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Hitler Cabinet

Hitler Cabinet
cabinet of the German Realm
(30 January 1933 – 1943)
cabinet of the Greater German Realm
(1943 – 30 April 1945)
30 January 1933 – 30 April 1945
Hitler portrait crop.jpg
Date formed30 January 1933 (1933-01-30)
Date dissolved30 April 1945 (1945-04-30)
People and organisations
Head of governmentAdolf Hitler
Deputy head of governmentFranz von Papen
(30 January 1933 – 7 August 1934)
Hermann Göring
(10 February 1941 – 23 April 1945)
Member partiesNational Socialist German Workers Party
German National People's Party
(30 January 1933 – 27 June 1933; dissolved itself on 27 June 1933)
Status in legislatureNational Socialist German Workers Party – led coalition government
(30 January 1933 – 27 June 1933)
National Socialist German Workers Party dominate-party government
(27 June 1933 – 5 July 1933)
National Socialist German Workers Party one-party government
(5 July 1933 – 30 April 1945)
Opposition partiesCentre Party
(30 January 1933 – 5 July 1933; dissolved itself on 5 July 1933)
Communist Party of Germany
(30 January 1933 – 30 April 1945; officially banned on 6 March 1933)
Social Democratic Party of Germany
(30 January 1933 – 30 April 1945; officially banned on 23 June 1933)
Opposition leadersLudwig Kaas
(30 January 1933 – 5 July 1933)
Ernst Thälmann
(30 January 1933 – 18 August 1944)
Walter Ulbricht
(6 March 1933 – 30 April 1945; leader of the Communist Party of Germany in exile)
Arthur Crispien
(30 January 1933 – 23 June 1933)
Otto Wels
(30 January 1933 – 16 September 1939; chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in exile from 23 June 1933 – 16 September 1939)
Hans Vogel
(30 January 1933 – 30 April 1945; chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in exile from 23 June 1933 – 30 April 1945)
History
Election(s)Mar. 1933
Nov. 1933
1936
1938
Outgoing electionNov. 1932
Legislature term(s)7th legislature of the Diet of the Realm
1st legislature of the Greater-German Diet of the Realm
PredecessorVon Schleicher Cabinet
SuccessorGoebbels cabinet

The Hitler Cabinet de jure formed the government of Nazi Germany between 30 January 1933 and 30 April 1945 upon the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of the German Reich by president Paul von Hindenburg. Contrived by the national conservative politician Franz von Papen, who reserved the office of the Vice-Chancellor for himself.[1] Originally, Hitler's first cabinet was called the Reich Cabinet of National Salvation,[2] which was a coalition of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and the national conservative German National People's Party (DNVP), it became an exclusively Nazi cabinet when the DNVP was intimidated into dissolving itself.

The Enabling Act of 1933, passed two months after Hitler took office, gave the cabinet the power to make laws without legislative consent for four years. In effect, this power was vested in Hitler, and for all intents and purposes it made Hitler a dictator. After the Enabling Act's passage, serious deliberations more or less ended at cabinet meetings. It met only sporadically after 1934, and last met in full on 5 February 1938.[3] Nonetheless, it grew immensely in size on paper, due to the addition of the commanders of the armed services and several ministers without portfolio.

Composition

The Reich cabinet consisted of the following Ministers:

Portfolio Minister Took office Left office Party
Chancellor of the German Reich Adolf Hitler30 January 193330 April 1945NSDAP
Vice-Chancellor of the German Reich Franz von Papen30 January 19337 August 1934Independent
 Hermann Göring10 February 194123 April 1945NSDAP
Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs Konstantin von Neurath30 January 19334 February 1938NSDAP
 Joachim von Ribbentrop4 February 193830 April 1945NSDAP
Reich Minister of the Interior Wilhelm Frick30 January 193324 August 1943NSDAP
 Heinrich Himmler24 August 194329 April 1945NSDAP
Reich Minister of Finance Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk30 January 193330 April 1945NSDAP
Reich Minister of Justice Franz Gürtner30 January 193329 January 1941NSDAP
 Franz Schlegelberger (acting)29 January 194124 August 1942NSDAP
 Otto Georg Thierack24 August 194230 April 1945NSDAP
Reich Minister of the Reichswehr
(from 1935, Reich Minister of War)
 Werner von Blomberg30 January 19335 February 1938Independent
 Wilhelm Keitel (as Chief of the OKW)5 February 193830 April 1945Independent
Reich Minister of Economics Alfred Hugenberg30 January 193329 June 1933DNVP
 Kurt Schmitt29 June 19333 August 1934NSDAP
 Hjalmar Schacht3 August 193426 November 1937Independent
 Hermann Göring26 November 193715 January 1938NSDAP
 Walther Funk5 February 193830 April 1945NSDAP
Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture Alfred Hugenberg30 January 193329 June 1933DNVP
 Richard Walther Darré29 June 193323 May 1942NSDAP
 Herbert Backe23 May 194230 April 1945NSDAP
Reich Minister for Labour Franz Seldte[4]30 January 193330 April 1945NSDAP
Reich Minister for Postal Affairs Paul Freiherr von Eltz-Rübenach30 January 19332 February 1937Independent
 Wilhelm Ohnesorge2 February 193730 April 1945NSDAP
Reich Minister for Transport Paul Freiherr von Eltz-Rübenach30 January 19332 February 1937Independent
 Julius Dorpmüller2 February 193730 April 1945NSDAP
Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda Joseph Goebbels13 March 193330 April 1945NSDAP
Reich Minister of Aviation Hermann Göring27 April 193323 April 1945NSDAP
Reich Ministry of Science, Education and Culture Bernhard Rust1 May 193430 April 1945NSDAP
Reich Minister for Church Affairs Hanns Kerrl16 July 193515 December 1941NSDAP
 Hermann Muhs (acting)15 December 194130 April 1945NSDAP
Reich Minister for Armaments and Ammunition
(from 1943, for Armaments and War Production)
 Fritz Todt17 March 19408 February 1942NSDAP
 Albert Speer8 February 194230 April 1945NSDAP
Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories Alfred Rosenberg17 November 194130 April 1945NSDAP
Reich Minister for Bohemia and Moravia Karl Hermann Frank20 August 194230 April 1945NSDAP
Ministers without portfolio Hermann Göring30 January 193327 April 1933NSDAP
 Ernst Röhm (SA Chief)1 December 19331 July 1934NSDAP
Reich Ministers without portfolio
(from 1938)
 Rudolf Hess (Deputy Führer)1 December 193310 May 1941NSDAP
 Hanns Kerrl16 April 193416 July 1935NSDAP
 Hans Frank (Governor-General from 1939)19 December 193430 April 1945NSDAP
 Hjalmar Schacht26 November 193722 January 1943NSDAP
 Otto Meissner (Chief of Presidential Chancellery)1 December 193730 April 1945NSDAP
 Hans Lammers (Chief of Reich Chancellery)1 December 193730 April 1945NSDAP
 Arthur Seyss-Inquart1 May 193930 April 1945NSDAP
 Martin Bormann (Chief of Nazi Party Chancellery)12 May 194130 April 1945NSDAP
 Wilhelm Frick (Reich Protector)24 August 194330 April 1945NSDAP
 Konstantin Hierl (Chief of the Reich Labour Service)24 August 194330 April 1945NSDAP

