opposition in Württemberg in March 1933. The first wave of persecution, which Jagow ordered from March 8, 1933, mainly affected politicians and functionaries of the KPD . After the arrest, the regime first took her to the Rottenburg State Prison and then, from March 20, 1933, to the quickly established Heuberg camp .

Kurt Schumacher on a stamp for his 100th birthday
German special postage stamp for Georg Elser's 100th birthday from 2003. Quote Elser: " I wanted to prevent the war "

In March 1933 alone over 500 KPD members from Württemberg were arrested. In mid-April 1933, the camp staff in Heuberg held almost 2,000 politically persecuted people from Baden and Württemberg prisoner under degrading conditions. This number increased further to 15,000 prisoners by the end of November 1933. At the end of 1933, the Heuberg camp was cleared so that it could be used again for military purposes. The prisoners from Heuberg were brought to the Oberer Kuhberg concentration camp in Ulm. On March 13, 1933, the government banned the Reichsbanner Black-Red-Gold and the Iron Front across the country . The property of the Stuttgart forest homes was confiscated. The provisions of the Ordinance of March 21, 1933, according to which critical statements about the Nazi regime were punishable, were ruthlessly applied. The best-known Württemberg prisoners in the Heuberg camp were the former state parliament president Albert Pflüger (SPD) and his party friends Fritz Ulrich and Erich Roßmann . In July 1933 Kurt Schumacher , who was initially in hiding, also came to the Heuberg camp. Some of the persecuted, such as Willi Bohn (KPD), Erwin Schoettle (SPD) and the former minister Berthold Heymann , managed to escape to Switzerland .

In addition to SPD and KPD politicians, unpopular members of other parties such as the democrat Johannes Fischer or the former Württemberg state president Eugen Bolz were arrested. Bolz was held on the Hohenasperg from June 19 to July 12, 1933 under degrading conditions. With the law against the formation of new parties of July 14, 1933, any possibility of opposition in the German Reich was officially prohibited and only possible at risk of death. The regime persecuted and punished the communists active in the resistance with particular severity, as demonstrated , for example, in the cases of Liselotte Herrmann and Ewald Funke . With support from its Swiss exile, the SPD continued to work underground until the end of 1937 and published the newspaper Roter Kurier . Because of the constant persecution, the Social Democrats withdrew more and more into private life by the end of 1937 at the latest, as the approval of broad sections of the population for the regime had evidently steadily increased in the first years of the dictatorship. Although there were some outstanding examples of active resistance in Württemberg, this should not obscure the fact that the vast majority either conformed or willingly supported the new system. There was no active resistance from the middle class in Württemberg, although some citizens tried to maintain a critical distance from the regime. Well-known representatives from the Württemberg industry were among these circles.

Eugen Bolz before the People's Court, Berlin 1944

General director Alex Haffner from the Salamander works and entrepreneur Robert Bosch showed their negative attitude towards the Nazi regime particularly clearly. Bosch and, after his death in 1942, his successor, Hans Walz , employed personalities such as Carl Goerdeler and Paul Hahn who no longer had a chance in the public service. The unsuccessful attempt by the lone fighter Georg Elser from Hermaringen in Württemberg to kill Hitler in his speech in the Munich Bürgerbräukeller after the attack on Poland began on November 8, 1939, deserves special mention . The Munich resistance group White Rose maintained close ties to Ulm and Stuttgart.

With the escalation of the Second World War , the will to resist also emerged in conservative circles. Those involved in the assassination attempt from Stuttgart on July 20, 1944 included Berthold Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg , Caesar von Hofacker , Fritz Elsas and Eugen Bolz . The other people persecuted after the failed assassination attempt also include the Württemberg residents Joseph Ersing , Eugen Gerstenmaier and Erwin Rommel . Uninvolved politicians like Erich Roßmann or Fritz Ulrich were arrested again on July 20, 1944. The communist "Schlotterbeck resistance group" from Stuttgart also felt the brutality of the regime after its exposure in 1944.

Persecution of the population groups that the Nazi regime disliked

According to the ideology of National Socialism , certain people had no or no full right to exist. Only so-called “Aryan” and “genetically healthy” families could be part of the German national community . First and foremost, this did not include all members of the Jewish population , but also, for example, the Sinti and Roma ( gypsies according to the language used at the time ), as well as Yeniche , homosexuals and the mentally handicapped who fell victim to “ racial hygiene ”.

Persecution of the Jews

The National Socialists did not regard Judaism as a religious community, but as a foreign race , whose members were considered enemies of the so-called “ Aryan ” race. To be Jewish was therefore an irreparable blemish by birth, which is why it was pointless for a Jew to join another religious community or to turn away from Judaism. The party irrationally ostracized and persecuted Jewish citizens in order to allegedly resolve the simmering Jewish question , and ultimately made them victims of the Holocaust . Even before the nationwide boycott of Jewish shops on April 1, 1933, there was discrimination or mistreatment of Jews in public in Württemberg, for example in March in Heilbronn. National Socialists beat two Jewish citizens to death in Creglingen . The subsequent disenfranchisement of the Jews followed the imperial laws and ordinances mentioned here as an example:

The old synagogue in Stuttgart

While the public service was closed to the Jewish citizens as a field of activity as early as 1933, unless the front-line combatant privilege required by Hindenburg was initially still in effect, they could at least continue to work in the private sector for a few years. However, the proportion of Jews in the public service in Württemberg was already very low at the beginning of 1933. The number of Jewish professors at the University of Tübingen was also not great. Far more people who had been affected by the occupational restrictions since 1933 in Württemberg were among the Jewish lawyers and the approximately 100 Jewish doctors and specialists. Until 1936, Jewish traders played a significant role in the cattle markets in rural Württemberg. The Jewish traders and traders found themselves exposed to increasing harassment and assault by the local Nazi forces.

Siegfried Gumbel , the President of the Upper Council of the Israelite religious community in Württemberg , was arrested in 1938 as part of the November pogroms and died in 1942 in Dachau concentration camp

Since, for historical reasons, Judaism in Württemberg tended to settle in rural areas and generally had a low income, this harassment quickly led to poverty. An increasing number of Jewish citizens were now dependent on the support of their community or a Jewish aid organization, such as the Jüdische Nothilfe and the Jüdische Winterhilfe. On the way of the ordinance, the authorities gradually forbade the Jews more and more opportunities to exercise their profession and finally also touched their property and property. Of about 10,000 Jews living in Württemberg around 1930, 7,046 were still living in the state on October 1, 1938. Under the influence of the events of the pogroms of November 9, 1938, many Jewish residents of Württemberg left the country if possible, provided that it seemed affordable to leave. In Württemberg, the National Socialists burned down twelve synagogues in the November 1938 pogroms and damaged more than 20, some of them very seriously.

The Heilbronn synagogue around 1900

The synagogues that were completely burned down were in Buchau , Buttenhausen , Göppingen , Heilbronn , Künzelsau , Laupheim , Ludwigsburg , Steinbach , Stuttgart , Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt , Tübingen and Ulm .

Synagogues that were set on fire, but whose building fabric was still preserved, could be found in Freudental , Lauchheim , Mühringen , Oberdorf and Rexingen .

In the following places the National Socialists desecrated and demolished the synagogues without setting fire to: Affaltrach , Archshofen , Aufhausen , Baisingen , Berlichingen , Bonfeld , Braunsbach , Crailsheim , Creglingen , Edelfingen , Esslingen , Hohebach , Horb am Neckar , Laudenbach , Mergentheim , Michelbach an der Lücke , Öhringen , Olnhausen , Rottweil , Schwäbisch Gmünd , Schwäbisch Hall , Talheim and Weikersheim .

In the Hohenzollern area, the synagogues in Haigerloch and Hechingen were destroyed.

Numerous Jewish business premises and apartments were looted and in some cases completely destroyed. In Württemberg, 13 Jews died in this pogrom night and 878 were deported to the Welzheim and Dachau camps, where some of them were held for months. Siegfried Gumbel , President of the Upper Council of the Israelite religious community in Württemberg was also among the arrested persons . The Jews could not count on the active help from their non-Jewish neighbors. Hardly anyone offered active resistance, even though a majority of the population rejected the form and course of the pogrom. After the November pogroms, there was an international boycott of German goods, from which the Württemberg export industry also suffered.

The disenfranchisement and humiliation of the Jews through the ordinances escalated further as a result of the November pogroms, as these examples show:

The authorities forbade Jews from attending cultural events such as the theater and cinema. They also revoked their driving licenses . At the census on May 17, 1939 , 4,377 Jews were still living in Württemberg. The musicologist Karl Adler provided significant help with Jewish emigration at this time . The first forced relocations began towards the end of 1940. First, special units combed cities and villages in Württemberg for remaining Jews and deported them to places with a long Jewish tradition such as Buchau, Laupheim and Oberdorf am Ipf. In addition, Jewish forced retirement homes were set up at various locations . These were in Dellmensingen , Eschenau , Herrlingen , Oberstotzingen , Tigerfeld and Weißenstein . Since September 1941, all so-called racial Jews had to wear the yellow Star of David visibly on their clothing. An increasing number of everyday objects were banned and confiscated from the Jews. The authorities prevented the mobility of the Jewish population by only allowing the use of public transport with special permission and by forbidding Jews to own bicycles. After the pogroms in November 1938 until the beginning of the deportations in autumn 1941, it was still possible for Jews to leave Germany with great difficulty. After that they could only try to hide somewhere in Hitler's territory or illegally cross the border into Switzerland. From December 1941 to February 1945 twelve deportation trains with around 2,500 Jews rolled from Württemberg and Hohenzollern to Eastern Europe. A memorial at the Stuttgart Nordbahnhof commemorates the deportations from Stuttgart . Only a few survived the abduction and the Holocaust. Around 180 Jews returned to the former state of Württemberg after the end of the Second World War. All others were either shot by special forces after forced labor or murdered in the gas chambers of the extermination camps. Only about 200 Jews from Württemberg, especially those who were married to a so-called Aryan in mixed marriage, escaped deportation. There were no more Jewish communities in Württemberg in 1945.

Persecution of sick and disabled people

On the basis of the law to prevent hereditary offspring , the Nazi regime began as early as 1933 to sterilize the mentally or physically handicapped, mentally ill and alcoholics against their will . From 1934 to 1944, at least 11,814 people were affected by the forced sterilizations in Württemberg. August Mayer , who was director of the University Women's Clinic in Tübingen from 1917 to 1950, took part in more than 700 forced sterilizations of women classified as “inferior” .

After the beginning of the Second World War, the Nazi killing center in Grafeneck , located on Württemberg soil, was one of the crime scenes for the mass murders of disabled people carried out as part of the T4 campaign. On behalf of Philipp Bouhler , Horst Schumann and Ernst Baumhard murdered around 10,000 people from January to December 1940 by poisoning them with carbon monoxide .

Persecution of "gypsies"

Ravensburg , memorial to the memory of the 29 Sinti from Ravensburg who were murdered in Auschwitz
May 22, 1940 in Asperg: Deportation of Southwest German Sinti (photo by RHF )

Roma of the different subgroups ( Sinti , Lovara , Kalderasch etc.) were categorized as “Gypsies” under National Socialism and persecuted “from the nature of this race” (Himmler decree of December 8, 1938). They were considered to be collectively "anti-social". The Nazi racial researcher Robert Ritter , who worked at the University of Tübingen from 1932 to 1935 , was head of the Racial Hygiene Research Center (RHF) in the Reich Health Office, recording and assessing the racial characteristics of the Roma and Sinti living in the Reich. The reports of the RHF formed an essential criterion for the extermination deportations of Roma and Sinti to Auschwitz-Birkenau that began in February 1943.

A " gypsy camp" was set up in Ravensburg , to which Sinti and Roma were brought.

From May 16 to May 22, 1940 the regime arrested Sinti and Roma from all over southwest Germany on the Hohenasperg in order to deport them to Eastern Europe by rail. Around 490 people were initially abandoned at Jedrzejew , then pressed into forced labor in stone quarries, in road construction and in the armaments industry, and finally interned in the Radom ghetto , where a typhus epidemic raged in 1942, of which many fell victim. The Auschwitz decree Himmler threatened the survival of the are still residing in the Reich remaining Sinti and Roma.

From 1938 to 1944, the regime sent all Sinti and Roma children from Württemberg and Baden to St. Josef's care in Mulfingen , after their parents had already been deported to various concentration camps. 39 children from St. Josef's Foster Care were deported to Auschwitz in May 1944. Only four of these children survived the end of the dictatorship.

Persecution of "anti-social"

Hereditary hygienists and population biologists in a broad political spectrum have long rated a large number of groups of the “German national community” as “ antisocial ” or “harmful to the community”, such as alcoholics, prostitutes, homeless people, beggars, Yenish land drivers and the like. a. Since 1933, this perspective of marginalized “ ballast existences ” has developed into the dominant doctrine and into a political and administrative maxim.

