The books listed on this page provide insight into the activities and workings of some the most important ministries and organizations of the Third Reich.  Each section offers the name or names of the leaders associated with the ministry or organization, as well as a small description of the ministry or organization in question.

It is important to note that administrative power in the Third Reich was exercised within a complicated parallel structure of Nazi Party organizations and official government ministries.  Rarely were the responsibilities of a given ministry clearly delineated vis-à-vis the corresponding Party organization.  Rather, the bureaucratic structure of the Nazi regime was marked by competition and overlapping responsibilities.  In the case of education, for example, the Education Ministry and the Hitler Youth competed for influence.  Similarly, the German Labor Front and the Ministry for Labor (not listed below) vied against one another in the industrial workforce.  The constellation of Party and governmental agencies also changed with frequency during the twelve years of Hitler's reign.  For example, organizations such as the Gestapo and the Police, which were originally under the authority of the Ministry for the Interior, or under various regional and state authorities, were gradually absorbed into the SS.  Jurisdictional complications often caused conflicts between ministers that were only resolved when Hitler himself was called upon to make a decision.  Retaining a close and favorable relationship with Hitler thus was the best way to accumulate power in the Third Reich.  Conversely, competition between powerful ministers and party leaders kept ultimate power concentrated in the hands of Adolf Hitler.

In assembling the information for this page, it became apparent that research on the bureaucratic power-structure and administration of the Nazi State has not been adequately researched.  After a promising start in this direction in the 1950s and 1960s, professional scholarship on this subject has all but disappeared.  In certain places below we have made an effort to identify subjects about which more research is needed.  We hope that in pointing out the areas we will stimulate scholarship on these subjects.


The World Future Fund serves as a source of documentary material, reading lists, and internet links from different points of view that we believe have historical significance.  The publication of this material is in no way whatsoever an endorsement of these viewpoints by the World Future Fund, unless explicitly stated by us.  As our web site makes very clear, we are totally opposed to ideas such as racism, religious intolerance, and communism.  However, in order to combat such evils, it is necessary to understand them by means of the study of key documentary material.  For a more detailed statement of our publications standards click here.






Reich Propaganda Minister: Dr. Joseph Goebbels (1933-1945)

Created in 1933 during the first year of the Third Reich's existence, The Reich Ministry for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment was responsible for shaping and controlling public opinion in Germany.  Its primary public organs were newspapers, such as the Völkischer Beobachter, films, and radio broadcasts.  The ministry however was also deeply involved in creating public events, sponsoring art shows, and arranging political rallies, meetings, youth groups, and any other activity which could be used to reinforce the ideology of the Third Reich.  Although government controlled propaganda was already common in many countries by the 1930s, the Nazi regime took the use of propaganda to new heights.  The leader of the ministry, Dr. Joseph Goebbels, was one of the few leading Nazis who held an advanced degree.  He was an able organizer and probably the best orator in the Third Reich after Hitler himself.  Goebbels remained the Reich Leader for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment until the very end, when he and his wife were shot by an SS firing squad following the poisoning of their children in the Führerbunker in Berlin.


  • Horst J.P. Bergmeier & Rainer E. Lotz, Hitler's Airwaves: The Inside Story of Nazi Radio Broadcasting and Propaganda (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997).  Library Call Number D810.P7 G318 1997
  • Robert Edwin Herzstein, The War that Hitler Won: Goebbels and the Nazi Media Campaign (New York: Paragon House Publishers, 1987).  Library Call Number D810.P7 G338 1987
  • Ernest K. Bramsted, Goebbels and National Socialist Propaganda, 1925-1945 (East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 1965).  Library Call Number DD256.5 .B674 1965
  • Helmut Karl Rester, Völkischer Beobachter: "auf Befehl des Fuhrers". Organ der Bewegung (Asparn an der Zaya: Zeitgeschichtliches Dokumentationsarchiv, 1992).  Library Call Number DD253.A1 R47 1992
  • Sonja Noller & Hildegard von Kotze (Hg.), Facsimile Querschnitt durch den Völkischen Beobachter (München: Scherz, 1967).  Library Call Number PN5219.M8 V66 1967
  • Joseph Wulf (Hg.), Presse und Funk im Dritten Reich: Eine Dokumentation (Gütersloh: S. Mohn, 1964).  Library Call Number PN4748.G3 P735 1964


