Hitler Cabinet

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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 formed 30 January 1933 (1933-01-30)
Date dissolved 30 April 1945 (1945-04-30)
People and organisations
Head of government Adolf Hitler
Deputy head of government Franz von Papen
(30 January 1933 – 7 August 1934)
Hermann Göring
(10 February 1941 – 23 April 1945)
Member parties National Socialist German Workers Party
German National People's Party
(30 January 1933 – 27 June 1933; dissolved itself on 27 June 1933)
Status in legislature National 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 parties Centre 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 leaders Ludwig 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) 5 March 1933 German federal election
12 November 1933 German federal election
29 March 1936 German federal election
10 April 1938 German federal election
4 December 1938 German federal election
Outgoing election 6 November 1932 German federal election
Legislature term(s) 7th legislature of the Diet of the Realm
1st legislature of the Greater-German Diet of the Realm
Predecessor Von Schleicher Cabinet
Successor Goebbels 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 Hitler 30 January 1933 30 April 1945 NSDAP
Vice-Chancellor of the German Reich   Franz von Papen 30 January 1933 7 August 1934 Independent
  Hermann Göring 10 February 1941 23 April 1945 NSDAP
Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs   Konstantin von Neurath 30 January 1933 4 February 1938 NSDAP
  Joachim von Ribbentrop 4 February 1938 30 April 1945 NSDAP
Reich Minister of the Interior   Wilhelm Frick 30 January 1933 24 August 1943 NSDAP
  Heinrich Himmler 24 August 1943 29 April 1945 NSDAP
Reich Minister of Finance   Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk 30 January 1933 30 April 1945 NSDAP
Reich Minister of Justice   Franz Gürtner 30 January 1933 29 January 1941 NSDAP
  Franz Schlegelberger (acting) 29 January 1941 24 August 1942 NSDAP
  Otto Georg Thierack 24 August 1942 30 April 1945 NSDAP
Reich Minister of the Reichswehr
(from 1935, Reich Minister of War)
  Werner von Blomberg 30 January 1933 5 February 1938 Independent
  Wilhelm Keitel (as Chief of the OKW) 5 February 1938 30 April 1945 Independent
Reich Minister of Economics   Alfred Hugenberg 30 January 1933 29 June 1933 DNVP
  Kurt Schmitt 29 June 1933 3 August 1934 NSDAP
  Hjalmar Schacht 3 August 1934 26 November 1937 Independent
  Hermann Göring 26 November 1937 15 January 1938 NSDAP
  Walther Funk 5 February 1938 30 April 1945 NSDAP
Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture   Alfred Hugenberg 30 January 1933 29 June 1933 DNVP
  Richard Walther Darré 29 June 1933 23 May 1942 NSDAP
  Herbert Backe 23 May 1942 30 April 1945 NSDAP
Reich Minister for Labour   Franz Seldte[4] 30 January 1933 30 April 1945 NSDAP
Reich Minister for Postal Affairs   Paul Freiherr von Eltz-Rübenach 30 January 1933 2 February 1937 Independent
  Wilhelm Ohnesorge 2 February 1937 30 April 1945 NSDAP
Reich Minister for Transport   Paul Freiherr von Eltz-Rübenach 30 January 1933 2 February 1937 Independent
  Julius Dorpmüller 2 February 1937 30 April 1945 NSDAP
Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda   Joseph Goebbels 13 March 1933 30 April 1945 NSDAP
Reich Minister of Aviation   Hermann Göring 27 April 1933 23 April 1945 NSDAP
Reich Ministry of Science, Education and Culture   Bernhard Rust 1 May 1934 30 April 1945 NSDAP
Reich Minister for Church Affairs   Hanns Kerrl 16 July 1935 15 December 1941 NSDAP
  Hermann Muhs (acting) 15 December 1941 30 April 1945 NSDAP
Reich Minister for Armaments and Ammunition
(from 1943, for Armaments and War Production)
  Fritz Todt 17 March 1940 8 February 1942 NSDAP
  Albert Speer 8 February 1942 30 April 1945 NSDAP
Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories   Alfred Rosenberg 17 November 1941 30 April 1945 NSDAP
Reich Minister for Bohemia and Moravia   Karl Hermann Frank 20 August 1942 30 April 1945 NSDAP
Ministers without portfolio   Hermann Göring 30 January 1933 27 April 1933 NSDAP
  Ernst Röhm (SA Chief) 1 December 1933 1 July 1934 NSDAP
Reich Ministers without portfolio
(from 1938)
  Rudolf Hess (Deputy Führer) 1 December 1933 10 May 1941 NSDAP
  Hanns Kerrl 16 April 1934 16 July 1935 NSDAP
  Hans Frank (Governor-General from 1939) 19 December 1934 30 April 1945 NSDAP
  Hjalmar Schacht 26 November 1937 22 January 1943 NSDAP
  Otto Meissner (Chief of Presidential Chancellery) 1 December 1937 30 April 1945 NSDAP
  Hans Lammers (Chief of Reich Chancellery) 1 December 1937 30 April 1945 NSDAP
  Arthur Seyss-Inquart 1 May 1939 30 April 1945 NSDAP
  Martin Bormann (Chief of Nazi Party Chancellery) 12 May 1941 30 April 1945 NSDAP
  Wilhelm Frick (Reich Protector) 24 August 1943 30 April 1945 NSDAP
  Konstantin Hierl (Chief of the Reich Labour Service) 24 August 1943 30 April 1945 NSDAP

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.
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