At the beginning of 1934, the city of Stuttgart took the first steps to set up a labor camp for "work-shy and defective elements". After consultation with the Württemberg Ministry of the Interior, it was opened on October 1, 1934 for a smaller number of inmates in Göttelfingen in the Black Forest. Since the camp quickly proved to be too small, it was moved to Buttenhausen on the Swabian Alb. The conditions of residence there were gradually tightened. In the war years, cooperation with the Kripo and Gestapo, who were able to impose preventive or concentration camp detention, intensified. In Württemberg, too, the Gestapo in April 1938 and the Kripo in June 1938 in cooperation with the municipal welfare offices implemented the “Arbeitsscheu Reich” campaign , which led to a large number of admissions to concentration camps. So reported z. B. the Stuttgart welfare office at the end of February 1938 the Gestapo 41 “work shy”. The Dachau concentration camp was responsible for the Stuttgart Criminal Police Headquarters. At that time, a comprehensive anti-social index was still being set up in Württemberg.

For the village of Schloßberg am Flochberg (Bopfingen), in which “people without people” settled in the 18th century, it is reported that the lower state health authority dealt with 72 cases of allegedly “inferior” residents and that 26 Yeniche were forcibly sterilized.

The number of victims of the persecution allegedly “non-community” is unknown.

Oppression of the Christian churches

During the years of the struggle for power in Germany from 1930 to 1933, the representatives of the NSDAP showed demonstrative friendliness towards the churches for reasons of election tactics. Many, especially evangelical believers, including their pastors and church leaders, let themselves be deceived by this. During the time of National Socialism, both the Evangelical Church and the Diocese of Rottenburg got into profound disputes with the regime, which for the Evangelical Church are also known under the somewhat misleading term “ church struggle ”.

Evangelical regional church

On April 22nd, 1934, a meeting of professing Christians from all over Germany took place in Ulm, who shortly afterwards united in Barmen to form the Confessing Church . The picture shows the Ulm Minster .

Church president Theophil Wurm and with him many members of the Protestant regional church first welcomed Adolf Hitler's chancellorship. From him they expected the overcoming of the oppressive unemployment, the unification of the national community , which in the years since the defeat in the First World War, into many interest groups, and the elevation of the humiliated German Reich to new power and greatness. The day of Potsdam and Hitler's commitment in his government declaration to see “in Christianity the unshakable foundations of the moral and moral life of our people” reinforced these hopes. Many Protestant Christians found the persecution of the "left" parties, in particular, that began with the Nazi regime to be beneficial, as the "left" with their recommendations to leave the church had already appeared as opponents of the church in the past. The smoldering fear of a communist revolution gave way to great confidence. Since large sections of the Protestant church people also harbored an anti-Semitic sentiment, only a few voices rose in protest against the known abuse of Jewish citizens and the boycott of Jewish shops on April 1, 1933. A pastor like Hermann Umfrid from Niederstetten , who was already on the 25th March 1933 in his sermon denounced the injustice against the Jews, received no support from the Württemberg church leadership.

On June 30, 1933, Church President Wurm accepted the title of regional bishop . He had been encouraged to do this on many occasions, especially by the German Christians . Wurm was initially open to the German Christians and accepted the German Christian pastor Wilhelm Pressel into the Württemberg church leadership. The German Christians aspired to the new German Evangelical Church with 28 regional churches as a unified imperial church with an imperial bishop still to be determined at the head. In the nationwide uniform church election on July 23, 1933, the German Christians (DC) were victorious, although it was not a real election, but only the approval of a given list. The German Christians now also had a majority in the Württemberg State Church Congress: 34 out of 61 seats. In most of the other regional churches there were constitutional changes and the establishment of a new German-Christian church leadership. The Württemberg church leadership opposed a constitutional change in accordance with the wishes of the German Christians. It received support from the pastors' meeting called on September 20, 1933 in Stuttgart. A large majority of the 1250 Wuerttemberg pastors stood behind the regional bishop and against the efforts of the German Christians. Thus, the Württemberg regional church remained "intact" in the interests of the opponents of the German Christians, whereas the churches led by the German Christians were viewed as "destroyed" under the Reich Bishop Ludwig Müller , who had been in office since September 1933 . In addition to Württemberg, “intact” regional churches were those of Bavaria and Hanover .

In protest against the application of the so-called " Aryan paragraph " of was formed in September in Württemberg Pastors , which joined 800 Wuerttemberg pastors, including Kurt Hutten , the Managing Director of the Evangelical People's League Württemberg. On November 13, 1933, parts of the German Christians called for the abolition of the Old Testament in a sports palace rally , as it was a "Jewish book". As a result of an agreement between the Reich Bishop and the Reich Youth Leader , all Protestant youth associations of the German Reich were incorporated into the Hitler Youth on December 20, 1933 . The Evangelical Youth of Württemberg was incorporated into the Hitler Youth on February 7, 1934.

The activities of the German Christians aroused increasing reluctance. The mood in the Württemberg State Church Congress already changed in autumn 1933, so that many of the originally German Christian MPs gave up their previous views. On April 22, 1934, a meeting of professing Christians from all over the German Empire with the regional bishops of Bavaria and Württemberg took place in Ulm. The Confessing Church was formed with the theological declaration at the 1st Synod of the Confession of the Reich in Barmen from May 29 to 31, 1934 . The Württemberg church leadership saw itself as part of this opposition movement, which many Württemberg priests also joined.

In October 1934, the regime retired Bishop Wurm and his Bavarian colleague Hans Meiser and placed them under house arrest because they opposed the Reich Bishop's efforts to incorporate their independent regional churches into the Reich Church. In their place there was a provisional management by a German Christian pastor. Now, on two Sundays in October 1934, around 5000 members of the Württemberg regional church gathered in front of the house of Bishop Wurm in Stuttgart and sang religious songs to demonstrate their solidarity with their regional bishop. These demonstrations generated so much international attention that Reich Foreign Minister Konstantin von Neurath , who was himself a Württemberg citizen, was alerted. Hitler then canceled the attempt to take possession of the Reich Church and reinstated the Bavarian and Württemberg regional bishops.

The Württemberg regional church leadership took part in the second Reich Confession Synod in Dahlem from October 19 to 20, 1934, and in the third Synod of the Confessions in Augsburg from March 4 to 6, 1935 . On March 18, 1936, Württemberg's church joined the Luther Council. Pastors who were loyal to their confession were repeatedly exposed to degrading pamphlets in the Nazi press. This should move the people of the church to turn away from their denomination. The state cut back the financial contributions to the church several times, for example in the years 1934, 1935, 1937 and 1941. State harassment also took place by banning individual editions of church newspapers.

When Minister of Culture Mergenthaler abolished denominational schools in Württemberg in April 1936, he was able to do so without resistance from the Protestant Church, as he assured that nothing would change in religious education. This assurance masked the Minister of Culture's true plans. Soon there was a demand that the Old Testament should be removed from religious instruction. In June 1937, the government banned 700 Protestant pastors from the regional church from religious instruction because they refused to make a “pledge” to the “Führer”. On April 5, 1939, Mergenthaler initiated the introduction of Weltanschauung lessons (WAU) as a replacement for religious education. In 1941 Mergenthaler had the evangelical theological seminars in Maulbronn, Urach, Schöntal and Blaubeuren closed.

In the referendum on the annexation of Austria on April 10, 1938, the Kirchheim pastor Otto Mörike refused to approve the list of the Greater German Reichstag. He was then beaten and arrested. In April 1938, the Protestant church leadership urged its pastors to swear an oath of allegiance to Hitler, which most eventually did despite concerns. In his sermon on the Day of Repentance and Prayer on November 16, 1938, the Oberlenningen pastor Julius von Jan condemned the regime's shameful approach to the November pogroms . SA members then severely abused Jan and took him into " protective custody ". The Württemberg church leadership instructed its pastors to avoid such "mistakes" in the future.

Regional Bishop Theophil Wurm wrote several critical letters to the Reich government. In a letter dated July 19, 1940 to Reich Minister of the Interior Frick, he protested against the mass murders in Grafeneck. On July 16, 1943, in view of the deportations of the Jews and knowing what was going on in the extermination camps, he wrote a letter to the Reich Government in which he protested the Holocaust with clear words. More such letters followed. Wurm, however, was reluctant to shout the accusatory words against the government in public from the pulpit. The Württemberg regional church accepted pastors persecuted elsewhere, such as the Heidelberg theologian Helmut Thielicke, who became a preacher at the Stuttgart collegiate church. Pastors of Jewish origin were also accepted into the regional church. Some pastors, such as Theodor Dipper , hid Jews in their homes at constant risk of death. At the end of the war, 71 churches and 121 rectories were destroyed in the area of ​​the Württemberg regional church. Of the approximately 1,300 Protestant pastors in Württemberg, the Wehrmacht took around 750 into military service. By 1945, 194 evangelical clergymen and 99 theology students had died, 45 were reported missing. At the end of the wrong path of the church, initially set out in the spirit of anti-Semitism, national blindness and obedience, there was the Stuttgart confession of guilt .

Roman Catholic Church

The Weingarten Abbey with the baroque monastery buildings on the Martinsberg. In 1940 the National Socialists expelled the monks who lived there.

The Roman Catholic Bishop Joannes Baptista Sproll in Rottenburg was prepared, despite considerable misgivings, at the beginning of 1933 to work together profitably with the new rulers. The Diocese of Rottenburg urged its clergy to show political restraint. On July 1, 1933, in accordance with an instruction from the Reich government, the Catholic youth associations in Württemberg were also dissolved as requested, although these measures could in part be reversed with the conclusion of the Reich Concordat. The German Catholics hoped that the conclusion of the Reich Concordat would provide lasting security for their religious practice and the continued existence of the Catholic Church in the new totalitarian state.

At the beginning of 1934, however, there were numerous arrests of Catholic clergy who had expressed themselves or behaved critical of the regime. There were repeated acts of violence by National Socialists against members of Catholic youth associations, so that Bishop Sproll at a rally in Stuttgart on December 16, 1934, warned of the right of free development for Catholic youth, as guaranteed in the Reich Concordat. However, this appeal was completely ineffective. In the following years 1935 and 1936, the reprisals of the National Socialists against the Catholic associations continued in massive form. In 1936, the regime denied the Catholic orders and congregations non-profit status and placed oppressive demands for back taxes on them. The Catholic Church was exposed to bad abuse in the press and on the radio, against which Bishop Sproll repeatedly took a public position. Nevertheless, he wanted to continue to be cooperative and in 1937 urged his clergymen who were employed at the schools to swear the required oath of loyalty to Hitler. However, since 211 priests refused to hold religious instruction in the National Socialist spirit as required, they were excluded from further instruction.

Memorial plaque to Bishop Sproll in Rottenburg

Because of the ongoing attacks by the National Socialists on the Catholic Church, Sproll stayed away from the referendum on April 10, 1938, because he did not want to agree to the associated election for the NSDAP's unified list for the Greater German Reichstag . The Nazi press then started a hateful campaign against the bishop, which fueled the violence of fanatical readers, so that the bishop had to flee his residence. On August 24, 1938, Gauleiter Murr ordered Bishop Sproll's final expulsion from the Württemberg-Hohenzollern area. Of the 827 priests in the diocese, 18 priests were also deported, 60 were victims of acts of violence by the Nazi mob, 122 were fined, 88 were imprisoned and eleven were sent to a concentration camp. Vicar General Max Kottmann took over the management of the Diocese of Rottenburg from 1938 in place of Bishop Sproll.

With the beginning of the Second World War, the regime tightened its measures against the Catholic orders. It made the entry of young people into a monastery practically impossible and suppressed existing monasteries. In 1940 the National Socialists drove out the monks from Weingarten Abbey . Although they were able to return to Weingarten after the end of the war , 25 of the monks drafted into the Wehrmacht had died from Weingarten. In 1941 Gauleiter Murr, in his capacity as Reich Defense Commissioner, confiscated the entire assets of the Untermarchtal Monastery for the State of Württemberg. He justified this arbitrary act with the alleged violation of the war economy order. To further legitimize the incident, the Stuttgart special court also sentenced some sisters and laypeople of the monastery to prison terms in show trials. Time and again, the regime made the Catholic clergy victims of persecution when they publicly expressed grievances. They were then sentenced to either fines or prison terms, some were expelled from the country and, in worse cases, sent to concentration camps.

The number of priests in the Diocese of Rottenburg who fell in World War II was eleven dead and two missing, eight dead and three missing for the religious, and a total of 33 dead and one missing for the friars. Of the 185 students of the Tübingen Wilhelmsstift who were called up for military service, 77 had died and 17 were missing at the end of the war, and the 66 military alumni of the seminary had 23 fallen and two missing.