  • Brandon Taylor & Wilfried van der Will (eds.), The Nazification of Art: Art, Design, Music, Architecture, and Film in the Third Reich (Winchester: Winchester Press, 1990).  Library Call Number NX550.A1 N37 1990
  • Eric Michaud, The Cult of Art in Nazi Germany. Trans. J. Lloyd (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004).  Library Call Number N6868.5.N37 M5313 2004
  • Constanze Quanz, Joseph Goebbels: Der Film als Propagandainstrument (Köln: Teiresias, 2000).  Library Call Number PN1993.5.G3 Q36 2000
  • Felix Moeller, Der Filmminister: Goebbels und der Film im Dritten Reich (Berlin: Henschel, 1998).  Library Call Number PN1993.5.G3 M63 1998
  • David Stewart Hall, Film in the Third Reich: Art and Propaganda in Nazi Germany (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1973).  Library Call Number PN1993.5.G3 H8 1973
  • George L. Mosse, Nazi Culture: Intellectual, Cultural and Social Life in the Third Reich (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2003).  Library Call Number DD256.5 .M58 2003
  • Alan E. Steinweis, Art, Ideology & Economics in Nazi Germany: The Reich Chambers of Music, Theater, and the Visual Arts (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993).  Library Call Number NX550.A1 S75 1993
  • Richard A. Etlin (ed.), Art, Culture, and Media Under the Third Reich (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002).  Library Call Number NX550.A1 A778 2002


  • Willi A. Boelcke (ed.), The Secret Conferences of Dr. Goebbels: The Nazi Propaganda War, 1939-43. Trans. E. Osers (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1970).  Library Call Number D810.P7 G333 1970
  • Rudolf Semmler, Goebbels: The Man Next to Hitler (New York: AMS Press, 1981).  Library Call Number DD247.G6 S4 1981
  • Helmut Heiber, Goebbels. Trans. John K. Dickinson (New York: Hawthorn Books, 1972).  Library Call Number DD247.G6 .H413 1972
  • Helmut Heiber (Hg.), Goebbels-Reden (Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag, 1971).  Library Call Number DD253.15 G6215 1971


Reich Education Minister: Bernhard Rust (1934-1945)

The Reich Minister for Education was a cabinet post inherited by the Nazis from the Weimar system upon their assumption of power in 1933.  Hitler appointed a loyal Nazi, Bernhard Rust, to the post of Education Minister in the spring of that year.  Rust and the ministry's purpose during the Third Reich was to bring public education in Germany into line with Nazi ideological tenets.  Throughout the 1930s Rust's ministry actively purged the ranks of German academics and teachers of Jews, Communists, Pacifists, Socialists, and other opponents of the regime.  Rust then filled these vacancies with fervent Nazis.  Other efforts to "Nazify" the educational system included the introduction of rabidly nationalist and racist curricula in the humanities and sciences.  Despite the extensive measures implemented to alter public education in Germany, Rust's impact on the educational system was generally considered disappointing.  Because of this, the Education Ministry worked with the SS and Hitler Youth to establish National-Political Education Institutes (NAPOLA).  The children educated in these institutes were to provide the new leadership cadre of the Reich for future generations.

Research Note: While the general subject of education in the Third Reich has been well-studied, practically nothing has been written on the history and activities of the Education Ministry itself.  Similarly there is no available biography in either German or English of Bernhard Rust.  Lastly, only a single general history of the NAPOLA exists and this is in French.  No general history of the NAPOLA in either English or German exists.


  • Heinz Sünker and Hans-Uwe Otto (eds.), Education and Fascism: Political Identity and Social Education in Nazi Germany (London: Falmer Press, 1997).  Library Call Number LA721.81 .E38 1997
  • George Frederick Kneller, The Educational Philosophy of National Socialism (London: Oxford press, 1941).  Library Call Number LA722 .K64 1941
  • John Caruso, Adolf Hitler's Concept of Education and its Implementation in the Third Reich (Ph.D. Thesis, 1974).  Library Call NumberLA721.81 .C3 1974
  • Benjamin Ortmeyer, Schulzeit unterm Hitlerbild: Analysen, Berichte, Dokumente (Frankfurt am Main: Brandes & Apsel, 2000).  Library Call Number LA721.81 .O786 2000
  • Hermann Giesecke, Hitlers Pädagogen: Theorie und Praxis Nationalsozialistischer Erziehung (Weinheim: Juventa, 1993). Library Call Number LA721.81 .G53 1993
  • Harald Scholtz, Erziehung und Unterricht unterm Hakenkreuz (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1985).  Library Call Number LA721.81 .S398 1985
  • Änne Bäumer-Schleinkofer, Nazi Biology and Schools, Tr. N. Beckhaus (Frankfurt am Main: P. Lang, 1995).  Library Call Number QH320.G3 B3813 1995
  • Helmut Keim, Dietrich Urbach, Volksbildung in Deutschland, 1933-1945: Einführung und Dokumente (Braunschweig: Westermann, 1976)  Library Call Number LA721.81 .V64 1976


  • Helmut Heiber, Universität unterm Hakenkreuz, 3 Bd. (München: K.G. Saur, 1991-1994.  Library Call Number LC93.G4 H417 1991
  • Christian Tilitzki, Die Deutsche Universitätsphilosophie in der Weimarer Republik und im Dritten Reich. 2 Bd. (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2002).  Library Call Number LA 727 .T55 2002
  • Karen Bayer, Frank Sparing, Wolfgang Woelk (Hrsg.), Universitäten und Hochschulen im Nationalsozialismus und in der Frühen Nachkriegszeit (Stuttgart: F. Steiner, 2004).  Library Call Number LA727 .U538 2004
  • Hartmut Lehmann & Otto Oexle, Nationalsozialismus in den Kulturwissenschaften (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2004).  Library Call Number AZ666 .N38 2004