Changes

  • March 1933: Joseph Goebbels enters the cabinet as Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.
  • April 1933: Franz Seldte becomes a member of the Nazi Party; Göring takes a portfolio as Reich Minister of Aviation.
  • June 1933: Kurt Schmitt succeeds Hugenberg as Reich Minister of Economics. Richard Walther Darré succeeds Hugenberg as Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture.
  • December 1933: Ernst Röhm and Rudolf Hess enter the Cabinet as Ministers without portfolio.
  • May 1934: Bernhard Rust enters the Cabinet as Reich Minister of Science and Education.
  • June 1934: Hanns Kerrl enters the Cabinet as a Minister without portfolio. Röhm, Minister without portfolio, is murdered.
  • July 1934: Göring takes another portfolio as Reich Minister of Forestry.
  • August 1934: Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen leaves the cabinet. A new Vice-Chancellor is not installed. Hjalmar Schacht succeeds Schmitt as Reich Minister of Economics.
  • December 1934: Hans Frank enters the Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio.
  • March 1935: Göring takes yet another portfolio as Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe.
  • May 1935: The title of Reich Minister of Defense is replaced by that of Reich Minister of War. Blomberg retains the office.
  • July 1935: Hanns Kerrl takes a portfolio as Reich Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs.
  • April 1936: Werner von Fritsch, Commander-in-Chief of the Army, and Erich Raeder, Commander in Chief of the Navy, join the Cabinet.
  • February 1937: Wilhelm Ohnesorge succeeds Eltz as Reich Minister of Posts. Julius Dorpmüller succeeds Eltz as Reich Minister of Transport.
  • November 1937: Hermann Göring succeeds Schacht as Reich Minister of Economics. Schacht becomes Minister without portfolio.
  • December 1937: Otto Meissner enters the Cabinet as Reich Minister of State and Head of the Chancellery.
  • January 1938: Walther Funk succeeds Göring as Reich Minister of Economics.
  • February 1938: Joachim von Ribbentrop replaces Neurath as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Neurath becomes Minister without portfolio. Blomberg resigns as Reich Minister of War and his office is abolished. His role is taken by General Wilhelm Keitel as Director of the High Command of the Armed Forces. Walther von Brauchitsch succeeds Fritsch as Commander-in-Chief of the Army.
  • May 1939: Arthur Seyss-Inquart enters the Cabinet as Minister without portfolio.
  • March 1940: Fritz Todt becomes Reich Minister of Armaments and Ammunition.
  • January 1941: Franz Schlegelberger succeeds Gürtner as Reich Minister of Justice.
  • May 1941: Rudolf Hess is dismissed from the Cabinet.
  • July 1941: Alfred Rosenberg enters the Cabinet as Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories.
  • December 1941: Hanns Kerrl, the Reich Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs, dies. He is not replaced. Hitler himself takes up the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Army.
  • February 1942: Albert Speer succeeds Todt as Reich Minister of Armaments and Ammunition.
  • May 1942: Herbert Backe succeeds Darré as Reich Minister of Food.
  • August 1942: Otto Georg Thierack succeeds Schlegelberger as Reich Minister of Justice.
  • January 1943: Karl Dönitz succeeds Raeder as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy.
  • January 1943: Hans Lammers appointed President of Reich Cabinet (Cabinet President in Hitler's absence)
  • January 1943: Hjalmar Schacht departs the Cabinet.
  • June 1943: Albert Speer's ministerial authority is extended to cover the entire German war industry, and is elevated to Reich Minister of Armaments and War Production.
  • August 1943: Heinrich Himmler succeeds Frick as Reich Minister of the Interior.
  • August 1943: Konstantin Hierl enters the Cabinet as Reich Minister without portfolio.

End of Cabinet

The last meeting of Hitler's cabinet took place on 5 February 1938. As the Third Reich government was disintegrating at the end of the Second World War and following Hitler's death on 30 April 1945, it was succeeded by the short-lived Cabinet of Schwerin von Krosigk commonly known as the Flensburg government.

References

  1. ^ Kershaw, Ian (2010). Hitler: A Biography. New York: Norton. p. 253. ISBN 9780393075625.
  2. ^ The Brown Plague: Travels in Late Weimar & Early Nazi Germany
  3. ^ Evans, Richard J. (2005). The Third Reich in Power. New York: Penguin Books. p. 645. ISBN 0-14-303790-0.
  4. ^ Stackelberg, Roderick (2002). Hitler's Germany: Origins, Interpretations, Legacies. New York: Routledge. p. 109. ISBN 9780203005415.