Other Christian churches

Other Christian churches tolerated the regime if they conformed to the ideology of the Nazi state and followed its instructions. Any political insubordination, however, was persecuted relentlessly.

Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses

Jehovah's Witnesses were represented in over 60 different locations in Württemberg . After the ban on the religious community branded as anti-subversive by the Nazi regime on February 1, 1934, the persecution, arrest and internment in concentration camps and, in many cases, the murder of Jehovah's Witnesses began.

Educational policy

The aim of the new rulers after 1933 was to bring the entire education system under their control as quickly as possible and to educate the youth in the spirit of National Socialism.


The two large churches traditionally operated a large part of the Württemberg kindergartens . A law of November 8, 1937 prevented the opening of further denominational kindergartens. The National Socialist People's Welfare took over most of the kindergartens until 1943. From 1937 onwards, the regime set up a kindergarten teachers' seminar in the Bad Buchau castle area , which the teachers ideologically oriented accordingly.

Elementary schools

Naturally, the schools should serve to educate the youth in line with the regime. For this purpose, the teachers were organized in the NS-Lehrerbund (NSLB) and indoctrinated with the ideas of National Socialism with the help of courses and training material. Since the students were to be largely organized in the Hitler Youth (HJ), close coordination between NSLB and HJ was forced.

In 1936, the Württemberg government abolished the customary teacher seminars on teacher training and replaced it with one of the Prussian built model College of Teacher Education in Esslingen , but was only until 1941 and was then replaced again by teacher seminars. On April 1, 1934, the Protestant and Catholic high school council was abolished. The ministerial department for elementary schools took its place. In the school year 1936/37, the Ministry of Culture, against the main resistance of the Catholic Church, abolished the denominational elementary school in favor of a uniform German elementary school. There were disputes with the churches over the subjects of religious education and ideology. The Reich Compulsory Schooling Act of July 6, 1938 now increased compulsory schooling for Württemberg from seven to eight years for the school year 1939/40.

During the war, school operations, which were still more or less regulated in the first years of the war, came to a standstill. There was a lack of teachers, as they had to do military service, as well as material and coal for heating in winter. The students were engaged in war-important activities in agriculture, industry and air protection. Increasing air raids and bombed schools were ultimately a depressing problem in the industrial centers, especially along the Neckar .

Higher schools

From 1934, Minister of Culture Christian Mergenthaler established new schools in the form of the following National Socialist school types:

  1. The National Political Education Institute (NPEA or Napola) in the form of an upper secondary school for boys with an attached grammar school and secondary school. Local party officials decided whether an aspirant was ideologically and according to his previous school achievements suitable to be accepted into an NPEA. The Ministry of Culture set up the first NPEA in Württemberg on May 2, 1934 in Backnang in the former Protestant teacher training college in Backnang , the second on April 1, 1936 in the former Catholic teacher training college in Rottweil .
  2. Advanced schools with six years of schooling after completing the seven-year elementary school with a qualification equal to the Abitur. In 1936 the previous teacher training institutes were closed and their buildings used for the new advanced schools. Advanced schools were set up for boys in Nagold , Nürtingen and Saulgau and later in Künzelsau , and for girls in Markgröningen and Schwäbisch Gmünd .

The previous higher school types of grammar school, reform grammar school, Realgymnasium and Oberrealgymnasium gave way to a uniform type of grammar school for boys and girls. In addition to the secondary schools, NPEAs and advanced schools, there were three humanistic grammar schools in Stuttgart , Tübingen and Ulm . There were eight grade levels in the secondary schools. After the previous four Evangelical Theological Seminars in Maulbronn , Blaubeuren , Schöntal and Urach had been abolished in 1941, so-called home schools, which were operated in the special spirit of National Socialism, took their place. The middle school leaving certificate was abolished.

The steady increase in the number of students at Württemberg higher education institutions in the 1920s did not continue after 1933. The trend was slowed down significantly during the Nazi era . There was a decline in the proportion of students in higher education institutions. The following table gives an overview of the development of the number of students in Württemberg, broken down by school type:

year Elementary school students Middle school students Higher students Proportion of higher students v. H.
Kingdom of Württemberg 1910 344,659 10.118 37,336 9.8%
People's State of Württemberg 1920 375.935 14,111 49,667 11.7%
time of the nationalsocialism 1936 291.118 33.503 11.5%

Vocational schools

Rural vocational schools and master schools have been established since 1936 . There were building craft schools in Biberach , Reutlingen and Schwäbisch Hall . A school for precision mechanics, watchmakers and electrical engineering was established in Schwenningen . In Stuttgart there was a master school for building trades and in Ulm the German master school was added to the trade school.


Professors and students in Württemberg generally welcomed Hitler's takeover and the restructuring of the country in line with National Socialism. In a very short time, the regime brought the universities of the German Reich into line. With the law for the restoration of the civil service, not Aryan or politically “unfit” professors were dismissed. With the help of the law against the overcrowding of German schools and universities of April 25, 1933, the number of students was also reduced. The book burnings carried out in many German university locations in May 1933 did not take place in Württemberg. However, the outlawed books were subsequently made inaccessible to library users. A quota for the proportion of female students set by ordinance in 1934 was a maximum of 10%, since as many women as possible should turn to the classic role of housewife and mother. During the war, the Reich Ministry of Education lifted this quota again.

The new auditorium of the University of Tübingen

University of Tübingen

Since there were traditionally few Jewish professors at the University of Tübingen , fewer than 2% were dismissed for “racial” reasons in 1933. The subjects of ethnology, racial studies, genetics, pedagogy and German prehistory became particularly important. There was almost no subject in which Tübingen professors had not expressed themselves positively in the sense of National Socialism. The “ old Württemberg ” intellectual tradition in particular apparently offered little protection from compliant Nazi followers. The philosopher Theodor Haering understood "philosophy as spiritual race science" as an example. The extent to which Tübingen had been infiltrated ideologically was shown at the meeting of the Tübingen Senate on June 23, 1945. It was found that out of 160 professors and lecturers, only 31 were not members of the NSDAP. Jakob Wilhelm Hauer , for example, can be named as an ideologically entangled theologian . He was Professor of Comparative Religious Studies and Aryan Weltanschauung in Tübingen. Gerhard Kittel was a member of the theological faculty and employee of the Institute for Research on the Jewish Question . Together with Karl Adam , Karl Georg Kuhn , Hans Fleischhacker and the head of the Lecturer Association, Robert Wetzel , Kittel was one of the protagonists of the so-called “scientific” anti-Semitism at Tübingen University. Karl Georg Kuhn applied to the Tübingen orientalist Enno Littmann for a habilitation on Semitic philosophy with a special focus on the history of Judaism and has been imparting relevant knowledge since 1938. The ancient historian Joseph Vogt was close to National Socialism from an early age. Gustav Riek's role in National Socialism showed how archeology was in the service of the Nazi state.

Even his membership in the NSDAP, which had existed since 1939, did not save the legal scholar Felix Genzmer from being hostile to National Socialist students in lectures because of his allegedly critical attitude towards the regime. The biologist Ernst Lehmann tried in vain to become a member of the NSDAP. In his lecture “The Influence of Biology on Our Worldview” racial studies were very important. Gerhard Pfahler was Oswald Groh's successor on the Tübingen Pedagogy Chair since 1938.

In 1933, 3495 students were enrolled at the University of Tübingen, including 489 women. In 1939 there were only 1,538 students, 176 of them women. During the war, university operations could continue with restrictions, but 42% of the professors and 72% of the assistants were absent because of their work in the war. In particular, the humanities and law, which were regarded as unimportant to the war, were affected by restrictions. Natural sciences and especially medicine, on the other hand, were able to continue researching and teaching largely without restrictions. The number of female students at the University of Tübingen exceeded that of male fellow students for the first time in 1943. The small university town of Tübingen was hardly affected by the aerial warfare.

Technical University of Stuttgart

The TH Stuttgart was famous for its building school, the main representatives of which are Paul Schmitthenner and Paul Bonatz . Schmitthenner was briefly considered the first master builder of the Third Reich in 1933 , before this role was later undisputed by Albert Speer in Berlin. Werner Hegemann described Stuttgart as the “leading architectural university in Germany, if not Europe” in 1928, although the main representatives of the Stuttgart school rejected the internationally renowned Weißenhofsiedlung and built the Kochhofsiedlung in 1933 as a counter-model .

Only the institutes of the technical university that were important to the war effort, such as automotive and aviation technology, experienced an expansion. Wunibald Kamm , who taught from 1930 to 1945, can be named as an important professor of automotive engineering . Georg Hans Madelung worked at the Aviation Technology Institute from 1929 . The unsuccessful science policy at the time of National Socialism was particularly evident in the misunderstanding of physics. In Stuttgart, for example, important professors such as Erich Regener and Paul Peter Ewald were ousted from the university to make way for less qualified successors. For political reasons, the Social Democrat and former Württemberg Minister Immanuel Herrmann had to give up his teaching activity in 1933. His professorship went to Richard Feldtkeller in 1936 , since then head of the Institute for Electrical Communication Technology.

The course was heavily schooled and the number of students was drastically reduced overall. In 1933 there were 1,487 students enrolled at the Technical University of Stuttgart, 57 of them women. At the beginning of the war there were only about 750 students, including 18 women. During the war, the Technical University suffered badly from the bombing of Stuttgart by the Allied air forces, so that teaching came to a standstill towards the end of the war.

Agricultural University of Hohenheim

In 1933, 127 students were enrolled at the Hohenheim Agricultural University , including three women. The number of students rose briefly until 1939 and then fell back to the old level by the start of the war. However, there were no more female students. The fact that the number of students at the Hohenheim Agricultural University did not decrease was due to the technical orientation. Agricultural experts should be more involved in the planned extraction of living space in the east .

Other universities in Württemberg

In October 1938, the previously privately operated Württemberg University of Music was nationalized. In 1941 the previous arts and crafts school and the art academy merged to form the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart . In 1938, the State Wuerttemberg Higher Mechanical Engineering School in Esslingen was renamed the State Engineering School Esslingen .

Media policy

The regime rejected journalistic freedom of expression within the framework of an independent press and an independent radio station as an excess of a liberal and democratic social order that corrode the state and therefore restricted it at the beginning of 1933. Rather, the press, radio and movie theaters had to serve the regime without reservation, and it misused them as instruments of propaganda .


Since 1927 the völkisch inflammatory organ Flammenzeichen appeared in Leonberg , which was brought into line with the striker published in Nuremberg in 1935 . Since December 1930 there was the NS-Kurier in Württemberg as a daily newspaper of the NSDAP. During the Nazi era, this newspaper was massively strengthened. The Swabian Mercury , which was very important for Württemberg until 1933 , remained the source of information for the representatives of the educated bourgeoisie until May 1941 in steadily decreasing numbers.

With the confiscation of the assets of the KPD and the SPD in the course of 1933, their press organs disappeared, including the organ of the Social Democrats for Württemberg, the Swabian Tagwacht . In 1937 there were 150 different newspapers in Württemberg, 65 of which were owned by the NSDAP. The share of the Nazi press in the total circulation in Württemberg was 75% in the same year. By 1939, 40 smaller independent newspapers had ceased to appear, which continued as a trend during the war. In 1943 the Stuttgarter Neue Tagblatt stopped its publication. The regime punished unpleasant publications with publication bans, and the Reich Press Chamber , a subdivision of the Reich Chamber of Culture , regulated which persons were allowed to work as a journalist. The journalists could not withstand this pressure and wrote their reports mostly in the spirit of the National Socialist ideology.


The Papen government nationalized the Süddeutsche Rundfunk AG (SÜRAG) as early as 1932. In March 1933 there were dismissals for political and “racial” reasons. In June 1933 the former SÜRAG changed as part of the Reichsrundfunkgesellschaft to the Reichsender Stuttgart . The director from the time of the Weimar Republic, Alfred Bofinger, kept his position until 1945, although he was drafted into the Wehrmacht during the war. Bofinger had been a member of the NSDAP since 1933, but maintained a certain degree of independence in programming until 1939. From 1934 to 1938, music broadcasts outweighed propaganda broadcasts. During the war, the Stuttgart broadcaster's independence came to a complete standstill. There was a uniform program throughout the empire. Most of the staff in Stuttgart was moved to Frankfurt. Bombing raids by the Royal Air Force destroyed the radio station in Stuttgart on the night of July 24th to 25th, 1944. Wehrmacht troops blew up the Mühlacker broadcaster on April 6, 1945 .

Movie theaters

Cinemas experienced a great heyday in the 1930s, as television did not yet exist in Germany, apart from pilot tests in Berlin . Württemberg played practically no role in the production of feature films and newsreels and only served as an addressee for state-run propaganda. In the anti-Semitic inflammatory film Jud Süß by Veit Harlan , which distorted the historical facts in line with the regime, Württemberg served as the production backdrop. Another product with direct reference to the history of Württemberg was the feature film Friedrich Schiller - The Triumph of a Genius, made in 1940 under the direction of Herbert Maisch .