  • Gilmer W. Blackburn, Education in the Third Reich: A Study of Race and History in Nazi Textbooks (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1985).  Library Call Number LA721.81 .B58 1985
  • Kurt-Ingo Flessau, Schule der Diktatur: Lehrpläne und Schulbücher des Nationalsozialismus (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1979).  Library Call Number LA721.81 .F58 1979


  • Herma Bouvier & Claude Geraud, Napola: Les Écoles d'Élites du Troisième Reich (Paris: L'Harmattan, 2000).  Library Call Number LA721.81 .B68 2000
  • Hans Günther Zempelin, Des Teufels Kadett : Napola-Schüler von 1936 bis 1943 (Frankfurt/Main: R.G. Fischer, 2001).  Library Call Number U574.O73 Z45 2001
  • Klaus Montanus, Kadetten Unter dem Hakenkreuz: Ein Napola-Schüler Erzählt (Frankfurt/Main: R.G. Fischer Verlag, 1998).  Library Call Number DD253.8.E79 M66 1998
  • Harald Schäfer, Napola: Die Letzten Vier Jahre der Nationalpolitischen Erziehungsanstalt Oranienstein bei Diez an der Lahn 1941-1945. Eine Erlebnis-Dokumentation (Frankfurt/Main: R.G. Fischer, 1997).  Library Call Number  MU574.O73 S33 1997


Reich Youth Leader: Baldur von Schirach (1932-1945)

Founded before Hitler was named Chancellor in January 1933, the Hitler Youth expanded quickly after the Nazis came to power.  Its mission was to fully train German youth in a manner consistent with the National Socialist worldview.  This training included lessons in folklore and racial history, as well as physical fitness, outdoor activities, such as hiking and camping, shooting, glider piloting, and athletic competition.  The HJ was also a training organization for Germany's future soldiers.  Boys would also participate in military-style exercises (directed by German Army officers) and they would receive lectures on the importance of camaraderie and obedience.  In contrast, girls would be taught the importance of motherhood and the racial community.  Both girls and boys were given distinctive uniforms and organized along paramilitary lines.

Beginning at the age of ten boys would enter the Deutsche Jungvolk (German Young People) while girls would enter the Jungmädelbund (Young Girls Association).  They would remain in these organizations until the age of 14 when boys would formally enter the Hitler Youth and girls the Association of German Girls.  In 1936 membership in the Hitler Youth and Bund Deutscher Mädel was made mandatory.  That same year 90% of German ten-year-olds were listed as members of the Hitler Youth.  Armed Hitler Youth units were also formed and deployed in combat during World War II.

The leader of the Hitler Youth was Baldur von Schirach, whose mother was an American.  Schirach was tried by the Allies at Nuremberg for crimes against humanity and membership in a criminal organization.  He was found guilty and sentenced to twenty years in prison.  Schirach was released from Spandau Prison in 1966 and he died in 1974.


  • H. W. Koch, The Hitler Youth: Origins and Development, 1922-45 (New York: Dorset Press, 1988).  Library Call Number DD253.5 .K623 1988
  • Michael H. Kater, Hitler Youth (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004).  Library Call Number DD253.5 .K28 2004
  • Gerhard Rempel, Hitler's Children: The Hitler Youth and the SS (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989).  Library Call Number DD253.5 .R4 1989
  • The Nazi Primer: Official Handbook for Schooling the Hitler Youth. Trans. H.L. Childs. (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1938).  Library Call Number DD76 .B73 1938


  • Martin Klaus, Mädchen im Dritten Reich: Der Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM) (Köln: Pahl-Rugenstein, 1983).  Library Call Number DD253.48 .K54 1983
  • Gisela Miller-Kipp (Hg.), "Auch du gehörst dem Führer": Die Geschichte des Bundes Deutscher Mädel (BDM) in Quellen und Dokumenten (Weinheim: Juventa, 2001).  Library Call Number HS3365.G3 A93 2001
  • Sabine Hering & Kurt Schilde, Das BDM-Werk "Glaube und Schönheit": Die Organisation Junger Frauen im Nationalsozialismus (Opladen: Leske & Budrich, 2004).  Library Call Number DD253.48 .H47 2004
  • Birgit Jurgens, Zur Geschichte des BDM (Bund Deutscher Mädel) von 1923 bis 1939 (Frankfurt am Main: P. Lang, 1994).  Library Call Number HS3365.G3 J87 1994


