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Persons in the Third Reich


Adolf Hitler (1889-1945)


Adolf Hitler was born on the 20th of april 1889 in Braunau/Inn in Austria. He visisted the elementary school and since 1900 the six-form high school in Linz. 1907 he went to Vienna and he applied at the academy of arts, but he failed. In 1908 he applied again and failed again. In Vienna he lived in homeless shelters and he painted pictures. He did not want to make military service and so 1913 he went to Munich. At the beginning of the First World War he announced himself as a volunteer in Bavaria. He got the Iron Cross 2nd class and later the Iron Cross 1st. The was only promoted to a Gefreiter (private first class). In 1919 he joined the DAP (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) then he became the chairman of the DAP and in 1920 he changed the name into NSDAP (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei). In 1923 Hitler tried to set off the government of the Weimar Republic (Hitler Putsch), but it failed and Hitler was condamned to an imprisonment punish of 5 years. On the 20th of december 1924 he was dismissed prematurely. In prison he wrote his book "Mein Kampf" and there he had written down his ideology and his race criteria. In the NSDAP the term "Fuehrer" (leader) was introduced and it was Hitler's title. The "Heil Hitler" greeting was also introduced. Though his speeches Hitler became more and more popular. Hitler's model was Benito Mussolini who made a fascistical regime in Italy. After a victory of the NSDAP in the elections of 1932 the President Paul von Hindenburg makes Hitler to the chancellor. Hitler had a vision to make a big German empire in Europe. Since his assumption of office in 1933 he tried to complete his race criteria. For Hitler the Jews were an inferior race which was the reason of the misfortune in Germany. Hitler's final aim was to kill all Jews in Europe. With the authorization act and the prohibition of other parties Hitler slowly dissolved the Weimar Republic. On the 1th of august 1934 Hitler also became president. Hitler and Mussolini met each other and the axle Berlin-Rome originated. Hitler made with Stalin a nonaggression treaty. After the integration of Austria into the German Reich (empire) and the occupation of Czechoslovakia (1938/39) Hitler begann the Second World War on the 1st of september 1939. In flash wars in Poland, Skandinavia and France were successful, but Hitler could not occupy Great Britain and he was displaced from the Soviet Union. On the 20th of july 1944 a bomb exploded in Hitler's headquarter in Rastenburg which should kill him. It failed and Oberst Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg and the other who organized this assassination attempt were killed on the same day. At the end of the Second World War Hitler made Grossadmiral Karl Doenitz to his successor. On the 29th of april 1945 Hitler shot himself in the shelter of the Reichskanzlei and his loved one Eva Braun took poison.


Hermann Goering (1893-1946)


Hermann Goering was born on the 12th of january 1893 in Rosenheim in Germany. After a cadet school he made his school-leaving examination in 1913 and his officer exam. In the First World War he was a flighter pilot and after Manfred von Richthofen was shot down Goering took his squadron. Manfred von Richthofen had shot down 80 airplanes and so he was the most successful flighter pilot in the First World War. After the First World War Hermann Goering had got the rank of a Hauptmann (captain). In 1922 he joined the NSDAP. He was involved into the Hitler-Putsch (1923) and when it failed he escaped to Austria, Italy and Sweden. Because of an amnesty he return to Germany in 1927. After the victory of the NSDAP in the elections of 1932 Goering was elected to the parliament president. Until 1934 he was Prussian minister of the interior and the boss of the Prussian police. Since 1933 he was minister president and minister for aviation. In 1938 he was promoted to Generalfeldmarschall and in 1940 he became Reichsmarschall. Goering was the secondarymost powerful man in the Third Reich. In 1942 he assigned Reinhard Heydrich with the final solution of the Jews. After the failures in the air battle in England and in Stalingrad his power was reduced. At the end of the Second World War Goering tried to make peace negotiations with the Allies and in april 1945 he was rejected from the NSDAP by Hitler. On the 8th of may 1945 he was arrested by the American. In the Nurnberg main trial Hermann Goering was condemned to death on the 1st of october 1946. On the 15th of october 1946, one day before the execution, he commited suicide with potassium cyanide.


Rudolf Hess (1894-1987)


Rudolf Hess was born on the 26th of april 1894 In Alexandria in Egypt. At the end of the First World War he was Leutnant (second lieutenant) and after the First World War he studied national economy, geography and geo politics. After the failed Hitler-Putsch he was in prison with Hitler and helped him written his book "Mein Kampf". Since 1993 he was SS-Obergruppenfuehrer and the deputy of Adolf Hitler and so he was the third-most powerful man in Germany. Since 1938 he was a member of the Geheimer Kabinettsrat (secret council of the cabinet) and since 1939 a member of the Ministerrat (council of ministers). On the 10th of may 1941 he flew with a Messerschmitt Me 110 to Scotland and jumped off. Probably he wanted to make peace negotiations with Great Britain. After this action Hitler said that Hess is a psychopath. In Great Britain he was arrested and in the Nurnberg main trial on the 1st of october 1946 he was condemned to a lifelong imprisonment punish. With other prisoners he was in a prison in Berlin-Spandau. When he was the last prisoner there were many requests for grace from his family, from politicians and from the German government, but all of them failed. On the 17th of august 1987 Hess commited suicide.


Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945)


Joseph Goebbels was born on the 29th of october 1897 in Rheydt in Germany. At the examination for the First World War he was rejected and he studied German, history of art and philosophy in Bonn, Munich and Heidelberg. In 1921 he attained a doctorate. In 1925 he joined the NSDAP and 1926 he became Gauleiter (gau leader) of Berlin. Since 1929 he was the propaganda leader of the NSDAP and since 1933 he was minister for public enlightenment and propaganda. In his speeches he instigated against Jews like in the Reichspogromnacht (9th and 10th of november 1938) and after the defeat in Stalingrad he wanted to make the total war. He tried to convince the German that they can win the Second World War. On the 30th of april 1945 Joseph Goebbels poisoned his children and after that himself and his wife.


Heinrich Himmler (1900-1945)


Heinrich Himmler was born on the 7th of october 1900 in Munich in Germany. Himmler wanted to fight in the First World War, but he was not used. In 1918 he began to study agriculture in Munich. In 1923 he participated in the Hitler-Putsch. In 1925 he joined the NSDAP. Since 1929 until the end of the Second World War he was the Reichsfuehrer SS, so the leader of the SS. In 1923 he founded the first KZ and it was Dachau. In 1934 Goering made him the deputy leader of the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei). In 1934 he participated in the murder of Roehm. The SS was an elite unit and its tasks were to protect Hitler, they were responsible for the KZs and the Waffen-SS fought in the war. In 1943 he became minister of the interior. At the end of the Second World War Himmler tried to make peace negotiations with the Allies and in april 1945 he was rejected from the NSDAP by Hitler. Himmler tried to escape, but the British unmasked his identity and on the 23rd of may 1945 he commited suicide with potassium cyanide.


Reinhard Heydrich (1904-1942)


Reinhard Heydrich was born on the 7th of march 1904 in Halle at the Saale in Germany. In 1921 he made his school-leaving examination. In 1931 he was dismissed dishonorably from the navy with the rank of an Oberleutnant (first lieutenant). In 1931 he joined the SD (sicherheitsdienst). In 1933 he became the leader of the Bavarian political police. Since 1933 he was the leader of the RSHA (Reichssicherheitshauptamt). Since 1941 he was SS-Obergruppenfuehrer and the deputy protector of Bohemia and Moravia (Czechoslovakia). On the 20th of january 1942 he was the leader of the Wannsee conference (final solution of the Jews). On the 27th of may 1942 an assassination attempt was on Heydrich commited. Because of a wound infection he died on the 4th of june 1942. As an act of revenge SS-Oberstgruppenfuehrer Kurt Daluege gave order to destroy the Czech village Lidice, to kill all men and to bring all women and children into concentration camps.


Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1903-1946)


Ernst Kaltenbrunner was born on the 4th of october 1903 in Ried in Austria. He studied law in Graz and in 1926 he attained a doctorate. In 1930 he joined the NSDAP und before he was also thinking anti-semetic. Since 1933 he was an important NS person in Austria and therefore he got an imprisonment punish of 6 months in 1935. Since 1943 he was SS-Obergruppenfuehrer and the successor of Reinhard Heydrich and so the leader of the RSHA. In the Nurnberg main trial he was condemned to death and on the 16th of october 1946 he was hung.


Martin Bormann (1900-1945)


Martin Bormann was born on the 17th of june 1900 in Halberstadt in Germany. Between 1918 and 1919 he did his military service. In 1927 he joined the NSDAP. He belonged to the staff of the highest SA leadership. After Rudolf Hess jumped off in Scotland Martin Bormann became the deputy of Hitler. Since 1943 he was the secretary of Hitler and through direct contact with Hitler he was very powerful. At the beginning of may 1945 he escaped from the shelter of the Reichskanzlei. In the Nurnberg main trial it was not proven whether Bormann died on his escape or not. He was condemned to death in absence. Many years later it was proven that Bormann died on his escape in may 1945.


Joachim von Ribbentrop (1893-1946)


Joachim von Ribbentrop was born on the 30th of april 1893 in Wesel in Germany. He fought in the First World War and he had the rank of an Oberleutnant (first lieutenant). In 1932 he joined the NSDAP. He was a diplomat in London and Paris. In 1938 he became minister of foreign affairs. Ribbentrop was involved in the Hitler Stalin nonaggression treaty. In 1940 he was promoted to an SS-Obergruppenfuehrer. Ribbentrop was very engaged in the final solution of the Jews. In the Nurnberg main trial he was condemned to death and on the 16th of october 1946 he was hung.


Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962)


Adolf Eichmann was born on the 19th of march 1906 in Solingen in Germany. He lived with his family in Austria and in 1932 he joined the NSDAP and the SS in Austria. Since 1934 he worked in an institution about Jews of the security service. In 1938 he made a central office for Jewish emigration in Vienna and 1939 in Prague. Later in RSHA he was responsible for the organisation of deportations of Jews into concentration camps. In 1941 he was promoted to an SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer. On the 20th of january 1942 he was protocol leader at the Wannsee conference. After the Second World War he was arrested by the Allies, but he could escape in 1946. Until 1950 he hide in Germany and then he escaped to Argentina. The Israeli secret service found him a few years later and kidnapped him from Argentina in may 1960. In december 1961 in a trial in Israel he was condemned to death and on the 1st of june 1962 he was executed.


Julius Streicher (1885-1946)


Julius Streicher was born on the 12th of february 1885 In Fleinhausen near Augsburg in Germany. Since 1904 he was teacher in an elementary school. In the First World War he got the rank of a Leutnant (second lieutenant). Since 1923 he was the publisher of the newspaper "Der Stuermer" which was against Jews. He wanted to kill all Jews. Since 1928 he was Gauleiter (gau leader) of different Frankish territories. He was also SA-Obergruppenfuehrer (it corresponded to SS-Obergruppenfuehrer). After disputes in the NSDAP he lost all his offices in 1940. He was only active until 1940, but in the Nurnberg main trial he was also condemned to death and on the 16th of october 1946 he was hung.


Josef Mengele (1911-1979)


Josef Mengele was born on the 16th of march 1911 in Guenzburg in Germany. In 1937 he joined the NSDAP and in 1938 he joined the SS. In 1935 he attained a doctorate in philosophy and in 1938 he attained a doctorate in medicine. In 1941 he was battalion physician of the SS division Wiking and since 1943 he was the chief physician of the KZ Auschwitz. Here he made experiments with Jews which often ended with their death. After the Second World War he was arrested by the Allies, but he could escape. In 1949 he escaped to Argentina. On the 2nd of july 1979 he died in a swimming accident in Brazil.


Albert Speer (1905-1981)


Albert Speer was born on the 19th of march 1905 in Mannheim in Germany. He studied architecture in Berlin. In 1930 he was very convinced of one of Hitler's speeches and in 1931 he joined the NSDAP. He built the new Reichskanzlei in Berlin and the big party area in Nurnberg. In 1937 he became general building supervisor for Berlin. Since 1942 he was minister for armament and ammunition. In the Nurnberg main trial Speer was condemned to an imprisonment punish of 20 years which he had completely served. He was dismissed in 1966 and he wrote down his memoirs. He died on the 1st of september 1981 in London.


Karl Doenitz (1891-1980)


Karl Doenitz was born on the 16th of september 1891 in Gruenau near Berlin in Germany. In the First World War he was a navy officer and at the end of the war he was a submarine commander. In the Third Reich he was responsible for the submarine war. Submarines became more and more important in the Second World War and so his influence grew. Since 1943 he was Grossadmiral and commander-in-chief of the navy. On the 1st of may 1945 Hitler made him to the new president. On the 23th of may 1945 he was arrested by the Allies. In the Nurnberg main trial he was condemned to an imprisonment punish of 10 years. He was dismissed on the 1st of october 1956 and he died on the 24th of may 1980 in Aumuehle.


Erwin Rommel (1891-1944)


Erwin Rommel was born on the 15th of november 1891 In Heidenheim in Germany. Rommel was an officer in the First World War and in 1918 he was Hauptmann (captain). Before the Second World War he was teacher in different military institutions. Rommel was also in the campaign in France. Between 1941 and 1943 he was the commander-in-chief of the German Africa corps. He was one of the best German strategists and he was called "Desert fox". On the 21st of june 1942 Rommel has conquered Tobruk and for this victory he was promoted to Generalfeldmarschall. After defeat in North Africa Rommel was active in Europe. Indirectly Rommel has supported the assassination attempt of the 20th of july 1944 which Oberst Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg did. Hitler offered him to commit suicide oder otherwise he will be condemned by a people's court. On the 14th of october 1944 he commited suicide in Herrlingen.


Erich von Manstein (1887-1973)


Erich von Manstein was born on the 24th of november 1887 in Berlin in Germany. Manstein was an officer in the First World War and he had the rank of a Hauptmann (captain). At the beginning of the Second World War Manstein was in the campaigns against Poland and France. On the 1st of july 1942 Manstein occupied Sevastopol after a siege with the heaviest artillery. He was promoted to Generalfeldmarschall on the same day. At the end of 1942 Manstein should support the 6th army in Stalingrad, but the Russian could stop him earlier and he had to retreat. In 1945 he was arrested by the British and in 1949 he was condemned to an imprisonment punish of 18 years. In 1953 he was dismissed prematurely and he died on the 10th of june 1973 in Irschenhausen.


Author and Webmaster: Lukas Czarnecki

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Last Update: 15.12.2004