Culture and cultural policy

The cultural policy of the Nazi state was shaped by the struggle against so-called " degenerate art "; H. against art which, in the eyes of the National Socialists, was supposedly “un-German”. Many well-known artists were confronted with professional bans, so that they either had to stop their work or decided to emigrate.

Visual arts

In June 1933, Klaus Graf von Baudissin set up the exhibition "November Spirit, Art in the Service of Decomposition" in the Kronprinzpalais in Stuttgart. In 1937 the regime had paintings, graphics and sculptures mostly by contemporary artists removed from all German museums on a large scale, whose works were belittled by the rulers as "degenerate" art. In the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart alone , 54 paintings and 355 drawings were affected, which were shown in the Haus der Deutschen Kunst as part of the exhibition on "degenerate art". In particular, the works of the Stuttgart Secession were branded as "degenerate". Well-known artists such as Oskar Schlemmer , Willi Baumeister or Ida Kerkovius were banned from working. The state could expropriate “degenerate art” without compensation and, if possible, sell it abroad. Unsaleable works were destroyed. Bernhard Pankok remained unaffected as head of the arts and crafts school , but he retired in 1937 and was replaced by Fritz von Graevenitz .

Württemberg played a rather minor role in recognized art production during the Nazi era. At the annual Great German Art Exhibitions in Munich between 1937 and 1944, never more than 6 percent of the exhibits were from Baden and Württemberg. Works by the Stuttgart sculptor Fritz Nuss could be seen relatively often there . There were no artists in Württemberg who could have been compared with Arno Breker , Josef Thorak or Adolf Ziegler .

Theater and music

Monument to Oscar Heiler and Willy Reichert (right) as Häberle and Pfleiderer at the Friedrichsbau-Theater in Stuttgart

In 1932 the two Swabian originals Oscar Heiler and Willy Reichert began to become known with their stage appearances as Häberle and Pfleiderer , with the Häberle being embodied by Heiler and the Pfleiderer by Reichert. After Willy Reichert took over the artistic direction of the Friedrichsbau-Theater in 1933 , he appeared there with Oscar Heiler countless times.

At the end of March 1933, Minister of Culture Mergenthaler dismissed numerous artists as well as the previous general manager Albert Kehm at the Württemberg State Theater in Stuttgart. His successor at the stage, now known as the Württemberg State Theater , was General Director Otto Kraus from 1933 to 1937, followed by Gustav Deharde from 1937 to 1944 . The “non-Aryan” director of the Stuttgart Schauspielhaus private theater , Claudius Kraushaar , was dismissed in May 1933. After that the ensemble mainly played folk pieces.

The Württembergische Landesbühne Esslingen performed as a traveling stage from 1933 to 1944 at 62 different locations in Württemberg.

Karl Hasse, University Music Director in Tübingen, took to the field in June 1933 against the musical leader of the youth movement, Fritz Jöde . In a book published by the Reich Chamber of Music with the title "National Socialist Principles of Concert and Opera Business" he denounced the "musical Bolshevism of the Donaueschingen people " with sharp words . The regime supported the cultivation of folk songs and folk dance. The organist and choir director Hugo Herrmann came out with compositions for male choirs. On November 11, 1937, so-called Reich Music Days were opened in Stuttgart, but they received little public attention. By Wilhelm Weismann "My Swabian Songbook" was released in 1943 war for voice and piano.

Well-known musicians who worked in Württemberg during the Nazi era were, for example, Hugo Distler , Hermann Erpf , Hermann Keller , Hermann Reutter , the young Paul Buck and Hans Grischkat , the head of the Swabian Singing Circle . The young organist Helmut Bornefeld began his work as a cantor in Heidenheim in 1937. A highly valued concert and lieder singer was Fritz Windgassen , a member of the State Opera in Stuttgart from 1923 to 1945. The famous singer Meta Diestel came from Tübingen . Günther Homann, pianist and professor at the Stuttgart University of Music, worked as a so-called gau music consultant.

The Stuttgart Opera closed its doors on July 24, 1944 for the remainder of the war. In the summer of 1944 the other cultural activities also came to a complete standstill due to the war.

Literary work

During this time, Württemberg had only a few great writers to show. The most important of them, Hermann Hesse from Calw, had been living in Switzerland since 1919 and viewed developments in Germany with great concern. The Swabian homeland poet August Lämmle was able to continue his activities unhindered during the Nazi era. The writers Isolde Kurz and Anna Schieber from Württemberg were also successful in the Third Reich. Otto Heuschele was not enthusiastic about the National Socialist camp, but his works were also influenced by the general mood of the time. Heinrich Lilienfein and Wilhelm Schussen were among the 88 German writers who signed the pledge of loyal allegiance . Other writers could not continue to work due to their previous work during the Nazi era and at most had the opportunity to emigrate, which Victoria Wolff , for example , seized. From 1933 to 1936, Josef Eberle wrote poems in the Swabian dialect under the pseudonym Sebastian Blau, before they were no longer able to be published in 1936. The young writer Gerhard Schumann and the district culture warden Georg Schmückle , whose novels were very popular, were tirelessly active in the spirit of National Socialism . In Schmückle's novel Engel Hiltensperger , which was published as early as 1930, stylistic elements and thematic focuses of national literature can be exemplified.

There were also authors who remained independent of the National Socialist zeitgeist. In the war year 1942, the essay collection The Good Companions by Albrecht Goes was published , in which the author portrayed various poets and explored which traditions were still significant for the present. Like Gerd Gaiser , Albrecht Goes was only able to fully develop his literary skills in the post-war years.

Two days of remembrance fell in the time of National Socialism, which were celebrated with great effort in Württemberg. Schiller's 175th birthday was celebrated in 1934 with a star run through the entire Reich, which ended in Marbach, the town where he was born. June 1943 marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Friedrich Hölderlin , which, in addition to celebrations in Tübingen and throughout the Reich, was the reason for a so-called Reich Celebration Hour in Stuttgart.

In 1943, the publication of the German studies began Julius Petersen prepared Great Stuttgart edition of the works Hölderlin (1943-1985) and the National Schiller edition (published since 1943).

Museums and local history

The synchronization of the museums of Württemberg took place until March 1934 in the office of the Württemberg Museum Association . Hans Schwenkel organized the National Socialist homeland and nature protection for Württemberg and Hohenzollern . On September 1, 1939, a regional office for folklore was established in Tübingen as the successor organization to the Institute for German Folk Research and Folklore and the Württemberg State Office for Folklore . Since 1940 there has also been an extraordinary professorship for regional history and historical auxiliary sciences at the University of Tübingen, which was occupied by Hans Weirich until 1942 and then by Otto Herding .

Population development

With about 2,700,000 inhabitants, Württemberg made up only about 4.3% of the population of the German Reich in 1934. From 1933 to 1939 the population grew by 200,596 people. This corresponds to an increase of 7.4 percent.

year Residents
June 16, 1933 2,696,324 inhabitants
1939 2,896,920 inhabitants

A total of 141,508 soldiers from Württemberg were killed in the Second World War. In addition, 18,419 civilians died as a result of acts of war. The total loss of human life caused by the war was 159,927 dead. With the influx of displaced persons , this loss of population quickly offset each other in numbers. In 1946 there were around 3,290,000 inhabitants in the area of ​​Württemberg and Hohenzollern. In 1950 there were already 3,620,000 inhabitants. The total population in the area of ​​the later state of Baden-Württemberg was around 6,430,000 inhabitants in 1950.

Economic development

The depressing global economic crisis as a result of the New York stock market crash of 1929 had become the doom of the Weimar Republic . Ultimately, Hitler owed power to this crisis. The decline in unemployment in the early years of Hitler's dictatorship occurred against the background of a global economic recovery that began in 1932. The economic development from 1933 to 1939 was characterized by growth and upswing throughout Germany, which brought Hitler the ever increasing favor of wider circles of the population. Infrastructure programs highlighted by propaganda, such as the Reichsautobahn program , continued plans that had already emerged during the Weimar Republic. While these programs themselves did not significantly reduce unemployment, they did create a macroeconomic dynamic that was reinforced by Hitler's suggestive ability through the media. In 1937 full employment was reached and there was even a labor shortage as a result. Incidentally, the wage level remained consistently below 1929 between 1933 and 1939. With the so-called Reinhardt programs, restrictions on female employment , the reintroduction of compulsory military service and the intensification of the Reich Labor Service established in 1931 and, from 1935, the increasing rearmament and war preparation, there were measures specifically for the National Socialist regime added. However, this happened at the price of a huge national debt, which, thanks to the activities of Reichsbank President Hjalmar Schacht , remained hidden from the public. The aim was to more than make up for the hidden debts of the German Reich by conquering and plundering other countries - the so-called “living space in the east”.

Unemployment figures

The unemployment rate in Württemberg was lower than the national average. At the height of the unemployment crisis, almost 134,000 people were registered as unemployed in Württemberg. At the end of January 1933 there were 184,000 registered unemployed in neighboring Baden. In the German Reich as a whole the number of unemployed was 6 million. The following table shows the temporal development of the unemployment rates for Württemberg according to the official statistics:

year Unemployment rate Quota
1929 38.015 5.2%
1931 99.286 15.9%
1932 119.412 20.8%
1933 (January) 133,604 23.0%
1933 97.764 16.3%
1934 (January) 75,581 11.6%
1934 (September) 25,609 3.8%
1935 20,795 2.8%
1935 (September) 10,541 1.4%
1936 (September) 4,811 0.65%
1937 2,850 0.38%
1938 (July) 1,145 0.15%

The number of employees in Württemberg increased by 1.1 million between 1933 and 1939. In 1939, 38.83% of the population of Württemberg were gainfully employed. The share of those employed in industry, craft and mining in relation to the total population was 26.43%. In 1939 there were only 1,319 registered unemployed in Württemberg, whereas in Baden there were only 6,409.

Construction sector

In the first years of National Socialism, the regime in the Württemberg-Hohenzollern Gau still implemented large housing and settlement projects. As early as April 1, 1934, the Gauheimstättenwerk reported 2,120 completed homes and 146 apartments. It went on to a similar extent in the following years. Owning a home has always been a high priority in Württemberg. In 1934 around 60% of the Württemberg population lived in their own home. From 1937 onwards, the government cut back construction activity in the housing sector more and more, as it increasingly needed the labor force as well as the increasingly scarce iron and steel for use in construction projects that were important to the war effort. Private residential construction was also severely affected by the shortage. All over the country, instead of civil structures, militarily important objects such as barracks, airfields and armaments factories were built.

Industry and craft

About 53% of the Württemberg population worked in industry in 1934, with many of the workers still working as part-time farmers. Due to the long tradition of real division , many Württemberg residents also owned a small field that was insufficient to earn a living from there, but which made them more independent from economic crises. Because of the part-time farming, workers in Württemberg were less willing to go after work, but preferred to commute to their workplaces. The entrepreneurs were also forced to set up their businesses where there were workers. The structure in Württemberg was rather decentralized. In Württemberg it was mainly small and medium-sized enterprises with personal liability of the entrepreneur.

The following table provides information about the size of the establishments in Württemberg:

Company size
(number of employees)
Share in the number of
all employed persons in
industry and craft
Until 10 27.3%
11 to 50 13.0%
51 to 200 18.2%
201 to 1000 21.4%
About 1001 20.1%

Despite the low population share of 4.3% (1934) of the Reich population, the share of finished goods production in Württemberg was 15% of total production in the German Reich. The following table shows which products in the individual industrial sectors had which share of total production in the German Reich:

Industrial sector Share of the Württemberg
industrial sectors as a percentage of Reich production
Textile industry 9.8%
mechanical engineering 8th %
vehicle construction 13.4%
Precision mechanics and optics 16.1%
Leather industry 15.2%
Electrical industry 6.3%
Food and luxury food industry 4.6%

The Württemberg industry primarily produced goods of a particular degree of specialization and quality, which produced a high export value with little use of raw materials. In 1933, Württemberg exported goods with a total value of over 500 million Reichsmarks. Many of the 400 companies involved enjoyed an international reputation.

The following table shows which special products from individual industrial sectors from Württemberg had which share in the total exports of the German Reich:

Industrial sector Share of Württemberg
products in total exports to
the German Empire
surgical instruments 33%
More - and knitwear 33%
Corsages 33%
Fire extinguishers 50%
Accordions 60%
Clocks 66%

Companies that played a major role in these export segments were, for example, the Aesculap-Werke , Junghans and Hohner as well as the jersey industry in the Swabian Alb. The Mayer Brothers tricot factory is an example .