  • Baldur von Schirach, Ich Glaubte an Hitler (Hamburg: Mosaik Verlag, 1967).  Library Call Number DD248 .S345 A3
  • Michael Wortmann, Baldur von Schirach, Hitlers Jugendführer (Köln: Böhlau, 1982).  Library Call Number DD247 .S345 W67 1982
  • Günter Kaufmann, Baldur von Schirach, Ein Jugendführer in Deutschland: Richtigstellung und Vermächtnis (Füssen: G. Kaufmann,1993). Library Call Number DD247 .S345 K38 1993
  • Jochen Lang & Claus Sibyll, Der Hitler-Junge: Baldur von Schirach, der Mann, der Deutschlands Jugend erzog (Hamburg: Rasch und Röhring, 1988).  Library Call Number DD247 .S3457 L36 1988



Reich Justice Minister: Franz Gürtner (1933-1941), Otto Georg Thierack (1942-1945)

Chief of People's Court: Otto Georg Thierack (1936-1942), Roland Freisler (1942-1945)

Upon coming to power in 1933, Hitler selected Franz Gürtner, a member of the German National People's Party (DNVP) to serve as Justice Minister.  Following his appointment, Gürtner oversaw the Nazification of the Justice Ministry and the German legal profession as a whole.  As part of this process, judges, lawyers, and legal staff of "questionable" political and/or racial backgrounds were dismissed from their positions.  Nazi ideological notions were also introduced into the body of German law.  Gürtner also actively participated in creating the so-called "State of Emergency Law" (Staatsnotwehrgesetz) which provided a legal basis for the purge of the NSDAP that was carried out in June 1934 (See section on the SA below).

Gürtner died in 1941 and was replaced as Justice Minister in 1942 by Otto Georg Thierack.  Thierack had been head of the German People's Court, the Volksgerichtshof, since 1936.  Under Thierack, the People's Court became little more than a show court for trying persons who violated Nazi laws, including crimes against the race (i.e., Miscegenation).  With Thierack's rise to Justice Minister, his seat as head of the Volksgerichtshof was filled by Roland Freisler.  Freisler, an ardent Nazi, was known for his ruthlessness and shrill defense of Nazism.  He is best known for presiding over the numerous show trials that followed the attempted assassination of Hitler on July 20, 1944.  Freisler was killed in the Volksgerichtshof during an Allied bombing raid in 1945.  For his part, Thierack was arrested by the British.  He committed suicide while in British custody in 1946.

Research Note: While a great deal has been written and published on the law and the legal profession in the Third Reich, next to nothing has been published on either Franz Gürtner or Otto Thierack.  This problem is particularly acute concerning English language scholarship.  It currently appears that there are no biographies of Gürtner, Freisler, or Thierack in English.  Similarly there is no history of the Justice Ministry or the Volksgerichtshof.


  • Nikolaus Wachsmann, Hitler's Prisons: Legal Terror in Nazi Germany (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004).  Library Call Number HV9677 .W33 2004
  • Hubert Kiesewetter, Von Hegel zu Hitler: Die Politische Verwirklichung einer Totalitären Machtstaatstheorie in Deutschland (1815-1945) (Frankfurt am Main: P. Lang, 1995).  Library Call Number B2648 .K53 1995
  • Nils Block, Die Parteigerichtsbarkeit der NSDAP (Frankfurt am Main: P. Lang, 2002).  Library Call Number DD253.25 .B56 2002
  • Diemut Majer, Nationalsozialismus im Lichte der Juristischen Zeitgeschichte: Ideologie, Staat, Besatzungsregime in Europa 1939-1945 (Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 2002).  Library Call Number KK927 .M35 2002
  • Christian Hilger, Rechtsstaatsbegriffe im Dritten Reich: Eine Strukturanalyse (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003).  Library Call Number KK4426 .H56 2003
  • Diemut Majer, Grundlagen des Nationalsozialistischen Rechtssystems: Führerprinzip, Sonderrecht, Einheitspartei (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1987).  Library Call Number KK4828 .M35 1987
  • Bernd Rüthers, Entartetes Recht: Rechtslehren und Kronjuristen im Dritten Reich (München: Verlag C.H. Beck, 1988).  Library Call Number KK927 .R87 1988
  • Martin Hirsch, Diemut Majer, Jürgen Meinck (Hrsg.), Recht, Verwaltung und Justiz im Nationalsozialismus: Ausgewählte Schriften, Gesetze und Gerichtsentscheidungen von 1933 bis 1945 (Köln: Bund-Verlag, 1984).  Library Call Number KK147 .R39 1984
  • Hans Frank, Rechtsgrundlegung des Nationalsozialistischen Führerstaates (München: F. Eher Nachführung, 1938).  Library Call Number KK927 .F73 1938
  • Hans Frank, Nationalsozialistische Strafrechtspolitik (München: F. Eher Nachführung, 1938).  Library of Congress Call Number LAW <Europe West Germany 7 "Fran">


  • Ekkehard Reitter, Franz Gürtner: Politische Biographie eines Deutschen Juristen, 1881-1941 (Berlin: Duncker und Humbolt, 1976).  Library of Congress Call Number LAW GERMANY 7 Reit 1976
  • Lothar Gruchmann, Justiz im Dritten Reich,1933-1940: Anpassung und Unterwerfung in der Ära Gürtner (München: Oldenbourg, 2001).  Library Call Number KK3655 .G78 2001


  • Stephan Breuning, Roland Freisler: Rechtsideologien im III. Reich (Hamburg: Verlag Dr. Kovac, 2002).  Library Call Number KK185.F73 B74 2002
  • Helmut Ortner, Der Hinrichter: Roland Freisler, Mörder im Dienste Hitlers (Wien: Zsolnay, 1993).  Library Call Number KK185.F73 O78 1993
  • Gert Buchheit, Richter in Roter Robe: Freisler, Präsident des Volksgerichtshofes (München: List, 1968).  Library of Congress Call Number LAW <Europe West Germany 7 Buch 1968>
  • Roland Freisler, Nationalsozialistisches Recht und Rechtsdenken (Berlin: Industrieverlag Spaeth & Linde, 1943).  Library of Congress Call Number LAW <Europe West Germany 7 "Freis">


Gestapo Leader: Hermann Goering (1933-1936); Heinrich Himmler (1936-1939); Heinrich Mueller (1939-1945)

When the Nazis assumed power in 1933 practically every German state (Land) in the country already had a political police force in place.  These police forces were typically dedicated to observing and acting against leftist political organizations.  In April 1933, Hermann Goering, in his capacity as Minister President of Prussia, authorized the creation of an umbrella organization for the secret police, the Gestapo.  In 1934 leadership of this organization in Prussia was assumed by Reinhard Heydrich.  It was not until 1936, however, that the Gestapo throughout Germany was unified under the rubric of the SS and the command of Heinrich Himmler.  For the rest of the Third Reich's existence the Gestapo remained an office subordinated to the SS.  Gestapo headquarters was placed under the command of Heinrich Mueller and combined with the other SS secret services into the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Main Security Office: RSHA) in September 1939.  Mueller remained head of the Gestapo until his presumed death in Berlin in 1945.  Hermann Goering was put on trial by the Allies at Nuremberg, but he hanged himself in his cell before he could be convicted.  Heinrich Himmler was captured by the British while traveling under an assumed name.  He poisoned himself soon after his capture.


  • George C. Browder, Hitler's Enforcers: The Gestapo and The SS Security Service in the Nazi Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996).  Library Call Number DD256.5 .B67984 1996
  • Shlomo Aronson, Beginnings of the Gestapo System: The Bavarian Model in 1933 (Jerusalem: Israel Universities Press, 1969).  Library Call Number HV8209.B35 A66 1969
  • Edward Crankshaw, Gestapo: Instrument of Tyranny (New York: Viking Press, 1956).  Library Call Number HV8208.7 .G44 C 73 1956
  • Robert Gellately, The Gestapo and German Society: Enforcing Racial Policy, 1933-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990).  Library Call Number DS135.G42 B462 UNF G45 1990
  • Roger Manvell, SS and Gestapo: Rule by Terror (New York: Ballantine Books, 1977).  Library Call Number DD253.6 .M378 1977
  • Eric A. Johnson, Nazi Terror: The Gestapo, Jews, and Ordinary Germans (New York: Basic Books, 1999).  Library Call Number DBO4.3 .J636 1999
  • Gerhard Paul & Klaus-Michael Mallmann (Hrsg.), Die Gestapo: Mythos und Realität (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1995). Library Call Number HV 8208.7 .G44 G47 1995
  • Gerhard Paul & Klaus-Michael Mallmann (Hrsg.), Die Gestapo im Zweiten Weltkrieg: 'Heimatfront' und besetztes Europa (Darmstadt: Primus, 2000).  Library Call Number DD256.5 .G47 2000
  • Adolf Diamant, Gestapo Frankfurt am Main: Zur Geschichte einer verbrecherischen Organisation in den Jahren 1933-1945 (Frankfurt am Main: A. Diamant, 1988).  Library Call Number HV8210.F7 D53 1988
  • Shlomo Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die Frühgeschichte von Gestapo und SD (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1971).  Library Call Number DD253.635 .A76 1971
  • Jochen von Lang, Die Gestapo: Instrument des Terrors (München: W. Heyne, 1990).  Library Call Number HV8208.7 .G44 L36 1993


  • Willi Frischauer, Goering (London: Odhams Press, 1951).  Library Call Number DD247.G67 F7 1951
  • Ewan Butler & Gordon Young, Marshall Without Glory: The Life and Death of Hermann Goering (Devon : David & Charles Publishers, 1989).  Library Call Number DD247.G67 B8 1989
  • Roger Manvell & Heinrich Fraenkel, Goering (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1962).  Library Call Number DD247.G67 M3 1962
  • R.J. Overy, Goering: The "Iron Man" (Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984).  Library Call Number DD247.G67 094 1984
  • Leonard Mosley, The Reich Marshal: A Biography of Hermann Goering (London: Pan Books, 1977).  Library Call Number DD247.G67 M67 1977