The manufacture of steel, machines, engines, automobiles and airplanes was of particular importance in the Württemberg industry. In individual areas, a shortage of the raw material iron became noticeable from 1936 and, from 1938, a blatant shortage of workers. Because of the lack of raw materials, old materials were collected .

Until the beginning of the global economic crisis, the nominal per capita income in both Baden and Württemberg was slightly below the national average. This was mainly due to the high proportion of small businesses in crafts and agriculture. Württemberg was able to benefit in particular from the upswing from 1933 to 1939. The degree of industrialization grew above average compared to the other areas of the German Empire. For the year 1938/39 the tax payable per head of the Württemberg population was 16.7% above the realm average. In 1936 the income per head of the population in Württemberg was 1106 Reichsmarks. The Württemberg value of 1928, i.e. before the Great Depression, which was 1183 Reichsmarks per capita income, had not yet been reached, but the Reich average in 1936 was only 963 Reichsmarks per capita per year, and that of the neighboring state of Baden was even slightly lower only 917 Reichsmarks. In 1936, after Greater Hamburg and Berlin-Brandenburg, Württemberg was in third place of all federal states and Prussian provinces in terms of income per capita.

The metal industry in Württemberg in particular benefited from Nazi armaments projects. In addition, there was an increased migratory movement of companies in the metal industry from Baden away from the border, which was brought closer by the Versailles Treaty. Also in the development of Daimler-Benz - initially a merger of the equal partners Benz & Cie. in Mannheim and the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft in Stuttgart - the balance shifted in favor of Württemberg as early as 1931. Daimler-Benz AG, which was founded in 1926 by the Deutsche Bank in order to save its predecessors from bankruptcy, did very well during the Nazi era. In 1932 the number of employees in the main plant in Untertürkheim was 2,771, in 1938 more than 8,500. In the entire Daimler-Benz AG company at the end of 1932 only 8,850 people were employed. This number rose to 67,905 people by 1943, almost half of whom were prisoners of war and forced labor.

Since 1938, mechanical engineering as well as the electrical and vehicle industries have been the leading industrial sectors in the capital goods sector in Württemberg. Due to the arms business, the number of large companies increased. About a quarter of the total production value in Württemberg was provided by the state capital Stuttgart. For Stuttgart, this value can be put at around 437 million Reichsmarks in 1936. In 1936, the people of Württemberg achieved an average net production output of 663 Reichsmarks per head of the population.

Many well-known companies in the civil consumer goods industry had to switch to weapons and ammunition production even before the war. This included Maybach , Märklin and WMF , among others .

In Württemberg, the armaments industry focused on Böblingen, Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Friedrichshafen, Manzell, Langenargen and Ravensburg. In Westhausen near Ellwangen, an underground ammunition factory for the army was built under the code name Collis Metallwerke GmbH. The Mauser works in Oberndorf also benefited from the armaments orders. Dornier , which came under great pressure during the global economic crisis , has been growing steadily since 1933 and in 1942 reached a peak with 23,191 employees. Compared with Baden, Württemberg had almost three times as many "war-important" industrial operations at the beginning of 1939.

The Württemberg textile companies made a profit from orders for the manufacture of uniforms . The solid footwear in Tuttlingen was used as a clothing supplier for the Waffen SS in Dachau. Steiger & Deschler in Ulm supplied balloon fabrics. To secure the textile supply, the production of synthetic fibers was greatly expanded. For this purpose, pulp mills were built on Württemberg soil, for example in Ehingen, Unterkochen and Wangen. In 1937 a cell wool training spinning mill was also founded in Denkendorf. Despite the measures being promoted throughout Germany, the textile supply for the population remained unsatisfactory. The garments made from synthetic fibers were heavy, itchy on the skin and hardly warm in the extreme cold.

As of May 17, 1939, the following industrial jobs were counted in Württemberg:

Branch of industry number of employees
Machine, steel and vehicle construction 121,916 employees
Production of textiles 41,444 employees
Electrical engineering 100,853 employees
Production of chemicals 9,090 employees

At the beginning of 1936, the previously eight Württemberg chambers of industry and commerce were reduced to four, so that in future there was only one each in Stuttgart, Reutlingen, Rottweil and Ulm.

retail trade

In line with the regime in Berlin, the Württemberg government wanted to strengthen traditional retail and inhibit the spread of department stores and consumer associations . Department stores were hated by the National Socialists because they were often in Jewish hands. The cooperatives were as they had been traditionally promoted by the "Marxist parties", now under the leadership of the German Labor Front . The Hermann Tietz department store with a branch in Stuttgart was one of the prominent operas of the so-called " Aryanization ".


The Württemberg agriculture, although traditionally subsidized by the state, was in 1933 at a technically low level compared to the national average. The mostly small to tiny farms were still largely handcrafted. This required a higher labor requirement than in the few large mechanized companies, which, however, could hardly be met. In accordance with the blood-and-soil ideology of the Nazi regime, agriculture enjoyed a high moral value. After Hitler came to power, protectionist measures were intended to promote agriculture. In the years 1932 and 1933, a producer protection policy, which has continued to this day, was initiated, in the course of which the income situation of south-west German agriculture improved without any major price increases in the 1930s - albeit still below the income level of 1927. The law for securing prices for domestic grain of September 26, 1933 prescribed fixed producer prices. This guaranteed the farmer stable, market-independent sales with which he could secure his livelihood. Agriculture recovered a little as a result. However, little had changed during the Nazi era in terms of the heavy debt burden on agriculture in southwest Germany. In 1933, the Württemberg Chamber of Agriculture was directly subordinate to the Württemberg Ministry of Economics and was headed by the new Nazi state farmer leader Alfred Arnold. The chamber was incorporated into the Reichsnährstand by law on September 13, 1933.

The rural exodus increased in Württemberg after 1933 due to the demand for workers in industry. Therefore, the graduates of the elementary schools were encouraged to fulfill a country year . In 1935, 86 boys and 192 girls in Württemberg complied with this request for a period of six months. In addition to the Landjahr, the Hitler Youth organized the so-called Land Service. In 1936 there were 40 HJ land service camps in Württemberg with around 700 boys and girls. The Reich Labor Service covered further demand for labor in agriculture .

The agricultural situation has deteriorated rapidly since the outbreak of war. In order to remedy the labor shortage, over half of the foreign civilian workers and prisoners of war were assigned to agriculture by the beginning of 1941. Discriminatory measures have been adopted for foreign workers, for example a ban on church visits or meetings after work.


As part of the expansion of the Gäubahn, the new Tuttlingen station was opened in September 1933 as one of the largest stations in Württemberg

At the beginning of the 19th century, Württemberg was a poor country that suffered from the disadvantage of an unfavorable topography and the lack of natural traffic routes such as large rivers. The Neckar was not completely navigable in its entire course, and so it was not until the canalization of the Neckar from Mannheim to Heilbronn and the construction of the Württemberg railway from Heilbronn via Stuttgart and Ulm to Friedrichshafen that the beginning of a steady economic catching-up process that began at the end of the 19th Century and continued with great strides in the era of the people's state . The expansion of the Neckar Canal into a large shipping route from Mannheim to Heilbronn, which began in 1925, was completed in 1935 and further expansion to Plochingen began. In the days of the Bolz government , the electrification of the railway line from Stuttgart via Plochingen and Ulm to Augsburg was completed, so that during the Nazi era only half of the platforms in Stuttgart's main train station were reserved for steam locomotives. From May 15, 1933, the Stuttgart suburban trains were also electrically powered. From 1934, the Neckar-Alb Railway from Plochingen via Reutlingen to Tübingen was also electrified . The year 1933 was not a turning point in terms of railway construction in Württemberg. The National Socialists essentially brought the measures from the 1920s to an end and supplemented the network with a number of war strategy connection curves . The utopian plans for a broad-gauge railway through Europe affected Württemberg for a route from Munich to Paris. For this purpose, the Reichsbahndirektion Stuttgart worked out different route variants until the end of the war.

From 1927 to 1941, the Frankenbahn in the section between Osterburken and Stuttgart as well as the Gäubahn from Stuttgart to Singen were almost completely expanded to double-track, among other things, to be able to use the Rhine Valley Railway from Mannheim to Basel in the neighboring state of Baden and the Bavarian North South axis from Ludwigsstadt via Nuremberg and Munich to Innsbruck to be able to compete better.

In 1934 the construction of the highways began . On March 21, 1934, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Reichsautobahn between Plieningen and Bernhausen took place . By 1940, routes 36 Karlsruhe – Leonberg and 42 Leonberg – Ulm (today's A 8 ) and route 39 Leonberg – Weinsberg (today's A 81 ) were opened. The Engelberg Tunnel , the Lämmerbuckeltunnel and the Nasenfelstunnel , the very first motorway tunnels , were built as special structures . The ascent of the Alb was considered a technical masterpiece . The construction company Züblin was involved in the construction of impressive motorway bridges.

The following table shows the development of the number of registered motor vehicles in Württemberg during the Nazi era, whereby the numbers include motorcycles , cars , buses , trucks , tractors and special vehicles such as fire engines and the like:

year Number of vehicles
1933 72,937
1935 98,896
1938 150.216

The number of accidents in Württemberg increased with the number of motor vehicles:

year Number of accidents Number of people killed in
Number of
1935 3,898 282
1936 4,341 231
1937 11,695 448 8.214
1938 10,899 363 7,472

With the beginning of the war, private motor vehicle traffic practically came to a standstill, as the Wehrmacht confiscated most vehicles for use in the war. If necessary, travel had to be done again by public transport.

From spring 1937 to autumn 1939, the new Stuttgart airport near Echterdingen was built on the Filder . This made the previous Böblingen airport free for purely military use.

Everyday life of the majority of the population before the war

The so-called “ national comrade ” was wooed by National Socialism with benefits as long as he did not get in the way of its specifications and goals and followed its customs in public. The supposed benefits included mass events of all kinds that were present in everyday life. The May 1 was called "Labor Day" a national holiday. There was a special cult every year around Hitler's birthday (since 1936), Mother's Day , the summer solstice , Heroes ' Remembrance Day , the harvest festival and the day of remembrance for the failed Hitler putsch of 1923. The regime increasingly took over the youth in the HJ and in the Bund Deutscher girl . On February 23, 1934, there was a "starting event" of the organization Kraft durch Freude in the Gau Württemberg-Hohenzollern in the Stuttgart city hall . 1000 workers took part in the organization's first vacation trip with the Reichsbahn to Upper Bavaria. The economic upswing and Hitler's foreign policy successes strengthened the approval of wide circles for the regime. Despite the introduction of compulsory military service on March 16, 1935, many Germans refused to accept that Hitler's policy was heading towards a new war. Since then, the military has become more and more present in everyday life. At the previous garrisons of Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg, Schwäbisch Gmünd, Tübingen and Ulm, the Wehrmacht expanded their barracks and set up new garrisons in Böblingen, Esslingen, Heilbronn, Horb, Kornwestheim, Reutlingen and Weingarten. The regime increasingly carried out air raid protection and blackout exercises.

The regime's expectations of the citizens' willingness to make sacrifices were high, not only in an ideal but also in a material sense. Collections for such diverse organizations or groups as the Winter Relief Organization, the Wehrmacht, youth, for mother and child, the air raid or the stew took place. Furthermore, the citizens should be members of professional organizations and the NSDAP or one of its branches, which in turn involved considerable membership fees. The pressure to join the NSDAP was very clear from the workforce at Robert Bosch GmbH . Although new hires at Bosch were made regardless of party affiliation, in 1945, according to Boelke, more than half of the approximately 8,500 German workers and employees in Bosch's Stuttgart and Feuerbach plants were members of the NSDAP or one of its sub-organizations. If the sub-organizations are disregarded, a more recent study commissioned by Robert Bosch GmbH assumes around 19% actual NSDAP members within the Bosch workforce.

The preparation for the war in Württemberg was particularly noticeable in the construction sector. There was an increasing lack of material, mainly iron, and manpower for private and public construction projects, because both were preferred for the construction of the western wall and other fortifications , such as the Neckar-Enz position . From 1937 onwards, there was no possibility in Stuttgart of building air raid shelters to the desired extent, which counteracted the efforts of the Reich Air Protection Association . There was no representative building activity for the party such as in Nuremberg , Munich , Berlin , Hamburg , Düsseldorf , Dresden or Weimar in Württemberg. Wuerttemberg architects, in particular, suffered from this total lull in the construction sector, and they have always been needed in large numbers in the land of “home builders”.

In order to secure the workforce and soldiers in preparation for the war, employment offices and companies were encouraged to cooperate more closely, and the authorities had to draw up lists of officials and employees who would be indispensable in the event of war. There were repercussions on individuals, including restrictions on professional and private freedom of movement. The workload was heavy. Even before the war began, 60-hour weeks were the order of the day in the arms industry. In March 1944, 72-hour weeks were required in the aviation industry.