  • Andreas Seeger, "Gestapo-Müller": die Karriere eines Schreibtischtäters (Berlin: Metropol, 1996).  Library Call Number DD247 .M857 S44 1996
  • Mark Beyer, Heinrich Müller: Gestapo Chief (New York: Rosen, 2001).  Library Call Number DD247 .M857 B49 2001


Reich Leader SS: Heinrich Himmler (1929-1945)

See Heinrich Himmler and SS Documentary List

See Heinrich Himmler Speeches List


Reich Labor Leader: Dr. Robert Ley (1933-1945)

A veteran of the First World War and a member of the Nazi Party since 1923, Robert Ley was selected by Hitler in May 1933 to head the new German Labor Front (DAF).  As head of the DAF, Ley was responsible for supervising the destruction of Germany's powerful trade unions.  Ley then oversaw the integration of Germany's industrial workforce into the state-sponsored German Labor Front.  For those employed in the industrial workforce membership in the DAF was mandatory.  The members of the DAF wore uniforms and were organized along paramilitary lines.  They also participated in Nazi Party rallies and they were actively exposed to the ideology of the Nazi Party via training programs and lectures.  DAF work crews were responsible for constructing Germany's system of Autobahns and the factory that produced the first Volkswagen, as well as for building numerous other public works projects, and extensive western military fortifications.  The DAF was also the first organization of its kind anywhere in the industrialized world to pioneer the notion of leisure time for industrial workers.  The first vacations ever taken by many German families were organized through the "Kraft durch Freude" or "Strength through Joy" (KdF) program.  Similarly, the first automobiles owned by many German families were procured through the pathbreaking KdF.

Robert Ley's influence remained high throughout the 1930s.  His organization also produced ideological reading materials, such as the Schulungsbrief journal.  During the war, however, Ley steadily lost power to the Armaments Ministry, led first by Fritz Todt and then Albert Speer, and the office of Fritz Sauckel, the General Plenipotentiary for Labor Deployment.  In 1945, Ley was captured by the Allies and prepared for trial for war crimes.  However, before he could be brought to trial Ley hanged himself in his cell at Nuremberg.

Research Note: To this point research on industrial labor in Germany has largely focused on two areas: opposition to the Nazi regime carried out by clandestine groups within the workforce and forced labor by foreign nationals brought into Germany during the war.  Very little academic work has been published on the DAF, however.  There is likewise only one biography of Robert Ley available in either English or German.  Work on both of these subjects is needed.


  • Karl Heinz Roth, Facetten des Terrors: der Geheimdienst der Deutschen Arbeitsfront und die Zerstörung der Arbeiterbewegung 1933 bis 1938 (Bremen: Edition Temmen, 2000).  Library Call Number HD8443 .D43 R68 2000
  • Dan Silverman, Hitler's Economy: Nazi Work Creation Programs, 1933-1936 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998).  Library Call Number HD8450 .S55 1998


  • Ronald Smelser, Robert Ley: Hitler's Labor Front Leader (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988).  Library Call Number HD8453.L49 S64 1988
  • Robert Ley, Soldaten der Arbeit (München: Zentralverlag der NSDAP, F. Eher Nachf., 1939).  Library Call Number HD8450 .L49 1939


SA Chief: Ernst Röhm (1924-34); Viktor Lutze (1934-1943)

Until the summer of 1934, the Sturmabteilungen or Storm Sections, of the Nazi Party were by far the most powerful segment of the NSDAP.  Their leader, Ernst Röhm, was a veteran of the First World War and a member of the Nazi Party from an early date.  The ranks of the SA were filled with men from lower middle and working class backgrounds who clamored for social-political and economic change in Germany.  Rabidly anti-Communist, anti-Socialist, and antisemitic, the SA carried out street battles against Leftist militia organizations throughout the 1920s and early 1930s.  The violent agitation of the SA was in large part responsible for creating an atmosphere of chaos in the streets of many German cities.  Nazi propagandists blamed this chaos exclusively on the Communists and then claimed that the NSDAP was the only party which could restore order.

Once in power, however, the SA began to cause trouble for Hitler.  The beating, murder, and intimidation of political "opponents" caused considerable concern among respectable Germans who assumed that the rise of Hitler to power would bring order.  Military officers who feared that the SA would supplant the Reichswehr also threatened to seize control of the state in a coup d'etat if the SA was not disbanded.  Lastly, the SA represented the left-wing of the Nazi Party, the so-called "socialist" part of National Socialism, and they demanded the implementation of economic reforms now that the NSDAP was in power.  Faced with these difficulties, Hitler devised a plan with SS Chief Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich to decapitate the SA and render it harmless.  On the night of June30, 1934 the SS put this operation into action and the leadership of the SA, as well as hundreds of other people the Nazis considered problematic, were arrested and executed.  Ernst Röhm was among those murdered, following his arrest during a homosexual affair.  Röhm's replacement as head of the SA was Viktor Lutze, a compliant follower of Hitler.  Under Lutze, the SA remained in existence, but its numbers steadily dwindled as SA men were drafted into the Wehrmacht.  Lutze was killed on the Eastern Front in 1943.

Research Note: To this point there is no decent history of the SA in English, from its foundation in the 1920s through to its end with the collapse of Nazism in 1945.  Several histories focused on the life and demise of Ernst Röhm do detail the rise of the SA.  However, little reading is available on the SA following its purge in June 1934.  Similarly, there is no biography of Viktor Lutze in any language.


  • Thomas D. Grant, Stormtroopers and Crisis in the Nazi Movement: Activism, Ideology, and Dissolution (New York: Routledge, 2004).  Library Call Number DD253.7 .G73 2004
  • Jill Halcomb, The SA: An Historical Perspective (Overland Park, KS: Crown/Agincourt Publishers, 1985). Library Call Number DD253.7 .H35 1985
  • Bruce Campbell, The SA generals and The Rise of Nazism (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1998). Library Call Number DD253.7 .C36 1998
  • Peter Longerich, Braunen Bataillone: Die Geschichte der SA (München: Verlag C.H. Beck, 2003).  Library Call Number DD253.7 .L66 2003
  • Charles Bloch, Die SA und die Krise des NS-Regimes 1934 (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1970).  Library Call Number DD253.7 .B56 1970
  • Heinz Artzt, Mörder in Uniform: Organisationen, die zu Vollstreckern nationalsozialistischer Verbrechen wurden (München: Kindler, 1979).  Library Call Number DD253.6 .A78 1979


  • Otto Gritschneder, "Der Führer hat Sie zum Tode verurteilt ..." Hitlers "Röhm-Putsch": Morde vor Gericht (München: Verlag C.H. Beck, 1993).  Library Call Number DD247.R56 G74 1993
  • Heinz Höhne, Mordsache Röhm: Hitlers Durchbruch zur Alleinherrschaft, 1933-1934 (Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1984).  Library Call Number DD256.5 .H584 1984
  • Ernst Röhm, Die Memoiren des Stabschef Röhm (Saarbrücken: Uranus-Verlag, 1934).  Library Call Number DD247.R56 M4


  • Viktor Lutze, Reden an die SA: der Politische Katholizismus (München, F. Eher Nachf., 1939).  Library Call Number BX1536 .L8 1939


Reich Interior Minister: Wilhelm Frick (1933-1943); Heinrich Himmler (1943-1945)

Under the leadership of Wilhelm Frick until 1943, the Interior Ministry was the administrative body which oversaw much of the so-called "Gleichschaltung" of government ministries, professional organizations, German states, and other groups in society.  The term Gleichschaltung, meaning "to bring into line" does not translate neatly into English.  In this context it may best be understood as "Nazification," a term which includes the reorganization of administrative power to enhance and reflect the influence of the Nazi Party.  Elements of the process of Gleichschaltung included the passage of new laws, including race laws, the suppression of political parties other than the NSDAP, the reorganization of the relationship of the German states to the federal government, and the incorporation into the Party of all kinds of social groups (e.g. youth, veterans, women's, etc.).  In essence, the Ministry for the Interior established and maintained the legal structure of the Nazi dictatorship.

Trained as a lawyer and a former member of the radical right-wing Freikorps, Wilhelm Frick was the perfect man for the job of Nazifying German society.  Frick was a long-time Nazi who had taken part in the abortive putsch in November 1923.  He had also served for a time as chief of the political police in Munich.  It was in Munich that Frick had come in contact with Hitler.  For his part in establishing the criminal Nazi regime, Frick was tried at Nuremberg by the Allies.  He was convicted and hanged in October 1946.

Research Note: While several biographies of Frick and histories of his ministry exist in German, there are no equivalents in English.  In fact, information about the activities of the Interior Ministry in English is practically non-existent, with the result that very few people (including many scholars) know much about the ministry.