The mood of the population increased with Hitler's foreign policy successes from 1935 to 1938 and experienced a high point in 1938 with the annexation of Austria. The fact that a war could be averted with the help of the Munich Agreement increased the popularity of the "Führer", which, however, experienced a serious slump when the war broke out on September 1, 1939.

Effects of the war on Württemberg

There was no enthusiasm for war like in August 1914 when the Second World War broke out. It was not until the rapid victory over Poland and the triumph of the western campaign in France in the summer of 1940 that there was general euphoria. After this victory, Hitler stayed at the Fuehrer's headquarters in Tannenberg for a week from June 27 to July 5, 1940 . The nearby Freudenstadt was targeted by the world public through corresponding weekly news reports. Freudenstadt and the surrounding area in the Württemberg Black Forest now became a symbol of the National Socialist regime and the French defeat in France, which was to take revenge in 1945. The invasion of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941 took many intuitively correctly perceive as the beginning of the end. The suspicion that the further development would end catastrophically could at best be suppressed for a certain time by a naive belief in the “Führer”. To speak in public about a probable defeat could of course be punished as "undermining military strength" with imprisonment or worse. Hitler's declaration of war on the United States on December 11, 1941, further darkened the skeptics. During the war, forbidden black market trading began everywhere. There were price increases and a shortage of clothing, shoes and other everyday items. There was also a shortage of heating material, especially coal. When it came to the supply of food, however, the regime made sure that, thanks to the rigorous exploitation of the occupied territories, unlike in the First World War, the German population did not feel any serious harm for a long time. The defeat of Stalingrad led to general fear and disenchantment with the war. In the early years, Württemberg was largely spared from the air war . Isolated attacks on the state capital Stuttgart were mostly deflected by the false system of the Stuttgart main station near Lauffen am Neckar .

Reichsstatthalter Murr made a name for himself with a decree of September 27, 1941, which was only valid in Württemberg, banning women from wearing trousers in public. Murr found it bad custom when women were out and about in riding or men's trousers, and so issued a dress code that made it mandatory for women to wear skirts or dresses as leg clothing. Exceptions were only allowed at sports facilities or in the workplace if this was necessary. Wearing ski pants in winter was tolerated if the women wore a long coat over them. Women caught wearing pants in public could face fines or imprisonment. In the winter of 1944, in his function as Reich Minister of the Interior, Himmler suspended the prosecution of this crime for the rest of the war because it seriously disrupted the morale of women in Württemberg.

Air war

In 1942, Württemberg was still considered a safe refuge for those sent to children in order to escape the dangers of the aerial warfare in the cities of northern and western Germany. But as early as 1943 it became clear that the state capital Stuttgart was no longer safe. The first heavy air raid on March 11, 1943 killed over 100 people, the one on April 15, 1943 killed almost 700 people in Stuttgart. In 1944, the air superiority of the Allied units was so overwhelming that 25 heavy attacks took place in Stuttgart, which turned the city center into a field of ruins. Compared to other large cities, the lower number of victims, a total of around 4560 dead in 53 air raids, was due to the Stuttgart-based company being able to find a quickly accessible and safe refuge in the numerous tunnels, especially in the Wagenburg tunnel , which is important for the inner city . In addition to the dead, there were thousands of civilians injured in Stuttgart. After the heavy bombing of the summer of 1944, 280,000 people in Stuttgart were bombed and urgently dependent on emergency aid with food, clothing and household items.

The devastating air raid on Heilbronn on December 4, 1944 alone claimed 6,530 lives. In the air raid on Ulm on December 17, 1944, 707 people died, 613 were injured and around 25,000 people were homeless. On the night of April 27-28, 1944, the residents of Friedrichshafen experienced their heaviest air raid, with 311 bomber planes involved and 136 dead. Because of its arms industry, Friedrichshafen was the target of Allied air raids a total of eleven times.

The following table summarizes the war-related losses of the most important Württemberg cities. The casualties are mainly due to the air raids. Losses in the ground fighting, which are discussed in detail below, occurred in April 1945. Only civilian casualties are taken into account.

city Population losses
Crailsheim 140
Friedrichshafen 618
Goeppingen 325
Heilbronn 6,809
Kornwestheim 131
Lauffen 99
city Population losses
Ludwigsburg 104
Neckarsulm 105
Reutlingen 474
Stuttgart 4,562
Ulm 1,710

As a result of the air raids, industrial production came to an almost complete standstill in early 1945. The misery of homelessness and evacuation determined the everyday life of many people.

Prisoners of War and Forced Laborers

Like the German Reich as a whole, Württemberg was also a reception area during the war for both prisoners of war and forced laborers whom the regime used for forced labor in industry and agriculture. The prisoners, who initially came from Poland , had to wear a seam with the letter "P" visible on their clothing from March 1940 . The Soviet prisoners of war and forced laborers who had joined them from the summer of 1941, like their Polish companions in suffering, were imprisoned in special barracks with great brutality. The civilian prisoners from the Soviet Union had to wear a seam with the word "OST" on their clothing. According to the ideology of the Nazi state, these prisoners were considered "racially inferior". Those among them who defied prohibitions were punished with draconian punishments. If a foreign worker established a friendly relationship with a German woman, it was considered worthy of death. Even the suspicion of an intimate relationship could lead to execution. In the summer of 1941, six Poles in the Württemberg-Hohenzollern district were hanged on suspicion of this. POWs from Western countries were usually treated correctly according to the Geneva Conventions and were under the supervision of the Wehrmacht.

Forced labor camps existed in Bietigheim , Reutlingen , Schwenningen and Lauffen am Neckar , among others in Lauffen a mixed race camp with the locally used name .

Labor education camps were located in Kniebis-Ruhestein (Baiersbronn) , Oberndorf am Neckar -Aistaig and Rudersberg . Up to 11,000 people worked on the armaments in the Mauser works. The proportion of forced laborers among them was over 50 percent towards the end of the Second World War. In the Oberndorf area, there were around 7,000 forced laborers from 19 nations , around 700 prisoners of war and (from 1941 to 1945 every several weeks) around 4,400 people in the labor education camp.

A so-called SS clearance camp was in Schelklingen .

Concentration camps set up in Württemberg during the war

The regime set up the large and well-known concentration camps outside the borders of Württemberg. Due to its limited capacity, the small Württemberg protective custody camp Welzheim cannot be compared with the large Dachau or Buchenwald concentration camps, even though the prison conditions there were also cruel. From 1944, however, the plated Inspectorate of Concentration Camps Wuerttemberg with a network of so-called camps, which they mostly Jewish and political prisoners from the concentration camp Natzweiler completed and them in camps like the concentration camp Hessental , the KZ Kochendorf , the camp Neckargartach or KZ Wiesengrund the Fate of "annihilation through work". The SS defeated the approach of the Allied forces in some of the surviving prisoners a possible liberation and sent them on death marches such as the Hessentaler death march . But there were also examples of evacuations that did not lead to death for the inmates. The concentration camp guards of the Calw satellite camp forced around 180 women who were still alive from the camp, who had worked for the armaments industry there, on a three-week march via Tübingen and Ulm to Füssen at the beginning of April 1945. Her guards left her there in a wooded area. American soldiers found the women in late April 1945.

Places with satellite camps of the Natzweiler concentration camp ( see also list of the satellite camps of the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp ) in the area of ​​Württemberg were Calw (1944 to April 1945), Derdingen , Ebersbach (1944 to 1945), Echterdingen , Ellwangen , Friedrichshall-Kochendorf (early 1944 to 1945), Geislingen an der Steige , Hailfingen / Tailfingen (1944 to 1945), Leonberg , Neckargartach , Schwäbisch Hall , Spaichingen (beginning of September 1944 to April 18, 1945), Sulz am Neckar , Unterriexingen near Markgröningen (October 1944 to April 1945), Vaihingen (from August 1944) and Wasseralfingen .

Wall of names in memory of the Leonberg concentration camp (July 2005) by Johannes Kares

Despite the short period of its existence, at least 119 of the total of 600 prisoners in the Echterdingen concentration camp lost their lives. The camp commandant was the Alsatian SS-Untersturmführer René Romann, who had previously been a security guard and block leader in the main camp. He later became the commandant of the Geislingen satellite camp. The concentration camp in Hailfingen was established in 1944 as a branch of the Alsatian concentration camp Natzweiler-Struthof. 600 mainly Jewish concentration camp prisoners had to do forced labor in the surrounding quarries and when building a runway. About 350 people died under the appalling conditions. In the tubes of the Engelberg tunnel , concentration camp inmates of the Leonberg concentration camp produced aircraft parts. A concentration camp memorial is located at the southern exit of the now disused tubes. Here stands a nameplate, inaugurated on May 8, 2005 and designed by the Tübingen artist Johannes Kares.

The Mauserwerke weapons factory from Oberndorf (Neckar) relocated part of its production to Spaichingen under the cover name “Metallwerke Spaichingen” in order to deploy workers from the Natzweiler-Struthof satellite warehouse. In Unterriexingen near Markgröningen a sub-camp was operated by Vaihingen an der Enz. At the end of 1944, around 500 Jewish prisoners had to do forced labor at the Großsachsenheim air base. At the beginning of 1945 there were 150 to 200 Polish prisoners, some of whom were survivors of the Warsaw Uprising , and other forced laborers. At least 250 prisoners died under the appalling detention conditions.

Other satellite camps of the Natzweiler concentration camp in the Württemberg-Hohenzollern district, which were set up as part of the Desert Company , were located in Bisingen (Hohenzollern), Dautmergen , Dormettingen , Frommern , Erzingen , Schörzingen and Schömberg from 1944 to 1945 . The total of around 15,000 prisoners of these seven concentration camps had to extract oil from the existing oil shale under inhuman conditions with the most difficult physical labor, which was completely unprofitable, but was demanded by the Nazi regime since the entire oil fields (e.g. in Romania) did not more were occupied by the German Wehrmacht. More than 3,480 people died of exhaustion or were murdered. In the Bisingen concentration camp alone there were over 4,000 prisoners, 1158 of whom died. At first, extremely inhuman conditions prevailed in the Dautmergen camp. It was not until March 1945 that the new camp commandant Erwin Dold improved the prisoners' situation somewhat. Sergeant Dold was the only concentration camp commandant who was acquitted after the Second World War for proven innocence. The conditions in the Schömberg camp were somewhat more bearable than in the other camps of the Desert Company.

A number of subcamps of the Dachau concentration camp ( see also subcamps of the Dachau concentration camp ) were also set up in Württemberg. They were in Ellwangen , Friedrichshafen, Heidenheim , Saulgau , Ulm and Wasseralfingen . In the Friedrichshafen satellite camp , which existed from June 22, 1943 to September 26, 1944, around 1,000 prisoners were interned.

In addition to the sub-camps of the Natzweiler-Struthof and Dachau concentration camps, there were also a few other large camps. A satellite camp of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp was located in Stuttgart, one of the Buchenwald concentration camp in Oberndorf ( see also the list of the Buchenwald concentration camp’s satellite camps ). The prisoners in the Oberndorf concentration camp had to work in an Air Force replenishment camp from November 1944.

One of the subcamps of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was in Biberach an der Riss . As early as 1939, already during the Second World War, the Wehrmacht set up a prisoner-of-war camp called "Lager Lindele" on the site of today's riot police. Soviet prisoners of war were housed there until September 1942, 146 of whom were killed. From September 1942, the Wehrmacht deported residents of the Channel Islands Guernsey and Jersey to Germany. Some of them were interned in Biberach. In 1944/1945 a few hundred oriental Jews were added, some of whom were deported from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp to Biberach. Many prisoners died here too.

End of the war in Württemberg

Allied advance in April 1945 along the Neckar-Enz position

At the beginning of 1945 there were around half a million evacuees and refugees on Württemberg soil. Because of the Allied air superiority, traffic and, with the exception of agriculture, also economic life largely came to a standstill. After the company Nordwind (December 31, 1944 to January 25, 1945 in Alsace and Lorraine) had failed as the last offensive of German forces on the western front, the invasion of southern Germany by the war opponents was imminent. However, since the Americans initially directed their main thrust towards Thuringia , where they met the Soviet front in Torgau on April 25, the Allied forces did not conquer and occupy Württemberg until April 1945.

Although the people of Württemberg assumed that American forces would invade their country via the western front , there was nowhere the thought of fleeing. In the course of the Nero order , of course, the population of southwest Germany should have marched eastwards and the entire existing infrastructure should have been destroyed before the Allies took it. In view of the foreseeable total defeat of the Wehrmacht , State Secretary Karl Waldmann , Interior Minister Jonathan Schmid and Stuttgart's Lord Mayor Karl Strölin behaved so responsibly that they prevented the execution of this order and senseless resistance in their area of ​​responsibility as far as possible. The military hopeless defense Württemberg took over the withdrawal of France remains located the 1st Army and the 19th Army , both the Army Group G were assumed. In the south of Baden and Württemberg, the 24th Army, which was newly formed in November 1944 from Volkssturm and dispersed Wehrmacht soldiers, fought against the French with hardly any division strength.