  • Günter Neliba, Wilhelm Frick. Der Legalist des Unrechtsstaates: Eine Politische Biographie (Paderborn: Schöningh, 1992).  Library Call Number DD247.F7 N45 1992
  • Dr. Wilhelm Frick und sein Ministerium (München: F. Eher Nachführung, 1937).  Library Call Number DD247.F7 D7
  • Hans Fabricius, Dr. Wilhelm Frick: Ein Lebensbild des Reichsministers des Innern (Berlin: Junker und Dünnhaupt, 1938).  Library Call Number JA44 .B373 Heft 1
  • Hans Fabricius, Dr. Frick: Der Revolutionäre Staatsmann (Berlin: Verlag Deutsche Kultur-Wacht, 1940).  Library Call Number DD247.F7 F3 1940


State Secretary of the Reich Chancellery: Hans Heinrich Lammers (1933-1945)

Deputy Führer of the NSDAP: Rudolf Hess (1933-1941); Martin Bormann (1941-1945)

Despite the importance of his office, very little has been written about Hans Heinrich Lammers.  When Hitler formed his first cabinet in 1933 he surprised many people by asking Lammers to join the new government as State Secretary.  Lammers, a trained jurist, was new to the Nazi Party, having joined only in 1932.  Prior to that Lammers had been an avowed nationalist and member of the Stahlhelm veterans' organization. In his capacity as State Secretary, however, Lammers proved to be an able and reliable representative as Hitler's liaison between the various ministries of the government.  Lammers also played a crucial role creating legislation, including the Nuremberg Race Laws, that established a legal foundation for the Nazi State.  Lammers also acted as a filter through which all kinds of legal and administrative information pertaining to the ministries passed to and from Hitler.  As State Secretary, Lammers was present at many important meetings on Nazi policy, including the so-called "Euthanasia Program" to eliminate the mentally ill and physically handicapped.

Lammers' position in the Reich Chancellery was mirrored by that of Rudolf Hess and later Martin Bormann as head of the Party Chancellery.  Once in power, the NSDAP retained a bureaucratic organization and hierarchy which paralleled that of the official German state.  The Deputy Führer theoretically wielded power nearly equal to that of Reich Marshall Goering, who maintained his position as the official number two man behind Hitler until late in the war.  As Deputy Führer, Hess and then Bormann oversaw the official finances of the Führer's office and exercised administrative power in Hitler's name.  In order to gain access to Hitler, practically every official in the Reich had to go through either Hess or Bormann.  Curiously, the office of Deputy Führer steadily lost power and influence under Hess.  Bormann, however, reversed this trend and became very active in administering Hitler's personal calendar and making decisions in Hitler's stead.  He continued this process of accumulating power until the very end of the war.

Hans Lammers was eventually tried at Nuremberg by the Allies in 1949.  He was convicted and sentenced to twenty years in prison, although he only spent two years behind bars.  Lammers died in 1962.  Rudolf Hess was also tried and convicted at Nuremberg.  He spent the rest of his life in Spandau Prison, until he committed suicide in 1987.  Bormann was killed in Berlin during the Soviet assault on the city in 1945. 


  • Peter Longerich, Hitlers Stellvertreter: Führung der Partei und Kontrolle des Staatsapparates durch den Stab Hess und die Partei-Kanzlei Bormann (München: K.G. Saur, 1992).  Library Call Number DD253.29 .L66 1992
  • Georg Franz-Willing, Die Reichskanzlei, 1933-1945: Rolle und Bedeutung unter der Regierung Hitler (Tübingen, 1984)
  • Helmut Heiber (Hg.), Akten der Parteikanzlei der NSDAP; Rekonstruktion eines Verlorengegangenen Bestandes. Band 1-4 (München/Wien, 1983).
  • Peter Diehl-Thiele, Partei und Staat im Dritten Reich: Untersuchungen zum Verhältnis von NSDAP und allgemeiner inneren Staatsverwaltung 1933-1945 (München: C.H. Beck, 1969) Library Call Number DD253.25 .D53
  • Dieter Rebentisch, Führerstaat und Verwaltung im Zweiten Weltkrieg: Verfassungsentwicklung und Verwaltungspolitik, 1939-1945 (Stuttgart: F. Steiner Verlag, 1989). Library Call Number DD256.5 .R37 1989


  • Roger Manvell and Heinrich Fraenkel, Hess: A Biography (New York: Drake Publishers, 1973).  Library Call Number DD247.H37 M3 1973
  • Kurt Pätzold & Manfred Weissbecker, Rudolf Hess: Der Mann an Hitlers Seite (Leipzig: Militzke, 1999)  Library Call Number DD247.H37 P37 1999
  • Wulf Schwarzwäller, Rudolf Hess: Der Stellvertreter (München: Delphin, 1987).  Library Call Number DD247.H37 S37 1987
  • Rudolf Hess, Reden (München: Zentralverlag der NSDAP, F. Eher Nachf., 1940).  Library Call Number DD247.H37 A3 1940


  • Jochen von Lang, The Secretary: Martin Bormann, The Man who Manipulated Hitler.  Trans. C. Armstrong and P. White (New York: Random House, 1979).  Library Call Number DD247.B65 L3613 1979
  • James McGovern, Martin Bormann (London: Barker, 1968).  Library Call Number DD247.B63 M3
  • Hugo Beer, Moskaus im Kampf der Geheimdienste: die Rolle Martin Bormanns in der deutschen Führungsspitze (Pähl: Verlag Hohe Warte, 1983).  Library Call Number DD247.B65 B42 1983