The advance through Württemberg was initially more difficult for the Allies than they had expected, because the Wehrmacht, including the Waffen SS, was waging a final military defensive battle worth mentioning along the Neckar-Enz line . It took the American armed forces 20 days before they could reach the eastern suburbs of the state capital Stuttgart, although the French army on the left of the Neckar managed to take Stuttgart against US plans before they could.

The Nazi regime preached senseless perseverance, which the population hardly took seriously. The criminal character of the regime was also clearly visible to broad sections of the population. The Nazi rulers and their henchmen threatened so-called traitors with immediate killing. The Heilbronn district leader Richard Drauz behaved particularly fanatically , who shot citizens in his vicinity who hoisted the white flag on their houses. On April 10, 1945, three citizens were hanged in Brettheim because they wanted to keep the Hitler Youth from senseless defensive struggle. The case was triggered by the farmer Friedrich Hanselmann , who sank the bazookas of the Hitler Youths who were preparing to defend Brettheim in the village pond. Max Simon , the commanding general of the XIII. SS Army Corps , had Hanselmann as well as the mayor and the local group leader of Brettheim arrested. The mayor and the local group leader had stood up for the life of their brave fellow citizen. The court martial sentenced all three to death.

General Alexander M. Patch, Commander-in-Chief of the 7th Army

The approximately 150,000 strong VI. US Corps under Lieutenant General Edward Hale, part of the 7th US Army under General Patch , captured Northern Württemberg. It consisted of the 44th US Infantry Division , the 63rd US Infantry Division , the 100th US Infantry Division and the 10th US Armored Division and operated in relation to Württemberg according to the following chronology:

In those three weeks of April 1945, the fierce resistance against the invading Americans in northern Württemberg east of the Neckar killed 2,170 civilians. 200 towns and villages were damaged, some considerably, and a total of around 4,500 buildings, including churches, schools, houses, barns and stables were completely destroyed. Around 2,000 German soldiers were killed in these battles, while the Americans lost around 700 soldiers. After the occupation of Württemberg, the American armed forces quickly broke through to Munich , which they captured on April 30, 1945.

In April 1945 the American special unit Alsos von Horb penetrated the French front into the Hohenzollern area, which was nominally still occupied by the Wehrmacht, in order to retrieve the documents and facilities of the laboratories of the German uranium project in Haigerloch and Hechingen (both Hohenzollern ) and in Tailfingen (Württemberg, district Balingen ) and arrest the German scientists there. The Haigerloch research reactor built in a rock cellar was dismantled and blown up. Max von Laue and Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker were taken into custody in Haigerloch, Otto Hahn in Tailfingen. Werner Heisenberg managed to escape to his family in the Bavarian Alps. In early May 1945 the Americans tracked him down in his home. The important German nuclear physicists were interned in the English Farm Hall for six months as part of Operation Epsilon .

Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, the commander in chief of the 1st French Army

For the conquest of Württemberg and Hohenzollern by the 1st French Army under General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny , Freudenstadt was the strategic hub. The French troops under General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny expected considerable resistance after encountering a barrier in advance. In the city itself, however, there were no more German soldiers to be found. On April 16, 1945 Freudenstadt was badly destroyed by bombs and artillery fire. During the advance of the French troops and the following three days there were sometimes brutal riots.

The 1st French Army consisted of two corps. The 1st Army Corps comprised the 4th Moroccan Infantry Division, the 9th Colonial Infantry Division and the 1st Armored Division. The 2nd Army Corps consisted of the 2nd Moroccan Infantry Division, the 3rd Algerian Infantry Division, the 5th Panzer Division and the 14th Infantry Division. In summary, the conquest of South Württemberg and Hohenzollern by the 1st French Army under General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny was as follows:

  • April 22nd: The French took Stuttgart and Ludwigsburg after General Kurt Hoffmann had given orders to withdraw the German troops.
  • Sigmaringen , where the Vichy regime under Marshal Pétain and the French Prime Minister Pierre Laval had evaded in October 1944 , was occupied without a fight. Pétain and Laval escaped arrest by escaping.
  • April 24th: Fighting for Ehingen and Tuttlingen and advance of the French to Ulm .
  • April 27th: The French took Friedrichshafen as one of the last cities in Württemberg .

Parts of the French troops looted and raped the towns and villages during the first days of the occupation. Civilians who tried to prevent this risked their own lives. The French officers initially let their troops do theirs, but after a few days they intervened in some drastic ways, in particular by executing colonial soldiers. Hostage shootings also took place, for example in Reutlingen, where the captain of the security service of the French army, Max Rouché - professor of German studies in Bordeaux - on April 24, 1945 as reprisal of the suspected assassination of a French soldier who died in a traffic accident, had four German civilians executed as hostages. This spiral of violence was preceded by war crimes on the part of the Germans, such as the Oradour massacre , and is now taking revenge. According to Volker Koop, the subsequent occupation policy in the French part was tougher and more oppressive towards the defeated Germans than in the American zone.

Hundreds of civilians were killed or seriously injured in the fighting as a result of the ultimately senseless military resistance. Thousands of houses and buildings were destroyed or made unusable.

The following figures give an impression of the housing or building losses in Württemberg as a result of the war:

place Degree of destruction
Beilstein 15.9% of the apartments
Boeblingen 28% of the apartments
Crailsheim 66% of the apartments
Forchtenberg 30% of the buildings
Freudenstadt 40% of the apartments
Friedrichshafen 47% of the apartments
Heilbronn 57.5% of the apartments
Heimsheim 75% of the buildings
Holzgerlingen 24.8% of the apartments
Ilshofen 60% of the buildings
place Degree of destruction
Lion's Arch 43.7% of the apartments
Neckarsulm 45.5% of the apartments
Neuenstadt 70% of the buildings
Niederstetten 32.4% of the apartments
Reutlingen 20% of the apartments
Sindringen 30% of the apartments
Stuttgart 34.6% of the apartments
Ulm 43.1% of the apartments
Waldenburg 80% of the buildings
Weinberg 40% of the buildings

The considerable destruction of the road and rail network in the days and weeks after the end of the war made the return of many evacuees, refugees, prisoners of war and foreign workers to their respective homeland a problem that could hardly be overcome.

The end of the war also meant the end of Württemberg in its 135-year-old borders, which were confirmed at the Congress of Vienna from 1814 to 1815. Northern Württemberg became part of the newly formed state of Württemberg-Baden in the American occupation zone . South Württemberg was combined with the Prussian administrative district of Hohenzollern to form the new state of Württemberg-Hohenzollern in the French occupation zone .


  • Ingrid Bauz, Sigrid Brüggemann, Roland Maier (eds.): The Secret State Police in Württemberg and Hohenzollern. Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-3-89657-138-0 .
  • Michael pillower, Joachim Scholtyseck (ed.): The leaders of the province: Nazi biographies from Baden and Württemberg. (= Karlsruhe contributions to the history of National Socialism. Volume 2). 2nd Edition. Study ed. UVK, Univ.-Verlag Konstanz, Konstanz 1999, ISBN 3-87940-679-0 .
  • Paul Sauer : Wilhelm Murr. Hitler's governor in Württemberg . Silberburg-Verlag, Tübingen 1998, ISBN 3-87407-282-7 .
  • Paul Sauer: Württemberg in the time of National Socialism . Süddeutsche Verlagsgesellschaft, Ulm 1975, ISBN 3-920921-99-2 .
  • Paul Sauer: Württemberg in the time of National Socialism. In: Commission. f. historical regional studies in Baden-Württemberg (Hrsg.): Handbook of Baden-Württemberg history. Volume 4: The countries since 1918. Klett-Cotta Verlag, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-608-91468-4 , pp. 231-319.
  • Thomas Schnabel: History of Baden and Württemberg 1900–1952 . Verlag W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-17-015924-0 .
  • Thomas Schnabel: Württemberg between Weimar and Bonn 1928–1945 / 46. (= Writings on political regional studies of Baden-Württemberg. Volume 13). Verlag W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1986, ISBN 3-17-009155-7 .
  • Peter Steinbach , Thomas Stöckle, Sibylle Thelen , Reinhold Weber (eds.): Disenfranchised - persecuted - destroyed. Nazi history and culture of remembrance in the south-west of Germany (writings on political regional studies of Baden-Württemberg, volume 45). State Center for Political Education Baden-Württemberg, Verlag W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2016, ISBN 978-3-945414-20-0 .

Web links


  1. ^ Handbook of Baden-Württemberg History. Volume 5 . Stuttgart 2007, p. 537.
  2. a b c Handbook of Baden-Württemberg History. Volume 5 . Stuttgart 2007, p. 538.
  3. ^ Paul Sauer: Wilhelm Murr. Hitler's governor in Württemberg . Silberburg-Verlag, Tübingen 1998, p. 12.
  4. ^ Paul Sauer: Wilhelm Murr. Hitler's governor in Württemberg . Silberburg-Verlag, Tübingen 1998, p. 13.
  5. ^ Paul Sauer: Wilhelm Murr. Hitler's governor in Württemberg . Silberburg-Verlag, Tübingen 1998, p. 15.
  6. ^ Paul Sauer: Wilhelm Murr. Hitler's governor in Württemberg . Silberburg-Verlag, Tübingen 1998, p. 19.
  7. ^ Reinhold Weber: Citizens 'Party and Farmers' Union in Württemberg. Conservative parties in the German Empire and Weimar (1895–1933) . Droste Verlag, Düsseldorf 2004, appendix with Württ. Election results on CD-ROM.
  8. Jürgen W. Falter and Hartmut Bömermann: The different electoral successes of the NSDAP in Baden and Württemberg. In: Dieter Oberndörfer and Karl Schmitt: Parties and regional political traditions in the Federal Republic of Germany . Duncker and Humblot, Berlin 1991, pp. 283 and 284.
  9. ^ Reinhold Weber and Hans-Georg Wehling : Baden-Württemberg - Society, History, Politics. State Center for Political Education Baden-Württemberg, Kohlhammer, 2006, pp. 74–76.
  10. Reinhold Weber: Brief history of the states of Baden and Württemberg 1918–1945. DRW Verlag, Leinfelden-Echterdingen 2008.
  11. Digitized version of the original leaflet of the KPD Württemberg with the call for a general strike against Hitler ( memento of the original from April 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.stadt-moessingen.de
  12. Hans-Joachim Althaus (ed.) U. a .: "There was nothing there except here" - The red Mössingen in the general strike against Hitler. History of a Swabian workers' village. Rotbuch-Verlag, Berlin 1982, ISBN 3-88022-242-8 .
  13. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 234.
  14. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 235.
  15. ^ Paul Sauer: Wilhelm Murr. Hitler's governor in Württemberg . Silberburg-Verlag, Tübingen 1998, p. 36.
  16. Link to the so-called Reich Governor Law
  17. ^ Michael Rademacher: German administrative history from the unification of the empire in 1871 to the reunification in 1990. The Gau Württemberg-Hohenzollern. (Online material for the dissertation, Osnabrück 2006).
  18. Overview of the party branches of the NSDAP
  19. ^ Reinhold Weber and Hans-Georg Wehling: Baden-Württemberg - Society, History, Politics. State Center for Political Education Baden-Württemberg, Kohlhammer, 2006, p. 27.
  20. ^ A b c Reinhold Weber and Hans-Georg Wehling: History of Baden-Württemberg. CH Beck, 2007, p. 97.
  21. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 240.
  22. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 241.
  23. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 249.
  24. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 250.
  25. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 251.
  26. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 243.
  27. ^ Text of the law on land division of April 25, 1938
  28. ^ The leaders of the province: Nazi biographies from Baden and Württemberg. P. 276.
  29. a b c d The leaders of the province: Nazi biographies from Baden and Württemberg. P. 279.
  30. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 248.
  31. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 246.
  32. Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 247.
  33. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 314.
  34. ^ Ingrid Bauz et al.: The Secret State Police in Württemberg and Hohenzollern . Butterfly publishing house, Stuttgart 2013, p. 154 ff .
  35. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 236.
  36. a b Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 264.
  37. God and the world in Württemberg. A church history . Calwer Verlag, Stuttgart 2000, p. 184.
  38. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 242.
  39. Paul Sauer, Ulm 1975, p. 156. The stated number of Jewish doctors and specialists in Württemberg relates to the year 1933.
  40. ^ Description of the events of the November pogroms 1938 at Alemannia Judaica
  41. a b Paul Sauer, 1975, p. 159.
  42. a b Willi A. Boelcke: Economy and social situation. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 42.
  43. Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 301.
  44. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 262.
  45. ^ Walter Wuttke: Medicine, Doctors, Health Policy In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 226.
  46. Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 300.
  47. ^ Michael Zimmermann: Racial Utopia and Genocide. The National Socialist "Solution to the Gypsy Question". Christians, Hamburg 1996, ISBN 3-7672-1270-6 ( Hamburg contributions to social and contemporary history. Volume 33).
  48. Paul Sauer: Württemberg in National Socialism. In: Hansmartin Schwarzmaier / Gerhard Taddey (eds.): Handbook of Baden-Württemberg history. Volume 4, Die Länder since 1918, Stuttgart 2004, pp. 231–319, here: p. 263.
  49. a b Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 304.
  50. Link to the homepage of the St. Josefspflege children's rescue center in Mulfingen since 1854. The history section mentions the deportation of 39 Sinti and Roma children to Auschwitz in May 1944: St. Josefspflege
  51. Wolfgang Ayaß: "Asocial" in National Socialism. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-608-91704-7 , p. 78ff.
  52. Wolfgang Ayaß: "Asocial" in National Socialism. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-608-91704-7 , pp. 143, 148.
  53. Paul Sauer: Württemberg in National Socialism. In: Hansmartin Schwarzmaier / Gerhard Taddey (eds.): Handbook of Baden-Württemberg history. Volume 4, Die Länder since 1918, Stuttgart 2004, pp. 231–319, here: p. 265.
  54. a b God and the world in Württemberg. A church history . Calwer Verlag, Stuttgart 2000, p. 183.
  55. Irmgard Umfrid and Hermann Umfrid: Memories of the years 1930–1934 in Niederstetten. 1978.
  56. a b c Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 272.
  57. Hermann Ehmer:  HUTTEN, Kurt. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 21, Bautz, Nordhausen 2003, ISBN 3-88309-110-3 , Sp. 696-701.
  58. God and the world in Württemberg. A church history. Calwer Verlag, Stuttgart 2000, p. 190.
  59. God and the world in Württemberg. A church history . Calwer Verlag, Stuttgart 2000, p. 191.
  60. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 273.
  61. Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 274.
  62. God and the world in Württemberg. A church history . Calwer Verlag, Stuttgart 2000, p. 201.
  63. God and the world in Württemberg. A church history . Calwer Verlag, Stuttgart 2000, p. 202.
  64. a b God and the world in Württemberg. A church history . Calwer Verlag, Stuttgart 2000, p. 206.
  65. a b Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 305.
  66. a b c d Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 275.
  67. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 276.
  68. a b Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 307.
  69. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 277.
  70. a b c Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 278.
  71. ^ Paul Sauer, 1975, p. 459.
  72. a b c Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 309.
  73. a b Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 279.
  74. a b Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 280.
  75. ^ A b Willi A. Boelcke: Social history of Baden-Württemberg 1800–1989 . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1989, p. 317.
  76. Otto Borst: The Sciences. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 155.
  77. Otto Borst: The Sciences. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 166.
  78. ^ A b Hugo Ott: Universities and colleges In: Otto Borst (Hrsg.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 146.
  79. Otto Borst: The Sciences. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 154.
  80. a b Otto Borst: The Sciences. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 160.
  81. Otto Borst: The Sciences. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 172.
  82. Otto Borst: The Sciences. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 180.
  83. a b c d Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 281.
  84. Wolfgang Voigt: Die Stuttgarter Bauschule In: Otto Borst (Hrsg.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 250x
  85. ^ Armin Hermann and Friedrich Wollmershäuser: The development of physics In: Johannes H. Voigt (Hrsg.): Festschrift for the 150th anniversary of the University of Stuttgart . Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1979, p. 268.
  86. a b Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 283.
  87. ^ Otto Borst: Music and Cult. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 276.
  88. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 255.
  89. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 258.
  90. ^ Jud Süss - Propaganda film in the Nazi state (exhibition catalog, Stuttgart, December 14, 2007 to August 3, 2008, editor: Ernst Seidl), House of History Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart 2007.
  91. Michael Koch: Art Policy In: Otto Borst (Hrsg.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 242.
  92. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 285.
  93. ^ A b Michael Koch: Art Policy In: Otto Borst (Hrsg.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 247.
  94. ^ Otto Borst: Music and Cult. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 275.
  95. a b Otto Borst: Music and Cult. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 288.
  96. a b Otto Borst: Music and Cult. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 285.
  97. ^ Otto Borst: Music and Cult. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 282.
  98. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 310.
  99. ^ Otto Borst: Poetry and Literature In: Otto Borst (Hrsg.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 198.
  100. ^ Otto Borst: The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg. Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 191.
  101. ^ Otto Borst: The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg. Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 209.
  102. ^ Otto Borst: Music and Cult. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 279.
  103. ^ Otto Borst: Music and Cult. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 280.
  104. Otto Borst: The Sciences. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 152.
  105. Otto Borst: The Sciences. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 156.
  106. Otto Borst: The Sciences. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 176.
  107. a b c d e f g h Paul Sauer, 1975, p. 251.
  108. a b c Paul Sauer, 1975, p. 498.
  109. ^ A b c Thomas Schnabel: History of Baden and Württemberg 1900–1952 . Verlag W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2000, p. 235.
  110. ^ The National Socialist infrastructure programs were based on the example of the draining of the Pontine Marshes in Fascist Italy.
  111. Wolfgang Schivelbusch: Distant relatives. Fascism, National Socialism, New Deal 1933–1939 . Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-446-20597-7 ( review notes on distant relatives at perlentaucher.de ).
  112. ^ Hans-Ulrich Wehler : German history of society. Volume 4. From the beginning of the First World War to the founding of the two German states 1914–1949. CH Beck, Munich 2003, p. 645 f.
  113. Karsten Steiger: Cooperation, Confrontation, Downfall: The Weimar tariff and arbitration system during the global economic crisis and its preconditions. Franz Steiner Verlag, 1998, ISBN 3-515-07397-3 , p. 277.
  114. a b Willi A. Boelcke: Economy and social situation. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 29.
  115. a b c d e f Figures based on Willi A. Boelcke: Social history of Baden-Württemberg 1800–1989 . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1989, p. 396. Registered unemployed including Hohenzollern calculated according to the number of health insurance members.
  116. a b c d Willi A. Boelcke: Economy and social situation. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 34.
  117. a b c Paul Sauer, 1975, p. 278.
  118. Paul Sauer, 1975, p. 260.
  119. a b c d e f Willi A. Boelcke: Economy and social situation. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 32.
  120. ^ Willi A. Boelcke: Social history of Baden-Württemberg 1800-1989. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1989, p. 329 (data for 1936).
  121. ^ Paul Sauer, 1975, p. 263.
  122. a b c d Willi A. Boelcke: Economy and social situation. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 35.
  123. Paul Sauer, 1975, p. 297.
  124. ^ Paul Sauer, 1975, p. 298.
  125. ^ A b Karl Moersch , Peter Hoelzle Counterpoint Baden-Württemberg. On the prehistory and history of the south-western state , DRW Verlag Leinfelden-Echterdingen, 2002, ISBN 3-87181-478-4 .
  126. It was not until the border location after the First World War that Baden was clearly disadvantaged economically compared to Württemberg. The aerial warfare hit Baden much harder than Württemberg. After the Second World War, Baden's economic situation was one of the arguments in favor of founding the south-western state .
  127. a b c d Willi A. Boelcke: Economy and social situation. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 30.
  128. a b c Willi A. Boelcke: Economy and social situation. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 40.
  129. ^ Willi A. Boelcke: Economy and social situation. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 31.
  130. a b Willi A. Boelcke: Economy and social situation. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 33.
  131. ^ Paul Sauer, 1975, p. 265.
  132. ^ Paul Sauer, 1975, p. 280.
  133. a b c Paul Sauer, 1975, p. 286.
  134. ^ Willi A. Boelcke: Social history of Baden-Württemberg 1800-1989. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1989, p. 322.
  135. a b Paul Sauer, 1975, p. 287.
  136. ^ Paul Sauer, 1975, p. 288.
  137. ^ Willi A. Boelcke: Social history of Baden-Württemberg 1800-1989. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1989, pp. 322, 324 and 325.
  138. ^ Kurt Seidel: The Remsbahn. Railways in East Württemberg . Theiss, Stuttgart 1987, ISBN 3-8062-0483-7 .
  139. ^ Paul Sauer, 1975, p. 299.
  140. ^ Paul Sauer: Wilhelm Murr. Hitler's governor in Württemberg . Silberburg-Verlag, Tübingen 1998, p. 59.
  141. ↑ Approval for German motorways
  142. ^ Dieter Stockmann: Route 46. The forgotten motorway between Spessart and Rhön . 2nd Edition. Dieter Stockmann, Veitshöchheim 2002, ISBN 3-9808143-0-0 , p. 194 .
  143. Reinhold Weber: Brief history of Baden and Württemberg 1918-1945 . DRW Verlag, Leinfelden-Echterdingen 2008.
  144. ^ Paul Sauer, 1975, p. 300.
  145. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 287.
  146. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 261.
  147. a b Willi A. Boelcke: Economy and social situation. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 38.
  148. ^ Johannes Bähr and Paul Erker: Bosch. History of a global company. CH Beck, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-406-63983-8 , p. 173.
  149. Paul Sauer: Württemberg in the time of National Socialism . Ulm 1975, p. 274.
  150. ^ Willi A. Boelcke: Economy and social situation. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 39.
  151. ^ Paul Sauer: Wilhelm Murr. Hitler's governor in Württemberg . Silberburg-Verlag, Tübingen 1998, p. 118.
  152. a b Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 297.
  153. Among the 4,560 dead in the air raids on Stuttgart were about 770 prisoners of war and forced laborers from abroad
  154. a b Willi A. Boelcke: Economy and social situation. In: Otto Borst (Ed.): The Third Reich in Baden and Württemberg . Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, p. 44.
  155. Figures on the war dead in Ulm are contradictory given in the literature. In Paul Sauer's article Württemberg in the time of National Socialism in the Handbuch der Baden-Württembergischen Geschichte. Volume 4 (Stuttgart 2004) on page 297 gives 2,260 deaths for the attack on Ulm on December 17, 1944. In his book Württemberg in der Zeit des Nationalozialismus (Ulm 1975) on page 498, the same author mentions “only” 1,710 deaths for Ulm during the entire war, whereby only civilian victims are meant here. Because of this obvious contradiction, the information here comes from the website of the city of Ulm . There, the total of all war-related victims of Ulm is given as 4,400, apparently including the fallen members of the Wehrmacht.
  156. ^ According to the statement of Pastor August Hinteregger from Maria Bildstein ( memento from September 6, 2005 in the Internet Archive )
  157. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 298.
  158. ^ Paul Sauer, Stuttgart 2004, p. 299.
  159. Country stories . The German southwest from 1790 until today. The book for the permanent exhibition in the House of History Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart 2002, p. 197.
  160. Country stories . The German southwest from 1790 until today. The book for the permanent exhibition in the House of History Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart 2002, p. 190.
  161. Otto Ströbel, Johannes Schwenk: Heimat Hohenlohe. Reading sheet G 1. The men of Brettheim. Hohenloher printing and publishing house Gerabronn 1962.
  162. ^ A b Hans-Joachim Harder: Military History Handbook Baden-Württemberg . Verlag W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1987, p. 135.
  163. ^ A b c d Klaus-Dietmar Henke: The American occupation of Germany. R. Oldenbourg Verlag, Munich 1995, p. 789.
  164. a b General State Archive Karlsruhe (ed.); Martin Schwarzmaier (Ed.): The German southwest at zero hour. Collapse and new beginning in 1945 in documents and pictures. Karlsruhe, 1975.
  165. a b Volker Koop: occupied. French occupation policy in Germany. be.bra-Verlag Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-89809-064-7 .
  166. ^ Hans-Joachim Harder: Military History Handbook Baden-Württemberg . Verlag W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1987, p. 222.
  167. ^ Gerhard Hertel: The destruction of Freudenstadt. The inferno on 16./17. April 1945. Geiger-Verlag 1984, ISBN 3-924932-02-6 .
  168. Ian Kershaw : The End. Fight to the end. Nazi Germany 1944/45 . Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-421-05807-2 , p. 417.
  169. ^ Marc Hillel: L'occupation française 1945-1949 . Balland 1983, p. 107.
  170. ^ Friedrich Blumenstock: The invasion of the Americans and French in northern Württemberg in April 1945 . Stuttgart 1957, p. 231ff
  171. Facts and background information on the shooting of the hostages in Reutlingen in 1945 , Reutlinger General-Anzeiger from April 16, 2005, accessed on October 30, 2016
  172. The loss of buildings in Beilstein was 40%.

This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on November 18, 2008 .